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Blind Distance Jun 2015
They flew away. Far, far from the present, out to the blue ocean.

They seem happy now.

A long journey has ended. Maybe you know this tale.

It started with a thunder. A white flash, striking into the ground.

The earth was shaking, it had the power of Creation.

People would whisper in fear, they could not have understood.

This day, Stars were born. Bright, bright wonders.

The Earth slowly began shifting, its shape bending and aching.

A new world was about to be born.

It was from this moment, that they could commence flourishing.

They needed light, soil, and heat.

From the instance the second one evolved out of the first, they started working;

Day and night, sewing small fractions of energy, intertwining their thoughts all the while.

With increasing harmony their efficiency multiplied.

When the time has come, the timber sufficed to set sail.

Out into the darkness. Warm, heavy smells, flesh on flesh.

The stars shone brighter than ever.

The impulses left burning marks behind. Trees, flowers and feathers spread out in the meadows.

Leaping into the water again and again. Drowning in the sensation.

Roots were growing deep into this young soil, they were satisfied.

The horizon was melting into the sky. People would become terrified.

The more time passed, the more the water thickened.

They stopped feeling the chills in their spines; their limbs would go numb.

Sinking slowly into their Art, the fire turned into smoke.

Tranquility. Trust. Hope.

Years have gone by.

From afar, a strange sound shook the waves.

Stars, again, became visible above the mirrors.

People would not see them anymore.

Suddenly, something akin to a cocoon, cracked open and revealed an Object. It was solid and cold.

When they looked around, they could not find what they needed.

No light, no soil, no heat.

They were free to go.

So they did.

Would you have seen their wings, you would have mistaken them for the wind.

Disbanding into nothing.

Only a few marks have been left behind.

People would walk on the ground were the lightning hit.

They are happy now.
A tale of Nature.
For all the earth in the world,
For the varied chunks,
shapes and shades
of brown, keep an eye out!

There, somewhere in the dirt,
Next to the writhing worm,
Gasping at pockets of sunlight,
Green life ruminates, and
pushes, pushes up,
through the soil,
intrepid, unlikely.  
It abandons it's old husk house,
what little safety it knew,
and, daring to dream,
thrusts itself into existence,
and feels the day's cooling kiss,

a multi cellular masterpiece,
when yesterday, there was only
dirt.
andromeda green Aug 2018
happiness occurs to me in little chunks now.
the tiny things in life are giving me a smile.
a long text message from a friend to cheer me up.
having a good day.
feeling happy.
genuine, real, smiles.

i can't help but feel so guilty when i'm happy.
like all my pain and suffering is being replaced with a fake smile
i try to say no.
that i can be happy while i'm sad.
but i still feel guilty
for feeling this way.

- a.g.
athena Oct 2016
it was hail
and there were
chunks of ice
down the road

the glass were covered
with moist  
i wrote a love letter
hoping the sun
wont wipe it away
i want you to read it

the orb of the night
was the only source
of light
brighter than
your headlights
which you never turned on

but before you even escape
the nightmare
think about me
because in the end
the blame will always be
on me
zebra Dec 2018
come here with the jackknife and see what I'm made of
i'm **** candy she said
taffy and blood
a steaming deli
doomed chicken of the sea
doll parts, splayed pomegranates
femurs left in a ******; wish bones
eviscerations to admire
peaches and cream sprinkles
skin like cold grey soap
barbed wire ******'s spas
like a toilet flushing
spirographic squiggles
at the museum of modern art

video girl
video girl
video girl
like
butter flies flutter bye

dead movie star dancing
a matinee cyclops
everybody wants a glitter ****
incandescent candy store
a piece of her to take home in little bite size chunks
in a heart shaped pink box leaking red meat
enshrined crucifix; kosher
an **** of heretics like me
and maybe like you

god is whatever is in your heart

i pray to modernism
to be saved
by *** death and resurrection
and a bigger ****
impregnation ghoul
like a solar ******* hero
*** heroine
a Bedouin and a Jew ******* each other off
in a New York City
Holiday Inn
while the Kabbalah and Koran read each other

I packed the suit case
with a yellow mucous colored rubber tube, a razor and stockings
I don't know what ill do with it, but ill think of something

