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jeffrey conyers Jul 2018
Strange, then maybe it's me.
All these kiss-up politicians in commercials against sanctuary cities.
Remind you they wouldn't assist anyone in need.

Probably wouldn't offer them food or clothes.
Really!-probably not a thing.
Many would have instantly supported that ****** dictator in his conquest.
And left many concentration victims in camps.

We, required to help those seeking protection.
Not attack them because of their heritage or skin color.

But notice highly with a truth that many ministers hide instead of assisting those they need to be trying to recruit.

Scriptures, states the poor shall inherit the earth.
Nothing at all about the successful.
Antino Art Sep 2018
Who draws strength
from watching the passage of time
after dark
blur against the windows
of a moving train bound
for ends uncertain.

Who walks most balanced
on the beams of empty tracks.

In the shuffle of strangers
at a crosswalk, who finds
direction.

Who sees
clearer through rain.

Who finds their place
in the limbo of airport terminals,
on delayed flights
between chapters,
over open roads that branch
into tales of cities unseen,
in the turn of pages unwritten.

Who can keep track of time
during the improvised chaos of jazz,
catching notes scattered
in the winds of horns.

Who understands
that wind moves
fastest through dark places like tunnels,
during storms in late August.

Who finds their center
hurled in flight,
always coming and going.
Storm flight trains movement
Vexren4000 Nov 2018
Places populated,
Brimming with people,
Some seemingly moving thoughtlessly,
Through sidewalks and dirt roads,
As if they have not a thought,
Beside what lies in tomorrow,
And an evening spent at home.
It is sad no?
A world without thought,
Is barley a world at all.

©BAS
Esther Krenzin Jun 2018
(For Eric Killmonger)
A little boy stared in the clouds
Forgotten tales screaming loud
His word small and nothing wrong
It all shattered after too long
Stories of cities that touched the sky
Clans of people untouched by time
Hope soon filled his boyish dreams
But not everything was as it seemed
One night he came home and saw
His father dead, struck down by claw
Weeping over his fathers head
He begged him to stay, not leave him instead
Shattered dreams and shattered hopes
He held the myth achingly close
Alone, no one there to guide
He locked his humanity deep inside
Battling for a way to free them all
Seeking power and in deaths thrall
The world had taken everything away
And all in one single day
So he would take everything away from it
His soul a star no longer lit
Now he lay there quietly dying
His enemy close, no longer fighting
The world it seemed would take him too
His glittering eyes full of rue
There was nothing left for him here
Breathing ragged and full of fear
Finally he took his very last breath
And slipped away as his life left
And as the sun left the sky
The night descended with a sigh
The little boy was dead and gone
His life a sad and weary song.
-Roguesong-
-Esther L. Krenzin-
I loved this Eric in the Black Panther movie, and I felt so bad for him.
His whole life he believed in a dream.
His whole life he believed that he could make a difference, and fight for those who are oppressed.
He just wanted to help.
The coppice was full of bird songs
And daffodils so fair
But I can no longer see them
For my eyes are dim with dispair.

Could not reach the truth
It was taken without heart
Lies broken somewhere
Stuck in a conjuror’s throat.

Mary ***
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
Cné Jan 2018
Climbing on the bus
Not looking forward to this trip
But it meant so much to her  
And how could I predict

That it would be her last hurrah
Before she passed away
Just one year ago marks
The anniversary of that day

It was an annual trip, with her twin
They took to different cities
With a group of old church folks
They called themselves
“The Traveling Gypsies”

As it turned out to be
My last fond memory
Of my mother and her twin
Before they were stripped
Of all their memories

Alzheimer’s was their reward
They gave it quite a fight
Bed ridden in their final days
Until they saw the light

Who's to say how it will end
Or where that place will be
A gutter in the streets of life
Or home where it should be

