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Graff1980 Sep 2018
Swiftly,
I soared with
Tarzan level
agility.

Up in the air
only a couple of
feet,
barefoot flying
in my grandparents
garage
out in
a town so small
it should just be called
country.

A leap
imagining I am
flying fiercely,
daydreaming
then landing.

A piercing
pain pressing
through
the first foot
I landed on.

I looked down
shocked to see
a pointed top
of a rusted *****
staring up at me
right through
my foot
without a shoe.

Thus, the adventure
ended with
a wounded warrior
under ten
stumbling back in
to my grandparents’ house
after pulling that
pain in my foot
out.
Lone walker,
In the midst of the crowd his heart was always alone.
Sank into the belly of tribulations,
Unlike the missionary journey of Jonah he was vomited into
more woes.
Like how a beautiful mountain in a wilderness thirst for tourist
So his heart was hungry for love.
If loneliness is synonymous to poverty then he deserved this cross.

Lone walker,
He lonely walked on thorns, struggled with everything, sweated blood.
He lived a life of trapped miners in a cave miles below fresh air.

Lone walker,
Rain of respite barely shower on his path.
Sun bit his skin, dews often united with his tears,
For there was no even a free den for him to rest his head.

His days were worse than the trials of Job,
For he had not even a wife to encourage him to curse God and give up the ghost.
Like an eaglet without a falcon, he was accustomed to crying for his dying talents that was hidden too deep for any scout to discover.

To him the world was empty and void of helpers
Until a moment came when he decided to abort his worries, fears and his **** past.
In a flash he recalled the parable of the talents,
In a speed of lightning he stood and put his hidden gift into use.

I key my mind into the eyes of the reader of his biography,
As I stood in the midst of his children offspring in his burial ceremony fit for kings,
With the assurance that he is not walking alone to heaven or hell indeed
And surely his once lonely heart would be filled with merriment and peace.
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
spysgrandson Sep 2012
I was...

encased in a silver humming tube
shooting through blue sky and soft clouds

the attendant (my daughter’s age) stood
thin knuckles gripping the seat in front of me
whiter than clouds zipping past the window
her doe eyes transfixed on the men
praying with each shallow breath
they would ask nothing of her

some spoke English, some gibberish
waving their razors in ominous dance
slicing the air that carried their words

a pilot at their feet,
a thin red trail, a single line
the only biography he had
written on the cabin carpet
between the cockpit and
where they stood
barking at us, punctuating their orders with prayer and praise
to some God I did not know

“Al lah, A lah…”
more threatening chants
“Allah, Al lah”
more—a shrill scream interrupted this dream
as one yanked an attendant to his side—more venomous words
flying at us like poisoned arrows
(but all of us too frozen to move as these flew through pressurized air)
“please” the only word she uttered before she froze
eternally in the arms of her ****** assassin

the lump in my throat fell, I leaned forward and others did too
(I never saw, but surely they did)
trying to think through the hateful haze
to younger days
how to disarm an assailant—they had to teach me that
I had to remember that—we did that for our beret
but I couldn’t reach back
not further than that morning
when I said good bye to my son

still (“Al lah, Ah lah”—ripping anger from their guts)
I thought, I can do something

the attendant beside me, tears now flowing from lost eyes
(whose smooth blond hair now even looked like my daughter’s)
backed up, her trembling hand brushing my shoulder
(did I think, the last human touch for her, for me?)
my hands grabbed her fingers and I squeezed them gently
(just as I had my own child when I left her side at the altar—
did I say the same words, “Be happy, you deserve it...I love you”)
she looked at me, raindrop tears now instead of fears
we smiled faintly as I pulled her to my seat and rose to my feet

outside the windows
gray square stones now filled the air
blocking the morning sky
where are the clouds I thought…
but only for a second
we
are
not
hostages
we are…going to…

I did not feel the cabin floor as I moved towards the miscreant crew
between me and the cockpit door
I was young, light and agile again, sailing at them
their words no longer calling for their god
but now they spoke in direct command,
nothing of some promised land, but
“STOP OR WE WILL…”
we will…what?
Could I have laughed at the irony…
or we will what?

