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Nassif Younes Feb 2017
You are my indigestible pain.
I let you in one evening
When my guard was down
And years later, you're still here.
It was easy for you.
You have a whole journey ahead.
An adventure where no turn is the same
And every step
Is a step towards the light.
I should have seen you for the deceptively sweet
Compressed amalgamation of useless waste
You really are.
I should have spat you out
As soon as your sugary veil had faded
And left you flat beneath the feet
Of the millions of people
Who would have done me better than you.
7 years, they say.
Great.
Just long enough for me
To forget
The lesson I thought I had learned.
Kara Jean Nov 2016
Bitterness seems to be the ego of my tongues taste buds
The story of life never really begun
The future is torn by what we have become
I still stand proudly holding congratulation balloons and chewing gum
I pop the bubble as I hum a song
Not noticing the buzzard telling me to move on
The ghost seems to place himself next to my feet
whispering with every step he sees
Trying to show me my deceit
Although I walk careless or maybe hopelessly
Encouraging myself the future is still bright
When in reality it is only fake highlights
Held together with dead ends and a burnt head
We have no other opportunity
Only a possibility of being the lucky one
I lose my fun as I sit here popping my chewing gum
Taylor Jun 2018
I've got everything you want and more
Got all these flavors you'd want to explore
I'm ready to fulfill your crave, ready to be adored
I wanna be the only taste when you walk out the door

Baby, don't I have everything you need?
From lemon drop to berries and cream
So why does it always feel like something's missing?
I'm silently begging for you to never leave

I love all the pretty words you say
I love it when you call me your babe
Every minute, every hour, so much time to waste
I swear I could be with you all day

Devour me up until I ache
I'm your sugar to your sour lemonade
Wanna stick to you till I go numb
As long as you don't spit me out like I'm chewing gum

I'm sitting here awaiting your arrival
You're right on time and it's so **** vital
'Cause I'm so elated when I'm made into a bubble
But then I'm deflated and I'm left there to crumble

Baby, don't I have everything you need?
From peppermint to peaches and cream
Why does it always seem like something's missing?
I'm begging you, darling, don't you ever leave

I love all the pretty words you say
I love it when you call me your babe
Every minute, every hour, so much time to waste
I swear I could be with you all day

Devour me up until I ache
I'm your sugar to your sour lemonade
Wanna stick to you till I go numb
As long as you don't spit me out like I'm chewing gum

Chewing gum, chewing gum
Don't spit me out like I'm old chewing gum
Feels like I'm being used, I'm left in lumps
But I'm so infatuated, look what you've done

'Cause I love all the pretty words you say
And I love it when you call me your babe
Every minute, every hour, all the time we'd waste
I swear I could be with you always

Devour me up until I ache
I'll never grow tired of your sour taste
Wanna stick to you till I go numb
As long as you don't spit me out like I'm chewing gum
♥️.
English Jam Mar 2018
My golden years are a retrospective view
Doubtful, not sure, might be a last dance
One day I was gum-chewing with my Batman yo yo
Now my soul is rubber, and it leaks on the outside
Faded away from the youthful days
Once giddy pleasure
Now it’s all so
serious

The teen lifestyle washed over within seconds
Sure it’s fun to friends
Entertaining to have enemies
But the squabbles and meanders slow you down
The pitiful liars and desperate seekers
Worship through blasphemy whatever they care
Limbs don’t respond
Thoughts and actions don’t line up

You see it for what it truly is
Baby
You’re in danger
of maturing

Forgotten and dazed
Sitting in a broken armchair
It's difficult seeing through the fogginess
Finding the missing hours
Difficult on a drowse

...I work only weekdays (don't we all)...
...Fantastic gatherings on Sundays (family days)...
...Jimi Hendrix, he's good (bit of an understatement, mate)...
....He's the kind of guy I wish I could...

...etc...
Third Eye Candy Apr 2018
while chewing on the sandwich i was given
i failed to notice the ruffage and the soil of my glamour
only the ludicrous measure of my apathy and passion.
only the girl of my memes and the maladaptive gnomes
of my moveable feast.

i saw through the aerosols and the Hindi.

i ate nothing but net.
i slept with a barstool and a comet.
and asked you " Why? ".

and said, Less.
avalon Dec 2017
a different sort of nerves
run up and down my spine
this is new, this is taking
breath and spitting out
a lie, chewing on the
tacky bits of life yet
still forgetting you
will die;
because death falls
through the walls
and takes us even
if we cry,
if we lie;
death is deaf to
tacky pleas and
pulls our breath out of
the lungs
beneath our spines.
Bea Autumn Nov 2018
I started eating red licorice now

