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judy smith May 2016
For the fifth year in a row, Kering and Parsons School of Fashion rolled out the ‘Empowering Imagination’ design initiative. The competition engaged twelve 2016 graduates of the Parsons BFA Fashion Design program, who "were selected for their excellence in vision, acute awareness in design identity, and mastery of technical competencies." The winners, Ya Jun Lin and Tiffany Huang, will be awarded a 2-week trip to Kering facilities in Italy in June 2016 and will have their thesis collections featured in Saks Fifth Avenue New York’s windows.

The Kering and Parsons competition, which is currently in its fifth year, is one of a growing number of design competitions, including but not limited to the LVMH Prize, the ANDAM Awards, the Council of Fashion Designers of America/Vogue Fashion Fund, and its British counterpart, the Woolmark Prize, the Ecco Domani fashion award, and the Hyères Festival. among others.

In the generations prior, designers were certainly nominated for awards, but it seems that there was not nearly as intense of a focus on design competitions as a means for designers to get their footing, for design houses to scout talent, or for these competitions to select the best of the best in a especially large pool of young talent. Fern Mallis, the former executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and an industry consultant, told the New York Times: “Take the Calvin [Kleins] and the Donna [Karans] and the Ralph [Laurens] of the world. Some of these people had money from a friend or a partner who worked with them, but they weren’t out spending their time doing competitions and winning awards to get their business going.” She sheds light on an essential element: The relatively drastic difference between the state of fashion then and fashion now. Fashion then was slower, less global, and (a lot) less dominated by the internet, and so, it made for quite different circumstances for the building of a fashion brand.

Nowadays, young designers are more or less going full speed ahead right off the bat. They show comprehensive collections, many of which consist of garments and an array of accessories. They are expected to be active on social media. They are expected to establish a strong industry presence (think: Go to events and parties). They are expected to cope with the fashion business that has become large-scale and international. They are expected to collaborate to expand their reach, and while it does, at times, feel excessive, this is the reality because the industry is moving at such a quick pace, one that some argue is unsustainably rapid. The result is designers and design houses consistently building their brands and very rarely starting small. Case in point: Young brands showing pre-collections within a few years of setting up shop (for a total of four collections per year, not counting any collaboration or capsule collections), and established brands showing roughly four womenswear collections, four menswear collections, two couture collections, and quite often, a few diffusion collections each year.

The current climate of 'more is more' (more collections, more collaborations, more social media, more international know-how, etc.) in fashion is what sets currently emerging brands apart from older brands, many of which started small. This reality also sheds light on the increasing frequency with which designers rely on competitions as a means of gaining funds, as well as a means of establishing their names and not uncommonly, gaining outside funding.

The Ralphs, Tommys, Calvins and Perrys started off a bit differently. Ralph Lauren, for instance, started a niche business. The empire builder, now 74, got his start working at a department store then worked for a private label tie manufacturer (which made ties for Brooks Brothers and Paul Stuart). He eventually convinced them to let him make ties under the Polo label and work out of a drawer in their showroom. After gaining credibility thanks to the impeccable quality of his ties, he expanded into other things. Tommy Hilfiger similarly started with one key garment: Jeans. After making a name for himself by buying jeans, altering them into bellbottoms and reselling them at Brown’s in Manhattan, he opened a store catering to those that wanted a “rock star” aesthetic when he was 18-years old with $150. While the store went bankrupt by the time he was 25, it allowed him to get his foot in the door. He was offered design positions at Calvin Klein (who also got his start by focusing on a single garment: Coats. With $2,000 of his own money and $10,000 lent to him by a friend, he set up shop; in 1973, he got his big break when a major department store buyer accidentally walked into his showroom and placed an order for $50,000). Hilfiger was also offered a design position with Perry Ellis but turned them down to start his eponymous with help from the Murjani Group. Speaking of Perry Ellis, the NYU grad went to work at an upscale retail store in Virginia, where he was promoted to a buying/merchandising position in NYC, where he was eventually offered a chance to start his own label, a small operation. After several years of success, he spun it off as its own entity. Marc Jacobs, who falls into a bit of a younger generation, started out focusing on sweaters.

These few individuals, some of the biggest names in American fashion, obviously share a common technique. They intentionally started very small. They built slowly from there, and they had the luxury of being able to do so. Others, such as Hubert de Givenchy, Alexander McQueen and his successor Sarah Burton, Nicolas Ghesquière, Julien Macdonald, John Galliano and his successor Bill Gaytten, and others, spent time as apprentices, working up to design directors or creative directors, and maybe maintaining a small eponymous label on the side. As I mentioned, attempting to compare these great brand builders or notable creative directors to the young designers of today is a bit like comparing apples and oranges, as the nature of the market now is vastly different from what it looked like 20 years ago, let alone 30 or 40 years ago.

With this in mind, fashion competitions have begun to play an important role in helping designers to cope with the increasing need to establish a brand early on. It seems to me that winning (or nearly winning) a prestigious fashion competition results in several key rewards.

Primarily, it puts a designer's name and brand on the map. This is likely the least noteworthy of the rewards, as chances are, if you are selected to participate in a design competition, your name and brand are already out there to some extent as one of the most promising young designers of the moment.

Second are the actual prizes, which commonly include mentoring from industry insiders and monetary grants. We know that participation in competitions, such as the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, the Woolmark Prize, the Swarovski, Ecco Domani, the LVMH Prize, etc., gives emerging designers face time with and mentoring from some of the most successful names in the industry. Chris Peters, half of the label Creatures of the Wind (pictured above), whose brand has been nominated for half of the aforementioned awards says of such participation: “It feels like we’ve talked to possibly everyone in fashion that we can possibly talk to." The grants, which range anywhere from $25,o00 to $400,000 and beyond, are obviously important, as many emerging designers take this money and stage a runway show or launch pre-collections, which often affect the business' bottom line in a major and positive way.

The third benefit is, in my opinion, the most significant. It seems that competitions also provide brands with some reputability in terms of finding funding. At the moment, the sea of young brands which is terribly vast. Like law school graduates, there are a lot of design school graduates. With this in mind, these competitions are, for the most part, serving as a selection mechanism. Sure, the inevitable industry politics and alternate agendas exist (without which the finalists lists may look a bit different), but great talent is being scouted, nonetheless. Not only is it important to showcase the most promising young talent and provide them with mentoring and grant money, as a way of maintaining an industry, but these competitions also do a monumental service to young brands in terms of securing additional funding. One of the most challenging aspects of the business for young/emerging brands is producing and growing absent outside investors' funds, and often, the only way for brands' to have access to such funds is by showing a proven sales track record, something that is difficult to establish when you've already put all of your money into your business and it is just not enough. This is a frustrating cycle for young designers.

However, this is where design competitions are a saving grace. If we look to recent Council of Fashion Designers of America/Vogue Fashion Fund winners and runners-up, for instance, it is not uncommon to see funding (distinct from the grants associated with winning) come on the heels of successful participation. Chrome Hearts, the cult L.A.-based accessories label, acquired a minority stake in The Elder Statesman, the brand established by Greg Chait, the 2012 winner, this past March. A minority stake in 2011 winner Joseph Altuzarra's eponymous label was purchased by luxury conglomerate Kering in September 2013. Creatures of the Wind, the NYC-based brand founded by Shane Gabier and Chris Peters, which took home a runner-up prize in the 2011 competition, welcomed an investment from The Dock Group, a Los Angeles-based fashion investment firm, last year, as well.

Across the pond, the British Fashion Council/Vogue Fashion Fund has awarded prizes to a handful of designers who have gone on to land noteworthy investments. In January 2013, Christopher Kane (pictured below), the 2011 winner, sold a majority stake in his brand to Kering. Footwear designer Nicholas Kirkwood was named the winner 2013 in May and by September, a majority stake in his company had been acquired by LVMH.

Thus, while the exposure that fashion design competition participants gain, and the mentoring and monetary grants that the winners enjoy, are certainly not to be discounted, the takeaway is much larger than that. These competitions are becoming the new way for investors and luxury conglomerates to source new talent, and for young brands to land the outside investments that they so desperately need to produce their collections, expand their studio space, build upon their existing collections, and even open brick and mortar stores.

While no one has scooped up inaugural LVMH winner Thomas Tait’s brand yet or fellow winner, Marques'Almeida, it is likely just be a matter of time.Read more at:www.marieaustralia.com/short-formal-dresses | http://www.marieaustralia.com/formal-dresses-sydney
judy smith Oct 2016
Christophe Lemaire is a no frills, no fuss designer. After working as the artistic director of Lacoste and Hermès, Lemaire decided to give his full attention to his independent fashion brand, Lemaire, with partner Sarah-Linh Tran. The brand, which focuses on elevated pieces for everyday life, completed two very successfulcapsule collections with Uniqlo (both of which were called Uniqlo x Lemaire). When the time came for a third collection, however, Lemaire wanted to take his role at Uniqlo one step further, even if it meant personally devoting less time to his growing independent brand. "[It was] a little bit agitating, because I had just decided to focus on my own brand," Lemaire explains. "I didn't want to go back to more discussion, but I felt it was really something interesting to do, and I always dreamt of working for Uniqlo."

