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


Feversof Promos: Getting to Know Michigan Author Ron Riekki

Ron Riekki is a poet/writer/editor from Michigan and has been published by several publications such as Juked, The Threepenny Review, Wigleaf, Akashic Books, Beloit Poetry Journal, Spillway, Rattle and many more. He has produced/written films that have been submitted to the SooFilmFest Screenings in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. This years festival dates are currently September 15-19th. This year “Thank You For Your Teeth” is his submission to this film festival directed by George ve Gänæaard & Horia Cucută. He has written several shorts & screenplays.

https://www.soofilmfestival.org/sff_festival/2021_films/11_tunes_and_toons.html#thank

To see all the listings for this event check out the Soo Film Festival page here https://www.soofilmfestival.org/

Ron has compiled and has written several poetry & fiction books included a book of essays based on "Stephen King's It" titled "The Many Lives of It: Essays on the Stephen King Horror Franchise"

Another unique concept for an anthology that Ron has edited is “The Way North” Collected Upper Peninsula New Works which is a collection of writing from several contributors that are writers either from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, or are based on the territory. Writers such as Steve Hamilton, Catie Rosemurgy, Keith Taylor, Jonathan Johnson, John Smolens, and Ellen Airgood are included in this Michigan Writing collection.

The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works (Made in Michigan Writers Series) Kindle Edition

“My Ancestors Are Reindeer Herders and I Am Melting in Extinction” is a book of stories and poetry through the eyes of a Saami-American that deals with struggles of today’s world through metaphors and verse.

My Ancestors are Reindeer Herders and I Am Melting In Extinction: Saami-American Non-Fiction, Fiction, and Poetry by [Ron Riekki]

https://amzn.to/2WcDbAj

An anthology edited by Ron “Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice” is a nice collection of Great Lakes region poets and writers that speak on diversity, social justice, and poet laureates of the region putting out some of their most meaningful works. Poets such as Rita Dove, Lauren McClung, Karla Huston, Joyce Sutphen, Zora Howard, Wendy Vardaman, Marvin Bell and much more are included in this collection.

https://amzn.to/3kfRpbJ

For more books and collections by Ron please follow the Amazon link to his books of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, essays.

https://amzn.to/2XADt4e

Links to Interviews, Poetry & more:

https://www.apprenticehouse.com/?p=1629

https://pleaseseeme.com/issue-6/poetry/three-poems-ron-riekki/

https://www.splitlipmagazine.com/7-ron-riekki

https://theamericanjournalofpoetry.com/v6-riekki.html

http://unbrokenjournal.com/2019/09/23-ron-riekki/

https://oneartpoetry.com/2021/02/03/five-poems-by-ron-riekki/

http://www.jokesliteraryreview.com/2-poems-ron-riekki

https://causewaylit.com/2017/05/23/2017-poetry-contest-honorable-mention-my-ancestors-by-ron-reikki/

http://theadirondackreview.com/interview-riekki