So as I sit and contemplate
These moments I recount
I think about the road ahead
And how I’ll make it count
My mom and her twin sister both had Alzheimer's. My mom was significantly more progressed than my aunt's. My aunt acted as my mom's caretaker long after we had them both moved to a memory care facility. They both did well there for about 6 months. Then my mom became aggressively depressed and crying all the time. At that time, they both had a bad sinus infection at the same time. My mother recovered but was still crying and complaining she couldn't breathe. However doctors could not find any ailments in her. My aunt ended up getting pneumonia. While in the hospital they discovered and diagnosed her with stage 4 terminal lung cancer. She died 4 months later with the last month being bed ridden, hardly eating until she was nearly only bones and on a breathing machine. My mom and her twin were always connected in the weird twin way ... knowing things between them, beyond normal comprehension. We all believe my mom knew (not in a cognitive way but in her own twin way) before diagnosed that her twin was going to die. None of us expected her to live much longer than her twin. They both had long life forces even crippled with cancer and Alzheimer's. My aunt Lorea (other mother) died Oct. 27, 2016. Up until that point my mother could still walk, talk, eat and recognize me and my siblings. However after she lost her twin she could no longer walk requiring much more individual care. We moved her to a residential home care facility. They worked really hard to try and revive her willingness to live. It wasn't a conscious choice to give up because with Alzheimer's your brain doesn't work right. She lasted less than 3 months after the death of her twin. It was heartbreaking, to say the least, to witness. I rejoice her being reunited with her twin and my father and free of the confinement of Alzheimer's but I'm still working through the finality of it on the earthly side. Growing up as a child of twins is a blessing of having two moms (one being the cool mom ... the mom you could tell anything to .. knowing she would know how to explain it to your real mom in a way you couldn't bring yourself to do) and a sister cousin, my aunt's daughter. I had an older sister (10 years) too. So in my case I had three moms I love dearly. I am grateful to still have my sister.
Land,
The Mystery
A Nature to One's Mind
A Sand which Flows,
And Glows
And sparkles Success
To One.

Before Men,
Before Cities borne out of
Civilisation's Womb
There was,
And was known to many
That it was Land,
The Enigma,
The Unknown to One.

Who lives in the Deep,
The Paradise Underworld
Of Many,
Of Millions,
Of a Thousand Beings in Atlantis.

The Impossible
Is Done
And should be Done
By One.

The Brave,
The Humble,
The Curious Juniour
One Foot,
That touches the Sand
One Breath,
Of Boreas' Air
One look,
Of Demeter's Feet
One Meet,
At Thriver's Friendly.

And Wisdom,
Has been Known,
And Shown,
The Impossible
Has been Done.

It is One's Dream,
The Goal,
The Conquest,
For the Future of Existence.

The Happiness,
To many of One Nation's Grand
Of Praise and Possibilities.
Marília Galvão Mar 2015
Now I ask you to join me
Now you celebrate
Not being me. Not being you
Only Us for the great

UN
load!
DIS
arm!

EN
large!
OUT
side!

Some steps I will take
Be my guest
Pull your anchor
Out of the lake



We're
In the room
In the building
In the crowded city
In the country with thousands of cities
The country shares the continent with an enemy nation
The two rivals are carried round and round by the Earth's endless rotation
The Earth obeys the master’s magnetic line, burning since uncountable clock time
The sun is blind to his insignificance too, ignoring billions of other star mates, it can’t see through
Immeasurable it seems, magnifying! All of them such tiny little parts in one of Miss Milky’s arms
Some light years away there they are: Pinwheel, Cartwheel, Black Eye, Andromeda and Cigar
Unmeasurable it seems, humongous! All of them such a fading little part of the cosmos

There you are
Floating from a distance
Feel the empty ground
Drink from the fountain of existence

Still blind to insignificance?
Still convinced about the rightness of imposed beliefs?
Still judging others’ defects according to our pretentious and vain mind?
Still punching away the different, protecting the mold?
Still reinforcing illusory antagonism and insignia?
Still seeing only two sides?
Still holding to the pride?

Still
In the ******* room

Am I? Are you?
Let's try it again
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." Mark Twain
Emilia Jan 24
I love this filthy city with all of my ****** heart.

The sweltering summer streets (the buildings themselves sweat),
Where the 'cool' breeze is still thirty-four degrees,
And you can't walk a metre without needing an icy drink,
The sewage smell permeates through the pavement.

The bitterly cold winters that numb your lips (slur your words for you--drunken in love with her),
Frozen lakes and frosted branches in Regent's park,
I love her icy kiss more than I love myself--more than I have ever loved anything.

