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Cyril Blythe Aug 2012
I assured myself again that I was completely alone. Gingerly, I sat on the corner of her popcorn-and-perfume-scented bed and allow my tingling fingers to reach out and open that sacred journal again to page one. I never really understood it but maybe if I read it one more time. “Things I Wish I Never Knew:

1. People are selfish almost always.

2. Shaking hands does matter. ******.

3. Wine hangovers are miserable.

4. Puppies **** behind things ‘cause they feel guilty; you wont find it until it smells.

5. Friends really do come and go.

6. Neti Pots absolutely **** and bring you nosebleeds NOT relief.

7. Attraction and love are different. REMEMBER THIS ABOVE ALL.

8. Joy is clicking add to dictionary in Microsoft word.

9. If you can make it through Taco Bell kisses, morning breath will be a breeze.

10. Be jovial, it’s a choice and a side effect of living in daily adventure.

11. Make sure that your family knows…” I pause because I think I hear footsteps padding up the fourteen red-carpeted steps to her bedroom. I know I can’t move, the old wood floor in this crumbling house will definitely creak and give me away, so I just sit on the edge of the bed at full attention.

        “…No, ma’am, everything’s basically back to normal again, we’re getting the locks changed on Saturday. I’ll tell her you send your love.” The footsteps and voice were at the top of the stairs and I saw a shadow fall across the dusty floor in front of the white wooden door. I know it’s my neighbor Annie because she lives here. We grew up together. “Yes, ma’am, I love you too. I’ll try to make her call you soon. Bye.” Her phone beeped to signal the end of the conversation followed by a loud sigh. I peered from the bed into the hall and saw her sitting on the floor. Annie is a pretty girl. All the girls who live here are. We used to go to school together until my grades got too bad and I started my special school. We used to play in her front yard with her sister, Kelly. One time I kissed Kelly, but we were only seven. She is my only kiss. They both leave for most of the year now to go to college but come home for Christmas break. I will never go to college, but that’s ok.

        I felt my pants vibrating and the theme song to the TV show Who Wants to be a Millionaire was somehow blaring from somewhere around my crotch. Before I could silence it, the shadow at the door became a tangible whirlwind of brown hair, sharp screams, and clawing grabbing fingers as she tried to wrench the ratty Moleskin journal from my fingers.

        “******, Cyril, I thought I heard someone in here. You give it back and get out of this house. You can’t, like, break into other people houses like this. This is just not what normal people do. Can’t your father control you?” At this point we’re both standing in the middle of the bedroom. I’m confused so I just dangle the journal in the air above her grasp. “It’s not yours and you know that. I know you at least understand that, right? Right, Cyril? What the hell would you do if Kelly had been showering or changing. Oh my god, ew, do NOT answer that.”

        “Ow,” I yelp as she scratches at my forearm to retrieve the precious journal. “Your claws are sharp, Annie, I have more scratches from you than I do Jimmy-cat and Jimmy-cat is mean, mean but fluffy… and he purrs but you don’t purr. Is that because you don’t like me?” I lower my arm and Annie snatches the Moleskine out of my fumbling fingers, avoiding eye contact at all costs. I hate it when people do that. I notice it, but they don’t think I do.

            “Cyril, get out.” Her right hand is now securely around the Moleskine and the other is shaking, pointed towards the doorway. “Now.”

            This is always the worst part. I walk out of Kelly’s forbidden bedroom: head hung as I creak down the fourteen red, carpeted stairs and make my way to the front door. It’s always quiet and I don’t like the quiet so whenever it’s quiet I count. I am good at counting. …Twelve, thirteen, fourteen…silence.

        I turn to her, “Annie, I’m sorry…”

            “Out.” She opens the front door and points me to my apartment, directly across the street. Its autumn now and the leaves and cold rustle down the street and I crouch deeper into my black coat as I step outside.

            “So maybe I’ll come over tomorrow?” I turn as I start down the steps, hopeful to have conjured up a smile from Annie, but all I see is the flash of brunette hair disappearing behind another thick, white wooden door.

            “Get off our property before I call the cops, you creep!”

            That’s what I’ve always been to these pretty girls: a creep. I don’t really understand what the word means, but I’m pretty sure from the way they say it that it’s not nice. Pops always tells me that I’m different because it’s better to be different. I don’t understand why Annie and Kelly don’t think it’s better that I’m different too.

            I decide to walk to Captain D’s and tell Earl hi because it’s Friday and that’s what I do on Fridays. Earl owns Captain D’s and has forever. Earl is my friend. Earl and Jimmy-cat at Captain D’s that I feed my left over fish are my friends. At least I think they are. I named the cat Jimmy-cat because Pops says mom used to listen to a man named Jimmy Buffett before she left us. I don’t remember those days.

            I turn the corner knowing Captain D’s is just 560 steps ahead and that to get back home I go 910 steps back and I’ll be at my front door. Counting is one thing I am good at; even the tests they used to make me take at the doctor’s office said so. I am good at numbers. Seven is my favorite number.

            I walk into Captain D’s and, like normal, its just Earl inside. He makes me two Fish-Filet sandwiches and we go stand outside. We usually don’t talk much, but I like that . I sit on the crunchy curb, put on my hood because the wind and leaves have made my ears sting. I unwrap the greasy paper on my first sandwich and Earl pulls out his red Marbolo’s and sits beside me lighting up his first cigarette.

            “Why do you smoke, Earl?” I ask him every Friday and he always responds the same way.

            “Eh. Why do the fish swim Cyril? Why do the Eagles and Crows fly? You know we don’t know why Women like shoes so much.”

I never really understand what he means but it makes me giggle and before we know it we’re both laughing. I’m pretty sure this is what friendship is. I lick the wrapper to get all the tarter sauce off and start on my second sandwich. Earl starts his second cigarette.

            “Where’s that alley cat you got trained up, boy? Go get ‘em and I’ll cook him his own fish patty.”

