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Mitchell Feb 2013
Goodbye Prague, to a city I never thought I'd know.
Goodbye Prague, to a heaven that is lined with shattered beer bottles and stamped out cigarettes the junkies and the hobo's here still manage to get a  few puffs out of.
Goodbye Prague, to a hell that was once hovering with the feelings of control, manipulation, and more control, but now is twirling top speed to a land unknown.
Goodbye Prague, you seductive ***** with your cheap liquor, beer, and cigarettes, smelling of aged mahogany mixed finely with an acidic burst of fresh *****.
Goodbye Prague, I do not know when I will see you again, but I hope that I do and that I never grow so old that I forget you.
Goodbye to your abstract animals smeared black, screaming in the exploding summer sun. Goodbye to freshly cut pigs heads and cow flesh, hanging in your storefront window, tempting every passerby like the *****'s of Amsterdam.
Goodbye to every cobblestone that shines after a fresh rain or snow, slippery to the newcomer, an annoyance to the amateur, thoughtless to the old timer.
Goodbye to the potraviny's stocked with two crown marked up ***** and space vegetables shaped and colored in a one and only kind of vernacular; without you, I would have half-drunkenly stumbled home towards dreams of menial headaches and shadowy beer or perhaps to The Oak to drink alone.
I scream so long through faint puffs of carbon nicotine clouds made illuminated by the icy orange street lamps 800 years old glow!
I scream so long to late metro's and early trams!
I scream so long to the roaring rocks who reflect the faces of aging clocks!
So long to passed out bums and unforgiving metro officers. So long to dollar fifty beers and the fear of getting deported. So long with counting silver crown to make even, seeing my math prowess has lessened. So long embedded needles and bottle caps deep within the snowy cobble. So long listless wanders all their money thrown away until the month of May comes to knock on their door. So long alleyway romance 100 crown notes and old men in their rickety fishermen boats. So long sad masked faces who in their forward march sit stunned seeing fortune picks only some. So long through the grey mist stabbed with neon signs that attract the youth and the mad. So long to the feeling everything I had to say was the wrong thing. So long to feelings of foreign familiarity whose ball and chain were slowly starting to rust away. So long in song to the player's of Riegrovy hill whose voices I just couldn't stand. So long I've come to understand everyone's got a choice to live or wish they did. So long to the wide swept hills of Petrin, where angel's of lore go to rest atop dusted fresh snow, among the dotted new born vine. So long to the sound of wet metal against metal, a scream of order carried on the blue man's shoulder. So long to a city whose architecture reminds me of old men's faces and whose color reminds me of elderly women's dresses. So long to smoking in front of children without a second thought for their health. So long to racism that is wicked, but grunted genially - the executioner smiles at the accused - the gravedigger's weep for the dead - the ant makes a break for a hill not his. So long forlorn love whose only remedy for a cure is the beer sitting in front of you. So long to wondering what's going on in the world, when all I want and got is what's right in front of me.
Farewell Prague, you shadowed street walker, a cloak of stars around you, finding all that owe you  your due.
Farewell Prague, you in the morning eyes half mast, snow crunching underneath stony white.
Farewell Prague, miss-handler of crooked time pieces stating the obvious, ignoring to blame bluntly on youthful alcohol abuse.
Farewell Prague, you took me up the hill and through the woods where ravens, black as gutter ice, crackled down at me like showers of New Year's fireworks.
Farewell Prague, you gave me peace where I once thought I was unable to have.
Farewell Prague, you befriended me, then ordered me a shot that made me cough, then ordered me a beer so we could sit and truly feel what it is to sit and wallow in our time here.
Farewell Prague, you entranced me with view after view to a city to stubborn to die.
Farewell Prague, I leave you like you would leave me.
Farewell Prague, to your fat snow flakes that drop into wide eyed children mouths, tasting of iron whiskey rye, though they do not flinch at the taste.
Farewell Prague, I leave you with a hush of a whimper, bitter as the cold, and indifferent as the server's over at Cafe Lourve.
Farewell Prague, with a thousand miles of graveyards, where ghosts barely have the strength to weep.
Farewell Prague, I admit I never knew how to love until I came to visit you.
Farewell Prague, as I stare out your cracked and smoky tram windows, my thoughts not my own, shop windows and naked, screaming men, their cigarettes bouncing in between their lips like a jack of spades on smack, where at last we see that life is only a worth a **** if lived.
Farewell Prague, I see the cards there on the table and you're winking at me while I stand at the backdoor, and what's more, there's a secret you've got to give that I refuse believe.
Farewell Prague, to your open sore catastrophe of society, KFC on every block, and Starbuck's on every other, and on the other other are the lined' wino's shaking open handed and spread for a case of cardboard vino.
Farewell Prague, to the nasty smoker's in trams that just stopped caring.
Farewell Prague, to a city rhythm generated by an ignorant originality and uniqueness, where the same has no name and the the plain jabber on about their jobs in their pretty blue jeans.
Farewell Prague, because to say goodbye would mean we don't have that friendly tone.
Farewell Prague, I see to sacrifice oneself for the comfort of the elder or the opposite fills me with agitated obligation stationed in a vessel older than I've ever lived - yet I know it, for it is me.
Farewell Prague, you are a lost lullaby caught in the wind of an elastic multi-colored pin-wheel, shining riches of the rainbow into the eyes of children, who all whistle when they snore.
Farewell Prague, a button upon the Earth, like every man.
Farewell Prague, a love song sung in the depths of a damp grey hall, rivers all around, so the sounds too much to drink were outlandish in high emotion, juvenile commotion.
Farewell Prague, we were young - not caring about the future, but of course, with worry in our hearts for worry is a sign of human being human; yet, still, we asked nothing of one another and you gave and I gave and you took and I took and we walked underneath one another's blanket's until we were no longer cold and the winter showed to be just an annoying individual at the party.
Farewell Prague, to your lack of complications, making simplicities acceptable again.
Farewell Prague, to the snow that never stops falling, all while slumbering within dream until the seam is ripped so the old can die.
Farewell Prague, I've shined every marble staircase and washed every tram window; you owe me nothing because I like you.
Farewell Prague, to the long nights bleeding away at the table alone, the lady fast asleep, lit by the dim orange glow of the twisted streetlights below.
Farewell Prague, to the long nights forgetting pains of existence and accepting every solution to ward of resistance.
Farewell Prague, our long talks and hovering walks, always forcing me to balk.
Farewell Prague, at last you got the praise you have always deserved.
Farewell Prague, to hot humid nights filled with *** and butter in the summer and cold bitten cold of ***** and juice a la winter.
Farewell Prague, to bad service but good drink and food.
Farewell Prague, you curious tale the bravest man would waver to say.
Farewell Prague, to bridges galore and more dead leaves then wrinkles on my crooked face.
Farewell Prague, at night the sheen of liquor wears off only if you let it be so.
Farewell Prague, to all the those lonely mornings bent head into book on the way to work.
Farewell Prague, how long till you grow to be young again?
Farewell Prague, how long till I admit my defeat to you?
Farewell Prague, how long until I accept I'm the last fool in this world?
Goodbye Prague, the last soldier is standing, but the war is not yet won.
Goodbye Prague, to your hazy stars glimmering and shining for an indebted audience.
Goodbye Prague, the sun breaking through ink spilled colored clouds, the birds chirping, the dogs barking, and us wondering where we started.
Goodbye Prague, your churches are empty so the sins of man run rampant and at last the prayers of men go unanswered; we now abandoned to fend for ourselves.
Goodbye Prague, the puncturing purity of your ways make me giggle in delight as I listen to the cool piano man play; his eyes on the horizon shattering like toppled china.
Goodbye Prague, at last there is a time where we both get what we want.
Goodbye Prague, the verandas are chilled with the dew of winter and the snow glitters like bitter diamonds as the fool tips his hat to shy away the sunlight.
Goodbye Prague, every rain drop that fell upon me was a gift you can never take away.
Goodbye Prague, the fool adheres to agnostic rules but the cruel here see no reason to sue.
Goodbye Prague, I think therefore the dust of escape reflects the waves of the river Vlatva.
Goodbye Prague, to your lack of vowels.
Goodbye Prague, when the night wavers hear the Beherovka weep into its own glass, love leaving her forever making no note to Kissy.
Goodbye Prague, tram driver's unforgiving in their merciless need for schedule.
Goodbye Prague, the last homage to the war standing like a shining diamond neath chipped and shattered rubble.
Goodbye Prague, a listless memory mentioned only in drifting dream.
Goodbye Prague, every loving glance smelling of freshly poured beer over newly fallen snow.
Goodbye Prague, to your hardness, your beauty, and your madness.
Goodbye Prague, your days wet with rain, stricken by sunlight, reflecting white emerald into the window panes of passing trains.
Goodbye Prague, at last you got what you deserved.
Goodbye Prague, now I can weep and say I have trampled upon your cheek and slunk through your veins and trudged through your blood and skipped through your hair and saw every line - both sought after and nought - you have acquired through time.
Goodbye Prague, there is no reason to get excited, you are free.
Goodbye Prague, I see the silhouette of the trees that line your hills and I am forsaken to see the leaves turning from jovial yellow greens to disregarded and disparaged furnaces of dim fire reds and browns.
Goodbye Prague, the people within you deserved all of the credit.
Good Prague, the people outside of you deserve what ever they believe they do.
Goodbye Prague, you family to families with common sense and love rampaging through your barley stained veins.
Goodbye Prague, perhaps there is nothing under your rubble, maybe already all is lost for everyone, everywhere, but maybe, you living the simpler life, can show all that life can be so.
Goodbye Prague, you gave me letters, words, lines, commas, apostrophes, and dashes, paragraphs, pages, and eventually, a story; I leave you marked.
Goodbye Prague, an old friend whose hand I shook but knew would one day turn my back on.
Goodbye Prague, the bite of your cold generosity and your bustling love leaves man with nothing but to bike back with no chance of triumph.
Goodbye Prague, street cleaners clean up your wear and tear from the mothers and fathers that bore you, some 800 years ago; ageless, you loom longer than they would like.
Goodbye Prague, battling sleep as the ***** raps for more and more, none that the man has.
Goodbye Prague, the night is curling in as the wave crashes to the short and I am the lost sun looking for a place to rise, trying to get to the sky.
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
Mitchell  Nov 2013
Going About It
Mitchell Nov 2013
It was 98'.
No, it was 99'.
That was the year.
Yeah, that was the year.