another now with me, no older than my son
(and looked like he as well)
headed down the aisle
towards men now racing to meet us
four against two
but somehow I knew we would never meet

the lump was in my throat again, my clenched fists relaxed
my own teary eyes turned to the windows, away from the maddening screams
and between endless glass, steel, and stone
I got a glimpse of pure blue sky
last night CNN had a special about 9/11--reminded me of this narrative written on the 5th or 6th anniversary of the event
tinhearts Jun 2018
It’s legendary
Your not original
You didn’t invent it
Darkness has always been a sad commentary when it comes into Light
You can change your own obituary
If you fight
Stop being a drone
Anyone can lye down and die
As a matter of fact
You think it’s fly
Allowing the demons to party
While you sit back
Submerged in your vice
Properly chosen
It does suffice
Till the fight
Who instigated it?
It’s the Light!
Not wanting to lose your soul
If only you could see
You would’ve been gone long ago
No poetry sessions
No heartfelt sadness
Emotional expressions undone
But there is a flame
Deep within
Fighting for the right
To have your soul
I take it that doesn’t mean much to you now
Trust me it will if it doesn’t turn out on the bright side
So hear what is unheard
See what is veiled to your eyes
Believe your not alone
And watch
Who’s going to win in your biography
Flip a coin
Or choose Light
Fight the good fight
I know it’s in you
Don’t allow the devil to delight
Picking his teeth
With satisfied appetite
Just say NO
The Light will always win
When someone chooses to ignite
Fear is a liar
Angels with POWER
Darkness and Light
Fight, but your WILL POWER
Wins hands down
When you chose sides
MIGHTY is the soul who fights for VICTORY
So shine it on or shine on
But remember it’s legendary
Your not original
But as your interested Samaritan
I’m betting on a luminary
Yes your shinning brightly
For at least a billion
Light years
Always
*
tinhearts~©️
We’re God's algorithm; not to be solved
but absolved
We’re the demarcation of the universe in time and space
We're cuticle cuts; we are fork and plate.  
Feast for the creatures that will replace us
with children devoid of faces.
We’re what sea creatures become of blood
when I sleep
Sheets of biography as some treatable
breathing disease
suspending me above the screed.

Einstein only believed in rods and clocks
not if their metals existed,
or if I cried as a child
watching the circus loading elephants.
Dark Fjord Aug 2018
there are these rays,
where no more stands
intermingling in between
the highway of our cupped hands

the sun of early hours
can not linger nor gloss these buildings
whose Armenians named Adrienne
or Connie lived One day at a time

only seen in these movies
we crave the scraps of the alleys
picked us up off the cutting room floor
vanishing before us
like the NY Times

we put to a soap on the sponge
one washes one plate to sitcoms
we go on casting calls
fallen off Broadway

pour onto the Stars our tears
on the Hollywood walk
or **** on or crush salt
only a memoir or biography
remnants remain

can we police ourselves back together
when no more Sands
intermingled in between the highway
of our cupped hands
can gloss the building of the bomb
their names were Adrienne and Connie.
AditiBoo Sep 2018
Write me a story
Let it be as raw as an uncut diamond
Let it flow like the curves of your body
Let it be as open as the horizon

Don't make it a biography
Don't make it fiction either
Let it be like an afterthought in history
An overlooked adventure

Pen down those moments that easily fade
Conceal our secrets in between the lines
Let cursive be the vehicle of this charade
A chronology of memoirs within the grapevines

Write me a story
As real as a freestyle of tears
As genuine as nature's fury
As timeless as the coming years

Don't stick to the truth
Don't limit yourself to what is done
Flirt with the innocence of youth
Don't stop even when you feel outdone

Let our joys make the headlines
Let our tribulations conclude in compromise
Let our sorrows serve as guidelines
Let hopelessness meet its demise

Write me a story
Of what could have been
Publish the story
Of what should have been
Sing to me what you wish and curse,
in a choir or solo verse.
Scribble down A poem or rhyme,
i’ll give it all of my time.
Sculpt and carve me your heart,
with all its many complex parts.
Paint me all that you dream,
the simple or thee extreme.
Draw me things of what you fear,
or what you hold close and dear.
Speak openly about your thoughts,
all that you seek and all you sought.
Suggest it in A metaphor,
so I can envision what you saw.
Act it out in A scripted story,
so I can marvel at what’s before me.
Write it like A biography,
so I may behold your odyssey.
Free hand me how it is you feel,
so I can see something that’s real.
Be yourself come as you were,
that’s the you that I prefer.
Ivan Mihajlovic Oct 2018
WRITER IN THE STORM
Scars on the soul, strange is the side, too much pain inside.
The wind carries the fall of the leaves to the other side.
How much does it price to get to Paradise?
God give some advice. Because of which vice I pay the price.