But I must leave, you need to know.

I can't stay, I'm sorry,
It will **** me.

She has her hands around my neck,
She strangles me with her embrace,
As she tells me--softly--how softly she loves me.

London, I'm sorry.

I was not built for the built environment,
My heart belongs in muddy fields under skies full of fresh air and clean sunsets,
I yearn for the sensation of dirt and leaves under bare feet.

How cruel,
To fall in love with a place where you don't belong.
not 2 b edgy but we had a trip into the city centre and on the way home i realised how much im gonna miss this place when i go to uni, london is a lesbian
Victor D López Dec 2018
I stand alone in the dark Fulton Street subway station,
Breathing in the *****-scented air,
Breathing out clouds of steam,
A subway train rushes along,
Not stopping,
Biting at my eardrums,
With the painful percussion,
Of thousands of people,
Silently screaming,

I don’t want to see,
     I don’t want to see,
          I don’t want to see,

The air fanned by each subway car,
Rushes against me,
Pushes the ozone and the smell of burnt brake linings,
Into my nostrils,
Along with the air,
****** through the iron gratings,
Along miles of Brooklyn sidewalks,
Carrying the odor of a *******’s festering sores,
And the cries of a hungry, fatherless child in ***** diapers,
And the hoarse moaning of a city councilman mentoring a young intern,
And the cheap perfume of a fourteen year-old runaway,
Turning $20 tricks in an alley,
Smelling of stale Chinese food and wet dogs,
And . . .

I don’t want to see,
     I don’t want to see,
          I don’t want to see,

. . . the smell of spoiled cabbage soup,
And the rancid remains of a hotdog buried in sauerkraut,
And putrid lilies lying in a gutter,
All assaulting me, forcing me backwards,
Until my back presses against,
The grimy once-white tiles,
That coldly burn their graffiti on my spine:

God is dead,
Bake a ****,
Whitey *****,
**** the *******,

I don’t want to see,
     I don’t want to see,
          I don’t want to see,

The train finally passes,
Its red eyes receding into the dank,
Dark tunnel beyond the platform,
The screeches and screams slowly die out,
Their echoes ******* behind them,
The smell,
Of my,
Warm
*****.
From: Of Pain and Ecstasy: Collected Poems
Lazhar Bouazzi Jan 2017
Please,
Forgive
This counterpoint.

For
loving you now
Is off the point.

Now that the wild
Lilies
Halt in the cities

And build their nests
In the asphalt.

LazharBouazzi, February 1, 2017
Larry Potter May 2013
We cut trees
Then make papers
Where we write posters
To not cut trees.

We make money
To buy everything
But by having nothing
We let money make us.

We arm our troops
To build peace
Yet the same weapon
Is used to destroy peace.

We sacrifice our health
Just to save money
Only to spend it all
To save our health.

We destroy forests
To create cities
So that inside them
We can make forests.

Our lack of knowledge
Leads to ignorance
But the same is true
With knowing too much.
Justin Apr 2014
The water you drink has been poisoned,
The air you breath is corrupt,
The cities we nest in will crumble,
The end is near and abrupt.
Let your feet carry you to a much safer place,
Far from the idols we built,
We ***** and burned all her children,
And now there is blood to be spilt.
We trampled on the toils of her lifetime,
Molested the gifts that she'd grown,
From her ashes we built up our kingdom,
Let our kings sit upon her throne.
And now is her time to come calling,
And now it is our turn to run,
The cities we built are all falling,
The end of mankind has come.
Deb Jones Mar 15
Lush emerald hills and sooty old cities
Cathedrals that never lock their doors
The ocean breeze tasted salty
and smelled faintly fishy
Patio restaurants dotted the road
I wandered aimlessly
Yet eventually a destination
found me at our coffee shop
I ordered a cappuccino.
And sent a text
I waited for you to arrive
Moments later you slid into the
seat opposite me.
We both smiled
Pushing my cup
I offered you a drink of my coffee.
A simple, small act of intimacy that felt as huge as inviting you into my bed.
You took a sip and then you took me.
Together we spent the afternoon and evening exploring peaks and valleys we had visited many times before
Loving never gets old
Robert Ronnow Aug 2015
I like immigrants, immigration. Legal immigration, Jane
passionately corrects. Actually my goal is a borderless world.
That's a new idea to her.
Gathering the neighborhood like family.
The men discuss sterilizing welfare mothers. I say You're working
      around the edges,
humanity has exceeded the carrying capacity of the planet,
even those with jobs. And spouses. And houses.
Yet it's an idyll of an early summer evening, new cut grass,
two baseball teams of children playing in it. Safe from Pakistan.
News photos of Muslim refugees, women in blue robes, biblically
carrying children away from holocaust. The fundamentalist army
not far behind, beheading sinners, sure in its righteousness
as the Holy Roman Empire.