I had just landed abroad and knew no one.
Well, I was there with my girlfriend, Page.

I knew her.

We had to get out of the states.
There was nothing for us there.
We were drowning in that nothingness - that lacking future.

Cookie cutters everywhere.

Everything I saw was like an outline of something that had already happened.
I couldn't sleep.
I couldn't ****.
I could barely call my parents to let them know what I was doing.

Nothing really.

Floating downward like a leaf broken from its stem.
I was scared.
I'll admit it.
I was terrified of the next four years.
Twenty-five seemed so far away and so close, all at the same time.

We had a found an apartment to live in while in the U.S.
We were lucky because people we met later on said it was hell trying to find a place after arriving.
I was never too good at that stuff anyway.
I always felt like people were trying to cheat me or something.

It was small.
You would have said you loved it, but secretly hated it.
One could barely stand in the shower.
Want to spread your arms wide?

Forget about it.

There was a balcony though and you could watch the street traffic from above.
People look so small when your high up.
Down the street, there was a large theatre where they filmed movies.
I rarely saw them shooting, but I could tell it was a good place to.
It was beautiful at night when the lampposts would flicker on, orange spilling on the street.
Everything was damp in the Fall when we first arrived.

"What do you want to do today?" I asked her. She was laying face down on the bed.
Whenever she was hungover, she would do that.
All the covers and pillows over her face, blocking out the world and its light.
I did the same thing, so I couldn't really say much.
We were hungover a lot those first couple months.
Then came the jobs and everything changed...mostly.

She moaned something that I couldn't understand.
I was standing by the window, staring at the pigeons and crows perched on the roof across from us.
They had made a little nest under one of the shingles.
Clever little ******'s.

"Look at those things," I said.
The coffee I was drinking was bitter and made from crystals.
It gave me a headache, but it was cheap and we were broke.
I stepped back to get a better look at their nest and knocked an empty beer bottle around.

She moaned again and rose up from bed, kind of like a stretching kitten or a cat.
Her back was arched like a crescent moon and she stunk of ***** and Sprite.
The blankets were twisted and crumpled and she was tangled in them like a fly in a spiders web.
I went into the kitchen and poured out my coffee, thinking of what to do with the day.

"Breakfast?" she asked me from bed.
My back was to her, but I knew she wanted me to make it.
I put the electric stove on and opened the refrigerator.

"No eggs," I said back to her, "I'll be right back."

She moaned and slithered back into bed.
I threw my jacket and slippers on and made my way downstairs.

"Dobry den," I said to the cashier.
He was a tiny vietnamese man with a extremely high pitched voice.
I struggled to stifle a laugh every time I came in.

"Dobry den," he said back, sounding like air escaping from a balloon.

"Dear God," I thought, "How does his voice box do it?"

I went straight to the eggs, pretending to cough.
All around me were packaged sweets and rotten vegetables and fruit.
There were half loaves of brown, stale bread wrapped lazily in thin plastic.
Canned beans, noodle packets, and cardboard infused orange juice lined the shelves.
Where were the ******* eggs?
We needed milk too.
Trying to drink that crystalized coffee without it was torture.
I don't even know how I did it earlier.
"I must be getting used to the taste..." I thought.

I opened the single refrigerator they had in the place.
It was stocked with loosely packaged cheese, milk, beer, and soda.
There they were, those ******* eggs, right next to the yogurt.
I looked at the expiration date of a small carton of chocolate milk and winced.
"Someone could die here if they weren't careful," I whispered to myself.

"Everyding O.K.?" I heard the cashier squeak behind me.
I turned and nodded and showed him the eggs.
He was suspicious I was stealing something.
It was ironic.
I put the eggs on the counter and handed over what the cash register told me.

"There you go," I said and handed him the 58 crown in exact change.

"Děkuji," he peeped.

His voice sounded like a stuffed animal.
I nodded, smiled, and quickly got the hell out of there.

"You know the guy that works at the shop across the street?" I asked the body still in bed.
Well, she was up now, back up against the wall with her laptop on her lap.
"You mean the guy that has the voice of a little girl?"
"Exactly. I was just in there - getting these eggs - and I nearly laughed in his face."
"That's mean," she frowned, staring at her laptop.
Many of our conversations were with some kind of electronic device in between us.
We needed to work on that.
"I didn't laugh at him directly."
She smiled and nodded and moved down the bed a little more.
Only her head was resting on the pillow.
I cracked two eggs and let them sizzle there in the butter and the salt.

"So, what do you want to do today?" I asked Page, "It's not too cold out. We could go on a walk."
"Where?"
"I don't know. Over the bridge and maybe down by the water."
"It's going to be so cold," she shivered.
"I was just out there in slippers and a t-shirt and I was fine."
"That's because you're so big. I'm tiny. I don't get as much blood flow."

I flipped the two eggs and looked down at them.
Golden and burnt slightly around the edges.
******* perfect.
Now, just gotta wait a little on the other side and make sure to not let the yolk harden.
I hated that more than anything in the world.
Well, that and hearing **** poor excuses like it being too cold.
It was nice out.
She'd be fine.