            He means Jimmy-cat. I wipe my fingers on my jeans, tear off a piece of the damp fish from my sandwich, and walk towards white picket fence that Earl built around the dumpster where Jimmy-cat lives. Jimmy-cat has a good life; he can eat anything in the green dumpster he wants and he is safe behind the big white fence. I don’t like the smell but maybe cats like eating and smelling the furry tarter sauce that clings on the sides of the dumpster. As I pull the lever to open Jimmy Cat’s home, I think it smells even worse than normal. After jiggling the latch a while, it clicks, and I swing the door open to Jimmy-cat’s house. It definitely smells worse. I step up one step and crunch on leaves and squish cold fries as I circle the dumpster. “Jimmy-Jimmy-Jimmy-cat, where-oh-where-oh-where ya at?” I stop as I enter the back right corner, I see Jimmy-cat but I don’t understand what is happening. I don’t understand what is wrong. He is covered in ketchup, maybe? But if that’s true what are the little white thingssss crawling around his stomach and why are they covered in ketchup and mayonnaise too? He is mewling and I’m scared. I smell fish. Fish and furry tarter sauce, one, two, three, four, my feet are crunching on the cold fries and leaves again, I know I’m at the door without even turning around.

            “Boy, what you doin’ in there?”

            “Earl?” …One…two… “Earl, can you help me? Earl, I, I don’t understand. I don’t like it.” …Three…four…five… “Jimmy-cat needs a bath, Earl, and something is eating his stomach.” …Six…seven…silence. Earl’s hand fells like a dead fish on my shoulder as he walks me back up to Jimmy-cats home.

            “Stay here, Cyril. Just gimme’a sec to see what’s happening.” Earl disappears into the leaves and fries and fur.

            eight…nine…ten

eleven…twelve…

            thi­rteen…

fourteen…

            silence.





            “Boy? Come back here now. C’mon.” Earl’s voice echoed around the green corners and I followed. One…two…three…four…five…six…seven I stand above Earl and I know the ketchup and mayonnaise and Jimmy-cat eating monsters are just on the other side of his crouched over body.

            “Well don’t be shy, come look.” Earl stands and I see his work apron covered in the ketchup and mayonnaise but beyond that in a bed of Fish-filet wrappers is Jimmy-cat and all the stomach eating monsters mewling at his stomach, as I get close I think they look kinda like little Jimmy-cats. I push my hood off my head as I lean over closer and that’s when it hit me, “Kittens! Jimmy-cat had kittens, Earl!”

            “I think Jimmy-cat may be more of a Jasmine-cat or Jennifer-cat.”

            I laid down the piece of fish I brought and Jimmy-Cat looks up into my eyes and I swear he was happy to see me.  I looked up at Earl and he was happy to see me too. I sat down in the mess of wrappers and fries and mold and laughed and laughed and laughed.
brandon nagley Aug 2015
i

Earl Jane, oriental poetess, thou art so down, that's why I writeth this, Earl Jane, best friend of Friend's, thine heart's open as thou doth not pretend, as so many other's do; Earl Jane, thy hand's writeth as a muse, thou art not abjected in mine room, welcomed

ii

Earl Jane, lover of all being's, agone wherein thy heartbreak Sting's, I shalt taketh thine wound's mine friend, kind, gentle, thy charity with none end, thou shalt filleth thy dream's unlike other's thinkest, thou shalt glaze the moon in color's, I'll watcheth

iii

Earl Jane, afoot beside me, its thee I shalt helpeth and guide
I seeith the passion and compassion in thine eyes, as thou art free
Earl Jane, poetica dream, taketh the rope off from around thy neck, ourn savior saved thee, as I'm here for thee to protect.

iv

Earl Jane, I knowest whence thou came: from the before life of this, wherein romantic's met the poetic flame, earl jane, Asiatic bird, let thy anguish cometh out in word's, and jot and scribe thine soul down as it glide's, and frolic for new tommorrow.

v

Earl Jane, is this helping thine sorrow? Art thou smiling now as thou shouldst? Just look at mine face if thou needeth a laugh, we both knoweth its stained, like church rose glass, I knoweth right now that thou shalt laugh, art thou smiling now? Dearest friend...


©Brandon nagley
©Lonesome poet's poetry
©Earl Jane dedication/ friendship poem
I accidentally deleted Janes last friendship poem I made her but today she needs it... Anyone who knows her tell her a hello and u do care... For you who don't she's amazing and the most wonderful of people.. So you can tell her hello to and compliment her ,(:::
Thomas R Parsons May 2013
Someone’s here to see you,
He is insistent,
I don’t know who it is, blue suit.
The bell rang and I answered.
He has glasses and a glow.
He said something about good people.
Good people.
That meant you, I knew he needed you.
What do you want me to tell him?
To leave the box?
Okay. I didn't see a box.
He did say he knew you were here.
I don’t know how.
But – he did.
He has dreamy eyes, blue like his suit.
I sat him on the sofa.
Away from the china.
I know how you like your china.
Well, yes – I let him in, why?
I meant to do the right thing.
I always do the wrong thing though.
He is like music.
He is magical when he walks.
I think I love him.
It is not silly!
He is magic.
And light.
He walked such a short distance to the sofa.
The corner of the rug flapped up as he made his way.
I didn't put it back down.
He is dreamy though.
Why can’t he stay?
What will I say to him?
I know him.
He looks like you.
He made his way here.
For you.
For me.
For us.
Let him stay, please.
I don't know who he is.
I thought you did.
He'd asked for you.
He came to save us.
You and I.
From each other.
What do you mean?
He doesn't exist!
Hmmphhh!!!
Indeed!
His blue suit and blue eyes are right now on the sofa.
Next to the china.
Waiting for you.
With a box I didn't see.
Yes, I took my medicine.
I always take my medicine.
You know that.
I DID NOT miss taking them last night.
I did see the man.
He is magic.
He is light.
He is right now sitting right next to your ****** bone china.
He has blue eyes.
And a ****** blue suit.
AND a box I didn't ******* see.
He rang the bell.
I walked him toward the sofa and the rug flipped.
I told you that.
I would feel better if you went in to greet him.
At least to say hello.
He has a gift for you.
A box.
No, I didn't see a box.  
You said he had a box, not me.
I saw his blue eyes and his blue suit.
I'm becoming distressed.
****.
Go see the man.
Yes, I'm ******* sure he's sitting on the ******* ****** sofa.
Yes, I saw him.
I think.
I'm not sure now.
I think he walked in.
Wearing a blue suit and he has blue eyes.
Did I mention he has a nervous tick?
His hand.
He had a nervous back and forth motion with his hand against his thigh.
I don't think he knows.
He is dreamy.
Magical.
Get the **** up and go see this magical man with the blue eyes.
Fine I'll go out and offer him tea.
What kind do you think he'd like?
Earl Grey?
I wonder if Earl Grey was a person.
Was he?
Maybe it is Earl Grey on the sofa next to the China.
Surely a man named Earl Grey can be trusted to sit so closely to the china.
He sounds so regal.
Earl Grey.
****** he's dreamy.
I like the word dreamy, that's why.
I'll go offer Earl some Earl.
He moves like wind.
He wasn't there.
Earl departed.
He left us.
He was here to save us.
But now, he's gone.
He came to save us but now he's gone.
I need his magic.
His blue eyes.
I feel ever so abandoned.
Did you hear that?
A knock at the front door.
I hear music.
I'll go check to see who it is.
It is a woman this time.
Shall I invite her in?
brandon nagley Oct 2015
Dear Jane Sardua Nagley;

