Danny Klecko: Tattooed baker, rebel poet

One of the first things you notice are the tats: 42 of them in all – and more to come for, as Danny Klecko explains, “Being Polish, I don’t always share my feelings and I guess that’s my way of doing it.””As my wife will tell you – when I’m pissed off, I head to the parlor.”Polish or no, these days Klecko, the CEO of St. Agnes Bakery in St. Paul, has found a whole new avenue of personal expression: poetry and literary publishing. He still maintains his other careers: celebrity baker — among other gigs, he’s appeared on Martha Stewart’s radio program — social entrepreneur and founder of the St. Paul Bread Club, and author (his most distinctive tattoo is the ISBN of his book of dog biscuit recipes, K-9 Nation Biscuit Book: Baking for Your Best Friend, published by the Minnesota Historical Society.)Conversation in Silenceby Danny KleckoI took you to the playground at nightSo you could have the swing set to yourselfYou said – Push me higherPush, me higherAnd I didThe chains began to creakYour body became a blurSilhouetted against the starsA tiny frame whooshing like a cometThere’s going to be hell to payWhen Grandma discovers our adventureExplanations will be pointlessYou said – Push me higherPush, me higherAnd I didBecause nothing is more beautifulThan the glowing faceOf a granddaughterWho smiles backAt the moon“I like to tease him that he embodies both humility and self-reflective qualities with being a megalomaniac,” says Alison Aten at the MHS, who met Klecko when she publicized his book and went on to become personal friends with him. Continue Reading

American Checklist: The Dark Knight Rising Among Us

This howling,
This strutting about,
This fist shaking,
This victim’s entitlement,
This juice squeezed
From the balls of violence,
This scorn of spectacles,
This impatience with speech,
This murdering of grief,
This self-cutting,
This blood weeping
From the eyes,
These monuments to us,
This camouflage,
These reflecting lenses,
This Kevlar vest, Continue Reading