This summer, Lemaire was appointed as artistic director of the new Uniqlo Paris R&D; Centre, where he leads research and development for the LifeWear brand, and has designed a new Uniqlo line, Uniqlo U. The line takes clothing basics to a new level, focusing on quality and luxury to redefine Uniqlo's familiar essentials such as t-shirts and down jackets. The result is what Lemaire has strived to do with his own brand—everyday clothing for everyday life—for a wider audience. "It's a little bit of a humble approach, putting the same level of heart and passion that you can have in high fashion, but into an industrial product," says Lemaire.

NATALIA BARR: You said that you left your role at Hermès to focus on your own brand. Is your own brand still such a big priority for you?

CHRISTOPHE LEMAIRE: That's why I hesitated. I really thought about it a lot. I just wanted to make sure I would be able to set the right team, because I very much believe in the collective work and the team dynamic. With the right team, you can really save so much time and energy. Whereas if you don't have the right environment and the right support from the company, or the right team, it can be extremely tiring and frustrating. Today, I can say I have this great team at Uniqlo and of course at Lemaire. Also, at Lemaire, there is Sarah-Lin [Tran], my partner. We decided to not work together on this new Uniqlo project, so she would focus more on Lemaire, and I spend my time between Uniqlo and Lemaire. With great teams on both sides, it works—it's exciting and inspiring.

BARR: How did your past roles at other brands prepare you for this role you have now?

LEMAIRE: Being a head designer or art director or just even a designer, you need a certain level of experience and maturity. It's true that I've made mistakes, but I know I shouldn't do them again. [There are] so many things I've learned, and I'm still learning, actually. At Lacoste, I learned how to drive in a very conservative environment. I had to learn how to do politics, how to talk, how to explain, and how to communicate a vision, and the necessary link between marketing and creative teams. Also, very important, the shop experience, which was actually very frustrating at Lacoste. At Hermès it's different. I learned, maybe more than anywhere else, how to work around a legacy, and how to integrate a strong brand culture into my work. Also, to work with a completely different projection system and craftsmanship. Every company, of course, teaches you so much humanly and professionally [about] yourself and your creative process.

BARR: What is it about Uniqlo that made you dream of working there?

LEMAIRE: If I really think about what drove me from the beginning to become a designer, it is really the idea of trying to make everyday life a little bit better—to make it more functional, more desirable, to improve quality of life somehow. Through designing clothes, I try to bring solutions to people, and I'm interested in the everyday relationship we have to clothes. I'm not a designer who is very interested in baroque or in fantasy or in the fantastic side of fashion. This exists and this is important, but I'm interested in the very real dimensions. I'm interested in the poetry of reality. I try to bring as much taste, smartness, quality, functionality, and aesthetic qualities to everyday clothes. I'm interested in the intimate relationships we can have with those good clothes that we may have in our closets. I think we all have those particular pieces of clothes that we really like, because it ages well, because it fits you well, because you feel comfortable, and you feel confident in those clothes. All those aspects of good design are what I'm interested in. I'm trying just to do good clothes, clothes that you need as much as you want. For me, Uniqlo is an amazing environment. They have an amazing production system, and they have this capacity of bringing the best quality at the best price. There is something very democratic about it, which I really appreciate.

BARR: What was the inspiration for the Uniqlo U collection?

LEMAIRE: When we met with my team to start the very first collection, I told them, "Let's forget about themes and mood boards. Let's start from a different point of view. You have to leave for two months all of a sudden. What would you put in your suitcase? What are the twenty essential pieces that you will need and how would you design it to be cool, and you'll want to wear it?" That's just a different approach. It's about trying to propose, every season, the perfect wardrobe of elevated basics.

BARR: How is this collection different from your past collaborations with Uniqlo?

LEMAIRE: The past collaboration was very much a collaboration between Lemaire and Uniqlo. It was very much Sarah-Lin and I bringing a Lemaire twist to a Uniqlo environment. This one was different, because we really are extremely faithful to the DNA. I had to convince Uniqlo about that because at first, they wanted us to do a new collaboration. Then we said, "No, we have to focus on our brand." Then they said, "Why don't we put your name on the label, and it's Christophe Lemaire for Uniqlo?" And I said, "No. Fashion people will care, but I don't think Uniqlo consumers will. Let's try to bring more style into basics, and let's touch real people all around the world, people who don't really care who Christophe Lemaire is." It's not a short designer collaboration. The idea is to bring another layer of constant product that is Uniqlo, and complementary to the main line.

BARR: How do you approach designing a collection that is meant to carry basics in a fresh and artistic way?

LEMAIRE: This is what I've always been interested in, trying to make timeless, functional, real clothes. Everywhere I've been working, I always had in mind the final destination of the clothes, which is the consumer. For me, the fashion show, the image, the shooting, is just a step. It's just a moment, but it's not the final destination. There are so many things to do within that concept of basic with a twist. It's very subtle. It's a thin line between becoming too fashionable or becoming boring. You have to find this balance to create something that is obvious, but at the same time exciting. I don't know if we achieved that, but this is what we had in mind. How we get to that, it's difficult to explain. It depends, but it might be the color, the details, or the choice in the material. I'm proud of what we came up with in terms of product. I don't think a fast fashion brand can really say the same about the quality of the product. We come up with products that are of good qualities in terms of lasting and the way it ages. If not, it's a failure for us.

BARR: Do you have a favorite piece or part of the collection?

LEMAIRE: That's a tricky one. The sweaters are amazing. The knitwear is very good quality. My personal favorite is a simple crewneck sweatshirt for men that I wear every day, just because of the quality of it. It's a French terry. It's quite heavy and round. We were actually surprised to be able to do that for Uniqlo, because even in the good sportswear, streetwear brands, you can't find that quality. Simple things like that, that make my life easier.Read more at:http://www.marieaustralia.com/mermaid-trumpet-formal-dresses | www.marieaustralia.com/blue-formal-dresses
judy smith Apr 2015
If there was an award for the oddest pairing in fashion, it would go to Jonathan Anderson and Spanish house Loewe. More than a few eyebrows were raised when the designer, who is better known for his conceptual unisex collections and dressing men in cropped tops, was handed the reins to the heritage brand that is all about "luxe" (in other words: conservative) leather goods.

In person, Anderson looks more like an extra from a Saint Laurent runway show than creative director of one of Spain's most treasured possessions. He's dressed in a typical model uniform of white tee and jeans, complete with dark sunglasses and a cigarette dangling from his fingers. A mop of tousled, highlighted blond hair adds to his boyish charm, although he is quick to assert that looks can be deceiving.

"Fashion ultimately imitates life and in life things don't always look good together from the outset," he says. "I know a certain style is good when I feel uncomfortable with it - those looks turn out to be the best. You have to challenge yourself with things you don't like or don't know."

Taking on a brand reinvention is probably one of the biggest challenges the 30-year-old Irish designer has faced in his short but successful career. A former Prada window dresser, he studied menswear at London College of Fashion and launched his eponymous line in 2008 to critical acclaim. He's been nominated for many awards and even collaborated with the likes of Versus.

In 2013 everything changed when LVMH took a minority stake in his label and offered him the role of creative director at Loewe in the hope that he could transform the dormant house into a modern success story along the lines of Givenchy and Céline. The Loewe gig wasn't originally part of the deal but that changed quickly following a covert visit to the Loewe factory.

"Truth is I just fell in love with the people," he says. "I met the master modeller and leather developer, and I thought this brand can be huge. Loewe was never on my radar, but when I went there I could not understand why it had never been articulated in a way that it wasn't global. I questioned if I wanted to do this, but once I started creating a book of ideas, I couldn't stop."

Although Loewe has a network of stores around the world, it was not a brand that many people took notice of (a fact not helped by its unpronounceable name, which for the record is pronounced Lo-Wev-Eh).

So Anderson decided to adopt a more controversial approach to the rebranding. Much like Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent, he unveiled a fresh new identity, including a sleek new logo designed by graphic duo M/M (Paris) and an eye-catching campaign featuring a selection of vintage Steven Meisel images.

"I did a year of research before I started and realised we had to remove the date and city location from the logo. One of my skills is that I am very marketing directed," he says.

While many creative directors use runway shows as a platform to showcase their vision, Anderson focused first on the fundamentals of the brand and what it does best: leather goods. Soon Loewe's iconic buttery soft leather was transformed into covetable designs such as the best-selling Puzzle Bag, the Colourblock Flamenco Crossbody and a range of minimalist clutches and totes embossed with the discreet new logo.

"There are not many brands in the world that are built up in that way. We have such incredible leather knowledge in hand at Loewe and I had to use that," he says.

Next on his list was adding a more personal element to the brand in the form of culture. Along came various projects, including working with renowned Japanese ceramicist Tomoo Hamada on two exclusive pieces for the Tokyo store, inspired by the brand's DNA. His most recent project, which was unveiled in Hong Kong last week, features prints by British textile artist John Allen, which have appeared on a range of summer essentials, from bags to towels.

"When I was looking at what other brands were offering, none of them really dealt with this culture idea," Anderson says.

That's not to say that ready-to-wear takes a back seat at Loewe. This is an area where Anderson has been most prolific, producing both ready-to-wear and pre-collections for men and women which are shown in Paris.

"Marc Jacobs fundamentally opened up the idea that clothing was needed to articulate leather goods. It came from a moment in the 1990s where he changed our thinking on old houses. I've learned through my lifetime that you need a character to tell a story - a bag cannot be isolated. People need something tangible to hold onto and ready-to-wear creates newness," he says.

