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Matthew Orellana Aug 2018
We are the soldiers
Of iron and led
We are the men
That steal all your bread
We take and we steal
What cares and what feels
We never stop thinking
What’s fake and what’s real
With steel jaws and bronze feet
We bite and we tred
On this barren land.
We rake and devour
Every thing that matters
We put up our flag
We sing and we wept
For a place and a home
Where no one will know
The hate that we’ve grown
We are Death’s assistants
Her breed and Her tool
To wipe the earth clean
Of the things we called cruel
We’ve lost all our names
We’re a thing and a number
For a government and state
That knows not our plunder
We fight and we die
For a hoax and a lie
That appears in the stories
And myths of child
This thing that we seek
It’s not Roman or Greek
It’s a thing that most search for
It’s called calmness and peace.
Tradition! The Pope's Grand Inquisitor
And Champion of Tories and White-Hats alike
Long have we burned by Gomorrah's Sponsor
With ***** salt our Nails to crucify
That you by nature have never been wrong
Since from my origin I took Respect
But that Pink Exercise training that strong
Was too much for your Pride to interpret
So you sent your Armies to **** our Cause,
Those Innocent Seeds we died to preserve
Quoting the *****'s Functions as our fault
Then getting the Whipping we all deserve.
My Message, kind Sir, is that Object
Which you must Observe; Which you must Reflect.
#tomdaleytv #tomdaley1994
Ira Aug 2018
The bird of the Hermes is my name,
And I eat my own wing to keep myself tame.

Through hellfire and fury, your armies are dead,
Becoming slaves of my hellish dread.

Yet the blood flows deep into the ground,
And I, the vampire lord, will absorb it with glee and proud!

The bird of the Hermes is my name,
And I eat my own wing to keep myself tame.

The jackal and casual, instruments of my cleansing light
All burn with there masters own hellish spite.

And the monsters of  kin, vampire and demon,
All meet the same end of hellfire as I once did, all to be seen as heathens by god and real men.

For the bird of the Hermes is my name,
And I eat my own wing to keep myself tame!
HELLSING *****!! Best anime, Alucard is the best character from the Seinen scene. And just in general. So here's a poem that  is taken from his perspective
beth stclair Mar 2015
winter faded like old parchment, drawn in charcoal
the trees waited for the inevitable colours of spring.
your voice coloured silence and left me standing
away from the crowd with my head inclined to yours,
listening to you, the shadows swept away and your
voice like the moonlight, the blue inks of the sea.
i watched you unwind night skies and the night stars
that burnt in the rivery realms of lost ruins and whispering
dreams, fell like dead men before your passion and there
was no reasoning with what you believed and you had
no compassion for the world. hatred fired up before
my forgiveness and you could not forgive. how many  
oceans scattered their flowers and light, how many
armies fell before the burning amber of your eyes?
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/and-then-i-returned-to-you-you-my-poet-of-the-water-beth-st-clair/1115678228?ean=29400165

from my book
Jack Thompson Mar 2015
Have you ever been angry?
So angry you've scared yourself.
Because for a second you saw that face staring back from within.
An immense depth fast approaching.
So absent of light the only reason you caught a glimpse was those eyes.
Beaming back at you with illumination so frightening your core began to shudder and rumble.

Crumbled down and watched this beast claw its way out.
Over rock and mortar. Through coarse cage of steel.
Those cold eyes staring down - helplessly watching.

This beast was once kept sealed.
Who gave it this key to destruction.
This shapeless fluid in motion soulless tragedy.
Black velvet drape dipped in fiery energy.
Pure hate which had been compressed for eternity.
Now concentrated and intent on wreaking havoc.