The street is long, black is the night, the old song is heard, I will start writing.
Time is wrong, nothing me affright.
The thought is like a gong, my shadow is bright.
I am writing in the storm, this is my battle,
The eagle sang that I was born, I have to stay hustle.
I like to see bees and  sworm, a dark fuddle.
The road is misinform, there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

Lightning creates my light in this deep and dark night.
A thunderous voice will soon be heard, I write, it's my choice.
I listen to the storm, I look wide, that's my thought on the other side.
Maybe I'll become a hero, or just a zero,
                                        Heavenly stars and night sky are my mirror.

In addition to the scar on my soul, I also carry an Orthodox cross.
I've crossed the road a long time ago.
I became my warrior, I broke the barrier.
I do not care about fame, I have my aim,
Knight of poetry is my other name, we are not all the same.

Everything is a bit strange on my way, I'm looking for some bay
I do not know exactly what, say: Something like a doorway in the game,
In the kingdom of peace, but somewhere far away.
Today or tomorrow I will make that sway.

While I write my words there is not a single border,
I am my own warrior and warder, I smoke the thought spark.
When I write, I enter completely, many words are dark,
My written words are my trademark.

It's a deep and inexplicable human destiny. He keeps running for you,
And increasing the intensity.
We have God's legacy, nature, this is something bestly,
You're a weird destiny, you create a diverse biography.
Alyssa Gaul Feb 20
I am a collection
of half-watched movies

End yet to-be-determined
Stuck in the middle bits

An unfinished  biography
of a life put on-pause

The characters have no future
Just like I have no future

My library remains full
An over-whelming archive

When will the master
finish the piece?

The follow through
is the most important part

The neurotic longs to discover
the treasure at the end of it all

Though sometimes the final destination
is only death or tragedy

Only pain and no closure
And nothing meaning anything

And maybe the movies are
half-finished because

I already know
I'll be disappointed in the ending.
Dondaycee Dec 2018
Everyone is stupid.
Everyone is genius.
Observation is judgement.
Assumptions convenient.

I fell inn love with my best friend,
It’s why I decided to extend,
Mind past the thoughts that were programmed,
An extended conscious; suspend,
Consumed psychoactives; transcend,
I seen what’s objective; pre-thoughts were neglected, I can no longer “pretend”,
I will no longer contend,
I can no longer commend;
I can only amend; new perspectives to my ideology using Scientology;
Everything that I express is a biography; I can only, (Ascend),

She got potential… I hope she keep her head up,
He’s preferential... he’s sure to be fed up,
May both be light that serves as something gentle,
Harmonies instrumental.

Sometimes I wish I defined none,
I feel like I’m only defining one,
Can’t picture a time that I’d run,
Can’t picture a time that I was done,

I’m wishing today we’ll choose to breathe,
Remember, forgive, and it’s a week,
Decisions were made in liberty…

I’m wishing for days where we’re free.
Suresh Gupta Apr 17
Untitled - IV
04/06/2019


This story has many tentacles
Fervently awaiting "The End"


I Am

Child                 Parent
Spouse        Divorcee
Abused       Abuser
Friend     Enemy
Loved Hated
Simple Simpleton
Transparent Evasive
Amenable Dogmatic
Fearing Fearful
Extremely naive Equally stupid




These and many more masks
That stare back at me
That even the tiniest shard
Reflects a different story

But then I know it too well
That the story I want to tell
Will vastly differ, when
To validate, others are compelled

Though the events remain the same
It's my perception that I hold
Or those viewed by others
Becomes the script on how it's told

I may choose to go it solo
Or rely on others viewpoint
But once exposed on the net
No place to hide in this joint

The critics will come forth
For they viewed it differently
Challenge my version of the tale
For misunderstanding the events, apparently

So you see,
So many tentacles says history
Present myself as a fictional character
Or tell it like a Biography
If I am honest with myself, I won't hold back and tell it like it was, the good, the bad and the ****. I had a thousand joyous moments and equally sad. Furthermore, I may recall it differently, to other participants of the same event. Even a simple activity, like swinging on a backyard swing, can be written up as a chapter. So many shards, so many tentacles ..... P.S, I drew this in Indian ink, a long time ago, and fits this poem perfectly.
I think about Bill, now & again, when I'm eating macaroni alone or
with horrible perverts who have no feel for Jesus-inspired morality.
“Listen to this,” the hobbyist advised, from a reading of game-show
host Bill Cullen's biography, “'Bill lived an active adult life until he
crapped out & his remains were flushed down a couple of toilets.'”

— The End —