Trying to paint this blue heart red

And filling up on bow tie pasta till fed

Symbolically to fix this torn heart

So turn it red and tie it up fast

Nothings worked yet need to get past

So I'll try anything it seems

To mend these broken dreams
Lydia May 2018
"But what if we're wrong?"
It was silent
But her thoughts echoed around in my head as we laid on top of her pickup truck
I swatted at the eighteenth mosquito chewing on my leg
I don't want this to be love

We were tangled up in the acoustic music they play on the radio on Sunday mornings
She was trying to dream up something clever to write about
And I was pretending I could learn to play guitar through osmosis,
As if blending myself in with the harmonies, finding her in every lyric, and sheer willpower would give me wings or at least magic guitar hands

She set the alarm, checked it over and over
She was not going to be late for her first day
I told her I'd be asleep when she got home, she told me she knew
I told her to wake me up

I wasn't looking for perfect
Perfect really only applies in first year physics courses
After that, we learn to fall in love with "rough around the edges" or "unique" or "unfinished"
As if their life is a puzzle that we need to complete
Just so you know, it isn't

She bought me breakfast and dropped me off
She used to tell me she loved me, but I know she didn't
She does now, so she doesn't have to say it anymore
When I said, "love," before, I didn't really mean it
Not like I mean loving the garden on the balcony of her apartment or thunderstorms in May
Even if I was a puzzle that she completed (and I'm not saying that I am), we didn't need any glue to fit perfectly
The support on this poem has been unbelievably incredible. I am so grateful for this community with all of these lovely people :)

Please comment :)
Chris Neilson Feb 2017
Fleecy tracksuit wearers
always look sheepish
large chewing cows
sometimes look bullish

Gregory Peck
is often peckish
a monopolising fishmonger
selfishly sells fish
just a bit of word play to lift the mood on this winter Saturday
zebra May 2017
i breathe
one breath at a time
each inhalation linked to the exhalation before it
yet every breath stands alone
there's something tenuous about it
this soft machine is on thin ice
devoured by time in innocent increments
like a moth nibbles away wool

my heart
little gorilla
wearing itself out
rubber glove with a hole in it
weird luck

my eyes are bright
solar blue ball lanterns

if you saw me
you would say
good bones
river of envy

yet all hinges
on a muscular rhythmic pulsating machine
like a determined jaw chewing
jumpy mouth

yet on the verge of betrayal
a glitch
karmic indecision  
in destinies wheel house
a red fist locus banging

ones immense sense of self
a vainglorious elaboration
built over a small pulsating muscle
innocuous

dumb blood flesh knot drumming
scarlet tribe
throne of my very soul
great sovereign
old man in a crib
splitting open of its own accord  
a sudden rip from life
to a dead sea eternity
the final frontier

starless night
Anecandu Sep 2014
Saturday I was the happiest knight in your kingdom
Sunday I extinguished loves burning embers with mere chewing gum
Monday I answered your call..... to muster arms, your period enemy.
Tuesday I saw my purple sky fall around me like attacking dragons.
Wednesday  I cried bitterly making my own wailing wall.
Thursday I built a trebuchet, to catapult me back into your life.
Friday I lost my sanity when I heard only the Pied Pipers fife

I wish there was another day, I need another chance.
liza Feb 2016
sitting in the dark, chewing on my cheeks. My ankle bracelets don’t come off and they're still wet from the tub
she used to braid my curls before bed

driving on the interstate with my back windows rolled down. The front ones wont budge
she would hold my phone with the maps up, “get off on the next exit”


Id come home to fiery curls every night; i still do. Except they're mine and they smell like smoke instead of coconut shampoo
things change but not a whole lot ya know
Riz Jun 2017
perv etiquette is:
do not maintain eye contact
                     do not intently stare
                           do not press eyes down bodies
                                 do not breathe moist puffs onto cheeks

possibly small, like twigs
but we are not kindling
to light your **** ablaze

prevent emergence
we hold this pole for balance

a hand isn't *****
refrain. don't caress.

a chest is covered
brushing it is prohibited

i will tear your
bright orange tshirt
chewing the cotton
spitting it out onto the tracks
where i see you wait
chest bare but sweaty
and hairy
patiently wait
chin up you dog

this is goodge st.
mind your step between the man and the escape route.
patty m Nov 2018
Poets don't pick the time or place, or the state of their lives.  Some write while trying to STAY ALIVE in a hellhole state of abuse. And yes like the homeless man on the street They don't mouth words, they write guts, and gall, and bruises, They write love, and levity and crazy rants or bits and pieces of hope and dreams. Poetry is  the other side of the mirror, the place of sanity/insanity and escape.