I sent my armies. I sent them all.
Countless deaths and yet I sent more.
Quick slaughter - not the painless type.
This beast they could not stall.
Thrashes of bodies. Clawed and torn.
Festering flesh flying from fallen.
Axe, Sword and Mace soaked,
dripping in warm fresh blood-pounding hate.
Shatters of armor and unrecognizable corpses.
What do I do?
It seeks me as a vessel - to be worn.
I can feel the hate changing me.
Quickly now or I'll soon deform.
© All Rights Reserved Jack Thompson 2015
Homunculus Jul 2016
A few days ago, North Korea said that the imposition of sanctions by the United States amounted to an open "declaration of war" and went on to state that in response to military exercises to be carried out by the US and South Korean armies, that they are "fully ready to cope with them with nuclear weapons any time,” Okay. Let me just make one thing abundantly clear: these jokers have been talking this game for the last four decades, and it has all amounted to precisely nil

As regards Kim Jong-Un, I will ask that I be excused by my reader for the brief detour into contemporary African-American Vernacular English that this piece will now take. (crack knuckles, clear throat, hawk phlegm, adjust junk) Dear Kim: You ain't ****. *******, and your little ***** *** on some old *******. You ain't ****, you ain't never gon' be ****, and you never was ****. Furthermore, you ain't standin' on **** but a failed state and a fast-fading personality cult. All we hear is talk, talk, talk, talk, every year from you and your decrepit, syphilis riddled father before you; and quite frankly, it's getting old. Boring, even.

Do it, we dare you. See what happens, you glorified, overfed man-baby. You blurry greyscale xerox of Mao's bloated corpse. You, who have mistook a flimsy house of cards for an ironclad fortress. You naked emperor. You, whose very 'empire' is the deformed and emaciated plant which reluctantly sprang from a salted and desolate earth. You, whose 'hermit kingdom' constantly shrinks toward zero while the entire world watches, laughing!

We rest assured of the emptiness your threats. We can topple your house of cards at the flick of a wrist. In one fell swoop, our elite tactical urban forces will subvert and destroy your poorly trained, weakly organized, and honestly pitiful excuse for a nation. Why, if we wanted it, you'd be gone in a New York minute. And don't even try to come at us with tough talk about nukes. *****, we been had nukes, and here's the thing: ours are bigger, better, and more numerous than yours. You push that button, and we bomb your sorry little ***** back into the stone. You EMP us, our allies bomb you for us. Bearing all these considerations in mind, I once again reiterate:

WE AIN'T SCARED OF YOU. COME TEST US!

(drop mic, walk away)
But in all seriousness: There's just something deep down in the collective consciousness of this country, perhaps even humanity generally, that secretly yearns, that requires, desires, and *pines away* for the glorious spectacle of the theater of war, isn't there? Something in us seems, beneath a surface layer of fear, to ask, nay to *implore* with all the swaggering braggadocio of a drunken frat boy: "Fight me. I dare you. See what happens." That subconscious, primal need to attain brute superiority in outward, tribalistic displays of dominance projects itself onto the global stage: But how, then, are we to understand this mechanism, and what are some of its consequences? Upon closer inspection, we will find the practical consequences of this act to be twofold. On the one hand: By generating this spectacle, the media are able to use it as a tool for maintaining within the public a mixture of frenzy at one pole and detached complacency at the other. By giving them a violent conflict to participate in vicariously, the war at once (a) creates for them an abstract, nationalistic identity, (b) sublimates their violent impulses, and (c) distracts their attention away from the material conditions of life in the country where the spectacle is being broadcast; effectively stifling the imperative to rebel against those conditions where they might otherwise have been taken as unjust. War pacifies, war stupefies, and above all war unifies. On the other hand, the previously mentioned tendency to outwardly display dominance serves as an effective means for geopolitical elites and those striving to be such, to affirm reaffirm their hegemony on the world stage by making ****** examples of those that would presume to cross them. In this regard, there is perhaps no greater or more apt an example than the twin bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the second world war.

There is much more to be said about these matters in seriousness, but for the sake of brevity, I leave it here.
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
Jim Davis Apr 2017
In the last
three decades,
after we became one,
I touched
amazingly beautiful things,
horribly **** 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 **** 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 Berknau,        
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"
Big Virge Sep 2016
"Order, Order !
We will have ORDER !!!
Order in the court !
or, the doors to this court
will be closed to cohorts !"