Hello dear queen, I just wanted to write you a love letter just in case anything is to happen to me. I'm trying not to sound nor be a pessimistic being mine love, though with all the health issues I have going on right now and worries on mine mind,it's truly hard to be positive. When daily ( literal demon's attack me) as they do you mentally and emotionally and me physically spiritually and in all form's, ( as who cares if others believe in that or not!!!) As tis you have seen the proof physically and what happened with us the one time face talking on Skype. The breathing coming through the line. Yeah as you and I more than know!!! Anyways what I'm writing to say is though things haven't been most positive for me health wise and things im dealing with as you are dealing with alot; The true positivity that I do have is you Jane. YOU!!!! Yeah I said it queen. YOU ( mine soulmate), YOU ( mine life) YOU ( mine all) YOU ( Mine love) YOU ( mine air) YOU Earl Jane Sardua ( Nagley)!!!!!!! See you always say to me that you don't do enough for me, that you say you aren't good enough for me, that I deserve better is what you tell me.... And that you are worthless you say at times...... !!!!!! Jane nagley!!!! LISTEN TO ME OK? Loll... You ARE MORE THAN WORTHY OK? MORE THAN!!!!! You are PERFECT!!!!! MORE THAN!!!! You are ****!!!! MORE THAN!!!! You are the positivity that surrounds me!! You are gods light and his messenger to me!!! I don't even deserve someone so spotless and beautiful and pure and angelic and amazing!!!! And someone so godly beautiful inside and out Jane!!!! Your inside is more than wonderful and attractive!!! And glowing!!!! Why do you think all people circle around you Jane? *** there's a bonfire!? Lol NO!!!! Because you are bright and a light and everyone from here to heaven can see that!!!! People adore you!!! God cherishes you!!!! I want,need, yearn, and desire only YOUUUUUU!!!! Not thy friend's, not noone here not noone anywhere!!! There's one queen who owns me and who I'm with and need and want hear me yet! Listening? Lol the Queens name is earl Jane nagley!!!! it's YOU!!!! Noone else YOU I'm in mad love with!!! and I don't care who doesn't like us.. And I don't care who sees our love!!! Because our love is something others wished they'd have yet do not!! Yet I pray others can find a love like our's!!! Because I've never been so happy in mine life!!! I've never known love before, fact is as I told you!!! Before you I reached out for any quote ( love and affection I can get) ànd I was never truly loved!!! I never truly felt love from anyone nor did I actually ever love anyone else!!! It was out of lonesomeness I reached out to others!!! Because as human beings we reach out in our loneliest hour's, as the amazing part I told you I cried and prayed to God even with others to send me mine real true soulmate!!! One who will love me for me and me inside and me for mine mistakes and faults I have because I'm far from perfect as you say im some perfect being haaa! lol.... But you know how amazing God is Jane? See people always question God asking him why isn't their prayers answered by him? And why isn't he listening to them.. Or hear them? He does hear us. and alot of times God gives us the ànswers back right in front of us and we don't even know it or he'll give his answer not the way we want it meaning not on our own time but his and not always the way we want our prayers answered.. As I kept praying for years as many do and pretty much gave up!!! Then after I got out of prison in mine loneliest lowest time!!! That's when it happened SLAP BAM!!!! On mine doorstep!! Mine angel God sent me!!! The soulmate I learned for years.. Since before mine birth was sent to me Jane. The one who's look's mind soul spirit and voice hair eyes lips thinking all I ever wanted... YOU!!!! And you are always so afraid I'm going to leave you because you feel I deserve better and that you aren't good enough? Are you kidding me? YOU are MORE than worthy and good enough, and I'm never leaving the answer to mine prayer that God finally gave me!!!! Even in death I shall find you... We will meet in this life no matter how long it takes and no matter if we can't talk for a while at times.. I'm NOT leaving you mine Filipino rose!!!!! I'm going nowhere Jane!!!!! I'm so happy with you, I've never known happiness until you fell from the heaven's!!!! You are mine only peace other than God!!! You are mine comfort, best friend, soulmate, mine lover, mine ALL!!! and this is a letter for all to see to bend on mine knee's for mine queen, in front of your throne: to tell you....

THANK YOU FOR SAVING MINE LIFE
FOR LOVING ME
for doing all for me noone else has or ever could....
You are me
I am thee.
I'll forever Love you earl Jane nagley
And honestly daily mine love grows for you.. Dont know how when I'm already madddddddd for you!!! Lol this hearts gonna pop because I love you sooo much and I wanted all to see this to show you that you are worth more than anything on earth!! You are many other's angel to not just me!!!!
Especially mine!!!!!!
And mine other half
Mine half
Me period
As I am you.. ..
You are me!!!!