"Come on," I sighed. I did that a lot. "It'll be fun."
She looked up at me from her computer with a dead look in her eye.
"What?" I asked her.
"You're such a...nerd," she said.
"No I'm not."
"You're so weird. Some of the things you say sometimes..."
"Like what?"
"Let's go on a walk."
She exaggerated the word walk.
I laughed and knew I was being a little too excited about a walk.
"Yeah. So? What are you doing? You're just laying there doing nothing."
"It's my day off," she scoffed, jokingly.

We were unemployed.
Everyday was a day off.
This was not something to bring up.
It was touchy subject.
One had to go about it...delicately.

"We need to find jobs," I stated, "And we can probably ask around or look for signs in windows."

"Oh JESUS," she gagged, coughing and diving back under the covers.

"I'm just thinking ahead so we can stay here. There's got to be something out there we can do."

"Like what?" she asked, her voice muffled by blankets.

"I don't know...something," I mumbled, trailing off as I flipped one of the eggs, "Perfect."

After breakfast, Page finally got out of bed and took a shower.
I tried to sneak in there with her, but, like I said before, one could barely fit themselves in there.
We compromised to have *** on the bed, though I did miss doing it in the shower.
As Page got dressed, I watched her slip those thin black stockings on, half reading a magazine.
I had gotten a subscription to The Review because I was trying to become a writer.
I thought, maybe if I read the stuff getting published - even the bad **** - it'll help.
Later, I realized, this was a terrible idea, but I enjoyed the magazine all the same.
Page finished getting dressed.
I jumped into whatever clothes were on the floor and didn't stink.
Then, we were out the door on Anna Letenske street, looking at the tram, downhill.


"I can see my breath," Page said, "It's cold..."

"Alright," I said as both of us ran across the street, "It's a little cold."

"But it's ok because I'm glad were out of the house."

"If we would have festered there any longer, we would have stayed in there all day."

"And missed this beautiful day," she said mocking me, putting both of her arms in the air.

The sky was gray and overcast and a single black crow flew over us, roof to roof.
No one was out, really.
It was Sunday and no one ever really came out on Sundays.
From the few czech friends I had, they explained to me this was the day to get drunk and cook.

"Far different then what people think in the States to do," I remember telling him.
"What do you do, my friend?" he had asked. He always called me my friend.
It was a nice thing to do since we had only known each other a couple weeks.
"Well," I explained to him, "Some people go to church to pray to God."
He laughed when I said this and said, "HA! God? How many people believe in God there?"
I had heard through the news and some Wikipedia research Prague was mostly atheist.
"A good amount, I'm pretty sure."
"That's silly," he scoffed, "Silly is word, right?"
"Yep. A word as any other."
"I like that word. What else do they do on Sunday?"
"A lot of people watch football. Not like soccer but with..."
"I know what you talk about," he said, cutting me off, "With the ball shaped like egg?"
I nodded, "Yes, the one with the egg shaped ball. It's popular in the Fall on Sundays."
"And what is Fall?" he asked.
You can see our relationship was really based on questions and answers.
He was a good guy, though I could never pronounce his name right.
There was a specific z in there somewhere where one had to dig their tongue under their teeth.
Lots of breath and vibration that Americans were never asked or trained to do.
Every czech I met said our language was a high contradiction.
Extremely complex in grammar and spelling, but spoken with such sloth.
I don't know if they used the word sloth.
I just like the word.

As we waited for the tram, I noticed the burnt orange and red blood leaves on the ground.
"Where had they come from?" I wondered. There were no trees on the street.
Must be from the park down the block, the one with the big church and the square.
There were lines of trees there used as leaning posts for the bums and junkies as they waited.
What they were waiting for, I never knew.
They just looked to be waiting for something.
I kicked a leaf into the street from the small island platform for the tram.
It swept up into the air a couple inches, and then instantly, was swept away by a passing car.
I watched as it wavered in the air, settling down the block in the middle of the road.

"Where's this trammm," Page complained.
Whenever it was cold out, her complaining level multiplied by a million.
"Should be coming soon. Check the schedule."
"Too cold," she said, "Need to keep my hands in my pockets."
I shook my head and looked at the schedule. It said it would be there at 11:35.
"11:35," I told her, still looking at the schedule. There was a strange cross over the day of Sunday.
"You mad?"
"No," I said turning to her, "I just want to have a nice day and its hard when you're upset."
"I'm not upset," she said, her teeth chattering behind her lips.
"Complaining I mean. We can go back home if it's really too cold. It's right there."
"No," she looked down, "Let's go out for a bit. I just don't know how long I'll last."
"Ok," I shrugged.
I looked up the street and saw our tram coming; number 11.
"There it is," I said.
"Thank God," Page exhaled, "I feel like I'm about to die."

Even the tram was sparse with people.
An empty handle of cheap liquor rattled in the back somewhere.
I heard it rock back and forth against the legs of a metal seat.
"Someone had a night last night," I thought, "Hope that's not mine."
We had gone to some dark bar with a lot of stairs going down - all I really recall.
Beer was so **** cheap there and there was always so much of it, one got very drunk easily.
I couldn't even really remember who we met or why we went there.
When everything's a blur in the morning you have two choices:
Feel guilty about how much you drank, lie around, and do nothing or,
Leave it be, try not to think about it, and try and find your passport and cell phone.

We made our transfer at the 22 and rode downhill.
Page looked like she was going to be sick.
Her sunglasses were solid black and I couldn't see her eyes, but her face was flushed and green.
"You alright?" I asked her.
"I'm fine," she said, "Just need to get off of this tram. Feel like I'm going to be sick."
"You look it."
"Really?" she asked.
"Yeah, a little bit."
"Let's get off at the park with the fountain. I don't want to puke here."
"Ok," I said, smiling, "We'll get off after this stop."

We sat down on one of the benches that circled around the fountain.
It was empty and Page was confused why.
"Maybe to save money?" I suggested.
"What? It's just water."
"Well, you gotta' pump the water up there and then filter it back out. Costs money."
"Costs crown," she corrected me.
"Same thing," I said, putting my arm around her, "There's no one here today."
"I know why," she stated, flatly.
"Why?"
"Because it's collllllllld and it's Sunday and only foreigner's would go out on a day like this."
I scanned the park and noticed that most of the faces there were probably not Czech.
"****," I muttered, "You may be right."
"I know I am," she said, wiggling her chin down into her jacket, "We're...crzzzy."
"We're what?" I asked. I couldn't hear her through her jacket.
She just shook her head back and forth and looked forward, not wanting to move from the warmth.
Dogs were scattered around the brown green grass with their owners.
Some were playing catch with sticks or *****, but others were just following behind their owner's.
I watched as one took a crap in the center of the walkway near the street.
Its owner was typing something on their phone, ignoring what was happening in front of him.
After the dog finished, the owner looked down at the crap, looked around, then slunk off.

"Did you see that?" I asked Page, pointing to where the owner had left the mess.
"Yeah," she nodded, "So gross. That would never fly in the states."
"You'd get shoulder tackled by some park security guard and thrown in jail."
"And be given a fat ticket," she said, coughing a little, "Let's get out of here."
"Yeah," I agreed, "And watch for any **** on the way out of here."