God spins death
so why cant you; or are you to good for that
albeit a narrow construction
to carve my fate in such short order

ill get into my short short funeral skirt and girly bobbles
ill go up and down on you like a yoyo
sea Venus foaming *******
til you flip me over
a deli sandwich
and cut me in two
splattered ketchup
on the blue plate special; extra mayo
while a huddled sabbath of *******, extra ******
groan like Pisgah turned to mulch
indigo shards suicide note
ending in
i don't mind
and precise instructions
please chew slowly while I **** on your teeth
stuck rot
while still kissing you
better bring a napkin and floss

you know I would get hot,
seeing my one way ticket next to your return one

wish we could
**** candy
pastel chew
blood bubblegum
melts in my mouth like quicksand
hissing fruity drops looping
you go down like squid
clawing your way back up half chewed with that hurt look
making wet mud holes blink
dark vapors tear my eyes

you wont need a head stone
your feet will look good sticking out of the ground
with anklets
a fashionista
except upside down
your funeral; a foot kissing ritual
religion; follow dead feet, to paradise

head down *** up
you know; the position of power

your the new aeon
grave stone arches with toe ring twinkles
rectitude striving
hot head buried in dirt
antagonizing worms
because your to hot to chew
like molten core
a zombie ******
velvet tabernacle
smooth leg art
and pretty pointy toes
ascending
where glitter lights shine
pickle brine
green
in a
Promethean ******* ballet
phantasmagorias dark embrace

this is no ordinary love
dialog of paraphilias
surreal horror subversive
a poem about the non-rational sacred
untethered poetry
song of a shattered world


Across the spectrum of religious experiences—from the archaic and chthonic experience of sacred power to organized religion—surrealism arises in that elusive threshold between the sacred and the profane, between the illuminations and of everyday life and the more formal expressions of the sacred. The mysterious, contradictory nature of this liminal zone is embodied in surrealist literature and art: matter becomes metaphor; the ordinary object becomes extraordinary; and images evoke emotional disturbance and ambiguity rather than specific ideas. The ambivalent force of the surreal resists conventional rational categories of intellectual discourse. Behind its elusive potency of mood and charged associations lie the fundamental ambivalence and non rational power of the sacred.
—Celia Rabinovitch, Surrealism and the Sacred
Poetria Jun 2016
<3
I'll keep on stealing
pieces of the sky
Until I can spread
my wings and fly.

I'll keep on cutting chunks
Out of the moon
So I can build a ship from them
So I can see you soon.

I'll keep on pocketing
fragments of this
universal universe
until I get mine back.
They robbed me of you, so I'll rob them too.
Kara Jean May 2016
Toughness is my warm gooey love
Isolation is the only defense I've developed
I keep reminding myself this is it
My passion never existed
An urge deep frying my mind
My fingers tingling
My heart throbs
My throat suffocating
The words telling me to discontinue have melted into sweet nothings
I'm a *** drive with no destination
A complicated disastrous women
My feet turned to charcoal long ago
I haven't blink in a lifetime
My burnt sunglasses situated against my broken nose
My high waisted skirt accentuates my fate
Perfect, is a pretty ******* explicit world to create
Please no holding the insane
Back away slowly
She's always hoping to bite
Taking chunks of your pride
Skyla Feb 20
I’ve written so many poems
But all of them are irrelevant
Just meaningless words thrown together
By a meaningless girl in a small town.
She writes about her suffering from sickness and disorders.
She writes about how deep the knives in her chest go and how many times she’s been stabbed by grief.
She writes about how sharp her monster’s teeth are and how deeply they bite.
She writes about the devil and why hell is actually our current world.
She writes about demons and angels of darkness and numbers and dancing skeletons with aching bones.

She writes about dead, rotten girls. Who died in a choke hold at the hands of a scale or drowning in a toilet bowl.

She writes so many poems but the ultimate poem of all is her body.  Her body is the one true poem.  Scars that line her ribs where she sliced with her mother’s bone-handled knife.  Scars on her thighs from being cut with shards of glass because she shattered so many mirrors with her aching fists.

Bruises that line her legs and her arms.  Iron burns caused by her own hands because she just wanted to feel something.