With love forever and always
Your king
And soulmate and lover.....

Brandon Cory nagley





©Brandon nagley
©Earl Jane Nagley dedication ( Filipino rose) soulmate
©Lonesome poet's poetry
brandon nagley Aug 2015
Filipino immortal of time
I'm courting thee now;
And making thou mine

We both kneweth
This day wouldst arrive;
Now taketh mine hand, stand by mine side.

I hadst amour'
For thee, for so long;
Now let's maketh, the sweetest amare song.

Ourn affection, tis obvious
For all to see;
We art the real deal, not some farce dream.

As tis we shalt meet,
As thou shalt get that engineering degree;
I'll taketh a trip, or we'll meet in between.

I'm courting thee now,
Tribal of tropic's;
I'll get ****** in thy saliva, bodie's close, bliss the main topic.

None material's needed
As ourn belief's state;
Ourn devotedness, not some internet kiss, everlasting mate's.

So now thou shalt knoweth
Thou hath been courted;
To showeth thee mine love, and to me thou art more important.

Other's shalt judge
As other wilt mock;
Yet we shalt be happy, in romantic cot's

Even if we art poor
With none food on the table;
Ourn love shalt speaketh loudly, none words needed, nor label's.

We shalt write poetry
As it becometh true;
Sweetest earl Jane, just wanted to sayeth, I loveth thou more to.

Tagalog language, thou shalt teacheth me better
Queen earl Jane;
This is thine courting letter.

I'm not all the other's
As thou doth see;
I am thy Hari, thou art mine Reyna, in whom I believe.

As I knoweth thou don't feeleth
Good enough for man, nor God;
Just wanted to telleth thee, thou art mine, and God's all.

I just wanted to let thee knoweth
I looketh up to thine light;
Thou inspireth me so much, as to other's, thou art vital to life.

So when thou feeleth down
And wanting to leap out of thy brawn;
Remember tommorrow ill be here, as well as ourn own god.

This is mine courtship letter
As now I'm courting thee;
We both want it and need it, mine best friend, life, and queen...

I loveth thee so much
We both none more canst hide;
Thou art mine Earl Jane, thou art mine life....



To thee; dearest Earl Jane..................




©Brsndon nagley
©Lonesome poet's poetry
©Earl Jane dedication/あある じぇえん
We both knew this was coming queen..... Now is real... Not as some dream... I love you Reyna..  Mine Filipino rose... As you know I don't love u outta lonesomeness. Anyone can do that... We both know this has been coming... Lol love u more queen Jane...sweet Jane... We can't hide if no more love... I love u.. And not scared to be open no more ...
FIRST DAY

1.
Who wanted me
to go to Chicago
on January 6th?
I did!

The night before,
20 below zero
Fahrenheit
with the wind chill;
as the blizzard of 99
lay in mountains
of blackening snow.

I packed two coats,
two suits,
three sweaters,
multiple sets of long johns
and heavy white socks
for a two-day stay.

I left from Newark.
**** the denseness,
it confounds!

The 2nd City to whom?
2nd ain’t bad.
It’s pretty good.
If you consider
Peking and Prague,
Tokyo and Togo,
Manchester and Moscow,
Port Au Prince and Paris,
Athens and Amsterdam,
Buenos Aries and Johannesburg;
that’s pretty good.

What’s going on here today?
It’s friggin frozen.
To the bone!

But Chi Town is still cool.
Buddy Guy’s is open.
Bartenders mixing drinks,
cabbies jamming on their breaks,
honey dew waitresses serving sugar,
buildings swerving,
fire tongued preachers are preaching
and the farmers are measuring the moon.

The lake,
unlike Ontario
is in the midst of freezing.
Bones of ice
threaten to gel
into a solid mass
over the expanse
of the Michigan Lake.
If this keeps up,
you can walk
clear to Toronto
on a silver carpet.

Along the shore
the ice is permanent.
It’s the first big frost
of winter
after a long
Indian Summer.

Thank God
I caught a cab.
Outside I hear
The Hawk
nippin hard.
It’ll get your ear,
finger or toe.
Bite you on the nose too
if you ain’t careful.

Thank God,
I’m not walking
the Wabash tonight;
but if you do cover up,
wear layers.

Chicago,
could this be
Sandburg’s City?

I’m overwhelmed
and this is my tenth time here.

It’s almost better,
sometimes it is better,
a lot of times it is better
and denser then New York.

Ask any Bull’s fan.
I’m a Knickerbocker.
Yes Nueva York,
a city that has placed last
in the standings
for many years.
Except the last two.
Yanks are # 1!

But Chicago
is a dynasty,
as big as
Sammy Sosa’s heart,
rich and wide
as Michael Jordan’s grin.

Middle of a country,
center of a continent,
smack dab in the mean
of a hemisphere,
vortex to a world,
Chicago!

Kansas City,
Nashville,
St. Louis,
Detroit,
Cleveland,
Pittsburgh,
Denver,
New Orleans,
Dallas,
Cairo,
Singapore,
Auckland,
Baghdad,
Mexico City
and Montreal
salute her.



2.
Cities,
A collection of vanities?
Engineered complex utilitarianism?
The need for community a social necessity?
Ego one with the mass?
Civilization’s latest *******?
Chicago is more then that.

Jefferson’s yeoman farmer
is long gone
but this capitol
of the Great Plains
is still democratic.

The citizen’s of this city
would vote daily,
if they could.

Chicago,
Sandburg’s Chicago,
Could it be?

The namesake river
segments the city,
canals of commerce,
all perpendicular,
is rife throughout,
still guiding barges
to the Mississippi
and St. Laurence.

Now also
tourist attractions
for a cafe society.

Chicago is really jazzy,
swanky clubs,
big steaks,
juices and drinks.

You get the best
coffee from Seattle
and the finest teas
from China.

Great restaurants
serve liquid jazz
al la carte.

Jazz Jazz Jazz
All they serve is Jazz
Rock me steady
Keep the beat
Keep it flowin
Feel the heat!