We made our way out of the park and down the street where the 22 continues on to the center.
"Let's not go into the center. Let's walk along the water's edge and maybe up to the bridge."
"Ok," I said, "That's a good idea." I didn't want to get stuck in that mass of tourists.
I could tell Page didn't either. I think she was afraid she might puke on a huddle of them.
We turned down a side street before the large grocery store and avoided a herd of people.
The cobble stones were wet and slick, glistening from a small sliver of sunlight through the clouds.
Page walked ahead.
Sometimes, when we walked downtown in the older parts of Prague, we would walk alone.
Not because we were fighting or anything like that; it was all very natural.
I would walk ahead because I saw something and she would either come with or not.
She would do the same and we both knew that we wouldn't go too far without the other.
I think we both knew that we would be back after seeing what we had wanted to see.
One could call it trust - one could call it a lot of things - but this was not really spoken about.
We knew we would be back after some time and had seen what we had wanted to.
Thinking about this, I watched her look up at the peeling paint of the old buildings.
Her thick black hair waved back and forth behind her plum colored pea coat.
Page would usually bring a camera and take pictures of these things, but she had forgotten it.
I wished she hadn't.
It was turning out to be such a beautiful day.

We made it to the Vlatva river and leaned over the railing, looking down at the water.
Floating there were empty beer bottles and plastic soda jugs.
The water was brown, murky, and looked like someone had dumped a large bag of dirt in there.
There was nothing very romantic about it, which one would think if you saw it in a picture.
"The water looks disgusting," Page said.
"That it does, but look at the bridge. It looks pretty good right
Adasyev Jul 2018
LAST UPDATE:
I won't cancel my account here and delete any poems which I like... I once was a poet here with freedom of speech. It is past now. Thank you all. Black, blue, silver, green or white can't be repainted with pink, as some state paid fools would desire. Bye

I STARTED WITH THIS;
Please be aware that the account hellopoetry.com/retardnnn with current female nickname "sara" IS NOT A REAL PERSON POETRY ACCOUNT, but a social media watching account used by the MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC.

Please don't follow this account or support it anyway. If you get or did get any private messages from this account, they are a scam.

Since 2016, this account "retardnnn" can be found on many social media platforms including deviantart.com/retardnnn and many others. Here are some characteristics of it:

- there is never any uploaded content of the user, so no poems from "sara" even on this site where an invitation poem is required to join the community (perhaps deleted after joining)
- favorites of the fictional user are completely non-sense and accidental, completed just by clicking on similar tags, resulting in a mix of poems coming from many years, this is very distinct from a real person loving poems from people who they watch at a moment. You can see it yourself on hellopoetry.com/retardnnn
- in other sites like pinterest.com, the photo of "retardnnn" or "Sara" is some kind of pretty looking teenage girl. Even not being the same ******* all sites, this is a (jail)bait. By searching the source of the profile pictures, as I did, you can go back to the years 2012 or 2013, and the source photo is matched to Russian websites. This is certainly NOT a real person.

Use your brain, not sympathy for girl names.

I claim the main reason the mentioned profile joined Hellopoetry several months ago is me. Particularly my short prose written in Czech that I published here on December 28th which mocks in a very unpleasant way corruption-driven part of state administration in Prague, responsible for supervising so-called "independent contractors" employment model which is widespread in my country (also known in UK and US I guess). It also targeted particular state official in Prague in a way that became some kind of popular after that. With this text, I achieved what I wanted and I am proud of it.

The user hellopoetry.com/retardnnn is now watching me but I blocked them, so is present just as number 6 but invisible in my watchers list.

I WILL DELETE THIS non poetry related text after this user GETS OFF THIS SITE. Thanks, LV

The employee rights complaint written by me dealing with Czech authorities is accessible through http://tinyurl.com/svarcsystem (in Czech language of course).

UPDATE: In an attempt to discourage people reading my poems, I have ADS IN FRONT of my poems. You can see it by logging off (at least from my IP).

UPDATE 2: For visitors coming outside, the number of views of this text IS FALSIFIED, compared to what I see when I log in.

UPDATE 3: After publishing this, ads disappeared. Also user hellopoetry.com/retardnnn stopped watching me. The number of views of my texts is rising again.

UPDATE 4: Ads again renewed, but this time for any poems I see from my IP (country). Guys are working hard.

UPDATE 5: After having published new header about censorship on my profile page, FREQUENCY OF ADS dropped but they are still present.

UPDATE 6: Still being the same guy (Adasyev) I have changed my profile name to a better known one, only to see if this will influence displaying ads.

UPDATE 7: After doing this, the number of views (of this text) as seen below is blocked at 251 (for readers coming outside the community, my IP or country). The number of views at my poems is also blocked.

UPDATE 8: Number of views is fixed to 540 as of August 5. This is meant from country's IP adresses.

UPDATE 9: When viewed from my country's IP, the profile hellopoetry.com/retardnnn is still present with 8 followers.

UPDATE 10: Number of views of this text was fixed to 635 when viewed from my country's IP. As of August 6. When I log in the current number is 715. Ads are displaying almost everywhere on this site from my country's IP. Immediately after publishing the above text number is modified to 726. Any future value will be falsified and blocked from my country, so it lacks a sense to continue with this updating.

UPDATE 11: In response to the censorship on this site from my country I have already deleted in the last days the incriminated text from December 28th and few others concerning state administration in my country.

PLEASE NOTE: With the current censorship on this server in Czech Republic, you can't be sure whether I get or did get any private messages from you. I didn't get one till now.

I DIDN'T REPLY TO ANYONE TILL NOW. IF YOU GET ANY MESSAGES FROM ME, BE SURE THE ONLY THING I CAN DO HERE NOW IS TO UPDATE THIS TEXT AND MY PROFILE'S TEXT.

Link to this post is:
https://hellopoetry.com/poem/2631516/a-message-from-me/

Shortened link (as seen in my profile's header) is:
tinyurl.com/linktomylasttext

UPDATE 2021-06-14: I got reaction by e-mail telling me that hellopoetry.com/retardnnn and other accounts ARE surely NOT related to Czech state administration, they belong to a young person. The events above mentioned remain unclear.
Jim Davis  Apr 2017
Touching
Jim Davis Apr 2017
In the last
three decades,
after we became one,
I touched
amazingly beautiful things,
horribly ugly things,  
unbelievably wondrous things

I touched nature's majesty;
hued walls of the Grand Canyon,              
crusty bark of the
Redwoods and Sequoias,
live corals of the
Great Barrier Reef,
dreamlike sandstone of the Wave

I touched magical and strange;
platypus, koalas and
kangaroos Down Under,
underwater alkali flies and
lacustrine tufa at Mono Lake,
astral glowing worms
in the Kawiti caves

I touched holy places;
Christianity's oldest churches,
the Pope's home in the Vatican,
Hindu and Sikh temples and
Moslem mosques in India,
Anasazi's kivas of Chaco canyon,
Aboriginal rocks of Uluru and Kata Tjuta

I touched glimmers of civilization;
uncovered roads of Pompeii,
fighting arenas of Rome,
terra cotta armies of Xian,
sharp stone points of the Apache,
pottery shards from the Navajo,
petroglyphs by the Jornada Mogollon

I touched fantastical things;
winds blowing on the
steppes of Patagonia,,
playas and craters of Death Valley,  
high peaks of the Continental Divide,
blazing white sands of the  
Land of Enchantment

I touched icons of liberty
and freedom;
the defended Alamo,
a fissured Liberty Bell,
an embracing Statue of Liberty,
the harbor of Checkpoints
Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie

I touched glorious things
made by man;
the monstrous Hoover Dam,
an exquisite Eiffel tower,
a soaring St Louis Arch,
an Art deco Empire State Building,
the sublime Golden Gate Bridge

I touched sparks from history;
the running path of an
Olympic flame just off Bourbon,
the last steps of Mohandas Ghandi
at Birla House before Godse,
******'s Eagle's nest and the
grounds over Der Führerbunker

I touched walls of power;
enclosed rings of the Pentagon,
steep steps of the
Great Wall of China,
untried bastions of
Peter and Paul's fortress,
fitted boulders of Machu Picchu