Bags under her eyes, wrinkles corrupting her youthful face, dry and ****** lips.  Don’t even get me started on her teeth.
Oh, what eating disorders do to teeth.
She doesn’t smile much anyway.

Deep, red scabs on her knuckles from purging too hard, to the point where her teeth scraped off chunks of skin.

I am a girl.  I want perfection, I want affection.
But all I have is depression, and numbers and mirrors and food and shards of glass and my bones bones so many bones ;

Hollow eyes and on her way to join the rotten girls club.

How do people think this is beautiful?
Are dead, rotten girls beautiful?
Are they glorified because their bones stick out in places they shouldn’t?
Are they romanticised because they can fit into a size 000?

Does no one see their bloated corpses?
Does no one see their grey-green skin?
Does no one see their stitched up mouths open wide, with blackness and abyss pouring out when they’re in fact, trying to scream?
Maybe your lips are glued shut and you have a blindfold on.

Dead rotten girls should be your worst nightmare, not your dream look.


As unfortunate and tragic it may be, am I the ultimate poem? ~
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
Yue Wang Yidhna Sep 2018
There is a ghost in your voice
Haunting me through the silence



Through every droplet of memory
Dotting my otherwise starless night

I tried to gather them
With my words, my fear, my soul
And yet they remain forever bond
To a place I cannot reach
A being I cannot see
And a love I can never hear

Your flowering existence sheds invisible petals
I seem to be able to find
Yet, I'm ever uncertain
All these pieces of your soul
Did you left them for me to find
A breadcrumb trail leading only
To a chance in the future
To an uncertain promise
Or did I just stole the traces
Of your existence you left for the universe
Claiming them as something I could own

Should I keep them or scatter them

Or are they even yours
Could it be that they are the pieces of my soul
Still clinging on to you
That you're finally shedding away
To be complete on your own

What could I do
Standing in pieces
Holding someone's soul
That may or may not be my own
If they weren't
I'd still be missing all the chunks I've given to you
If they were
I'd still be empty
Because
I'm forever hollow without you
Dominique Apr 19
Flesh hooked on lampposts (ribbon-like)
Railings, bus stops, fences too
Unlooping miles and miles of eager skin
Colouring the pavement with vivid

Bone strung like windchimes (hoisted high)
In all the brightest places
Mainly on rooftops, we have an affinity
The sun splatters them pastel each day

Muscle- candyfloss on benches
Warm, thick (seeps into their mouths)
Chunks of wriggling bliss in the tighest corners
Embossed with sweet disaster sprinkles

Me me me; the essence of Me
My pulse spread out across the city
My veins in the underground
My heart cut up onto various plates
The pieces will take years to be found
And they're not all mine anymore.

But under the ivory moon
When I'm sighing, "I'm lost" to each night
My city rocks me straight to sleep
And walks me through the dying light
So while I'm here, my soul's all right.
free verse literally gives me anxiety ****
Kara Jean May 2016
Our beginning is totally cliche and overused
High school acquaintances, both moved to start a career  
A friend request you sent, by my bubbly nature I accepted  

Conversing you persuaded me into tossing out my digits
Completely engulfed, a strong friendship we made
Life struggles, we conquered in the first week of dating

Fast pace, we were cruising and agreed, "hey let's get married"
Two weeks it took to say I do
Life smacks us hard, we never miss our groove

Babies, babies, changing your direction
Glance into your heart, how profound it is to be parenting
You were not ready to be a daddy
Your ego grew and I always forgave you
Young, drunk and dumb was your history

Separated and unplanned, awaken you became
You still wanted control and I said here take chunks of my energy
Now frazzled and drained, I am on the brink of leaving
Blurred, I only see spotty portraits of that white cake
The sweet taste smudged against my face and the way you licked your lips

