Monday, June 30, 2014

Independence Day

This is preposterous.
This whole situation
which is only a situation
because we all hold it in our heads
due to the how we were raised
and where we were raised
to do this and that
and do it well,
because there is nothing worth doing
that is not worth doing well.
Tradition and ritual has its place,
but I have a hard time trusting it
when it has become as perverse as it has.
We are Americans.
The United States of America:
founded with enlightened pride
and discernment.
We should be bound by an oath
of reason and democracy
or else we'll sink like the Roman Empire.
BOOM! goes the dynamite.

Try and comprehend what Americans
have done to this western world.
Comprehend what humans,
white humans most of the time,
have done to this world.
For Christ's sake let's just keep it simple:
Crimes against humanity.
Look at what we did to the the the...
Fuck it! The Indians;
and niggers too, to drive it home,
ya fuckin' racist!
Think about it for a moment
before you blow up something
for nothing other than ritual and tradition.
And/Or consider instead
the day before the running of the bulls
in Pamplona, Spain,
you dumb, but secretive catholic.
Or the Chinese New Year,
though they're no gift to the world
either these days,
with their strange and sadistic twist
of free market capitalism
bleeding ink into their little red book.
Or the Pontius Pilate firecracker fight
in Mexico City during Easter Weekend.
Or just let loose your incendiaries
like someone with nothing to lose,
and willing to add some excitement
to our American Dread:
school shootings
terrorists attacks
cyber-hacking and wikileaks
Edward Snowden
The protest of the world cup in Rio.

An American claiming to be Canadian departs for Europe.
David Beckham shudders, then misses his soccer goal.

Ugly Americans:
Arming Syrians.
Blaming Black Folk.
Blaming the poor.
Loving Mexicans, but not enough
to stand for their human rights.
Beasts of burden.
Meddling in the sexual proclivities of others
and denying rights to those whose sexual proclivities
make you feel confused; icky.
Hating the old; hating the new,
and understanding that one demonizes
the other.
Deciding to hate a woman.
Deciding to hate a man.
Being what you are instead of what to could be.
Being a liar for the sake of your lie.
Ignoring; ignoring.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war...
POP! another firework goes off in the distance.
Several pops greet it's cadence.
Firecrackers, shallow and tinny, crackle
loudly behind me.
Oh say can you see
by the dawns earlier light
which so proudly we hail
at twilight's last gleaming...
...and the rockets red glare
the bombs bursting in air
gave truth through the night...

I pledge allegiance
to the flag
of the United States of America.
And to the republic
for which it stands;
one nation
under God
with liberty and justice for all.

    Four score and seven years ago, our forefathers brought forth a new nation; conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

    It is past eleven p.m in Lafayette, Indiana. Noise ordinances are enforced after eleven p.m, so the bursts of fireworks echoing in the humid night become deeper and more distant; like thunder rolling on by. The faint pop of a firecracker rings out quietly within the wash of chirping crickets. Occasionally, periodically the leaves of the sycamore tree to the right of me rustle in the weather above me and above us all.
    A deep faint burst from the east, and in the west, nothing but the darkness and breeze.
    This is one single atom of America.

Aaron C. Molden

Friday, June 27, 2014


I tell you, truthfully, longing takes on a new meaning
when you feel it when you are not even alone.
To long for someone when you are alone
means you are simply a social beast,
but when you are among peers
among friends, loved ones, others, annoyances, enemies
and long for someone still so distant from yourself,
This can send a shudder down your spine
and heat up your neck
or a drop in your stomach,
maybe a pang within your heart
or possibly a tension in your temple
and draw a tear so forcefully
through high muscle tension, out of your eye.
How embarrassing.
Because, honestly, why should you care?
What really has this person you long for
done for you?
It's funny because I write this as if it really matters
and as if I really mean it.

It is such a funny wild card in human thought.
Love: Sometimes we only feel comfortable saying it
when we do not really mean it.
And sometimes it is the hardest word to utter
when, at the moment, you just did not feel it;
for anything and everything, you just did not feel it.
It is strange, seductive, menacing, wholehearted,
physical, paternal, maternal, scary,
incestuous, homosexual, heterosexual,
platonic, visceral, neural, cathartic,
narcissistic, sadistic, masochistic,
gleeful, scornful, rueful, joyous, rigorous, rapturous,
seedy, selfless or selfish, healthy, fuck suck and sleep,
that love.

Consider the lilies.
Or at least consider the book you could be reading.
What can you find on your computer to look at.
If it is summer you can go to a pool.
It's never too hot or too cold to go biking or hiking
if you plan ahead enough.
A gleaming red beetle struggles on its back
on the cracked grey pavement.
It's six shiny legs flutter and buzz
in the glow of the floodlights.
It buzzes and its body vibrates twice.
Then it dies.

Swim, canoe.
Play billiards, play basketball.
Watch basketball, but don't watch billiards,
well unless you have to, for some reason,
whatever reason you could possibly fathom.
You could also build something
or write someone,
or draw something,
or film something
and discover something that you didn't know was there.