I touched strong hands;
of those conquering
Rommel's and ******'s hordes,
of cold warriors of
Chosin Reservoir,  
of forgotten soldiers of Vietnam,
of terrorist killers of today

I touched memories of war;
the somber Vietnam memorial,
the glorious Iwo Jima statue,
the cold slabs at Arlington,
the buried tomb of USS Arizonians,
Volgograd's Mother Russia  

I touched ugly things;
shreds of light in
Port Arthur's prison,
horrible smelly dust
in the streets from 9/11,
ash impregnated dirt
in the pits at Auschwitz

I touched oppressed freedom;
open ****** plazas
of Tiananmen Square,
smooth pipe and concrete
of the Berlin Wall,  
tall red brick walls
of the Moscow Kremlin

I touched constrained freedom;
heavy ankle and
wrist slave chains
in the South,
little windows
in Berlin's Stasi prison,
haunted cells in Alcatraz  

I touched remnants of madness;
wire and ovens of Auschwitz,
stacked chimneys and
wooden bunks of Birkenau,        
Ravensbruck, and Dachau,
the tomb of Lenin,
toppled Stalins

I touched hands of survivors;
of Leningrad's siege,
of German POWs and
of Russian fighters
of Stalingrad's battle,
of Cancer's scourges  

I touched grand things;
deep waters of the Pacific and Atlantic,
blue hills of Appalachia,
towering peaks of the Rockies,
high falls of Yosemite Valley,
bursting geysers of Yellowstone,
crashing glaciers of Antarctica and Alaska    

I touched times of adventure;
abseiling and zipping in Costa Rica,
packing Pecos wilds and Padre isles,
flying nap of earth Hueys to Meridian,
breaking arms in JRTC's box,
fighting Abu Sayyaf, and Jemaah
Islami in Zamboanga City

I touched through you;
wet sand beaches of  Mexico and Jamaica,
mysterious energy of the monoliths of Stonehenge,
rarefied air in front of the
Louvre's Mona Lisa,
ancient wonders of Giza,
Egypt's tombs and pyramids

We shared soft touches;
drifting in Bora Bora's
surreal waters,
joining hands camel trekking the
Outback's dry sands,
strolling along Tasmania's
eucalyptus forest trails

basking in swinging hammocks
under Fiji's bright sun,
scrambling in
Las Vegas' glittering and
red rock canyons,
kissing under the
Taj Mahal's symphony of arches

We shared touching deep waters;
propelled in gondolas
through the city of canals,
Drifting atop Uru cat boats on Lake Titticaca,
Swooping in jet boats
up a wild river in Talkeetna

Racing in speed boats
around Sydney's great harbour,
skimming in pangas in Puerto Ayora,
paddling the Kennebec for
East's best petroglyphs,
cruising Salzbergwerk's underwater lake

We touched scrumptious things;
Beignets and chicory coffee at DuMonde's in the Big Easy,
Hot *** with sesame sauce
in the walled city of Xian,
Peking duck, dimsum, scorpions,
snake and starfish on Wangfujing Snack Street

We touched delicious things
Crawfish heads and tails at JuJu's shack
and ten years at Jeanette's,
Langoustine at Poinciana's, Fjöruborðinus and Galapagos,
Cream cheese and loch bagels
at Ess-a' s in the Big Apple

I touched your hand riding;
hang loose waves of Waikiki,
a big green bus in Denali's awesomeness,
clip clopping carriages of Vienna, Paris,
Prague, New Orleans, Krakow,
Quebec City, and Zakopane,
the acapella sugar train of St Kitts

We shared touching on paths;
the highway 1 of Big Sur,
the Road of the Great Ocean,
the bahn to Buda and Pest,
the path to the North of Maine,
the trail of the Hoh rainforest,
and time after time, the way home

Yet,
I could spend
the next three decades,
in simple bliss,
having need for
touching nothing,
other than you!

©  2016 Jim Davis
A poem I wrote last year for my wife!  Posted now since it matches the HP' theme for today - "Places"
There was an Old Lady of Prague,
Whose language was horribly vague;
When they said, 'Are these caps?'
She answered, 'Perhaps!'
That oracular Lady of Prague.
There was an Old Person of Prague,
Who was suddenly seized with the Plague;
But they gave his some butter,
Which caused him to mutter,
And cured that Old Person of Prague.
Allison Rose Oct 2013
It looks like the entire city is on fire.
Black statues on the Charles Bridge
like charred remains from the blaze coming off the shining roof of the National Theatre.

And you might be able to picture it
when I say gothic towers glow like points of flame,
But you really have to go yourself to see what I mean when I say
there's a wind tunnel running from the Florenc metro station to Naměstí Republiky
that catches in it a gust of a thousand people in shades of red and black and gold.

If you are in the right place at the right time,
you can see the moment the streets lamps all light up in unison
by some command of the darkening sky
And suddenly everything is picturesque, even if you don’t know what that means.

Your favorite park might be the popular place for adolescent delinquency
but that doesn’t change the way the light from the setting sun
turns the Vltava into melted gold.

David Černy’s fluorescent ******* signals to the world
That here in Prague the world’s on fire.
Paul Kuntz Jun 2013
There's an alleyway in Prague,
hiding neath the nights fog,
where a girl stands on red light display.
And when cold rain starts to fall,
she still answers every call;
till the dawn hours that's where she will stay.
Her life is just that way.

She wakes up every day,
tries to scrub the pain away;
forget about the way last night went.
She'll paint some rogue on busted lips,
a short skirt on her starved hips;
with her son she wished her time was spent.
Just a couple more men to pay rent.

She's got a pickpocket friend
who work the Old Town, east end,
and likes to give her a slice of his steals.
The other girls, with whom she works,
defend her from the vicious jerks;
make sure her and her boy get hot meals.
They teach her how to heal.

Last week her **** gave her a knife
after a trick threatened her life
and said "Next time, say you cut off his *****."
Then he laughed like it was funny
and told her to go make money,
leaning up against his car to look slick;
teasing his hair with a pick.

Tomorrow and tomorrow
she swears she'll end the sorrow,
but each night she's in that street corner cell.
She weeps "It's not the life I choose.",
while she looks at each new bruise
in the mirror, watching purple skin swell.
Her life surpasses hell.