There's no doubt that his clothing brings a fresh perspective to the brand. His menswear collections feature everything from slouchy raw-silk tunic and turned-up jeans to knitted palazzo pants, each imbued with his signature androgynous touches. His woman is powerful and dressed boldly in blouson blouses made from patchwork leather and wide-legged trousers.

While many critics have embraced the new Loewe look wholeheartedly, others have not been complimentary, saying that Anderson's work is derivative. Not that Anderson is letting it get to him.

"I had to stop reading what people write. I have to be me. I want the brand to be big, and will do everything to make it happen, but I don't want to change who I fundamentally am. You either like what I say or don't," he says.

"I am bored of the days where we are obsessed with the idea that certain designers owned things. You own nothing. Fashion is not about that. It's about reappropriating things, it's how you edit it."

Like most 21st century designers, Anderson is obsessed with the future and creating a brand that is truly of the moment: he has lofty goals to bring Loewe to the next generation of consumers.

"The idea of relevance is the idea that you can be rejected tomorrow. We live in a culture that moves very fast, so that relevance is short-lived. My biggest goal in the next five years is to get to the point where we will do a show and, the day after, the collection is in store. It means we are designing for the moment that it is going out. That's my dream."Read more here:marieaustralia.com | www.marieaustralia.com/short-formal-dresses
judy smith Apr 2015
The Pakistan Fashion Design Council in collaboration with Sunsilk presented the fourth and final day of the eighth PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week. Indeed the 8th PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week marked the twelfth fashion week platform initiated by the Pakistan Fashion Design Council [with eight weeks of prêt-à-porter and four of bridal fashion] and was a direct manifestation of the Council’s commitment to sustainability and discipline within the business of fashion and the facilitation of Pakistan’s retail industry. Indeed #PSFW15 endeavoured to define and present trends for 2015, focusing specifically on fashion for the regions’ long hot summer months. Day-4 featured High-Street Fashion shows by the House of Arsalan Iqbal, Erum Khan, Chinyere and Hassan Riaz and designer prêt-à-porter shows by Sana Safinaz, Republic by Omar Farooq, Syeda Amera, Huma & Amir Adnan, Sania Maskatiya and HSY.

Speaking about the PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week platform, Chairperson of the PFDC, Sehyr Saigol said: “With the 12th iteration of our critically acclaimed fashion weeks, the PFDC is always working to streamline our prêt-à-porter platform to make the PSFW experience more beneficial for all stakeholders in terms of show experience, exposure and ultimately, retail value. To that end, each year we look inward to find the best possible formats and categories to benefit the very trade and business of fashion. In this vein, we introduced 3 separate categories for Luxury/Prêt, High Street and Textile at PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week, giving each entirely separate show space, times, audience exposure and viewing power. Our High Street fashion brands had been given a standalone show time on two separate days as early evening shows and Textile brands a separate dedicated day for Voile shows on Day 3 of PSFW 2015, a measured step to further highlight Pakistan’s textile prowess and high street fashion strength which are of significant importance to national and international fashion markets. As per past tradition, we continue to work closely with all our emerging designers and mainstream brands to help hone their collections for the runway through mentorship by senior PFDC Council members and with retail support through the PFDC’s own stores and network. We are grateful for the committed support of our sponsors and partners which provides us the stimulus to further enhance our fashion week platforms and put forth the best face of Pakistani fashion on a consistent basis.”

“The Sunsilk girl is an achiever, with an air of enthusiasm and positivity. Great hair can give her the extra dose of confidence so with Sunsilk by her side, she is empowered to take on life. Fashion is very close to this aspirational Pakistani girl making the PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week a highly valued platform for us. We recognize PFDC’s efforts to promote the fashion industry and experienced and upcoming talent alike. Sunsilk has been a part of this fantastic journey for 6 consecutive years and continues to shape aspirations, taking contemporary fashion directly to the homes of consumers and encouraging them to script their own stories of success” said Asanga Ranasinghe, VP Home and Personal Care for Unilever Pakistan.

On the concluding day of #PSFW15, the Chairperson of the PFDC Mrs. Sehyr Saigol also made a special announcement on behalf of the Council and its Board Members, where she shared the Council’s plans to establish Pakistan’s first ever craft based Design District, a multi-purpose specialized facility that would assist in developing and enhancing the arts and crafts industries, which are an integral part of Pakistan’s rich cultural legacy. In addition to being a centre for skill improvement and capacity building, the Design District would also house a first of its kind Textile Museum.

The official spokesperson of the PFDC, Sara Shahid of Sublime by Sara also announced the official dates for the Council’s next fashion week, PFDC L’Oréal Paris Bridal Week 2015 which is scheduled to be held from 15th September to 17th September 2015.

Indeed the success of PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week continued to prompt private sector associates to grow in their engagement of the platform to launch new marketing campaigns and promotional activities. To this end, the PFDC’s evolving partnership with Sunsilk grew exponentially this year whereby in addition to their title patronage; Sunsilk also took over the coveted PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week red carpet and the Green Room/Backstage, as sponsors. This extension of their support is indeed a manifestation of the brand’s belief in and commitment to the platform. Also in continuation of their support for the platform, Fed Ex – GSP Pakistan Gerry’s International returned to PSFW as the official logistics partner, offering the PFDC a special arrangement for international designer consignments.

PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week 2015 was styled by the creative teams at Nabila’s and NGENTS. Light design, set design, sound engineering, video packaging, choreography and show production from concept to construction was by HSY Events, front stage management by Maheen Kardar Ali, backstage management by Product 021, Sara Shahid of Sublime by Sara as the official spokesperson for the PFDC, logistics and operations by Eleventh Experience and photography by Faisal Farooqui and the team at Dragonfly, Hum TV/Hum Sitaray as the Official Media Partners, CityFM89 as the Official Radio Partners with all media management by Lotus Client Management & Public Relations.

High-Street Fashion Shows

The House of Arsalan Iqbal

The afternoon High-Street Fashion Shows on the final day of PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week 2015 were opened by leading fashion brand The House of Arsalan Iqbal, who showcased a collection titled ‘Devolution Chic’. Inspired by street art across the world by various artists, European high-street trends and technique of quilting, Arsalan Iqbal garnered personal portfolios of graffitists from myriad urban cityscapes such as London, New York, Tokyo, Barcelona and Cape Town, juxtaposed with some unique in-house created patterns including those of Pac-man, calligraphic flourishes and aqua and tangerine bands and circlets. Based in chiffon, the ensembles were molded into voluminous structured silhouettes including draped tunics, edgy jumpsuits and wide palazzos dovetailed with off-white and ecru charmeuse silk jackets created with a revolutionary quilting process. Along with menswear pieces, the collection also included in-house footwear and jewellery made in collaboration with pioneering Karachi-based street artist SANKI.

Erum Khan

Designer Erum Khan followed next and made her PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week debut with ‘The Untainted Shine’. The collection took its inspiration from the sparkle of twinkling stars, a walk on pearl dew in the morning and the enchanted glow which is produced when “a magic wand” is waved around the body, making it glow in a pearlescent white and exhibiting a jewel themed lustre on the body. With neat and straight structured cuts, Erum had used fabrics such as organza combined with silk, 3D flowers, patch work and antique katdanna in a collection which was based in a white colour palette. Trends highlighted in the collection were high waist skirts to button up pants and sheer long dresses. Acclaimed Pakistani musician Goher Mumtaz and his wife Anam Ahmed walked the ramp as the designer’s celebrity showstoppers.

Chinyere

Following Erum Khan, fashion brand Chinyere showcased its Spring/Summer 2015 High-Street collection ‘Mizaj-e-Shahana’ at PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week 2015. An ode to the era of the Mughal royalty and their imperial aesthetic, the collection comprised of modern silhouettes and traditional embellishments with organza skirts paired with cropped tops, angarkha-peplum tops with embellished cigarette pants, sheer knee-length jackets paired with structured digital printed bustier-jumpsuits, diaphanous wrap-around boot-cuts and embellished boxy sleeves with soft A-line silhouettes. Chinyere also showcased ten menswear pieces comprising of waistcoats, jodhpurs, knee-length sherwanis paired with gossamer sheer kurtas. The colours used had been divided into a collection of distinctive Mughalesque pastels and jewel tones. The pastels included the classic marble ivory-on-ivory, the bold black, saffron, gold and ivory. The colour segments also included metallic gold and grey sections, with accents of bronze and black. The jewel tones included jade, emerald, ruby and sapphire.

Hassan Riaz

The concluding High-Street fashion show of PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week 2015 was presented by Hassan Riaz who showcased his ‘Contained Shadows’ collection. Inspired by the diverse facets of the human soul that explore both the dark and light sides of human nature, taking into account yearnings, desires, and anxieties that make us distinctly human, Hassan had based the collection in summer twill, organza and summer denim in shades of blue and white with a gold accent to reflect upon his inspirations. ‘Contained Shadows’ made use of structured and drifting silhouettes, cage crinolines with corsets and bustiers with distinct trends featuring cropped tops, nautical accents, experiments with transparency and patchworks of metal mixed & matched with flowers.