Plus, there is always a pretty girl to kiss
and possibly date or unexpectedly fuck,
or you know, just make out with, fool around,
and you can have dinner with her
or maybe lay on a blanket with in a park
-any park, but some parks are better than others-
and maybe you will have sex with her again,
with her milky white thighs and knees
and her goddamned nearly angelic smile.
And maybe you will try to call her
and hang out with her,
and maybe find some peace out there
from the one you still long for, you sucker,
you longing sucker.
Or maybe you will just watch a movie
to take your mind off of it.
"I'll see you guys, later." You said when you left.
What a gnawing suspicion this longing is in you.
You should be submitting your shitty first novel
instead of writing this, what you call, poetry.

The (short) name list:
Reverse Bukowski
Frank O'Hara
                            Raymond Carver
                            Elizabeth Bishop
Kenneth Rexroth
T.S. Eliot
             Song of Solomon

I don't feel like describing your body
your flesh and bones and eyes and hair
and how your cheeks blush
when I flatter you
or when I slap my hands
against your ass and thighs.
That's mine.
And if I have to get it out sometime
I'll let that sometime come when it does.
It's not the best of you, woman,
but it is a photo finish.

Write a poem as an excuse, an escape.
Abstraction or distraction or subtraction of yourself.

Aaron C. Molden

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Memory and Recollection

    There were good times, too. Cracking jokes with each at the all night grocery store, always at the expense of unaware strangers. Taking walks around the most interesting place we could find; I always tried to go hiking, she always opted for a pleasant stroll in a place where she could window shop. Embracing after we had sex; one summer afternoon we lay naked in our bed, uncovered and sweating, with the sun beaming in on us. We were writhing against each other on moss green sheets twisted beneath us, for hours and hours. Eating at a new restaurant. Seeing her reaction when she first tasted the new dish she had ordered. Dancing together without caring who sees us. Dancing with her and her alone. Watching her bathe on the banks of a river in her black and gray bikini. Quiet conversations as we spooned with each other on the couch, on the floor, in front of the heater when we went swimming too early in the springtime, wrapped in my blue sleeping bag on the linoleum kitchen floor. Her, listening to the words spilling from my mouth -trivia about the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of western Australia- looking up at me and smiling her incomparable smile. Us, sneaking into the botany greenhouse on campus, where I saw countless numbers of succulents and cacti; plants that, until that very moment, I didn't know existed; a fern whose leaves shivered and closed on floral instinct at the touch of a human finger; a creamy purple flower shaped into a bowl that catches light misting rain; plants known to be carnivorous in the right climate. Watching her watch The Red Shoes for the first time -Emeric Pressburger, my god! you were a genius- her stunned gaze at the dizzying final dance sequence. The curve of her nude hips in the bright yellow sunlight, casting new illumination on where we lay; my hand on the small of her belly, just below her navel...
    "You're a liar. You have wasted my night...with passive aggression."
    "Make an excuse; you know I've hit the nail on its head."
    "You took advantage of my kindness. You treated it as weakness."
    "It's your turn to prove yourself to be worthy. Worthy of my love."
    "I'm tired. I've been through hell and back with you."
    "I try to be honorable. Dependable. Stable."
    "Yes, I have faltered, but I have constantly proven I can redeem myself."
    "You have fucked me over enough times for me to turn gleefully against you, you bitch."
    "I hope the rest of your night turns out sour. I hope you realize you have no one left to turn to because you will not know where I went." Jed said in a cold and strangely clear tone.
    Steph sat at the table in her thin brown slip with her head sunk towards her bare and bruised knees. "I..." she began to speak, but then fell silent.
     It was dark in the kitchen, and Jed was standing in a hunched posture. He was a silhouette cast completely in shadow by the bare white light behind him. It was the only light on within their railroad apartment. Jed was looking at the back door with his entire body trembling with fear, shame, and rage. The back of his neck was flushed red and hot in his darkness. "You were with him again." His voice quivered. Tears were beginning to stream down his face. He looked back at her still sitting slumped in the kitchen chair. He wanted to hit her. Then he looked down next to his leg to see their dog, Jack, looking up at him, wagging his tail vigorously. Jack was expecting to step outside with the human he somehow trusted. "Well?" He asked Steph without looking back up at her.
    Steph began to weep. "I don't know what to say."
    Jed stepped out of the back door into the night without the dog, without Steph, and without another word. He descended the deck stairs briskly without a destination and without believing he would ever come back. He walked the streets of the city for hours alone because he could not manage to sort out his thoughts. He didn't want to love her anymore. He did not want to love her anymore. But he did. "God damn it." He whispered as he circled back towards the apartment he had left nearly four hours before. He sat at the first worn wood step of the deck, facing the darkness to the west, There were railroad tracks, warehouses and factories, suburban sprawls and strip malls, schools and parks, and of course the river that washes through it all, catching all the spillage and snaking it away towards the polluted Midwestern water shelf. All of this and so much more he knew were out there, but he could see any of it in the darkness of that night. He did not know how to end this awful and unfair situation. "God Damn it." He whispered again.
   When he finally went in, he discovered both Steph and the dog were gone. On the kitchen table there was a piece of paper folded in half with "Jed" written on the outside. He opened the bifurcated sheet and discovered that the inside was blank.

Aaron C. Molden