" Order "... is the call
within... our courts of law

Well here's...
Big Virges'... view...
of how these laws
will... Surely... be used...
and what... these laws...
will finally... Do... !!!

You see...

" Order's "...
being... " Summoned "...
in the... " Lords "...
and in... " The Commons "...

and... " The Cure "... to...
Current Problems ...
is seen as ... " Martial Law "... !!!

Police will now ... ENFORCE ...
without ... " Probable "... cause ... !!!

" Stops "... and ...
" Searches "...

upPED on ... Corners ...

What's their purpose ... ?
... " Public Order "...

But .....
Cameras on streets ... ?

CCTV ...... !?!

Isn't that meant to ...
" Keep The Peace "... ?!?

" OKAY, they're there
to make movies !
So, what's the deal ?
Can you paint the scene ? "

"Sir, move along please
your act's been seen,
our decision, you'll receive,
once you've been screened,
at the end of the week,
with your, Charge Sheet !
When it comes, answer truthfully,
because any deceit, may well
result in penalties, with no release,
especially if, we have to cheat
by using, yes, our editing team !"

You see ...
That's the ... " Trick "... !!!

So ... take these words ... " IN "...
and ... Read them ... CLOSELY ...
cos' these words ... Run DEEP ... !!!

Our lives ... BELIEVE ME ... !!!
are now on ... " Floppys' " ...
... Micro-Chips ...

and Drives named ... (C:)

So ...
What is humanity's ... destiny ... ???

Technology ....
Patrolling ... our streets ...

Armies ... of police ... !!!

Freedoms. .................................................... obsolete .... !!!!
for those ... wanting ... Peace ...

Sounds like a movie ...
I've seen of ... Armies' ... ???

" OH NO ... it's T3 !!! "

" ORDER is "... The Key ...

Restriction of ... Rights ...
to simply be ... FREE ... ?!?

NOT TO TAKE ...
Violence ... from our streets ... !!!!!

I'm YES ... A Supporter
of ... " Public Order "...

Let partying tribes ...
INDULGE in ... " Good Vibes "...

But .....
What kind of party ... ?
sees people ... Pull Knives ... !?!
or call for ... " Gunfights "... ?!?!?!?

But let's ...
NOT TELL ... " Lies "... !!!

Crime is ... on the rISE ... !!!

Crimes of ... ALL TYPES ... !!!
from ... Corporate Crimes ...
to young ... " Homicides "... !!!!

But .....
Ask yourself ... " WHY "... ?

Is it because ... ?
The young are now ..................................... Lost ....... ?!?

or ....
Could it be ... THIS ... ???

Highlighting ... Young Fights ...
as if .... EVERY NIGHT ...
Another kid ... DIES ... !!!

May simply ... "FIT IN"...
with Agendas ... Contrived ...
to simply ... Keep Minds ...
AFRAID ... and ... " DENIED "...
of living ... their lives ...
just like the ... " Rich Guys "...

" Directors "... who Earn ... ?
from ... " Fraudulent "... work ...

How many of them ?
will face ... " Stop and Search "... ?!?

Those in ... Governments ...
and ... " Corporate "... Hybrids ...
whose parties are ... "PRIVATE"... !!!!

with much ... " Nicer Climates "...

ENJOYING ... themselves... !!!
because of ... " Their Wealth "...
with women who ... " Sell "...
Their bodies like ... " SHELL "... !!!!
have done with ... " Oil Wells "... !!!!!

" Take Time ".....................................
Think it ... through..................................

But ....
Here's some more clues ....
as to why ... I Now Choose ...
to ... " Today "... take this view ...

Youth have died ... " Early "...
For YEARS ... on streets ...

But back then ... WEREN'T Worthy... ?!?
of ... PRIMETIME TV ...

But Now ... THEY ARE ... !?!

Terrorists .... are at Large ... !!!
is now the ... BENCHMARK ...

That's what's being ... " Used "...
to fill .... TV News ....

and ... " Sadly "... ABUSE ...
our LOST ..... WaYwArd ... youth ... !!!

Will .... " Eton "...
and ... " Harrow "...
REALLY SEE ... " Stop and Search "... ?!?!?