Jazz Jazz Jazz
All they is, is Jazz
Fast cars will take ya
To the show
Round bout midnight
Where’d the time go?

Flows into the Mississippi,
the mother of America’s rivers,
an empires aorta.

Great Lakes wonder of water.
Niagara Falls
still her heart gushes forth.

Buffalo connected to this holy heart.
Finger Lakes and Adirondacks
are part of this watershed,
all the way down to the
Delaware and Chesapeake.

Sandburg’s Chicago?
Oh my my,
the wonder of him.
Who captured the imagination
of the wonders of rivers.

Down stream other holy cities
from the Mississippi delta
all mapped by him.

Its mouth our Dixie Trumpet
guarded by righteous Cajun brethren.

Midwest?
Midwest from where?
It’s north of Caracas and Los Angeles,
east of Fairbanks,
west of Dublin
and south of not much.

Him,
who spoke of honest men
and loving women.
Working men and mothers
bearing citizens to build a nation.
The New World’s
precocious adolescent
caught in a stream
of endless and exciting change,
much pain and sacrifice,
dedication and loss,
pride and tribulations.

From him we know
all the people’s faces.
All their stories are told.
Never defeating the
idea of Chicago.

Sandburg had the courage to say
what was in the heart of the people, who:

Defeated the Indians,
Mapped the terrain,
Aided slavers,
Fought a terrible civil war,
Hoisted the barges,
Grew the food,
Whacked the wheat,
Sang the songs,
Fought many wars of conquest,
Cleared the land,
Erected the bridges,
Trapped the game,
Netted the fish,
Mined the coal,
Forged the steel,
Laid the tracks,
Fired the tenders,
Cut the stone,
Mixed the mortar,
Plumbed the line,
And laid the bricks
Of this nation of cities!

Pardon the Marlboro Man shtick.
It’s a poor expostulation of
crass commercial symbolism.

Like I said, I’m a
Devil Fan from Jersey
and Madison Avenue
has done its work on me.

It’s a strange alchemy
that changes
a proud Nation of Blackhawks
into a merchandising bonanza
of hometown hockey shirts,
making the native seem alien,
and the interloper at home chillin out,
warming his feet atop a block of ice,
guzzling Old Style
with clicker in hand.

Give him his beer
and other diversions.
If he bowls with his buddy’s
on Tuesday night
I hope he bowls
a perfect game.

He’s earned it.
He works hard.
Hard work and faith
built this city.

And it’s not just the faith
that fills the cities
thousand churches,
temples and
mosques on the Sabbath.

3.
There is faith in everything in Chicago!

An alcoholic broker named Bill
lives the Twelve Steps
to banish fear and loathing
for one more day.
Bill believes in sobriety.

A tug captain named Moe
waits for the spring thaw
so he can get the barges up to Duluth.
Moe believes in the seasons.

A farmer named Tom
hopes he has reaped the last
of many bitter harvests.
Tom believes in a new start.

A homeless man named Earl
wills himself a cot and a hot
at the local shelter.
Earl believes in deliverance.

A Pullman porter
named George
works overtime
to get his first born
through medical school.
George believes in opportunity.

A folk singer named Woody
sings about his
countrymen inheritance
and implores them to take it.
Woody believes in people.

A Wobbly named Joe
organizes fellow steelworkers
to fight for a workers paradise
here on earth.
Joe believes in ideals.

A bookkeeper named Edith
is certain she’ll see the Cubs
win the World Series
in her lifetime.
Edith believes in miracles.

An electrician named ****
saves money
to bring his family over from Gdansk.
**** believes in America.

A banker named Leah
knows Ditka will return
and lead the Bears
to another Super Bowl.
Leah believes in nostalgia.

A cantor named Samuel
prays for another 20 years
so he can properly train
his Temple’s replacement.

Samuel believes in tradition.
A high school girl named Sally
refuses to get an abortion.
She knows she carries
something special within her.
Sally believes in life.

A city worker named Mazie
ceaselessly prays
for her incarcerated son
doing 10 years at Cook.
Mazie believes in redemption.

A jazzer named Bix
helps to invent a new art form
out of the mist.
Bix believes in creativity.

An architect named Frank
restores the Rookery.
Frank believes in space.

A soldier named Ike
fights wars for democracy.
Ike believes in peace.

A Rabbi named Jesse
sermonizes on Moses.
Jesse believes in liberation.

Somewhere in Chicago
a kid still believes in Shoeless Joe.
The kid believes in
the integrity of the game.

An Imam named Louis
is busy building a nation
within a nation.
Louis believes in
self-determination.

A teacher named Heidi
gives all she has to her students.
She has great expectations for them all.
Heidi believes in the future.

4.
Does Chicago have a future?

This city,
full of cowboys
and wildcatters
is predicated
on a future!

Bang, bang
Shoot em up
Stake the claim
It’s your terrain
Drill the hole
Strike it rich
Top it off
You’re the boss
Take a chance
Watch it wane
Try again
Heavenly gains

Chicago
city of futures
is a Holy Mecca
to all day traders.

Their skin is gray,
hair disheveled,
loud ties and
funny coats,
thumb through
slips of paper
held by nail
chewed hands.
Selling promises
with no derivative value
for out of the money calls
and in the money puts.
Strike is not a labor action
in this city of unionists,
but a speculators mark,
a capitalist wish,
a hedgers bet,
a public debt
and a farmers
fair return.

Indexes for everything.
Quantitative models
that could burst a kazoo.

You know the measure
of everything in Chicago.
But is it truly objective?
Have mathematics banished
subjective intentions,
routing it in fair practice
of market efficiencies,
a kind of scientific absolution?

I heard that there
is a dispute brewing
over the amount of snowfall
that fell on the 1st.

The mayor’s office,
using the official city ruler
measured 22”
of snow on the ground.

The National Weather Service
says it cannot detect more
then 17” of snow.

The mayor thinks
he’ll catch less heat
for the trains that don’t run
the buses that don’t arrive
and the schools that stand empty
with the addition of 5”.