Somehow Joel Osteen the evangelist comes up
while talking about how the Catholic Church is irrelevant in North
      America,
even Latin America and Africa are going evangelical.
Izzi likes Osteen, awesome extemporaneous speaker, no teleprompter,
up from bootstraps message and my wife says he's probably Jewish.
No one wants to go there.
Fortunately no one claims the Holocaust never happened or slavery
      was voluntary.
What is the carrying capacity of the planet? Two children
have replacement value. In China is it each couple or each adult that gets
one offspring? As life expectancy and standards rise,
family size diminishes. We draw together into greener, tighter cities
surrounded by farms surrounded by forests.
The children of three monotheistic religions, atheists and agnostics
play in city streets, work farm fields, explore forests, deserts,
      grasslands, space.

Two ancient female poets: Enheduanna and Sappho
are a revelation. The clarity of their complaints:
lost lover, lost city.
www.ronnowpoetry.com
serpentinium Sep 2018
i am a city full
of potholes, cracked pavement
bearing the scars of industrialization,
of the wilderness replaced with
brick outcroppings that
project towards the yellow-painted
sunset.

i am the shadow of oak trees
smothered by concrete, serpentine
roots upheaving the work of
men that light cigarettes in the rain
and eat po-boys with mud-stained
hands.

i am the shotgun houses,
the history of shattered glass and
rotting wood, the ghosts that stare
from the shade of front porches,
green and purple mardi gras beads
swaying in time with the sun-stroked
cicadas.

i am the mississipi river,
a fount churned by steam boats
and canoes, the flood that nourishes
and takes away, a muddy rebirth,
molding the land into a fertile
crescent, a christening by dirt-streaked
lips.
new orleans is an interesting place... i've never felt more immersed in a city before & i love it. it's gonna be a fun year.
Tommy Randell Nov 2014
Fire

In each of two cities
While one is burning
The other waits
For the call to help
And the quiet night
Is split only by the world
Flowing by on the motorway
Between them.

No flame is visible
On either horizon
And no alarm sounds.
No wonder is felt
In either city
Of the quiet destruction
Taking place in the streets
Or that no help is forthcoming.

So, Friendship and Love,
The twin cities burn
Where two new towns
Ignorance and Bliss will be built.
And two people,
Lives once charged
With hidden energies
Will holiday in distant lands.

Quiet cities are a sign
Of silences about to flare
As all silences will
Into flame
But something seen into
Cannot be unseen
A city alone
Cannot burn uncared for.
Rekha Nur Alisha Oct 2017
After wandering cities
chasing rainbows
stargazing galaxies
and running away
Let's head home

Okay.
blackbox Jun 2014
A tale of many cities confined within
Deep dark secrets stacked in.
Lies, the world presume as sins,
That’s how the story of ‘The Black Box’ begins.

Cramped amid the four gloomy walls,
‘The Black Box’ is what he calls.
Looking to unscramble pieces at the bottom,
He rolled up his sleeves to the problem.

Not knowing, this can put him in a ditch,
And ‘The Black Box’ can act like a *****.
He went on in the search for a prize,
Unaware of this forthcoming surprise.

He knew, many have tried to look inside,
To find a package of perfection in the hide
Disappointed to see the shattered glasses,
They closed the box to put it in a stack of more boxes.

Still, he preferred to move ahead,
In spite of knowing he will lose his head.
The minute he thought he was nearer to precision,
A way distant he was from the actual incision.

The time will come, when he will have his threshold,
Sooner or later, he will have to fold.
After all, no one can alter the history,
No matter what! ‘The Black Box’ will remain a mystery.
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