Designer Showcases

Sana Safinaz

PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week 2015’s evening [rêt shows on the fourth and final day was opened by premier designer label Sana Safinaz. Sana Safinaz’s PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week collection was inspired by monochromatic structured looks with pops of color. The collection was based in luxe fabrics such as kattan, silks, fine silk organza and dutches satin in a colour palette majorly based in black and white with strong vibrant pop infusions.
Key trends being highlighted were the oversized T, constructions-clean lines, simplicity of cuts and effective embellishments.

Republic by Omar Farooq

Following Sana Safinaz, acclaimed menswear brand Republic By Omar Farooqshowcased a collection titled ‘Que Sera, Sera!’ (whatever will be, will be!). Omar Farooq had used a variety of luxe fabrics such as suede, linen, chiffon, cotton, cotton silk and wool silk. A collection for all seasons, the ensembles built upon the label’s signature aesthetics while providing a new take on contemporary menswear. Acclaimed media personality Fawad Khan walked the ramp as the brand’s celebrity showstopper.

Syeda Amera

The third Prêt show of the final day of PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week 2015 was presented by designer Syeda Amera who made her ramp debut with ‘The World of Sea’. Inspired by love for the enchanting underwater, the collection was based in premium quality organza, jersey, nets and silks with delicate cuts and embellishments consisting of beads, sequins and feathers to reflect the collection’s aquatic theme. ‘The World of Sea’ featured a palette of aqua marine, scupa blue, powder pink, grey blue, tequila sunrise yellow, orange and lagoon green with trends that employed skirt layering, frills and ruffles and flared pants.

Huma & Amir Adnan

Following Syeda Amera, Huma & Amir Adnan showcased a joint collection for the first time at a fashion exhibition. Both Huma and Amir feel that as a couple they share their lives and draw synergies and their collection ‘Symphony’ was an epitome of how two people can revolve around the same concept in harmony, while maintaining their individual distinction. Showcasing both menswear and women’s wear at PSFW 2015, Huma and Amir had used a mix of fabrics, textures and embellishments with a complex collection of weaves, prints and embroideries in silk, linen, cotton and microfiber. The color palette included midnight blue, emerald green, wet earth, aubergine, ivory, old paper, turmeric, leaf and magenta. Key trends highlighted in the collection were long shirts, double layered shirts, printed vests and jackets, textured pants, colored shoes for men and layers of multi-textured fabrics, tighter silhouette, vests and jackets for women.

Sania Maskatiya

Designer Sania Maskatiya showcased the penultimate Luxury/Prêt collection of the evening at PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week 2015. This S/S ’15, Sania Maskatiya took audiences on a fashion journey to ‘Paristan’ – a place of fairytale whimsy at PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week. With a colour palette ranging from the softest shades of daybreak to the deepest hues of nightfall, ‘Paristan’ was a collection of playful, dreamlike prêt ensembles. Featuring luxury fabrics like silk, organza, charmeuse and crepe, the pieces followed the brand’s signature silhouettes, both structured and fluid. Beads and sequins embellished varied hemlines and multiple layering, all set against captivating scenes of mirth and magic. Motifs ranged from the sublime to nonsensical; friendly mice and naughty elves, clocks and teapots, flowering fields and star-filled skies, princesses and ponies.

HSY

Day-4’s finale was presented by acclaimed couturier HSY who showcased a collection titled ‘INK’; a collection inspired by Asia and specifically HSY’s journeys to The Land of the Rising Sun. INK represented the essence of Langkawi, Indonesia, Nagasaki, and Yunnan with natural and indigenous yarns, hand-woven to perfection. The collection featured the traditional dyeing techniques of Shibori from Nagasaki, Batik from Indonesia, and Gara from Sierra Leone infused with mackintosh, saffron, aubergine, eggshell, rosette, indigo and ochre. Created with the scorching sub continental summer in mind, INK channelled versatile hemlines to suit a diversity of younger, older, working men, women and homemakers alike.Read more here:www.marieaustralia.com/long-formal-dresses | www.marieaustralia.com/formal-dresses-brisbane
Arcassin B Apr 2017
By Arcassin Burnham

You fell too many times til you fell on your face,
Taking problems into your own hands,you need space,
I Don't know what this means for the human race,
But I'd give anything right now to see your face,

When you were younger, you had dreams that faded,
When you were younger,* you had things you loved,
When you were younger, *your friends moved away,
When you were younger, you had things to say,
theres a light here , a light there,
at the end of the tunnel,
now theres a light here , a light there,
at the end of the tunnel,
theres a light here , a light there,
at the end of the tunnel,
now theres a light here , a light there,
at the end of the tunnel,
fall in the rabbit hole,

The things that you've been through in your life was a phase,
you kept scrapbooks of everything just in case,
and even though to your parents you were a disgrace,
And i don't care,
cause I'd give anything right now to see your face,

When you were younger, you had dreams that faded,
When you were younger,* you had things you loved,
When you were younger, *your friends moved away,
When you were younger, you had things to say,
theres a light here , a light there,
at the end of the tunnel,
now theres a light here , a light there,
at the end of the tunnel,
theres a light here , a light there,
at the end of the tunnel,
now theres a light here , a light there,
at the end of the tunnel,
fall in the rabbit hole.

/

I swear they always want something brand new..
I swear they always want something brand new..
when it comes back around, what you gonna do?
I swear they always crave something brand new..
Why you try to come around pulling my card..
looking for a problem straight out the yard..
And i'm like why you gotta be brand new..
I swear they always gotta be brand new.
©abpoetry2017
http://arcassin.blogspot.com/2017/04/when-you-were-younger-pt5-brand-new.html
John Stevens Dec 2013
© 07-04-04 John L. Stevens

Every morning I wake up
To a brand new day.
Every morning I talk to You
Praise You as I pray.
Every morning is a wonderful day.
————————-
Every day I can praise Your Holy name
For the love You’ve given me.
Every day I can live my life for You
In Your will, I want to be.
Every day You give me peace within
In my heart, in my life.
Every day You calm the troubled waters
And take away the strife.
It’s a day one step closer to You.
It’s a day full of joy in You.

Every morning I wake up
To a brand new day.
Every morning I talk to You
Praise You as I pray.
Every morning is a wonderful day.
————————-

Every day I can see Your works abound
In the mountains and valleys below.
Every day I catch the fragrance in the air.
Of the flowers you did sow.
Every day in the quiet times with You
I seek Your wonderful face.
Every day I listen to Your voice
I know I’m saved by Your grace.
It’s a day of rejoicing in You.
It’s a day of sweet peace in You.

Every morning I wake up
To a brand new day.
Every morning I talk to You
Praise You as I pray.
Every morning is a wonderful day.
————————-
Every day I can see the rugged cross
Where You bled and died for me.
Every day I can follow in Your steps.
Where You lead me, in the path I see.
Every day I can glorify Your name
In the closet, in the street.
Every day You are raised up on high.
For other lost souls to meet.
It’s a day full of grace in You.
It’s a day of sweet mercy in You.

On the morning I wake up
To Heaven’s brand new day.
On this morning in Your presence.
I’ll finally make my way.
This morning will be a glorious day.
This morning will be a glorious day
On this day I will touch Your face.
All Your glory above I will see.
On this day when pain and sorrow cease.
The race is finished for me.
It’s the day I find glory in You.
It’s the day I find glory in You.

-Ending – - – - – - – - -
I can see the gates of Heaven
The lights are shining bright.
I can see the angels rushing
On wings of silent flight.
When I’m standing in Your presence.
There no darkness turns to night.
What a day of rejoicing this will be.
What a day of rejoicing this will be.
- – - – - – -
This morning I’ve awakened.
To Heaven’s brand new day.
This morning in Your presence.
I’ve finally made my way.
This morning is a glorious day.
This morning is a glorious day.
- – - – - – -
This morning I’ve awakened.
. . .
This morning in Your presence.
. . .
This morning is a glorious day.
Rev(8-31-04)


“Every morning I wake up is a good day.
Every morning I wake up and give God
the glory, is a wonderful day.
The morning I wake up to Heaven’s
brand new day, is a glorious day indeed.”  jls
05-15-16. Replaced with complete version written in 2004.
Every day is one day closer to crossing the finish line of life. The race will be done. May God Bless you this day.
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
So all day long the noise of battle roll'd
Among the mountains by the winter sea;
Until King Arthur's table, man by man,
Had fallen in Lyonnesse about their Lord,
King Arthur: then, because his wound was deep,
The bold Sir Bedivere uplifted him,
Sir Bedivere, the last of all his knights,
And bore him to a chapel nigh the field,
A broken chancel with a broken cross,
That stood on a dark strait of barren land.
On one side lay the ocean, and on one
Lay a great water, and the moon was full.

      Then spake King Arthur to Sir Bedivere:
"The sequel of to-day unsolders all
The goodliest fellowship of famous knights
Whereof this world holds record. Such a sleep
They sleep--the men I loved. I think that we
Shall never more, at any future time,
Delight our souls with talk of knightly deeds,
Walking about the gardens and the halls
Of Camelot, as in the days that were.
I perish by this people which I made,--
Tho' Merlin sware that I should come again
To rule once more--but let what will be, be,
I am so deeply smitten thro' the helm
That without help I cannot last till morn.
Thou therefore take my brand Excalibur,
Which was my pride: for thou rememberest how
In those old days, one summer noon, an arm
Rose up from out the ***** of the lake,
Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful,
Holding the sword--and how I row'd across
And took it, and have worn it, like a king:
And, wheresoever I am sung or told
In aftertime, this also shall be known:
But now delay not: take Excalibur,
And fling him far into the middle mere:
Watch what thou seest, and lightly bring me word."