The endless months and years pass
until she finally saves the cash
to run away with her pickpocket friend.
They grab her son and catch a bus,
leaving Wenceslas in the dust;
it doesn't matter where their road ends.
Her red light wounds can now mend.
I had originally intended these as verses for a song, so the pacing might seem off. This is because I wrote it to a melody in my head.
L E Dow  Jul 2010
Prague
L E Dow Jul 2010
Just like any other town, except the middle school is in an old strip mall, selling free education. The bank advertises a “Kalachi Festival” and nothing else, not low interest loans or free checking. The streets are lonely, but then again, it’s Sunday morning and most are at church. Where I’m headed, riding passenger, just for you. I hate riding passenger, but I’ll let you wear the pants today, I’ll stick to my fifties inspired floral skirt and clichéd pink teddy bear sweater. We arrive. Nine-thirty on the dot. Right on time, you say “I told you we wouldn’t be late.” I roll my eyes and breathe deep as I open your car door. We walk across the gravel lot to a low lying building. Church. No loud music or free coffee to hide behind. No large crowds or jumbo screens. Just people. We go into a classroom. Read from the bible. Meet people whose names I promptly forget. But that’s okay, they forget me too.
We finish on the gospel of John. And take a bathroom break, I take a while, not willing to endure the awkwardness that is sure to occur if I exit before you do. I stare at my reflection and regret my eyeliner. I’m glad I wore flats, not heels, and feel a bit overdressed to be honest. I exit, after using hand sanitizer as hand soap, realizing, then proceeding to wash my hands again. You’re talking to an elderly woman, she’s small, fragile. I hug her awkwardly, I’m terrible at meeting people. Another deep breath. Your father comes into view. What if he hates me? What if you realize you’ve made mistake? What if I accidentally say ****? ****. ****. ****. Deep breath out. Shake hands, smile and greet awkwardly, yet again. Meet Pearl and Ruby. The Two Jewels of the church. Meet Leonard. Joke with leonard, Think of my grandfather and how I should call him. Mentally punch myself in the arm. Greet your mom, get told I’m pretty, laugh, not knowing what to do.
I sit next to Alanna and the *** Smoking boyfriend, Scott. Sing. Pray. You do announcements. Everyone takes communion, Myself included. You pray, with such conviction and belief I’m confused. I put on the pious face for the congregation. Look innocent. Observe. Sing again. No instruments, only robust voices, all together. Your hand is in mine for the sermon. Finding it hard to concentrate, I notice the approximate age and décor of the church. Probably mid-late seventies. The Mauve carpet reminds me of my mother. She loved mauve in the 90’s, when it was popular. Exposed beams make it feel more like a chapel. They remind me of my church at home. There’s a choir section, making me realize it could have been another church at some point, you don’t have choirs. The sermon’s finished. Your hand has left red marks on mine, small ovals that you fuss over. We make our way out of the church. The last to leave. Following your parents home.
You lived in the country. In a wooden house that reminds me of my first house in Perry. Covered in dark wood. Your kitchen reminds me of my mother, covered in sunflowers, her favorite. You give me a quick tour.  The art that covers the walls of your home is yours and your siblings. I’m amazed. We clomp down the stairs; “they’re extra steep” you warn. Your mother’s preparing lunch. I contemplate offering to help, but don’t want to look like an *** if she says yes and I mess something up.
We retire to the living room with your father. He asks about my family. My parents, an Engineer and a Marketing Director. He asks about their expectations for me. Asks me if I live in the country, No, I reply, I live on the golf course. His eyebrows raise further. ****. I should have left that out. He thinks I’m wealthy. I’m not, neither are my parents. Mercifully we get called in for lunch. Roast, salad, corn, cantaloupe, potatoes, I love home cooking. You peer pressure me into cheesecake. Your father suggests you take me to the pond. You think twice. Taking in my shoes and skirt. We go anyways. Kiss as soon as we’re out of sight. I wish we could just lie down beneath a tree and sleep. We walk back to the house. Collect groceries and money, Even me. We go to the car. Drive away. You’re tired. So am I, we fight a little on the way back, mostly joking. We fall into bed and sleep away the morning. Which you say went well, I’m still unsure.
Copyright 2010 by Lauren E. Dow
As in cargo ships.
Fear takes pictures below.

My heart inside stone ballasts.
Saving letters.

I burn it down.
I burn it down & walk away.

Correct.  
Ate, now sick.

Years ago fruit grew.
My wound grows skin with wine.

& she burns.
Price payed for pale beauty.

Still alive.
My torch home.