Time loves to cause a stampede with memories
Brush the hair from my eyes, I feel the hail falling as I cry
Is this what "and they lived happily ever after" means
Umi Mar 2018
Endless nights are passing, shadows lurking upon one another, one of greater darkness than the other, just waiting for pray alike a spider,
Fingernails possessed by a woman, sharper than knifes, almost alike claws they are an ornament to her delicate looking sweet body,
Her ****** devotion, driving her mad in a moment of distraction from deep within her split mind, time stands still, meaning is lost,
What's left to hunt in a place in which a monster causes rampage ?
Wasting no time, she seeks her next victim, drenched in impurity.
Approaching it the girl pretends to be gentle, caring yet worried but in truth she had only one plan, to feed of its despair, its infinite pain,
With crimson tears of both joy and fear of what she had become, the gal greets it to the end of its already shortened life after she gained trust, respect, maybe even a little love in this blazing hell with no sun,
Knocking it over she ramms her nails into the flesh of his face, piercing through while making sure he is not able to gain any motion,
Softly, in a slow cruel yet elegant manner she rips off chunks of it,
A distorted scream fills the room, laughter accompanies it as she loses herself to this waving melody of pain, questioning wheter or not to be replaced by the transience they have named life, or wether to live on,
As soon as he stops screaming she cuts through his cheek, getting stuck, breaking away her nail to set her hand free once again,
Nine knifes remain in there after all, surely that would be enough,
Clapping her hands in glee her next motive was a skillful punch to knock him out after her satisfaction of ruining his face had reached its peak in a riot of unexplored, absolutely undefined emotions,
Awaiting the awakening of her pray the lunatic sharpens her nails once again, now they would go on to the second act of her crime,
Tortured with true or false of this action she decides to take a stand
*******, simply to draw on the blood drenched body with cutting marks of the finest lines in an art of lunacy, a nightmare,
Recurrance in emotions, recurrance in her actions, for her it's "fun",
Act 3 has come close, it was time to rip him open and reveal his treasure, for what she actually wanted was a heart she never had,
Straight cutting to the mans chest it had been done, all what was needed now would be to break his rips to fully expose his insides,
Ah, phantoms of a long past, as the present burns away with cuts,
The symbol of hatred had achieved her final destiny, at last that is,
Each ***** was either ripped off and thrown out in fury or devoured immediately in her hunger she felt whilst working,
Hanging him by his guts she takes everything out till he is hollow,
Lifeless she watches him rot a little, having crushed his bones,
What was left when time is moving once again in a realm of light ?
Her crime goes unrecorded, unnoticed as the corpse became fuel for the fire alike hell, until her twisted mind drags her to do this again

~ Umi
Chris Slade Dec 2018
(A Tribute to Ted Slade - poet, 1937-2004)

This new friendship. This journey on which we were just setting out.

How will we work it now you've...well...gone?

It was going so well. That's the way I saw it anyhow.

It had only been a year - we two - back in each other's circle...

Same planet - different orbit. Though I'll never know now what your thoughts might have been..



This 52 year gap in our 'acquaintance', for that's all you'd ever say it was
,
it closed at dad's (your Uncle Bud's) funeral - as he leapt 'on-flame' to the ether.

He didn't half want to go..."Why don't they just let me slip away?"
And then it was you I wanted to know amongst those finger buffet scoffers.

Those ribboned aces never knew that Bud just kick-started their Lancasters and 'Spits' at Leconfield and Liberia.



Bud's morphine muted passing proved positive, and thankfully at last - 

(he might remember now) - he helped kick-start too this belated kinship between us.

Jack would have been pleased about that...(Bud too I know)

"a good trade" he'd have called it. "I'm knackered anyway".

I was always curious about our respective dads - they only ever sent Christmas cards...no letters. No love.



Bud gave me a book  before he swapped "heaven's hopper" for the "take & bake".

"Eer-yar" he wheezed...this is more up your street than mine..."

"Yer what?..."Poetry?...No... I can't make head nor tail of it. Like Shakespeare...Where's me glasses?"

and, with that ,the "Last Arm Pointing" welded that closing gap between us tight shut.

I read 'Mystery Tour' to Bud...about Jack's 'motorised passing' and he cried. So, it was up his street. after all.



Your words filled me in on distant memories...made solid.
Missing chunks I'd seen but never written down
.
Of Withernsea and its winter isolation

of Jack, his life - and how it intertwined with yours.

I've not found too much yet about Phyllis. Is there a darker story there? Who'll tell me now?