It seems ...
kind of ... " shallow :"...
to think ... They'll ... " Concur "...

Do ... " The Rich ...
have a ... THIRST ... ?
to walk with ... What HURTS ... !?!

Guns and Knives .....
amongst the ... " Rich Types "... ???

Why would they ... do that ... !?!
in ... " Daddy's New Pad "... !!!!!!

I guess what i'm saying ...
is ... " Stop and Search "... BLATANT ... !!!!!

is MOSTLY ... for blacks ... !!!!!!

"Well, blacks do the killing !
Which is shown now, to millions !
Everyday, all over the place !
So, answer that Virge !"

is what ...
" They "... will say ... !!!

Those who feed ... LIES ...
into minds and ... " Numb Brains "...

Those who ... DON'T THINK ...
BEYOND Links ... in the ... " Chain ".... !!!

The ... " New Order "... Preys ...
on ... Ignorant Strays ... !!!...

NOT those ... on streets ... !!!
but those who ... Compete ...
for a piece of ... " Their Cake "...

that has a ... FOUL TASTE ... !!!!!!

"ORDER ORDER !!!
We will have ORDER !!!"

" Must have ORDER ?
Man, just hold your corner ! "

Who exactly are ... " They "... ???
to treat people like ... " Game "... !?!

What makes you think ... ?
that they can train ...
the brain of a ... " Pig "...
to actually ... THINK...
and NOT behave ...
like some ... " Supremacist "... !!!
who's just ... Too **** ... QUICK ...
to suspect a kid ...
because of his ... Colour ... !!! ? !!!

" RACIST Mother F..... !!!!! "

"Order ... ORDER ...
You're out of order !!!"

" OUT OF Order ?!?
Are you a Coc' Snorter ?
I'm not a Big Baller,
or Gangsta' shot caller !
I'm just a straight talker
who's CRISP, just like Walkers',
when airing my views, about
Real Issues, that clearly confuse
and are used to abuse, our right to,
yes, choose, when and with whom,
we choose to make moves !

How would you like ?
to have THAT, done to you ?

My name AIN'T, Jack Horner !
Why should I be cornered ?
Searched and questioned
in the name of nonsense ! "

It's all a pretence,
to turn people against,
those they ... Don't Hate ... !!!

but ... each day ...
have to face,

from ... Council Estates ...
within the ... UK ...
to Projects ... They Blame ...
in the ... United States ...

These issues relate ...
and yes ... Correlate ... !!!

So .....
DON'T MAKE ... Mistakes ... !!!
and ... Mis-Read ... " The Game "...

What's happening ... There ...
is coming ... BEWARE ... !!! ...

Just think of it ... " This Way "...
George ... and ... Tony Blair ...........

They told you ... A WAR ...
was coming ... For SURE ... !!!!!

So ...
What'd you think ... NOW ... ?!?

Has ... THE WAR ...
Reached ... " Your Door "... ?!?

Or ...
Do you feel ... " Clowned "... ?

Or ...
Are you ... like me ... ?

A ... " Public "... ENEMY ... !!!

Who'll face men in ... " Gowns "...
because ... when I speak ...
I do so ... FREELY ... !!!! ...

and ... NO ...
WILL NOT ... Stand down ... !!!

" Order "...
is the call ...
as I said ... Before ... !!!

But ....
What is it ... for ... ???

for the ... " Weak "...
and the ... " Poor "...

NOT TO ... Fight anymore ... ?!?

or simply for ... " Borders "...
to keep them from ... " Hoarders "...
and ... " Midnight Marauders "... !!!!!!!

and TRUE LIFE ... Reporters ...
whose views they want ... "cornered"... !?!

because of ...
Their call ... to ... ENFORCE ...

.... " Public Order ".....

Listen Here :

https://soundcloud.com/user-16569179/public-order
My vision from some 8 years ago, of where we were headed, and sadly, much that I thought, has and sadly, continues to come to pass ..... These words are not those suitable for weak hearts, or those who like to play the well .... Y'all
know.