      To him replied the bold Sir Bedivere:
"It is not meet, Sir King, to leave thee thus,
Aidless, alone, and smitten thro' the helm.
A little thing may harm a wounded man.
Yet I thy hest will all perform at full,
Watch what I see, and lightly bring thee word."

      So saying, from the ruin'd shrine he stept
And in the moon athwart the place of tombs,
Where lay the mighty bones of ancient men,
Old knights, and over them the sea-wind sang
Shrill, chill, with flakes of foam. He, stepping down
By zigzag paths, and juts of pointed rock,
Came on the shining levels of the lake.

      There drew he forth the brand Excalibur,
And o'er him, drawing it, the winter moon,
Brightening the skirts of a long cloud, ran forth
And sparkled keen with frost against the hilt:
For all the haft twinkled with diamond sparks,
Myriads of topaz-lights, and jacinth work
Of subtlest jewellery. He gazed so long
That both his eyes were dazzled, as he stood,
This way and that dividing the swift mind,
In act to throw: but at the last it seem'd
Better to leave Excalibur conceal'd
There in the many-knotted water-flags,
That whistled stiff and dry about the marge.
So strode he back slow to the wounded King.

      Then spake King Arthur to Sir Bedivere:
"Hast thou perform'd my mission which I gave?
What is it thou hast seen, or what hast heard?"

      And answer made the bold Sir Bedivere:
"I heard the ripple washing in the reeds,
And the wild water lapping on the crag."

      To whom replied King Arthur, faint and pale:
"Thou hast betray'd thy nature and thy name,
Not rendering true answer, as beseem'd
Thy fealty, nor like a noble knight:
For surer sign had follow'd, either hand,
Or voice, or else a motion of the mere.
This is a shameful thing for men to lie.
Yet now, I charge thee, quickly go again
As thou art lief and dear, and do the thing
I bade thee, watch, and lightly bring me word."

      Then went Sir Bedivere the second time
Across the ridge, and paced beside the mere,
Counting the dewy pebbles, fixed in thought;
But when he saw the wonder of the hilt,
How curiously and strangely chased, he smote
His palms together, and he cried aloud,

      "And if indeed I cast the brand away,
Surely a precious thing, one worthy note,
Should thus be lost forever from the earth,
Which might have pleased the eyes of many men.
What good should follow this, if this were done?
What harm, undone? deep harm to disobey,
Seeing obedience is the bond of rule.
Were it well to obey then, if a king demand
An act unprofitable, against himself?
The King is sick, and knows not what he does.
What record, or what relic of my lord
Should be to aftertime, but empty breath
And rumours of a doubt? but were this kept,
Stored in some treasure-house of mighty kings,
Some one might show it at a joust of arms,
Saying, 'King Arthur's sword, Excalibur,
Wrought by the lonely maiden of the Lake;
Nine years she wrought it, sitting in the deeps
Upon the hidden bases of the hills.'
So might some old man speak in the aftertime
To all the people, winning reverence.
But now much honour and much fame were lost."

      So spake he, clouded with his own conceit,
And hid Excalibur the second time,
And so strode back slow to the wounded King.

      Then spoke King Arthur, breathing heavily:
"What is it thou hast seen, or what hast heard?"

      And answer made the bold Sir Bedivere:
"I heard the water lapping on the crag,
And the long ripple washing in the reeds."

      To whom replied King Arthur, much in wrath:
"Ah, miserable and unkind, untrue,
Unknightly, traitor-hearted! Woe is me!
Authority forgets a dying king,
Laid widow'd of the power in his eye
That bow'd the will. I see thee what thou art,
For thou, the latest-left of all my knights,
In whom should meet the offices of all,
Thou wouldst betray me for the precious hilt;
Either from lust of gold, or like a girl
Valuing the giddy pleasure of the eyes.
Yet, for a man may fail in duty twice,
And the third time may prosper, get thee hence:
But, if thou spare to fling Excalibur,
I will arise and slay thee with my hands."

      Then quickly rose Sir Bedivere, and ran,
And, leaping down the ridges lightly, plunged
Among the bulrush-beds, and clutch'd the sword,
And strongly wheel'd and threw it. The great brand
Made lightnings in the splendour of the moon,
And flashing round and round, and whirl'd in an arch,
Shot like a streamer of the northern morn,
Seen where the moving isles of winter shock
By night, with noises of the northern sea.
So flash'd and fell the brand Excalibur:
But ere he dipt the surface, rose an arm
Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful,
And caught him by the hilt, and brandish'd him
Three times, and drew him under in the mere.
And lightly went the other to the King.

      Then spoke King Arthur, drawing thicker breath:
"Now see I by thine eyes that this is done.
Speak out: what is it thou hast heard, or seen?"

      And answer made the bold Sir Bedivere:
"Sir King, I closed mine eyelids, lest the gems
Should blind my purpose, for I never saw,
Nor shall see, here or elsewhere, till I die,
Not tho' I live three lives of mortal men,
So great a miracle as yonder hilt.
Then with both hands I flung him, wheeling him;
But when I look'd again, behold an arm,
Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful,
That caught him by the hilt, and brandish'd him
Three times, and drew him under in the mere."

      And answer made King Arthur, breathing hard:
"My end draws nigh; 't is time that I were gone.
Make broad thy shoulders to receive my weight,
And bear me to the margin; yet I fear
My wound hath taken cold, and I shall die."

      So saying, from the pavement he half rose,
Slowly, with pain, reclining on his arm,
And looking wistfully with wide blue eyes
As in a picture. Him Sir Bedivere
Remorsefully regarded thro' his tears,
And would have spoken, but he found not words,
Then took with care, and kneeling on one knee,
O'er both his shoulders drew the languid hands,
And rising bore him thro' the place of tombs.

      But, as he walk'd, King Arthur panted hard,
Like one that feels a nightmare on his bed
When all the house is mute. So sigh'd the King
Muttering and murmuring at his ear, "Quick, quick!
I fear it is too late, and I shall die."
But the other swiftly strode from ridge to ridge,
Clothed with his breath, and looking, as he walk'd
Larger than human on the frozen hills.
He heard the deep behind him, and a cry
Before. His own thought drove him like a goad.
Dry clash'd his harness in the icy caves
And barren chasms, and all to left and right
The bare black cliff clang'd round him, as he based
His feet on juts of slippery crag that rang
Sharp-smitten with the dint of armed heels--
And on a sudden, lo! the level lake,
And the long glories of the winter moon.

      Then saw they how there hove a dusky barge
Dark as a funeral scarf from stem to stern,
Beneath them; and descending they were ware
That all the decks were dense with stately forms
Black-stoled, black-hooded, like a dream--by these
Three Queens with crowns of gold--and from them rose
A cry that shiver'd to the tingling stars,
And, as it were one voice, an agony
Of lamentation, like a wind, that shrills
All night in a waste land, where no one comes,
Or hath come, since the making of the world.

      Then murmur'd Arthur, "Place me in the barge,"
And to the barge they came. There those three Queens
Put forth their hands, and took the King, and wept.
But she that rose the tallest of them all
And fairest, laid his head upon her lap,
And loosed the shatter'd casque, and chafed his hands,
And call'd him by his name, complaining loud
And dropping bitter tears against his brow
Striped with dark blood: for all his face was white
And colourless, and like the wither'd moon
Smote by the fresh beam of the springing east;
And all his greaves and cuisses dash'd with drops
Of onset; and the light and lustrous curls--
That made his forehead like a rising sun
High from the dais-throne--were parch'd with dust;
Or, clotted into points and hanging loose,
Mix'd with the knightly growth that fringed his lips.
So like a shatter'd column lay the King;
Not like that Arthur who, with lance in rest,
From spur to plume a star of tournament,
Shot thro' the lists at Camelot, and charged
Before the eyes of ladies and of kings.

      Then loudly cried the bold Sir Bedivere:
"Ah! my Lord Arthur, whither shall I go?
Where shall I hide my forehead and my eyes?
For now I see the true old times are dead,
When every morning brought a noble chance,
And every chance brought out a noble knight.
Such times have been not since the light that led
The holy Elders with the gift of myrrh.
But now the whole ROUND TABLE is dissolved
Which was an image of the mighty world;
And I, the last, go forth companionless,
And the days darken round me, and the years,
Among new men, strange faces, other minds."

      And slowly answer'd Arthur from the barge:
"The old order changeth, yielding place to new,
And God fulfils Himself in many ways,
Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.
Comfort thyself: what comfort is in me?
I have lived my life, and that which I have done
May He within Himself make pure! but thou,
If thou shouldst never see my face again,
Pray for my soul. More things are wrought by prayer
Than this world dreams of. Wherefore, let thy voice
Rise like a fountain for me night and day.
For what are men better than sheep or goats
That nourish a blind life within the brain,
If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer
Both for themselves and those who call them friend?
For so the whole round earth is every way
Bound by gold chains about the feet of God.
But now farewell. I am going a long way
With these thou seest--if indeed I go--
(For all my mind is clouded with a doubt)
To the island-valley of Avilion;
Where falls not hail, or rain, or any snow,
Nor ever wind blows loudly; but it lies
Deep-meadow'd, happy, fair with orchard-lawns
And bowery hollows crown'd with summer sea,
Where I will heal me of my grievous wound."