I search for my children
Frozen in winter's grace.
Tragedy
Mateuš Conrad Jan 2017
that's 3 weeks without a keyboard,
that's 3 weeks on a dual-detox -
         that's that: roughly: antagonism
of: once upon a time...
           there can only be one Hans Andersen,
and as the story goes: ol' granny
   passed on the tales, without which:
no talk of posterity, and seances at
the theatre; alternatively: what if Kierkegård
opted for opera, rather than theatre?
    well: horrid is the task of dropping names,
as if being a village idiot, in that
capacity: giving directions... no such thing!
  nonetheless: a horrid task...
3 weeks... without this horrid world-entanglement...
amphetamines in the wild west,
                   and yet... everything slows down...
that's 3 weeks without such ''luxury''...
    and would you believe it?
3 weeks went by: in a blink of an eye.
             strange, or what 21st century writers
fail to recognise: the ******* canvas has changed!
any-single-one-of-them bothered to scrutinise
this new canvas? anyone?
     ah yes, it's still in its adolescence -
it's still: Dostoyevsky, scuttering in the grand
dungeon: that's the Moscow underground.
             the canvas! the canvas!
                             and indeed, if this be some
bellowing horn, from the depths of some forsaken
place... i'll go into the street, and sabotage
civilisation with graffiti...
                     then again: i have the least
expectations, such that capitalism works...
poetry... and what investment have you made?
nil, or almost nil... evidently: zilch!
      ah, but to have invested in canvases,
a studio, paints, brushes... see... no one sees
investment in poetry: primarily because the poet
has done the minimal...
            unless of course it turns out to ****
with a hot poker something once resembling
nations... which now resides in the insane asylum
(even though those, have been abolished)
                           , nation - ooh! what a ***** word!
the left irksome sometimes uses it:
in theory: the nation-state...
                        and then there's the resurgence of
ancient Greece... in a sing-along:
maybe 'cos i'm a Londoner... brother! brother!
Athenian! Athenian!
                                       but we are born into
a Spartan wedlock... no one really bothers to
**** our gob with Shakespeare...
    then again that is the schizophrenia (alias
dualism) in humanity... thus, to be frank,
psychiatry can be congratulated, it has provided
one useful term... and i will use it, over and over again,
in a non-symptomatic way, because, i find,
it stands, as if the Olympic Graeae (Zeus, Poseidon
and Hades) eating the carcass of some inhabitant
of Tartarus...
                               evidently: tartar steak...
doubly evident: tartars, or the remnants of mongols,
settled in crimea, and elsewhere in the Ukraine...
   tartar                      tra-ta-ta-ta... ku ku ryku!
a ja fu! krecha! a ja znow... fu!       radowitą
uprzejmość... skłaniam...  
    or what i call: rising spontaneously from the depths...
polymaths applauded, the tribunal resides in
bilingualism... trenches... history... perspectives
and current affairs... wicker man media...
                        so... an example of pedantry?
ó....               that's an orthographic dignitary -
        an aesthetic muddle... as is
c-ha                               contending with samo-ha...
     ch                            came from antagonism of
cz                                   which was later antagonised
by č               in česka.... say that: hen party
bound to Prague... in the Czech republic...
                                          ch      k..­.
i am, quiet frankly... standing at the feet of the tower
of babel... and i'm looking up, and i see
correlations, and i see decimal marks,
which, when given enough geography,
can seem like England and the isles,
       and central Europe...
    Iberia? phantom of Seneca...
  eureka! let's begin, once again...
  why is there a continuum beginning with
Plato and Aristotle?
                                           we could become
reasonable people... told to deal with madmen...
we could claim beginnings with Seneca...
and Cicero...
                      and why? the Romans loved poetry...
the Greeks antagonised Homer...
            the Romans loved Horace, Virgil,
                           Ovid... perhaps we should really forget
beginning with Plato and Aristotle...
       the former has become a church,
the latter a dentist's assistant (minus the ancients'
concept of a joke).
                      evidently i have to finish off reading
Seneca... his educational letters to Lucilius....
      moralising ******* that he was, thus, perhaps
a nibble at Cicero? but i must say:
                           it has to begin somewhere,
so not necessarily in stale-bread Athens...
                      and having such perspectives helps
in claiming casual conversation?
   assuredly - if it doesn't involve talking about
the weather...
                                which is always a great mystery
   if it's given enough aurora.
   onto the mystery of dialectics,
as discovered by Alfred Jarry in his Faustroll
Pataphysics contraband...
                                                nag­ging agreement...
nodding without approval... (chapter 10) -
beginning with αληθη λεγεις εφη
        (you speak the truth, he replies) -
   and ending with ως δoκεì
                              (how true that seems)...
and then some dub-step...
        know nothing dROP! boom! jiggy jiggy,
get the rhythm.
   as i always find it hard to look at
    diacritical arithmetic...
                                  given the following
represent a prolonging: hangman:
       å, ā and ä...
                             esp. in Finnish -
stratum: hedningarna täss on nainen.
                        rolling yarn, plateau, two dips;
and i will never say something profound...
i'll just say something no one else has said,
benefit of the doubt? somewhere, someone,
                                      kneels at the same altar.
  such are the distinction - invaders from the
north, and invaders from the south...
                                           even with
crusading Golgotha mann -
the times? many bats, supers, spiders,
but not enough readings of thomas mann...
                              easily befallen into prune-nosed
high-airs... it comes with the diet of literature...
   unfortunately.
                              and with yet another book:
i have burried yet another living person
i could have had a beer with, and conversed.
it always happens, every time i read a book
i have to attend a funeral... by reading a book
i have burried someone alive...
                          shame, in all frankness...
    i will sit in a congested train, touch a breathing
body, and consecrate the touch with
a warring genuflect - harbringer of a Teutonic
passion for initiation: a komtur's slap across the cheek.
   chequers played with passions...
           and some have to be approached like
caged animals, their vocabulary as cages,
                and the whole world before them:
cageless!
             some have indeed become so encrusted in
their daily: routine, that it would take a zoologist
(thrice oh, begs some sort of diacritical marking)
rather than a psychologist to understand them...
    like the darting dupes they are, enshrined in
20% gratis! smile! have a nice day! boxing day sales!
all but pleasantries, fathoming the grave.
   stiff vocab and all other kinds of perfume...
                           a king and his charlatan knights,
who are merely ditto-heads.
                  and not of this world, afresh -
among the nimble hands prior to birth -
surely there is: more grandeour in birth
   that entry via a ******...
                            the greatest pain of ****...
and when the ancient treaty was signed
under the name: Augustus Cesarean - or
recommended for a need of aristocracy -
    it was, for a time, the mana magnetism:
and such was the rule of poetry:
rather than a crown, donned the laurel leaves...
donned the laurel leaves...
    and such was the covenant from ancient
foes when trying to assimilate the Jew...
three kings from Babylon,
                         the child in Egypt...
          no good tides from Nazareth...
         a crown of myrrh - later overshadowed
by dogmatic sprechen, simpler: thorns...
yella things... or rzepak, Essex is filled with it...
rzepak... so why bother adding a dot above
the z, when you get capricious and use rz to
denote the same?! thus a science:
voiced retroflex fricative... Stalingrad!
                       can you really stomach this kind
of jargon? if it wasn't for science fiction:
science would be twice removed from gott ist tot,
*******' worth of pondering, given the close
proximity rhyme... nothing that rhymes should
ever be taken seriously, it should be hymnal!
                         Horatio! mein lyre!
   mein Guinness leier! rabbi krähe -
     and they deem that ****** white when talking:
thinking? i'd prefer Cezanne in real life -
   maggot wriggling and all...
                                          as much eroticism
as bound to a dog slobbering its testicles:
which means ****-all in an almighty stance
   for a dollop of halleluyah in Nepal.
well: pretty talk, pretty pretty pretty: i feel pretty,
oh so butter-fly-e.
                                    2 week stance,
***** in autumn... but so many Swiss hues
coming from the same concentration of decay!
shweet!  zeit-ser!        and that's me talking
kindergarten german: innovation begins with
a fork and a spoon, should the tongue come to it...
            i see a poem,
i see something worth bugging... c.i.a.,
f.b.i., hannibal's lecture in Florence, Venice for
the rats... bugging... shoving...
  shovelling... necro grounding, rattling...
    windy via north... Icelandic...
drums along incisors of abstract gallop:
violins... fringes of the mustang... airy airy...
all regresses toward the Vulgate...
         like ****, like said, and the only pristine
stress comes with vanilla ice-cream,
or a medium-rare beef ****! hmph!
                         fa fa fa excesses with that hurling
puff...
                      and i did finish Kant's
critique of pure reason... minus two calendars...
but, so help me god, the 2nd volume was hiding
under some corner...
                           thus, from transcendental methodology
came plump apricots, plums and pears...
             sweet decay fruit baron...
              and it's called sugars in the intricacy of pulp...
lazily grown, dangling on that caricature of
a formerly known: full crop of wheat-crude fringe.
    2 years... honest to god!
         but so many books in between...
i was given a recommendation...
i cited it already... kraszewski's magnum opus...
29 books...
                       although that's history fictionalised...
but nonetheless, it really was about
     the cossack uprising in the 17th century...
   and it was, as i once said, something i can forgive
sienkiewicz - the film version,
as in: i will not read a book once it has been adapted
to a movie... it's self-evident that too many
people have read a piece of work and are gagging
for a conversation... but where's the playground?
           ******* cherades!
  chinese whispers and a Manchurian candidate!
  i thought as much.
                          and whenever it's not a preplaned
escapade, what becomes of the day?
     was it always about a stance for carpe diem?
  syllables: di                em.
                            carpe is said with more lubricant.
corpus diem. well, that's an alternative, however
you care to think about it.
                and whenever you care to think about,
the proof is there: mishandling misnomers:
poets as tattoo artists... although no one sees the ink,
signatures on a reader's brian (purposively altered,
toward a Michael Jackon he-he, and other:
albino castratos the church venerates!)...
   that's 3 weeks in a catholic country...
  3 weeks... if only the football was better,
      i'd be called Juan Sanchez...
               but, evidently, the football is bad...
     so it's catholicism on par with a sleeping inquisition...
no one really expected Monty Python to conjure
that one... because it never really took place,
not until a trans-generational exodus
postscript 2004... once western brothels were exhausted,
and the Arab started ******* a hippo...
              then it was all about lakes and rivers
and Las Vegas 2.0 in Dubai!
                     you say quack... i say:
                                                    easy target.
and they did receive a blessing from Allah...
enough ink to write out Dante's revision of the Koran,
and some Al-Sha'ke'pir to write a play called:
the Merchant of Mecca.
  last time i heard, when the reformation was
plauging Christendom, no one invited the Arabs...
these days i think the little Lutherans of Islam
watched too many historical movies...
me? pick up a crucifix and march to Jerusalem?
  and is that going to translate into:
   blame the populists! blame the nationalists!
it's like watching a circus... why is the Islamic
reformation asking for third party associates?
                  i was happy listening to
the klinik... albums: eat your heart out...
time + plague...
                             once again: the world narrative
gags for enough people to conjure up
     a placebo solipsism... and that's placebo
with a squiggly prefix (meaning? how far
that ambiguity will take you) - ~placebo...
well: since existentialists were bores...
it's about time to head for Scandinavia
   and ask: is that " ''                 for passing on
an inheritance, or better still: ripe for
acknowledging ambiguity?
                          and if you can shove this
  into your daily narrative... you better be
a connaisseur of chinese antiques...
                frailty... then again, theres: ******;
well hell yeah *****'h, it's a murky underwold
after all.
                     and yes: that's called a petting word...
some say hombre, and we'll all be amigos
and muskateers at the end of the story.
                                    finally... i feel like i'm writing
a poem that i'll never end...
              why? it was supposed to be about
how John Casimir of Sweden championed
  the crown away from his brother Prince Charles
(volume 1)...
                      the bishop of Breslau...
a recluse... couldn't ride a horse...
    then again: nothing worthy imitation...
beginning with a donkey...
                               the transfiguration of palms
into whips... 2000 years later
talk of Hercules is madness... that other bit?
complete sanity.
                              well... if that be the case...
the book is there... i signed it, 2nd volume of
Kant's critique...
  
| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | | | | | | Y| | | |
| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

        an oak... in a forest of pine...
an oak in pine wood...

then onto the wood of sighs:

aH aH aH aH aH aH aH aH
aH aH aH aH aH aH aH aH
aH aH aH aH aH aH aH aH
aH aH aH aH aH aH aH aH
aH aH aH aH aH aH aH aH
aH aH aH aH aH aH aH aH
aH aH aH aH aH aH aH aH
          (somehow the surd escapes,
and later morphs into, but prior to)

a short script: variation on MW...

      pears' worth of blunting runes:
opulance s and ᛋ - versus z,
    congregation minor: the interchange, ß,
buttocks and *****, minus phantoms of erotica.
yet, taking into account trigonometry...
sine (genesis 0), and cosine (genesis 1),
or            M                                   W
(no Jew would dare believe the Latins have
the second 'alf of the proof: that loophole of all
things qab-cannibal-mystic - cravat donning
mystique - a flit's worth of sharpening,
or dental grit... flappy tongue,
flabby oyster, lazing for a crab's palette)...
so?

