Poetry “Midwest Aesthetics” from James Schwartz & David L O’Nan: collaboration

from the series “The Empath Dies in the End”

Midwest Aesthetics

  1. Michigan (James Schwartz)
Ruth Ellis,
The Great Blizzard of '78, 
Michael Moore, 
#FlintWaterCrisis, 

Motown,
Madonna, 
Eminem,
Sada Baby,

Gray sweatpants, 
Factory hours, 
Rivers of coffee, 
Biscuits and gravy, 

Gravel roads, 
Amish buggies bumping techno, 
Blueberry picking, 
Pumpkin patches, 

Model T Town,
Industrial Era hangover,
6 Mile sex workers, 
"Working on the night moves"... 


2. Indiana (David L O'Nan)

Larry Bird flat foot jumpers
The Great Blizzard of ‘78
The Ohio River flowing and suicide watches
Donald Trump really won 

On big trucks blasting rap music
Drive by white racists who justify using profanity
By lyrics, by tiktok
Elitists walk by you, the trash and the preppy

Wal-Mart days, Wal-Mart nights,
And speaking of nights, we had Bobby Knight
Now we’ve got memories of floods and tornadoes
We’ve got Holiday World.  

Gravel Roads,
The Meth Crisis to Fetanyl Crisis
David Letterman went to Ball State
Festivals in the fall. We eat garbage upon garbage and smile.

Vomiting in cornfields,
Hey Indianapolis,
Hey Gary, Hey the Jacksons, Hey nevermind.
Indy 500’s used to be a grandpa’s deam.

But I also know of Kentucky and I know of New Orleans
I the the hatred someone from Southern Indiana has
For a Kentuckian just a bridge away. 
With the same accent they mimic what they think is different, but really the same.

We’ve got Hoosiers
We’ve got Bloomington, actually a fine town
We’ve got Wineries  and
We’ve got Falling Rock Zones.

We’ve got an escape to New Harmony.  
A dystopian town for prayer.
Do we have Indiana Jones or that just a name?
We had James Dean and then he left to escape the curves around cornfields.

We’ve had Fairgrounds Coliseum Gas Explosions
We had Mike Pence and was saw him dispense.
We have John Mellencamp wandering around like Springsteen in New Jersey.
Dan Quayle, Dan Quayle, fuck that.  Steve McQueen , Steve McQueen.

Oh and don’t forget John Dillinger.
Don’t forget the programmed corn, the factories pounding out super pollution.
Steroid chickens,  9 mile Chic-Fil-A lines that tells you to have a good day.
While they racially judge you, while they investigate your sexual preference.

Well they never know that over half their staff is to be cautious and close to the closet.
All for those French fries that shape like waffles, chicken sandwich nights.
Super churches across from Super churches.
Envy the bully,  rampage the road, defeat the enemy, defeat the empathy. 

Current bio for Fevers of the Mind’s David L O’Nan editor/writing contributor to blog.  

Poetry Preview “American Linden” from “Sunset in Rome” from James Schwartz


By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1

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