      So said he, and the barge with oar and sail
Moved from the brink, like some full-breasted swan
That, fluting a wild carol ere her death,
Ruffles her pure cold plume, and takes the flood
With swarthy webs. Long stood Sir Bedivere
Revolving many memories, till the hull
Look'd one black dot against the verge of dawn,
And on the mere the wailing died away.
judy smith Apr 2016
When asked what there is to gain while attending college, most of the time the answer is a great experience, time to find out who you really are and how to fulfill your career goals. For some, figuring out what career field to enter and finding out who they are is easier said than done. Others might be lucky enough to have a moment of epiphany and realize exactly what they are meant to do.

Tae Lynn is one of the lucky ones. On the morning of October 13, 2015 she woke up and decided to launch her own makeup brand, Tae Lynn MUA.

Lynn is a senior spanish major with a minor in information systems, however, art has always been a passion of hers. Using her artistic skills she turned the faces of her client’s, into her canvas.

“I had to find an outlet and makeup definitely filled that void. It’s very lucrative and wherever I go people need their makeup done,” Lynn said.

Lynn also incorporated the “hustler” mentality and business savvy skills she learned from her business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi, to build her brand. She made an instagram specifically to showcase her work, posted fliers around campus and used her connects to start the buzz on her brand.

However, the feedback that she received after launching her brand wasn’t the most positive. People posted negative comments about her work, which almost deterred Lynn from continuing to make a name for herself in the makeup industry until she had that defining moment, an epiphany.

When she went home to Atlanta for Thanksgiving, her car was stolen Thanksgiving night. Everything she had brought home over the break was gone, except for her makeup bag that contained all of the makeup she owned. It was the only thing she brought in the house.

“That was my epiphany moment and I ran with it. From that point on, I felt that was God’s way of telling me that this what you’re meant to do,” Lynn said.

After that “defining moment” as Lynn calls it, her brand took off like a rocket. Using her skills she has been able to meet celebrities, work for a makeup studio in downtown Statesboro and fashion shows held at Georgia Southern. The most significant event she participated in was New York Fashion Week as a published makeup artist.

Her work was noticed by the creator of a clothing line ran out of New York called Wise Guy Apparel. The creator asked her to be a makeup artist for their boutique fashion show in New York Fashion Week.

“I loved being a part of that fierce, fast-paced environment, but because all the models needed were touch-ups here and there, I wasn’t able to showcase my talent,” said Lynn.

Working in New York Fashion Week was definitely a confidence booster for Lynn and it helped her realize her worth, despite the negative criticism. She even uses the hashtag “#knowmyworth” frequently as a reminder that “you can’t let people deter you.”

“Over time I used those negative comments as motivation and I just got better at my craft, so I was able to overcome that through just being confident and knowing my worth,” Lynn said.

Lynn has a Style Seat profile where clients can book appointments with prices that range from $7-$200. She’s also available for booking in both Statesboro and Atlanta, GA. Customers have nothing put positive things to say now about Lynn’s services.

“I like the way my face transformed and it made me look a bit older. I’d definitely go to her again,” Sade McMullen, junior business management major, said.

Lynn plans on making Tae Lynn MUA a global brand one day or at least well known in the south. In order to reach her goals she simply just takes it one day at time.

Her motto is “Don’t shoot for the stars, shoot for small goals that’ll get you there”.Read more at:www.marieaustralia.com/backless-formal-dresses | www.marieaustralia.com/cocktail-dresses
Mateuš Conrad Mar 2016
is russell brand the presenter on the pointless blog?
  i swear it's russel brand! no wait, it's someone
  called alfred dyson... ***** the fun out of it
  it's still russell brand to me, eating pickles for
  he he giggles.

you know, the only reason i cried when i first
watched the cinematic passion of the christ,
it wasn't the plot and the outline,
i cried when i heard the resurrection of ancient
Aramaic... that got me... it pierced my soul...
so you're living with your parents
because the nigerians and saudi arabs bought
you out of right for home ownership,
and in the background you just hear an i.v.f.
baby argument, a test-tube baby argument damning
you for not enough capitalistic incentive...
herr doctor freud comes in too into the plotline...
and then you turn back and watch russell brand
on the pointless blog discovering sardines in
digestive juices of preservation of sour marbles
in the museum alongside mummies.

brian molko already did the trans-gender **** me
mascara look without, as the homosexuals already said:
well i did confuse the **** with the ****,
but by god i didn't confuse the ******* emblem with
architecture and warring attempts...
brian molko made the girls jealous with his
androgynous appeal... girls got jealous,
pressurised the trans-gender movement to a tic tac toe.
Doris Oct 2012
Today, I am brand new.
Tomorrow, I won't be used.
I will be brand new.
I won't cry or hold my head hanging
I won't allow myself to break
I will be able to go
Take on the world
Two steps at a time
I will be brand new.
I will be better.
I have every given chance
I create.
Today, Tomorrow, The Taken Toll Tail Spins out of Control.
I can handle it.
I am brand new.
Benji James Mar 2018
I’m immortal
Through the things
That I write
I’m still shining bright,
Through my eternal light
And nothing can **** me now
Always going to be around
Just turn up the volume
You’ll hear my sound
Guess what, I’m on my grind now
Feel the ground fall out
From beneath your feet
I’m upside down
Feet planted firmly on the ground
Filling up the sky
With a brand new high

Get these ideas out of my head
You’ll see the imagery
Through each stroke of my pen
You got the signal
Just tell me when
You’re starting to feel the static
Electrified by my internal sparks
That’s the thing
that’s brought me this far
It’s taken me further
then any jet, train or car
Yeah take a good look
Cuz I just set the bar

Nobody anticipated
I could bring a whole new game
One beyond my lyrical fame
Gave the world a brand new taste
Made them note my name
Through these words
They got a whole new me
Finally, I could be taken seriously
Far from the jokes
That used to cover up my scars
They got a whole new glimpse
Into who I am
And that’s how I became more than I am
That’s how I surpassed just being a mortal man

Surprised by my godly glow
Found confidence in my flow
I planted the seed and watched it grow
Now I’ve formed a brand new home
Set the foundations
Followed through on highly regarded
Recommendations
And built a castle out of stones
These blisters on my hand's show
I sacrificed a lot to make it here
The blood that I shed
And every tear
Gave me the motivation
To create a whole new view
And from the tops of the tower
I can see a brand new world
One carved from deep within me

Get these ideas out of my head
You’ll see the imagery
Through each stroke of my pen
You got the signal
Just tell me when
You’re starting to feel the static
Electrified by my internal sparks
That’s the thing
that’s brought me this far
It’s taken me further
then any jet, train or car
Yeah take a good look
Cuz I just set the bar

Nobody anticipated
I could bring a whole new game
One beyond my lyrical fame
Gave the world a brand new taste
Made them note my name
Through these words
They got a whole new me
Finally, I could be taken seriously
Far from the jokes
That used to cover up my scars
They got a whole new glimpse
Into who I am
And that’s how I became more than I am
That’s how I surpassed just being a mortal man

Angels with harps
Sitting on clouds
Here the choirs sing out
Through orchestral music
My theme rings out
Do you hear me now?
Dream it loud
Working with all that I’ve got
And now I know that what I had
Was enough to create a brand new love
Passion and desire run through my brain wire
A whole lot of heart within these beats
Hear it play throughout these streets
This time I’m here for keeps
Won’t let them down
I’m standing proud
Set firmly on the hallowed ground
My spirit bound
Come set foot in my church now

Get these ideas out of my head
You’ll see the imagery
Through each stroke of my pen
You got the signal
Just tell me when
You’re starting to feel the static
Electrified by my internal sparks
That’s the thing
that’s brought me this far
It’s taken me further
then any jet, train or car
Yeah take a good look
Cuz I just set the bar

Nobody anticipated
I could bring a whole new game
One beyond my lyrical fame
Gave the world a brand new taste
Made them note my name
Through these words
They got a whole new me
Finally, I could be taken seriously
Far from the jokes
That used to cover up my scars
They got a whole new glimpse
Into who I am
And that’s how I became more than I am
That’s how I surpassed just being a mortal man

I’m immortal through all that I wrote
Just had to let y’all know
My lights shining bright
Through this eternal light
I’ll fly through starry skies
While I leave my readers starry-eyed

©2018 Written By Benji James
Frederick Oct 2014
Follow the trail through a Forest green,
Whisper my name to the Wind unseen-
Walking along till you find your Dream,
Remember:
Im right where Ive always been

Watch as the waves of the Ocean Blue,
Carries away all your troubles
To
A Paradise where I"ll be waiting for
You-
Remember:
Love will always be True

So close Your eyes,
A Heart broken by Lies-
Promises made truely never dies.
And Keep your Heart,
With Truth as its guard-
Remember:

At the End begins a brand New Start...

Place a Prayer upon a Star
High,
Lit by the moon in a dark
Sky-
The answer will come like a
Lullaby,
Remember:
Hope will get you by.