The analysts say
it’s all about capturing liquidity.

Liquidity,
can you place a great lake
into an eyedropper?

Its 20 below
and all liquid things
are solid masses
or a gooey viscosity at best.

Water is frozen everywhere.
But Chi town is still liquid,
flowing faster
then the digital blips
flashing on the walls
of the CBOT.

Dreams
are never frozen in Chicago.
The exchanges trade
without missing a beat.

Trading wet dreams,
the crystallized vapor
of an IPO
pledging a billion points
of Internet access
or raiding the public treasuries
of a central bank’s
huge stores of gold
with currency swaps.

Using the tools
of butterfly spreads
and candlesticks
to achieve the goal.

Short the Russell
or buy the Dow,
go long the
CAC and DAX.
Are you trading in euro’s?
You better be
or soon will.
I know
you’re Chicago,
you’ll trade anything.
WEBS,
Spiders,
and Leaps
are traded here,
along with sweet crude,
North Sea Brent,
plywood and T-Bill futures;
and most importantly
the commodities,
the loam
that formed this city
of broad shoulders.

What about our wheat?
Still whacking and
breadbasket to the world.

Oil,
an important fossil fuel
denominated in
good ole greenbacks.

Porkbellies,
not just hogwash
on the Wabash,
but bacon, eggs
and flapjacks
are on the menu
of every diner in Jersey
as the “All American.”

Cotton,
our contribution
to the Golden Triangle,
once the global currency
used to enrich a
gentlemen class
of cultured
southern slavers,
now Tommy Hilfiger’s
preferred fabric.

I think he sends it
to Bangkok where
child slaves
spin it into
gold lame'.

Sorghum,
I think its hardy.

Soybeans,
the new age substitute
for hamburger
goes great with tofu lasagna.

Corn,
ADM creates ethanol,
they want us to drive cleaner cars.

Cattle,
once driven into this city’s
bloodhouses for slaughter,
now ground into
a billion Big Macs
every year.

When does a seed
become a commodity?
When does a commodity
become a future?
When does a future expire?

You can find the answers
to these questions in Chicago
and find a fortune in a hole in the floor.

Look down into the pits.
Hear the screams of anguish
and profitable delights.

Frenzied men
swarming like a mass
of epileptic ants
atop the worlds largest sugar cube
auger the worlds free markets.

The scene is
more chaotic then
100 Haymarket Square Riots
multiplied by 100
1968 Democratic Conventions.

Amidst inverted anthills,
they scurry forth and to
in distinguished
black and red coats.

Fighting each other
as counterparties
to a life and death transaction.

This is an efficient market
that crosses the globe.

Oil from the Sultan of Brunei,
Yen from the land of Hitachi,
Long Bonds from the Fed,
nickel from Quebec,
platinum and palladium
from Siberia,
FTSE’s from London
and crewel cane from Havana
circle these pits.

Tijuana,
Shanghai
and Istanbul's
best traders
are only half as good
as the average trader in Chicago.

Chicago,
this hog butcher to the world,
specializes in packaging and distribution.

Men in blood soaked smocks,
still count the heads
entering the gates of the city.

Their handiwork
is sent out on barges
and rail lines as frozen packages
of futures
waiting for delivery
to an anonymous counterparty
half a world away.

This nation’s hub
has grown into the
premier purveyor
to the world;
along all the rivers,
highways,
railways
and estuaries
it’s tentacles reach.

5.
Sandburg’s Chicago,
is a city of the world’s people.

Many striver rows compose
its many neighborhoods.

Nordic stoicism,
Eastern European orthodoxy
and Afro-American
calypso vibrations
are three of many cords
strumming the strings
of Chicago.

Sandburg’s Chicago,
if you wrote forever
you would only scratch its surface.

People wait for trains
to enter the city from O’Hare.
Frozen tears
lock their eyes
onto distant skyscrapers,
solid chunks
of snot blocks their nose
and green icicles of slime
crust mustaches.
They fight to breathe.

Sandburg’s Chicago
is The Land of Lincoln,
Savior of the Union,
protector of the Republic.
Sent armies
of sons and daughters,
barges, boxcars,
gunboats, foodstuffs,
cannon and shot
to raze the south
and stamp out succession.

Old Abe’s biography
are still unknown volumes to me.
I must see and read the great words.
You can never learn enough;
but I’ve been to Washington
and seen the man’s memorial.
The Free World’s 8th wonder,
guarded by General Grant,
who still keeps an eye on Richmond
and a hand on his sword.

Through this American winter
Abe ponders.
The vista he surveys is dire and tragic.

Our sitting President
impeached
for lying about a *******.

Party partisans
in the senate are sworn and seated.
Our Chief Justice,
adorned with golden bars
will adjudicate the proceedings.
It is the perfect counterpoint
to an ageless Abe thinking
with malice toward none
and charity towards all,
will heal the wounds
of the nation.

Abe our granite angel,
Chicago goes on,
The Union is strong!


SECOND DAY

1.
Out my window
the sun has risen.

According to
the local forecast
its minus 9
going up to
6 today.

The lake,
a golden pillow of clouds
is frozen in time.

I marvel
at the ancients ones
resourcefulness
and how
they mastered
these extreme elements.

Past, present and future
has no meaning
in the Citadel
of the Prairie today.

I set my watch
to Central Standard Time.

Stepping into
the hotel lobby
the concierge
with oil smooth hair,
perfect tie
and English lilt
impeccably asks,
“Do you know where you are going Sir?
Can I give you a map?”

He hands me one of Chicago.
I see he recently had his nails done.
He paints a green line
along Whacker Drive and says,
“turn on Jackson, LaSalle, Wabash or Madison
and you’ll get to where you want to go.”
A walk of 14 or 15 blocks from Streeterville-
(I start at The Chicago White House.
They call it that because Hillary Rodham
stays here when she’s in town.
Its’ also alleged that Stedman
eats his breakfast here
but Opra
has never been seen
on the premises.
I wonder how I gained entry
into this place of elite’s?)
-down into the center of The Loop.