Listen Here : https://soundcloud.com/user-16569179/public-order
Cameron Alix Mar 7
Faith is a golden coil
That fits so greatly in the binding
Of texts that
Dictate a non-universal
Truth
Faith is a silver coil
That wraps around you nicely
Tightly
When times are hard and
Icy
Faith is a copper coil,
Cheap, commonly used and
Slithers, a bronze snaking cloud
Seeping quickly into
Permeable minds
Faith is an aluminum coil,
The easy way out.
Steals from your conscious
What can be found in
Yourself
Faith is essential
Needed to man
And to man armies
Unable to feel soft,
Cotton-ball faith
Anymore


Cameron Bell, Copyright © 2019
Feedback, please! I'm trying to develop my own style and eventually want to independently publish my own book. I think that humans have an innate need for a sense of deity; it's a neural pattern that has circulated throughout civilizations and we all still grapple with it individually.
Logan Robertson May 2018
If his bed was empty,
where once red poppies
bobbed a sled
downhill.
It became colder
and thin ice grew.
From the starting gate,
they fell,
spawned indifference,
for they were like two horses,
stabled in the face.
Reined for the show.
With blue ribbons in their eyes,
so very prim and proper
in public eyes.
Away, their tongues at war,
fueling the armies,
in their eyes.
He cried the impending emptiness,
warmth and love,
the empty bed.
The pound of fish
on Fridays.
And slices of cake,
where the red poppies
come to thrive
and the sled cherishing
the ride.
Yet.
Blind not to her vices and him.
Their marriage dissolved.
Infidelity in her back pocket
and undoubtedly a bigger sled.
Where are my angels,
he cried so often
the last thirty years
of darkness.
Where unfortunate endings
replaced auspices beginnings
and shadow dancing replaced romance.
See through
a lone wolf distancing from the pack.

Logan Robertson

5/17/2018
The sirens will not wail here again
the thunder of bombs not prevail.
The spectre of war has vanished
forever forever forever
it is hoped in silent repetition
where once was done its utmost bidding.

War has always lived fitfully
in men's imaginations
with promises of victory, fame, and glory:
the vanquishing of foes
the plundering of riches.

But here was known war's utter hell and consequence.
70,000 died in the last 10 days of April 1945.
And in the wild ravages of death
the city was destroyed
bombed and shelled to rubble
and stripped to barren earth.

Yet in the center of the Tiergarten
stands the Siegessäule
an antique monument
to victory in a bygone time.
It now seems quaintly obsolete
though radiant, triumphant, golden.

For victory at what cost?
And who should suffer defeat?
Better tourists come than foreign armies
shooting only pictures
hardly noticing the pockmarked walls
on the few old buildings standing still
from that fallen age.

The Wall is a little more contemporary
and easier to understand.
Keep people out, keep people in –
an impulse as old as stones and mortar
simple as a club or spear.

Our lives, so civilized to order
have more walls than ever
both hidden and apparent.

But this wall, so misplaced and divisive
could not stand for long.
A city, like a living thing
cannot endure division from itself.
And so the Wall came down.

Now tiny smart cars smartly zip, obliviously
over markers inset in the pavement
(Berlin Wall 1961-1989)
as if to symbolize the transformation
and to say, "oh, we tried all that, it doesn't work."
A more enlightened age
is thought to have arrived.

And perhaps, perhaps wishfully
it has, and come here first
in this old country
made wiser in its failed hubris.

And now I realize
that's what I like about it here.

For the first time in years
I am in a city, and country
at peace.
Written in Fall 2004, last revised 2019.
Traveler Sep 2018
The man behind the curtain
Speaking loud and certain
His image twisted and blurred
Larger than life
His armies and might
Imperialism is what he prefers

The little people do his bidden
On the senate floor of Oz
With pockets full
Of yellow brick gold
Their children live like gods

While those outside the castle
Have fallen fast to sleep
Trekking through the ***** field
Light upon their feet

The witches all have risen
From the four horizons
Of night
The  Emeralds City
Is riding on
The ruby slippers flight...
Traveler Tim
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