Your final work, tireless as ever, from your New Malden 'crow's nest'...

was steering your second collection to print...and then...

Your literally-literal Mugs and Sweats - flying off the shelves of a California warehouse.

Disabled? Pah!  Why should they ever know the what & why behind the who and when?

Your 'disability'...would only 'publicly' let you down if your trike sustained a puncture in Richmond Park.



"Hi Cuz...Where do I go to get mugs and sweat shirts printed?"

And then, whilst I was looking through directories & old invoices,

you whizzed across the earth on the wings of your laser guided mouse.

By the time I'd got the phone numbers of long distance, half remembered contacts -

you had designs submitted, distribution and royalty deals sorted and were planning the next big thing.



Your freehold on the planet was the web...your very own super-short cut.

Who needs invalid cars when you can 'fly digital'?

You were a lover of the dub-dub-dub which loved you back in floods.

Now, even when your body has deserted you - it still throws us pages and pages - of you - and about you.

The Noddy Holders and Wes the Western Gun-slinger, pale by comparison, they'd envy your PR knack.



Instead of trying to phone, (these heavenly BT - or is it ET-connections often end in wrong numbers)...

and, because a lot of the time talking took it out of you, I'll keep writing like I did before.

Replies would be good. But I often used to write out of turn anyway.

So yes, things could get a bit one sided...forgive me if I 'go on', and... you don't!

But I'll keep writing to [email protected] and read the answers in your books and old e-mails of the family's past.



Cheers Ted...Lots of love Chris (Cuz) Slade.
Ted Slade was a published poet with (for a sufferer of severe kyphoscoliosis) a stellar career. Only started school at age 12... Qualified for Uni at 16. A metalurgist at Filingdales after graduation (so, a real 'propellor head')... He switched to Head of Marketing for the Portuguese Tourist Authority (as you do)...An Atheist and Communist, his last job before dedicating to poetry was as PC Network specialist at Kingston University...On retirement he turned his attention full time to Poetry and founded www.poetrykit.org We lost touch big-time and only met again in our 60s (mental) and found we had so much in common... except I was and never will be a propellor head!
Stu Harley Sep 2018
spotted hyaenas
giggled cackled and chuckled
as
they
dined and swallowed
big chunks of
their prey
without
saying grace or prayers
we
just
tidy up things a bit
Bryce Feb 6
Zara, love of life,
Spake in curtled call
Allfather, lover of light,
To bestow those "ants of the earth"

And arch-bound as the sinew of bowstrings
Howling as the volley hertz roped
Along the celestial violin
Pluck souls from their bodies
In symphonic prediction

Ascende! On the wings of love's Valkyrie-- in her shining eyes will you greet the stars of the Otherworld!

________


Cleaning hide chunks from Buffalo tusks
There is a stranger, who knocks upon my door
The fire is wide and welcoming,
Borea chides the earthenwork
Outside, the stranger calls
distant through the door.

___________

A last heartsong,
The cup overflown with honey
A facsimile of symmetry
And not distinctly human
There was something to love in that,
Just the simple inclusion
Of all the other animus
Being formed in their conclusions

And following the arrowpoint
Floating by the bolt
What losses there to seek
Beyond a veiled humanity

We strike the fire one last time,
She to travel the mountain passes
Ashen eyes, holding viscous memories solidified

I to gather my quills
My thoughts and brush quickly the embers of love.
Into flame, carried deep into the hearts of the world and explored in violent disassociate
Particles red and hot

Then would Zara Spake again,

"with his eyes on the earth, will he never see but the stars."
V L Bennett Aug 2018
In the air, floating just next to the window
solidly constructed
as sure as the golden highway
stretching from Frisco across the Bay
looking square
as the acres of boxcars
north on the interstate
on the south side of Chicago,
it's all atoms...

This morning my son postulated to me a so-far unrealized condition
relating to matter transmitters and, probably, hyperspace. "What
would happen, " he asked, "if some guy transported himself inside a big rock?"
Indeed.
Putting on my ears, I considered the situation.  Would the hypothetical solid mass of rock give way, shudder just enough to allow the insertion of a soft, squishy human being?  Or would the spaces in their respective atoms--rock's and human's--intermesh neatly with each other?  Molecular integration?  But such a challenge to the atomic bonds holding the things together might result in a nasty atomic accident. Would that leave a human-shaped void inside the solid rock, a mold exact down to the finest details of skin texture and even eyelashes? Imagine the crystal-filled waters seeping down to find such a hole--Behold!! Geode Man.