Search Your Heart when you cant
Find,
Answers unknown by your own
Mind-
Faith slowly grows only with
Time,
Remember:
You will always be mine

So open your Soul,
For sadness must still go-
Believe that Love will always hold.
And Keep your Heart,
With Truth as its guard-
Remember:

At the End begins a brand New Start,
Yes
At the End begins A brand new Start.
Mark Kelley Feb 2019
“ Riding for the Brand “

Used to be a time, not so long ago
You’d lace ‘em up and head on out
   Driving rain or snow

Used to be a time
you’d always lend your hand
Never was a question
   You were riding for the brand

A place to hang your hat
  A place to rest your bones
    A warm and friendly fire
      Never felt alone

A job that must be done
  A callouse built with time
    Gloves and rope and wire
      Down along the line

Used to be a time
you gave it all you had
A cup of joe to help you go
   Neither good nor bad

Used to be a time
you’d rise to make a stand
A battle line once more drawn
   You were riding for the brand

A tale told once again
  A whiskey helped you hear
    A long lost love left behind
      Could bring a man to tears

A sunrise mornings chill
  Brings it  back again
    Hitch ‘em up and head on out
      Another chapter penned

Riding for the brand
The way it once was done
You did your time out on the line
   Then porched it in the sun

Riding for the brand
The way it used to be
I’d take care of them that cared
   Then they’d take care of me

Used to be a time
somewhere in the past
A handshake done, one on one
   A bond was built to last


Used to be a time , the labor of the years

  Would pay your way to own a space
  Keep your spot on a mountaintop
Clean your slate at the dinner plate
    Keep you warm ‘til the early morn’
  Hold the sun when the day was done
Through a lifetimes smiles and tears

Used to be a time
not so long ago
You’d lace ‘em up and head on out
   Driving rain or snow

Used to be a time
you’d always lend your hand
Never was a question
   You were riding for the brand
Evan Robbins Aug 2015
A question I have to ask
Has it always been like this
I've never felt so comfortable just happy to exist
now you tell theres a reason
a reason for your frown
well darling I'd pick up it all
to get out of this town
lets just run away
start brand new
**** all these *******
baby its me and you but...

You don't even know me
At least lets not forget
smiling at you was the least of my regrets
at least I could be depended on
at least I could be depended on

And everyday were striving for
Another new place to carry on
I just wanted to believe
That everyone gets what they want to achieve
Let's just run away
Start brand new
Another new place where we belong to but

you don't even know me
so babe lets not pretend
I just wanted someone new
to hold on to the end
to hold on to the end of it all

to hold on to ....the end
to hold on to ....the end
the end....of it all

run away , start brand new, baby lets pretend.
run away , start brand new, baby lets pretend.
1000 pieces of a puzzle
from 1000 different sets.
Hours of mutilating work
decoding an uncoded message
from a bottle that was broke
by a steel nosed pelican.
Senseless waves of awe
washed upon the shore
roaring with speechless sound
to destroy your ingenuity.
Brand new state of mind:
let the illusions run wild
through a forest of mystery.
Full of Trees of Creativity
that stimulate the leaves
that rustle with your ideas.
In lieu of staring at confusion
let confusion stare at you
and make sense to yourself.
Brand new state of mind:
let your intwined thoughts
rewind like a fishing reel.
See the puzzle for what it is;
not a contorted story,
but the story of your life.
Put them in perspective
and look in a kaleidoscope
to see the pieces of the puzzle
magnificently arranged together
to paint a splendid picture
engraved in your brain forever.
judy smith Aug 2016
As an avid golfer, Nashville resident Victoria Kopyar couldn’t find fashionable-but-functional clothing she wanted to sport on the fairway.

Tapping into her background in retail merchandising, product development and sourcing, Kopyar decided to take the matter into her own hands and launched women’s golf and activewear label VK Sport.

“When I was looking at the market, I saw there were a lot of men’s pink shirts, not a lot of print and pattern and not a lot of styling to it. …I really felt nothing was flattering the female figure and I wanted something that fit me well,” Kopyar said.

The first collection launched in August 2015 with golf retailer Golfsmith.com. Kopyar expects sales will be 10 times higher in the first full year in business as she zeroes in on growing VK Sport’s e-commerce website, expanding the collection at independent golf pro shops across the country and reaching new demographics such as the collegiate market. Locally, VK Sport is sold at Belle Meade Country Club and Hillwood Country Club.

Launching VK Sport marked a career switch for Kopyar, whose resume includes corporate positions with U.S. Bank, Target, Dollar General and Gibson Guitar. She didn’t pick up golf as a hobby until she had a summer off work in between jobs at U.S. Bank and Target.

“My dad told me (golf is) a great up-and-coming place for women to do business, there is a lot of opportunity and it’s a lifetime sport," Kopyar said. "So I went out and bought clubs, took some lessons and I fell in love with golf."

In 2014, Kopyar started developing the VK Sport brand on weekends and nights. The following year, she decided to leave the corporate world behind to work full-time on the clothing line. The launch of VK Sport coincided with Nashville's rising reputation as a fashion hub for everything from custom dresses to high-end denim and handmade leather goods.

Her goal for VK Sport is to target fashion-forward women with her key demographic between the ages of 25 to 60 years old. According to the National Golf Foundation, 24 percent of the 24.1 million golfers in the U.S. were women in 2015. Millennials represented the largest group among the 2.2 million beginner golfers last year.

The VK Sport apparel, which is made from technical fabrics with anti-wick and sun-protective properties, includes colorful and printed dresses, skorts, pants, shorts, polos, tank tops and more. Features include anti-slip bands in the skirts and shorts, cutaway sleeves, nine-inch deep pockets, zipper details, mandarin collars, ruched fabric at the buttons and lace features.

Kopyar described it as a high-end brand with price points ranging from $90 for a skort to $110 for pants and $85 for polos.

“We’re a fashion brand," Kopyar said. "We take what’s happening on the runways in New York and Milan and take that and bring it into the functionality of golf wear and/or regular street wear."

VK Sport has been self-funded so far, but Kopyar plans to take on investors as she grows the business. She hopes to capture a piece of the multi-billion dollar athleisure market by positioning the brand as activewear for both golfers and non-golfers.

“I see us as a lifestyle brand," Kopyar said. "Not only are you functional in golf but you can wear it in your everyday lifestyle, whether you’re at the nineteenth hole having lunch with the girls or out picking up your kids at school or running to Target or a coffee meeting."Read more at:http://www.marieaustralia.com/long-formal-dresses | www.marieaustralia.com/red-carpet-celebrity-dresses
No name brand
Caught up in unknown lands
Hard as ice and tough as nails
Rarely fighting just to fail

Will I rise or will I fall?
Or maybe just forget it all
Feel the sharp blade of a knife
Fade away this useless life

No name brand
Wishing for a life so bland
Is it worth the pain?
Just to wake again?

Thank you for your plastic
Stupid, ugly, selfish, dramatic
Make me want to scream
Wake myself from this stupid dream

No name brand
I can't stand
The madness of this town
Surely soon this hellish place has to be going down.
This poem is about my hometown, where I am, sadly, currently living in.
Jay Jun 2018
I'M MAKING nachos in your toaster oven. The chips fall in the pan without a problem. Beans, evenly distributed (if I do say so myself.) Salsa- good to go. Then the cheese. Generic brand shredded cheese blend. I dangle my (washed) fingers into the zip-lock bag, grab a generous pinch and rain mild cheddar down on my gourmet meal. And I feel the tears building. "No," my conscious scolds, "you will not cry over shredded cheese." I add another pinch for flavor, then another to assert dominance. I slide the pan into the tiny oven- triumphant! But the next task breaks me. I freeze when I try to adjust the heat setting. I hear your voice so clearly, like you're still calling from the next room: "you have to press the TOAST button, it cooks much faster."  The tears start to roll. I think about how excited you were when cheese bubbled perfectly- "just a little brown, ever so slightly crispy." We would joke about your persnickety preferences, likely a product of your superior taste. Of course, you would have appreciated anything I made for you, but it was always better when the dish matched the idea in your head...when I made it like you would have made it (if you were only well enough to cook for yourself again.) In the present, I poke the TOAST button and flee the kitchen as to not cry in front of the smothered chips. I sit on the sofa and break down, gasping in childish sobs. "I miss her," I wail to an empty house. Warm tears coat my cheeks in the air-conditioned room. I feel so small. I feel so foolish for crying over stupid, little things. I feel so... so... A bell dings in the kitchen. I wipe my sleeve across my face and traipse back to the toaster. Hand into oven mitt, mitt onto pan, pan onto table. I grab the plastic tubs of sour cream and guacamole from the fridge and a spoon from the drawer that sticks a little when you try to open it. I pick the non-wilted bits off the head of lettuce and rinse them under the faucet. I finish the recipe. I pull out a chair. I sit down to nachos for one.
Grief is such a strange emotion/process.