Stepping out of the hotel,
The Doorman
sporting the epaulets of a colonel
on his corporate winter coat
and furry Cossack hat
swaddling his round black face
accosts me.

The skin of his face
is flaking from
the subzero windburn.

He asks me
with a gapped toothy grin,
“Can I get you a cab?”
“No I think I’ll walk,” I answer.
“Good woolen hat,
thick gloves you should be alright.”
He winks and lets me pass.

I step outside.
The Windy City
flings stabbing cold spears
flying on wings of 30-mph gusts.
My outside hardens.
I can feel the freeze
deepen
into my internalness.
I can’t be sure
but inside
my heart still feels warm.
For how long
I cannot say.

I commence
my walk
among the spires
of this great city,
the vertical leaps
that anchor the great lake,
holding its place
against the historic
frigid assault.

The buildings’ sway,
modulating to the blows
of natures wicked blasts.

It’s a hard imposition
on a city and its people.

The gloves,
skullcap,
long underwear,
sweater,
jacket
and overcoat
not enough
to keep the cold
from penetrating
the person.

Like discerning
the layers of this city,
even many layers,
still not enough
to understand
the depth of meaning
of the heart
of this heartland city.

Sandburg knew the city well.
Set amidst groves of suburbs
that extend outward in every direction.
Concentric circles
surround the city.
After the burbs come farms,
Great Plains, and mountains.
Appalachians and Rockies
are but mere molehills
in the city’s back yard.
It’s terra firma
stops only at the sea.
Pt. Barrow to the Horn,
many capes extended.

On the periphery
its appendages,
its extremities,
its outward extremes.
All connected by the idea,
blown by the incessant wind
of this great nation.
The Windy City’s message
is sent to the world’s four corners.
It is a message of power.
English the worlds
common language
is spoken here,
along with Ebonics,
Espanol,
Mandarin,
Czech,
Russian,
Korean,
Arabic,
Hindi­,
German,
French,
electronics,
steel,
cars,
cartoons,
rap,
sports­,
movies,
capital,
wheat
and more.

Always more.
Much much more
in Chicago.

2.
Sandburg
spoke all the dialects.

He heard them all,
he understood
with great precision
to the finest tolerances
of a lathe workers micrometer.

Sandburg understood
what it meant to laugh
and be happy.

He understood
the working mans day,
the learned treatises
of university chairs,
the endless tomes
of the city’s
great libraries,
the lost languages
of the ancient ones,
the secret codes
of abstract art,
the impact of architecture,
the street dialects and idioms
of everymans expression of life.

All fighting for life,
trying to build a life,
a new life
in this modern world.

Walking across
the Michigan Avenue Bridge
I see the Wrigley Building
is neatly carved,
catty cornered on the plaza.

I wonder if Old Man Wrigley
watched his barges
loaded with spearmint
and double-mint
move out onto the lake
from one of those Gothic windows
perched high above the street.

Would he open a window
and shout to the men below
to quit slaking and work harder
or would he
between the snapping sound
he made with his mouth
full of his chewing gum
offer them tickets
to a ballgame at Wrigley Field
that afternoon?

Would the men below
be able to understand
the man communing
from such a great height?

I listen to a man
and woman conversing.
They are one step behind me
as we meander along Wacker Drive.

"You are in Chicago now.”
The man states with profundity.
“If I let you go
you will soon find your level
in this city.
Do you know what I mean?”

No I don’t.
I think to myself.
What level are you I wonder?
Are you perched atop
the transmission spire
of the Hancock Tower?

I wouldn’t think so
or your ears would melt
from the windburn.

I’m thinking.
Is she a kept woman?
She is majestically clothed
in fur hat and coat.
In animal pelts
not trapped like her,
but slaughtered
from farms
I’m sure.

What level
is he speaking of?

Many levels
are evident in this city;
many layers of cobbled stone,
Pennsylvania iron,
Hoosier Granite
and vertical drops.

I wonder
if I detect
condensation
in his voice?

What is
his intention?
Is it a warning
of a broken affair?
A pending pink slip?
Advise to an addict
refusing to adhere
to a recovery regimen?

What is his level anyway?
Is he so high and mighty,
Higher and mightier
then this great city
which we are all a part of,
which we all helped to build,
which we all need
in order to keep this nation
the thriving democratic
empire it is?

This seditious talk!

3.
The Loop’s El
still courses through
the main thoroughfares of the city.

People are transported
above the din of the street,
looking down
on the common pedestrians
like me.

Super CEO’s
populating the upper floors
of Romanesque,
Greek Revivalist,
New Bauhaus,
Art Deco
and Post Nouveau
Neo-Modern
Avant-Garde towers
are too far up
to see me
shivering on the street.

The cars, busses,
trains and trucks
are all covered
with the film
of rock salt.

Salt covers
my bootless feet
and smudges
my cloths as well.

The salt,
the primal element
of the earth
covers everything
in Chicago.

It is the true level
of this city.

The layer
beneath
all layers,
on which
everything
rests,
is built,
grows,
thrives
then dies.
To be
returned again
to the lower
layers
where it can
take root
again
and grow
out onto
the great plains.

Splashing
the nation,
anointing
its people
with its
blessing.

A blessing,
Chicago?

All rivers
come here.

All things
found its way here
through the canals
and back bays
of the world’s
greatest lakes.

All roads,
rails and
air routes
begin and
end here.

Mrs. O’Leary’s cow
got a *** rap.
It did not start the fire,
we did.

We lit the torch
that flamed
the city to cinders.
From a pile of ash
Chicago rose again.

Forever Chicago!
Forever the lamp
that burns bright
on a Great Lake’s
western shore!

Chicago
the beacon
sends the
message to the world
with its windy blasts,
on chugging barges,
clapping trains,
flying tandems,
T1 circuits
and roaring jets.

Sandburg knew
a Chicago
I will never know.