Holding my silver pen extended
like a rapier before me,
I dissect the wispy chunks
of smoke. The balance of air
that gave them form
is destroyed.  They are
no more.
Zeeb Jul 2015
Hotrod
Verse I

Wrenches clanging, knuckles banging
A drop of blood the young man spilt
A new part here, and old part… there
A hotrod had been built!
A patchwork, mechanical, quilt

Feelings of excitement not unlike those of Christmas mornings long past paid visit to the young man, his head under a raised hood, hands occupied, the job nearing completion.  Did building that Lionel train-set so long ago form some type of pattern in his brain, now being so pleasurably served?  The good feelings would dissipate though, as quickly as they came, as he cursed himself for stripping a bolt, or cursed someone else for selling him the wrong part, or the engineer whose design goals obviously did not consider “remove and replace”.  He cursed the “gorilla” that never heard of a torque-wrench, the glowing particle of **** that popped on to the top of his head as he welded, the metal chip he flushed from his eye, and even himself for the burn he received by impatiently touching something too soon after grinding.  He, and his type, cursed a lot, but mostly to their selves as they battled-on with things oily, hot, bolted, welded, and rusty – in cramped spaces. One day it was choice words for an “easy-out” that broke off next to a broken drill bit that had broken off in a broken bolt, that was being drilled for an easy out.    Despite the swearing, the good and special feelings, feelings known only to those with a true capacity for this type of passion, would always return, generally of a magnitude that exceeded the physical pain and mental frustration of the day, by a large margin.   Certifiably obsessive, the young man continued to toil dutifully, soulfully, occasionally gleefully, sometimes even expertly, in his most loved and familiar place, his sanctuary, laboratory… the family garage.

And tomorrow would be the day.
Fire extinguisher? “ Right there”
Battery? “Charged and connected”
Neutral?  “yes”
Brake?  “Set”
And with hard learned, hard earned expertise and confidence, in this special small place, a supremely happy and excited young man commanded his creation to life.

Threw  a toggle, pressed a switch
Woke up the neighbors with that *******

The heart of his machine was a stroked Chevy engine that everyone had just grown sick hearing about.  Even the local machine shop to which the boy nervously entrusted his most prized possession had had enough.  “Sir, I don’t want to seem disrespectful, but from what I’ve read in Hot Rod Magazine, you might be suggesting a clearance too tight for forged pistons…” then it would be something else the next day.   One must always speak politely to the machinist, and even though he always had, the usual allotment of contradictions and arguments afforded to each customer had long run out – and although the shop owner took a special liking to the boy because, as he liked to say, “he reminds me of me”, well, that man was done too.  But in the end, the mill was dead-on.  Of course from the start, the shop knew it would be; that’s almost always the case; it’s how they stay in business - simply doing good work.  Bad shops fall out quickly, but this place had the look of times gone by.  Good times.  Old porcelain signs, here and there were to be found, all original to the shop and revered by the older workers in honored nostalgia.  The younger workers get it too; they can tell from the men they respect and learn from, there is something special about this past.  One sign advertises Carter Carburetors and the artwork depicts “three deuces”, model 97’s, sitting proudly atop a flathead engine, all speeding along in a red, open roadster.  Its occupants a blond haired boy with slight freckles (driver), and a brunette girl passenger, white blouse slightly unbuttoned,  both in the wind-blown cool, their excited expressions proclaim… "we are free!" (and all you need is a Carter, or three).