1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0
1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0
1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0
1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0
1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0
1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0
1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0

of course there's an
~
January 2024
HP Poet: Melanii
Age: 27
Country: USA


Question 1: We welcome you to the HP Spotlight, Melanii. Please tell us about your background?

Melanii: "My real name is Arianna. I was born and raised around Dallas, TX and am currently still living here. As it relates to writing, my background draws heavily from exposure to the arts as a child and the fascination, I guess, for beauty that this instilled. My parents (but especially my dad) were enthusiastic about music, art, history, literature, and the sciences, and my interest in all of these topics was piqued by association. Growing up I can recall countless visits to the local art museum, watching documentaries in the evenings after school, attending operas with my parents, and running home after school in the early days of each month to see if the latest issue of National Geographic had arrived so I could soak up the pictures and get lost daydreaming of faraway lands and peoples.

With time these influences grew into a general interest in the humanities. I attended the University of North Texas in Denton from 2014-2017 and studied anthropology, French, and Russian after doing a 180 on my initial intention of studying and pursuing psychology as a career path at a different school. At the time it felt kind of reckless, but in hindsight it was definitely the right decision.

After graduating, I was working as a barista and somewhere along the way ended up going to Prague for a month in the summer of 2018 to do a TEFL certification, fell into poetry that fall, and then returned to Prague for 11 months in 2019 to teach English. It was very much the best and the worst of times: I met some amazing people while there, took the opportunity to travel around a bit, and lived and learned from a horrendous relationship that also transpired during that year. I definitely went into that experience without any clear objectives or expectations; looking back, life definitely took that complacency and turned the tables with it, and while it took several years afterwards for the dust to fully settle, I've made it out the other side stronger, more intentional, and more assertive than before.

Since then, life has really just been what it's been. There have been ups and downs, of course, but the lows don't hit as hard anymore. Right now, there's not much to report and I plan to keep it that way. It's nice. Peaceful. It's a new year, and with it I will continue to focus on working, saving money, making a dent in the hydra that my reading list has become, and overall just living well and building towards the future."



Question 2: How long have you been writing poetry, and for how long have you been a member of Hello Poetry?

Melanii: "As a teenager I’d scribble fragments of poems here and there, but never considered writing to be a hobby. That all changed around September 2018 when, for whatever reason, I decided that I enjoyed writing and wanted to dedicate more time to it. As mentioned in Question #2, this was right around the time I was preparing to relocate to Prague. It's kind of hard to describe; maybe it was just the excitement of the unknown, but that whole period of time had a sense of magic and beauty about the way it was unfolding which the “discovery” of poetry as a creative outlet only elevated."


Question 3: What inspires you? (In other words, how does poetry happen for you).

Melanii:  "At first, it seemed like “there was inspiration around every corner”, to quote another poet I read here on HP one time (can't remember who it was or the title of the piece, but they were describing how great poets like Bukowski seemed to find inspiration so effortlessly, and the way they phrased it has stuck with me). Fast forward five years to today, and while I don't write as prolifically anymore the words come when I have something to say.

Inspiration comes from many sources for me: music, art, and nature; random thoughts, feelings, ideas, and observations; the works of other poets; travel when it happens; disappointments in family and other relationships; loneliness…

As far as the actual writing process goes, it's pretty random. More often than not, I'd say the poems write themselves and I just jot them down once they're ready, or as they evolve and refine themselves to fruition. Not the most thoughtful approach, but it comes from the heart."



Question 4: What does poetry mean to you?

Melanii: "To me, poetry is a language — specifically a language of consciousness in its purest, most elemental form. Poetry has the ability of transcending and even defying the typical rules of language without losing cogency, and for me it's this inherent flexibility that makes it at once so unique and so impactful as an art form."


Question 5: Who are your favorite poets?

Melanii: "Federico García Lorca, Li Qingzhao, and Pablo Neruda are the top 3 names that come to mind. I enjoy the unique way that each one of them uses language and imagery to illustrate the pieces of their lives and humanity which they decided to share through their writing. There's an element of surrealism, sensuality, and expansiveness running through each of their writing styles that speaks to me in the way it encompasses the beauty and complexity of life's possibilities across good and bad times alike."


Question 6: What other interests do you have?

Melanii: "I enjoy traveling and would love to be in a place someday where I can do so more often. The urge to explore again has been gnawing at me recently, so after a little bit of research and number crunching, I renewed my passport and booked a flight to Peru for three weeks in March. I had promised myself to visit a new region the next time I traveled, and despite growing up in Texas I have yet to visit Latin America. The plan is to start in Cusco, sightsee there, then head south into Bolivia to tour the Salar de Uyuni, which has been on my bucket list since learning of its existence from National Geographic. I couldn't believe that a place like that was real, and words cannot express how excited I am to finally experience the landscape in person! With March marking the beginning of the end of the rainy season, I'm hoping to still catch some of the “mirror” effect that the salt flats are so famous for. After touring the flats, the plan is to take an overnight bus back to La Paz before heading north again towards Lima with some sightseeing stops along the way and a few days left over in the city before flying back home. So we'll see what happens!

Languages are a long standing interest as well. I studied French for 7 years between high school and college, and Russian for the 3 years I spent at university. Since graduating, I've kept up with both through podcasts, YouTube videos, news articles, and music, and despite being far from fluent in either it's helped a lot with retention and comprehension. Learning ancient Greek has also been an on-and-off endeavor since 2017 after reading Euripides’ plays and deciding that I'd like to read Medea in its original text someday. Time will tell if that ever happens, but I did recently complete an online introductory course to the language which was a nice memory refresher and helped with unpacking some of the grammatical concepts that threw me for a loop back when I first started and which are part of the reason I fell away from Greek in the first place. After Greek, I would like to learn some Coptic, Farsi, and Turkish, and would be satisfied with learning to read at least one sentence in Mandarin in my lifetime.

Outside of travel and languages, I enjoy researching and cooking dishes from various cuisines, reading, taking walks, trying out different exercise classes on days off (recently I've done tai chi, pilates, barre, aerial silks, and kickboxing, but in the past I've tried pole fitness, archery, aerial silks, cycling, and horseback riding), visiting art museums, dropping by the symphony or opera once in a blue moon, and watching videos and documentaries on philosophy, history, theology (not religious, though, just curious), and science."



Carlo C. Gomez: “Thank you so much for giving us an opportunity to get to know the person behind the poet, Melanii! We have loved adding you to this series!”

Melanii: "Thank you so much for having me and for all your efforts conducting this series of interviews! It's truly a pleasure having the opportunity to break the ice and learn more about our fellow poets."



Thank you everyone here at HP for taking the time to read this. We hope you enjoyed getting to know Melanii little bit better. I indeed did. It is our wish that these spotlights are helping everyone to further discover and appreciate their fellow poets. – Carlo C. Gomez

We will post Spotlight #12 in February!

~

— The End —