He knew
the rhythm of life
the people walked to.
The tools they used,
the dreams they dreamed
the songs they sang,
the things they built,
the things they loved,
the pains that hurt,
the motives that grew,
the actions that destroyed
the prayers they prayed,
the food they ate
their moments of death.

Sandburg knew
the layers of the city
to the depths
and windy heights
I cannot fathom.

The Blues
came to this city,
on the wing
of a chirping bird,
on the taps
of a rickety train,
on the blast
of an angry sax
rushing on the wind,
on the Westend blitz
of Pop's brash coronet,
on the tink of
a twinkling piano
on a paddle-wheel boat
and on the strings
of a lonely man’s guitar.

Walk into the clubs,
tenements,
row houses,
speakeasies
and you’ll hear the Blues
whispered like
a quiet prayer.

Tidewater Blues
from Virginia,
Delta Blues
from the lower
Mississippi,
Boogie Woogie
from Appalachia,
Texas Blues
from some Lone Star,
Big Band Blues
from Kansas City,
Blues from
Beal Street,
Jelly Roll’s Blues
from the Latin Quarter.

Hell even Chicago
got its own brand
of Blues.

Its all here.
It ended up here
and was sent away
on the winds of westerly blows
to the ear of an eager world
on strong jet streams
of simple melodies
and hard truths.

A broad
shouldered woman,
a single mother stands
on the street
with three crying babes.
Their cloths
are covered
in salt.
She pleads
for a break,
praying
for a new start.
Poor and
under-clothed
against the torrent
of frigid weather
she begs for help.
Her blond hair
and ****** features
suggests her
Scandinavian heritage.
I wonder if
she is related to Sandburg
as I walk past
her on the street.
Her feet
are bleeding
through her
canvass sneakers.
Her babes mouths
are zipped shut
with frozen drivel
and mucous.

The Blues live
on in Chicago.

The Blues
will forever live in her.
As I turn the corner
to walk the Miracle Mile
I see her engulfed
in a funnel cloud of salt,
snow and bits
of white paper,
swirling around her
and her children
in an angry
unforgiving
maelstrom.

The family
begins to
dissolve
like a snail
sprinkled with salt;
and a mother
and her children
just disappear
into the pavement
at the corner
of Dearborn,
in Chicago.

Music:

Robert Johnson
Sweet Home Chicago


jbm
Chicago
1/7/99
Added today to commemorate the birthday of Carl Sandburg
brandon nagley Aug 2015
Dear Jane:

This isn't some romantic love poem as I always do for you, or even some made up rhyme that may sound good for some... As some do know as well as you, these poems I write aren't for the fun of it and there not to fill space and boredom time as many do, its mine sincere love as you know...and Jane, I know lately queen you've felt for year's now, especially after your last ex-man, that you aren't good enough or worthy to God or even for me, or for family , or for anyone..not even for YOU!!!!.. You see yourself as nothing more lately as a useless being just breathing and none worth and you feel as if garbage... Well mine soulmate, mine Reyna, mine earl Jane.....

Can I tell you this?
You ARENT some piece of trash or garbage as your ex and others made you feel. You ARENT worthless or useless. You have a purpose, and that purpose is to love God first as you know because he first loved you, and as all beings to love all family , being's, people, friends, everyone and forgive always!!!!l despite what monstrous conditions you have been through Jane.and fact is nothing against the other poets in here but I love all poets here , hope they don't take this wrong way, but I don't care if this is liked, this is about mine love for you and giving you truth on your worth, its not meant to be liked, this is meant to show u your soul and bodys worth queen Earl Jane!!!! Here's the fact ever since I met you I saw a light in you, a light that just struck me, I felt as a blind man seeing for once in his sad life. You have given me hope, and life, and the well of living Waters, because when I first talked to u Jane, I saw God inside you and honestly u want Truth? U always say people look up to me yes? Well here's the facts Jane... You always say you look up to me.. Fact is I actually look up to u for guidance. . for help alot when I'm down and lost at times... As an angel you are, and u are mine lampway....you saved me when I first met u.. And u save me daily from many demons that try to come at me spiritually and in all ways.  You help me see mineself better.   Fact is YOU are the one who makes me wanna do better. And noone has done that ever Jane..  EVER!!!!!! And when someone can make us wanna do better we would be foolish to let such a king or queen go.  As u know I'm never leaving you as you are so afraid I will... As u see I'm not others.. As I see you more than aren't others !! U are a God sent creation to me for a reason, we met for a purpose as for me to guide u and show you things, and for u to guide me and show me love mankind knows nothing of.. ! You are mine life world and love.... And I cannot (repeat this) cannot thank you enough jane for saving a lowly peasant as me, though u call me your king.... I am your soulmate a lowly being in the presence of a seraphim... How was I soo blessed ? Lol don't ask me .. But finding u and knowing I've known u for ages now as I've been waiting for ( YOU) not another... Is the most grand feeling finding mine  other half.. Mine lost soul and spirit I've been seeking, and have found her again ( YOU) so when you say u have no meaning or purpose, never forget . our God is leading u through all this hell., and look at you.... Your almost an engineer at such a young age... And a miracle to me, to your mum, dad, brother, sisters, family, to those u just come across on daily basis .... They like me can see your aura and how brightly it shines and how much an angel you are.... To so many of us... So when u feel like trash and garbage as your ex and past has made you feel... Plz read this, and know this Jane.... You saved mine life... And to God and you mine ( angel) I'm more than greatful daily and nightly, and I don't think you'd call that trash... I think that's called u are the most amazing being and soul, and cherub I've ever met and will ever meet .. And I will spend daily when u are down out, and depressed, taking the time... To make u smile if even once .. Because you have no idea,

How much I love you queen earl Jane..
Mine best friend
Mine soulmate
Mine Reyna
Mine all....
So when you feel like quote: trash.... Take a look at this
And see you saved and save mine life daily
As all others who know you.....

I love you more mine Filipino rose...
I love you mine queen
I love you
Mine Reyna.....
Mine earl Jane........


Sincerely Brandon Cory nagley


©Brandon nagley
©Lonesome poet's poetry
©Earl Jane dedication/letter to her

— The End —