The seasoned old engine block the boy entrusted to the shop cost him $120-even from the bone yard.  Not a bad deal for a good block that had never had its first 0.030” overbore.  In the shop, it was cleaned, checked for cracks, measured and re-measured, inspected and re-inspected.  It was shaped and cut in a special way that would allow the stroker crankshaft, that was to be the special part of this build, to have all the clearance it would need.  The engine block was fitted with temporary stress plates that mimic the presence of cylinder heads,  then the cylinders were bored to “first oversize”,  providing fresh metal for new piston rings to work against.  New bearings were installed everywhere bearings are required.  Parts were smoothed here and there.  Some surfaces were roughened just so, to allow new parts to “work-into each other” when things are finally brought together.  All of this was done with a level of precision and attention far, far greater than the old “4- bolt” had ever received at the factory on its way to a life of labor in the ¾ ton work truck from which it came.  They called this painstaking dedication to precision measurement and fit, to hitting all specifications “on the mark”, “blueprinting”, and it would continue throughout the entire build of this engine.  The boy stayed  worried the whole time, but the shop had done it a million times.

After machining, the block was filled with new and strong parts that cost the young man everything he had.   Parts selected with the greatest of effort, decision, and debate.  “ You can compromise on paint”,” live with some rust”, he would say,  “wait for good tires”, “but never scrimp on the engine”.  Right on.  You get one shot at getting that right, and this proclamation demonstrated wisdom but also provided ample excuse for the rough and unfinished look of the rest of his machine.  But it was just a look, his car was, in fact, “right”.   And its power plant?  Well the machine shop had talked their customer into letting them do the final engine assembly - even cut their price to do it.  They were looking out for the boy.  The mill in its final form was the proper balance of performance and durability, and with its camshaft so carefully selected, the engine's “personality” was perfectly matched to the work at hand.   It would produce adequate torque in the low RPM range to get whole rig moving quickly, yet deliver enough horsepower at red-line to pile on the MPH, fast.  No longer a polite-natured workhorse, this engine, this engine is impatient now.  High compression, a rapid, choppy idle - it seems to be biting at the bit – to be released.  On command, it gulps its mixture and screams angrily, and often those standing around have a reflexive jump - the louder, the better - the more angry, the better.  If it hurts your ears, that’s a good feeling.  If its bark startles, that’s a good startle.  A cacophony?  No, the “music” of controlled explosions, capable of thrusting everything and everyone attached, forward, impolitely, on a rapid run to “red-line”, and it keeps pulling hard and delivering power while spinning fast because it is breathing right and proper and producing the power that thrills, and the only reason to shift gears is to preserve connecting rods, eager as the engine may be to rev further!

This is the addictive sound and feel that has appealed to a certain type of person since engines replaced horses, and why?  A surrogate voice for those who are otherwise quiet?  A visceral celebration of accomplishment?    Who cares.  Shift once, then again - speed quickly makes its appearance.  It appears as a loud, rushing wind and a visually striking, unnatural view of the surrounding scenery.  At some point, in the sane, it triggers a natural response - better slow down.    


He uncorked the headers, bought gasoline, dropped her in gear, tore off to the scene
Camaros and Mustangs, an old ‘55
Obediently lined-up, to get skinned alive!


Verse II (1st person)

I drove past the banner that said “Welcome race fans” took a new route, behind the grandstands
And through my chipped window, I thought I could see
Some of the racers were laughing at me

I guess rust and primer are not to their taste
But I put my bucks mister in the right place

I chugged/popped past cars that dealers had sold
Swung into a spot, next to something old

Emerging with interest from under his hood
My neighbor said two words, he said, “sounds good”

The ’55 I parked next to was “classic rodding” in its outward appearance.  The much overused “primer paint job” channeled “Two Lane Blacktop”.  The hood and front fenders a fiberglass clamshell, pinned affair.  Dice hanging from the mirror paid homage to days its driver never knew, but wished he had.  He removed them before he drove, always.

If you know how to peel the onion, secrets are revealed.  Wilwood brake calipers can be a dead giveaway. Someone needs serious stopping power - maybe.  Generally, owners who have sprung the bucks for this type gear let the calipers show off in bright red, to make a statement, and sometimes, these days, it’s just a fashion statement.  Now, expensive calipers, as eye candy, are all the rage.  What is true, however, is very few guys spend big money on brakes only to render them inglorious and seemingly common with a shot of silver paint from a rattle can, and the owner of this ’55 had done just that. 