Tinny whine
by design
a wind-chime
blowing
words are snowing
trumpets blowing
where's the rhymer
the man who writes lines for two bucks
what the f- - k
Once poets were revered
now they sear through the mind
refined or unrefined, no
loving valentine.
And still I read in awe
chewing on a straw
drinking all the thoughts in
how does one begin to absorb
it all?
The aches the pain, the non-monetary gain,
the romance, and happenstance,
As to the question
Who writes poems like this?
the words were uttered like a breathless kiss

not a reprimand, or justification
supplication to that
unholy state of upper-hand,
on demand, testamentary of
vocabulary signature of solemn state
in which one contemplates tone and
that alone designates the way
one whispers when truly touched
by poetry that says so much.

Who writes poems like this?
I seek to amend,

Only the very best my friend
text is so easy to misunderstand, when one can't hear the tone expressed.  
hugs
Patty
Christos Rigakos Oct 2014
B** egan the day with only half a face,
E xiled from normalcy with half-dead look.
L eft chewing on the right side without taste.
L eft side will not be moved except to droop.
S tress wakes the hypochondriac in me!
P er chance it was a ******?  The Doc said, No.
A ll signs point to a common malady,
L eaving inflicted many out the know.
S urvival is assured, but some will find,
Y outh’s strengths have now been ordered left behind.


(C)2014, Christos Rigakos
Iambic pentameter, quatrains and royal couplet.
Luz Hanaii Jan 2014
Many people eat, or shall I say swallow or devour their food too fast.
First I pray over my food blessing it, giving thanks for its source
of nourishment, I give my genuine appreciation for what I'm about
to eat.
I take a bite, zip or small mouthful, savoring eat bite, chewing carefully
for a very long time, without haste, without the feeling that I must
quickly satisfy that hunger feeling.

I am able to detect each and every flavor of my meal, the salt, the sweet,
or tangy flavors, each and every spice in that meal.
The more I chew the better my digestion will be.  I also eat in a mind of
gratefulness for this meal the earth and the hands of my brothers have
provided for and brought to my table.

Small portions become filling and I don't require a second helping.
I make peace with my food, my digestion and my surroundings.
This is not a time to plan, worry, fear or rush... just thank and enjoy!
Namaste~
Tommy Randell Dec 2017
insatiable eyes
ripping through rhymes
thought teeth chewing
******* the rap lines

revealing the marinade
of assonant aquifers
closer to the dactylic
licking the metaphors

the layers of cooking
served up on a plate
an alphabet gateau
of past perfect conjugates

a smorgasbord frenzy
the appetite unsheathed
catching mad poets' disease
when you eat what you read

no why what whens or maybes
no who where or hows
no nothing written is sacred
to my cannibal mouth

Tommy Randell 18th Dec 2017
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.

**** 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
MU May 2017
How does it taste
My hand...?
The hand that fed you...!
You have been chewing on it
Through and through
For a while now...

The hand that hurts
From providing...
So much
That it came close to breaking
Just to protect you
From starving

The hand that hurts
And shakes
So much
That I can't even eat with it anymore
And as such
Will remain
Hungry
And probably die

I'm angry

I am angry with you
But the worst thing is
That I can't hate you
Because hating somebody you love
Hurts even more

I am angry
Because in my core
I was sure that you would do that
And all I did was
Ignore...
And you thought I didn't have a clue?
I gave you the cue
For this to happen
And I didn't pull my hand
And accepted for it to remain soar
Full of marks from your bites
And the endless nights
Of providing..
For such a long time
Telling myself
It’s fine
Because the bite
Of somebody you love
Is sweet
As honey

But now you are full
And it doesn't matter if I pull
Or leave my hand there
For you to take a last bite
You are just waiting for the fight
So that you can run away
And never look at me again

How does it feel
To be a traiter
How does it taste?
Bitter?
Only my tongue
My hand is sweet

Hand biter...!
Helping somebody who doesn't deserve it, is really bad. Falling in love with somebody who doesn't love you, is even worse. The worst is to help somebody you love but who doesn't love you back while you know in your heart that it is wrong, but nevertheless do it, because you love being in love...

But the absolutely worst is to love somebody who doesn't love you, and helping her so much on your own expense so that you can't even help yourself anymore and are in trouble now because of her, and she is waiting for a confrontation so that she has an excuse to never speak to you again.
alxndra May 2017
to the cemetery
let me feel what's been coddled
by you
while chewing on this atmosphere
i tend to ask what is real
far too often than i believe is beneficial
the glass is never as sweet
as my lips portray it to be
i'll kiss yours in times of want
and need
and now
divert from boredom and bottled
liquor
not needed

i'll lay down in between
the bed and notion of what runs through your head
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