*Oh my! Thank you all so much for your support! I wrote this back in June when I needed to get it out of my head and had no idea it was chosen as a daily until I just logged back on and thought there was a glitch with my notifications number. I was slightly mortified that a piece of my mourning got exposure but after reading your comments I'm glad that I documented something many of you identified with. I've since journeyed a bit farther in my grief- slowly overcoming my initial instinct of trying to instantaneously analyze every feeling to determine whether I'm "allowed" to have it. I went to a group bereavement meeting offered by the hospital that treated the loved one in this poem and the nurse running the session made a good point- no one can fully understand another person's relationship with an individual who's passed on. Interpersonal relationships are unique and so is grieving. Being gentle with yourself (especially in times of struggle) is woefully underrated. And with that, I send love, gratitude, and positive vibes to this wonderful community
Cupid laid by his brand and fell asleep,
A maid of Dian’s this advantage found,
And his love-kindling fire did quickly steep
In a cold valley-fountain of that ground;
Which borrowed from this holy fire of Love
A dateless lively heat still to endure,
And grew a seeting bath, which yet men prove
Against strange maladies a sovereign cure.
But at my mistress’ eye Love’s brand new-fired,
The boy for trial needs would touch my breast;
I, sick withal, the help of bath desired,
And thither hied a sad distempered guest,
    But found no cure. The bath for my help lies
    Where Cupid got new fire—my mistress’ eyes.
ryn Feb 2015
You are the light
That hides below the horizon
I await humbly for your rays
To illuminate this darkened season

You are the beacon
That would build me anew
Equip me with newfound notions
When dreams and hopes are far and few

You are the air
Of a fresh new start
Allowing this body another chance
At retrieving a brand new heart

You are the opportunity
Held my breath for far too long
Soon be granted to live again
And choose the right from the wrong

You are the day
Like many have too often said
Due to arrive after tonight
And embrace me as I laid in bed

You are the tomorrow
The promise of my brand new day
But there have been many tomorrows
That have come and gone away

You are my tomorrow
My future, bearing much needed balm
Maybe tomorrow I may finally realise
**That you would never ever come
Orange Rose May 2018
I wrote a poem when I died...
Another at my birth.
A brand-new sonnet when I cried.
And again when there was mirth.

A song for my confession...
A story for my pain...
A painting for depression...
And nursery rhymes for rain.

My creations live inside my heart.
I keep them there in shame.
Yet you looked around and saw my art,
And smiled all the same.
Nana kofi Oct 2015
Rest your head and close your eyes
Everything will be okay
For when you wake with the sweet sunrise
It will be a brand new day
Turn down the lights and pull me close
Feel only the beating of our hearts as we lay
For when you wake
with the soft morning breeze
It will be a brand new day
Fall fast asleep and dream with me
Whisper "i love you "
Im here to stay
For when we wake in each others arms
It will be a brand new day
Joliver Aug 2018
If there was one word
One word, isolated by itself
That I cannot stand above all others
It would have to be "Okay"
I despise "Okay"
"Okay"
Is how your millionth day at work went
"Okay"
Is off-brand raisin bran
"Okay"
Is how you say school is going
When you don't want to admit you spend
Every second of it
Wanting to die

"Okay"
Is packed to the brim with
Hidden implications
Like a treasure chest
Filled with bottles
With little subliminal hatreds
Written on tiny slips of paper
Passively aggressively pushed inside
To discover later
As I pull out a treasure map
And try to decipher
Where I went wrong

"Okay"
Is a one word dismissal
That feels like an essay a thousand pages long
"Okay"
Is a poison dripping with disinterest
When I dared to share with you
Something I thought might make you smile
"Okay"
Is like trying to talk to a wall
While watching the paint on it dry
"Okay"
Takes two seconds to write
Yet I waited days
For that dreaded word
To grace my notifications
"Okay"
Should be used sparingly
As if each time you send it
You **** the receiver just a little bit
"Okay"
Should not be said so often that
I know what you're about to say
Like I saw it in a crystal ball
"Okay"
Is not looking up from your phone
When I tell you about my day
"Okay"
Is not the proper response
To "I love you"

They say that the opposite of love isn't hatred
It's indifference
And I can't think of a response
More indifferent to pouring out
My heart into your hands
Than "Okay"
At least the last thing you said to me
Before we parted ways
Showed that you cared
At least a little bit
"I hate you"
Stung less
Than the thousands of times
Over our countless conversations
You responded
"Okay"
Okay?
I'm off the plane

I'm all checked in

I've turned off my cell phone

All I know is

Baby....I ain't never coming home!

The water calls

The drinks do too

The sun's warm on my back

All I know is

Baby...I ain't comin' home to you

We fought  for months

We said goodbye

I hopped a flight and left you

And now you know

I'm me again

I'm loving it, I'm brand new

Hawaiin tropic

Ice cold drinks

Women in bikinis

All I know is,

Baby...i'm staying here methinks!

The Ocean Breeze

wakes  my mind

Set's my senses free

All I know is

Baby,...I'm staying here where I can be me.

We fough for months

We said goodbye

I hopped a flight and left you

And now you know

I'm me again

I'm loving it, I'm brand new

Two weeks gone

My money's low

Cheque is in the mail

All I know is

Baby.....I'm staying here to sail

Life is better

I found me

I'm happy where I am

All I know is baby..

I'm now a brand new man.

We fough for months

We said goodbye

I hopped a flight and left you

And now you know

I'm me again

I'm loving it, I'm brand new

Trading away

My Life of old

Starting out brand new

All I know is baby..

I'm glad I'm not with you

Yeah, All I know is baby

I'm just glad I'm not with you
Sofia Von Jul 2014
Summer heat summer sweet
With a wealthy nature, rich pheromones erupt
Birds n tha bees escape the trees
Please don't plant your seeds
But throw the leaves
Up n up
To get down and drop
Where the dirt pops
Ken keseys ashes
Edible umbrellas turn rainy days on their head spinning pupils wide void of discontentment
Fairies fly off clouds and stars fall at day
Impossible, feelings are blown in and out of proportion to fit a screen thats too small
Tough love
Tough life
Slick surface don't let me fall off the boat as it rocks
Swisher wraps over the curves
Got me feelin lucky like a charm
Cheef all day got me smellin dank as a Rastafarian Only stoppin to sip my Captain Morgans moonshine
Till we hit the caribbean
Then Jack's got me headin for tides end
Early
Flush the bile outta your system
And spiral out of controls iron hand
**** responsibility, Apathy rules all.

Paper crane ******* get all superficial but yellow bones make my brain go fuzzy in smokey ***
In n out, fast n slow
Nicotine dominates
My senses are lost at Molly
That ***** finger ****** my life
Made me *** every time
This unhealthy relation in action doesn't phase me yet, I'm too young to think that far
I mean
What do you expect?
A Teens crowded perceptions can be judged like a bums intentions.
Peace my brotha
Dandy danny says theres a way out
-side with the rap culture
Shots of rebellion pour through the cracks we each fill
The glass
Is too cracked to be see-through

West coast vibes kick back lax attitude I carry on my shoulders
Forever green is my state
Wash that **** off your lawn crack *** haters I'll spray paint your ***
Equality's the goal
**** race
**** sexuality
I see soul
Open up
Show me your beat
I'll count bars as we spit elicited slurs drizzled to drops leaving the cops to stop us
Quit
Obeyin the brand
g clair Sep 2013
Got the brand new budget inspiration blues
I'm gonna spend my money any old way I choose
come the first I'll pay the rent
Lord knows that money's heaven sent
and anyway you add it up you just can't lose
when you're payin with the brand new budget Inspiration Blues...

Got into an accident last week
Bust my craw
wired my jaw
now I can hardly speak
I don't care about the wreck
I'm waitin on that insurance check
but that Chevy I plowed into
well...it ain't no hit and run
'cause I'll be payin out the yin yan till it's 1991.
wrote it in 1989.
Wade Redfearn Jul 2018
It isn't like that.
It isn't a left turn too early,
a lark awake at night,
thick brown light in an open field;
unpredictable: a bad or counter-miracle.
It is only wanton.

You know how it is
Suddenly, something trapped between your toes:
the world has a strangled voice, it is
unroofed. You want the comfort of normal walls,
normal light, normal noise; in your hand
is a hot brand you'd halfway use
to smith it back together
and halfway swallow.
I had different plans for this vacation
than destruction.

I had plans. You had plans. The earth
planned its axial tilt; the weather planned
its burning; we put aside too little water.
A few plants were familiar -
the ruined piñon pine I remembered from the placard.
One lonesuch tree that made a little niche
at a defiant angle into the air
and outlived all except its orphaning.
How we thought we could fare better, I cannot say.

Ten feet up by one hundred feet over:
one liter water per mile climbed:
fatigue. Fatigue.
The quiet supremacy of all these rules for living like
transit and occultation
refraction and dimness
exertion
hunger
peristalsis pulling down
huge loads of sunlight
into the ***** gully
like bread and meat.

You will not see the bottom
no matter how hard you look.

If blood I am, then what kind of blood?
Unsettled and unsettling. The circulatory system
has an apt name: sometimes I can feel yesterday's blood
in the same neurons, saying the same thing.
I have no choice but to repeat it.
Time sheds its significance.
I have no continuity:
I have rhythms.

The new day, on fire and sitting in the trickle
you held a golden fish in your palm
as if you had made it by will
and cupped, it circled in the valley of your fingers
and I ate from the vision of care.

Erosion: isn't that what made these furrows?
I beg it to unmake me
flat like a seabed and many fathoms green
where the sun will never reach me.

In the penumbra of your anger
I do not fear dying,
only dying unclean.
Heights are all the same.
They would all break me and none would enough.
The grasshoppers and gecko hatchlings
all die in their way, rubbed in the hot dry dust.
Parched, I gnash my stone teeth
and tongue of chaparral -
I am making a song to say
die with me
but smile at me.

Then I see it through flashes of temper,
frame by frame, like a fingertip behind a pinwheel:
a dream of something distant that is also true.
Dreams of freedom alongside dreams of dying.

— The End —