Two things seem to be at play here.  One, he needs those heavy brakes because he’s fast, and two, hiding them fits his style.   Really, the message to be found in the silver paint, so cleverly applied to make your eyes simply slide across on their way to more interesting things, was “sleeper”.   And sleeper really means, he’s one of those guys with a score to settle - with everyone perhaps.   The list of “real parts” grew, if you knew where to look.  Something I had defacto permission to do since my rod was undergoing a similar scrutiny.  
“Stroked?”, I asked.  That’s something you can’t see from the outside. “ No”, the racer replied.  
“Hundred shot?”  (If engines have their language, so do the people who love them).   Despite the owner’s great efforts to conceal braided fuel and nitrous lines, electrical solenoids and switches, I spied his system.  The chunks of aluminum posing as ordinary spacers under his two carburetors were anything but.   “No”, was his one-word reply to my 100- shot question.  I tried again; “Your nitrous system, how much are you spraying?”  “Two hundred fifty” in two stages, he said.  That’s more like it, I thought, and I then figured, he too had budgeted well for the machine shop – if not, he was gambling in a game that if lost, would fly parts in all directions.   Based on the overall vibe of the scene, and the clean work on display, I believed his build was up to the punishment he planned.   I knew exactly what this tight-lipped guy was about, seeing someone very familiar in him as it were, and that made the “sounds good” complement I received upon my arrival all the more valuable.

The voice on the loudspeaker tells us we’re up.

Pre-staged, staged, then given the green
The line becomes blurred between man and machine

Bones become linkage
Muscle, spring
Fear, excitement

Time distorts ….
Color disappears …
Vision narrows…
Noise ---  becomes music
Speed, satisfaction

End
rosie Feb 24
i cut off all my hair today
i'm not sure if it's the sound the scissors make
or the feeling of throwing chunks of hair away
but i feel better

the funk i've been in,
the dark cloud over my head,
the heavy weight making me want to stay in bed
all day
it went away
maybe its the sunshine i haven't seen in so long
or maybe its my heart all of a sudden feeling strong
but i feel better

i stayed up late watching funny shows,
i talked to my mom on the phone,
i forced myself to get out and go,
somewhere, anywhere, just so long as i wasn't
cooped up in here all alone
and, ****, do i feel better
thanks to any readers **
Kateasz Apr 12
There was clearly tension between the two of them. It crackled in the air like static electricity and made their hair stand on end. Scarlett’s heart beat so loudly in her ears that she wondered if it had somehow found itself misplaced in her head. Coherent thoughts were but a faraway notion. All that is, was, or ever will be was standing right in front of her. This girl’s lips reminded her of flowers in the summertime breeze. Her eyes took Scarlett’s breath away, the way the skin around them creased and chunks of uneven hair hid them when she smiled. As if her body were acting on its own accord, she brushed those chunks of hair out of the other girl’s eyes. Her fingertips danced over Lia’s cheekbones and a shock jolted through her body. The electricity in the air had found its conductor in the moment when they touched. It coursed through Scarlett’s veins in a way she had never felt before. Her gaze ran up Lia’s face, examining every detail before she finally met her gaze. Then, she knew for sure. She knew that Lia felt the same way; she could see the lightning in her eyes. The moment lasted for an eternity, both of the girls afraid to breathe, afraid that they’d ruin this moment, until Lia finally closed the gap between their lips. If Scarlett hadn’t already been holding her breath, this would have stolen it from her lungs.
Is this a totally out of context paragraph from a story that I never ended up writing? You betcha.
Graff1980 Oct 2018
These marvelous mystics
work word magic,
in the realm of poetics.

Waves of sounds penetrate
the mental barriers
my peers have made.

They speak with silver spades,
digging up the beauty and wisdom,
bending, and breaking the light with
the weird wonder of their syllable prisms.

They crack the mental prisons
that embiggen
the cash flow of sexists and bigots.
They expose the spigot
that spews *******,
with chunks and bits
of acid spit and ****.

They turn the darkness
into lighted corners,
take the depression
and hopelessness
that was all consuming
and present you
with a new view.

They assimilate and share
information and inspiration.
With similes and metaphors,
they explore
all avenues to truth.
Though they soar
too close to the sun
they still manage
to bring back that blazing beauty
before their wax wings melt
and they sink into
the history of
salt water words.
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