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Shofi Ahmed Apr 2017
I only took the moon veiled in my cube
I took her innate water off but not for good.
Now the sun can’t take its eyes
off the blindfolded black moon!
Off this night the sunup is yet to unleash
the dawn, let alone the tucked away noon!
Sumairu Feb 17
Let me flick your columns, let me move your rows.

Let me caress your corners so your edges can go.

I love how it feels to go through your motions.

I can do a six on six or a two on two but, my real skill comes in the triple digits.

Warp my mind and tangle my fingers.

I love your complexity, you got me hooked.

I love to play with the box.

I will forever continue. Rubik's cube.
Amanda Mar 2018
I wish I wasn't still in love
With the person I believed you were
I wish I remembered our time
Clearly instead of merged into a blur

I wish I could happen upon
A picture of us without feeling sick
I wish I was able to outrun
My pain, I tried, but it's too quick

I wish I was capable of
Saying your name without tears leaking out
I wish I had some control over
The honest chaotic words I spout

I wish I was better at apologies
I am sorry for causing you pain
I wish I was worse at forgiveness
My trust is too easy to regain

I wish I didn't miss your touch
And the way you hugged me
I wish I was able to talk
About us without saying "we"

I wish I was able to forget
How your face looks when your heart is sore
I wish I could listen to our song
And not crumble to bits on the floor

I wish I would have deleted your texts
So I would not reread them all day
I wish I had a magic wand
To turn our skies blue instead of grey

I wish I didn't fake a smile
In every picture I post
I wish I was brave enough
To exorcise your stubborn ghost

I wish I could escape the ropes
Of silence wrapped around my heart
I wish I wouldn't of bared my
Whole soul when you shared only a part

I wish I didn't see your image
In my mind each time I close my eyes
I wish I could forget the feeling
Of your fingertips dancing on my thighs

I wish I dreamed of something else
Besides your smile every night
I wish I could bury my hurt
Deep below the surface; out of sight

I wish I was an important enough
reason for you to change
I wish I could spin you like a
Rubiks Cube until you rearrange

I wish I had an easier time
Dragging this body out of bed every day
I wish I didn't want to hide
Under covers and waste away

I wish I could make the sun shine
And light up my life once more
I wish I wasn't too delicate
To speak openly like before

I wish I still felt beautiful
The way I did when you stared at me
I wish I would have stopped handing you chances
After number 93

I wish I possessed the strength
To push myself off my knees
I wish I had the perfect plan
To save you from your deserved disease

I wish I lived in the present
Instead I am always stuck in the past
I wish I could slow down time
I'm powerless; it flies by too fast

I wish I could leave you behind
Move on, let go of this sunken ship
I wish I didn't let you drive
Each time we went on a guilt trip

I wish I could predict the future
What our outcome will be
I wish I had the ability
To write the ending to this story

I wish I lived somewhere new
So I wouldn't see your mom around
I wish I could ask how you are
And look anywhere else but the ground

I wish I could put my heart
Back together in one piece
I wish I was strong enough
To force these wants and needs to cease

I wish I hated you for putting
Me through all seven layers of ****
I wish I didn't miss your kiss
The heaven I once thought I knew so well

I wish I was a heartless corpse
Incapable of love or emotion
I wish I would have my breath taken
Sorrows are waves and I drown in this ocean
The ending doesn't feel right but it was getting long
Shofi Ahmed Apr 2017
Located in the prime location
Precisely at the right spot.
Squaring up the square
Laid to measure on the map.
Equal each side a cube stands
Aligned to the column
brimful every inch.

What now? ‘Looking for a margin,
Wide margin in the solid core.’

Like a human wants to turn up here
From every corner every nook.
The star splashes into its constellation
Like the sun and the moon
Love to wrap around here
Through the fastest route!

What now? ‘Everyone wants a margin
Wide margin where it matters all
It couldn’t be more brimful.
FIRST DAY

1.
Who wanted me
to go to Chicago
on January 6th?
I did!

The night before,
20 below zero
Fahrenheit
with the wind chill;
as the blizzard of 99
lay in mountains
of blackening snow.

I packed two coats,
two suits,
three sweaters,
multiple sets of long johns
and heavy white socks
for a two-day stay.

I left from Newark.
**** the denseness,
it confounds!

The 2nd City to whom?
2nd ain’t bad.
It’s pretty good.
If you consider
Peking and Prague,
Tokyo and Togo,
Manchester and Moscow,
Port Au Prince and Paris,
Athens and Amsterdam,
Buenos Aries and Johannesburg;
that’s pretty good.

What’s going on here today?
It’s friggin frozen.
To the bone!

But Chi Town is still cool.
Buddy Guy’s is open.
Bartenders mixing drinks,
cabbies jamming on their breaks,
honey dew waitresses serving sugar,
buildings swerving,
fire tongued preachers are preaching
and the farmers are measuring the moon.

The lake,
unlike Ontario
is in the midst of freezing.
Bones of ice
threaten to gel
into a solid mass
over the expanse
of the Michigan Lake.
If this keeps up,
you can walk
clear to Toronto
on a silver carpet.

Along the shore
the ice is permanent.
It’s the first big frost
of winter
after a long
Indian Summer.

Thank God
I caught a cab.
Outside I hear
The Hawk
nippin hard.
It’ll get your ear,
finger or toe.
Bite you on the nose too
if you ain’t careful.

Thank God,
I’m not walking
the Wabash tonight;
but if you do cover up,
wear layers.

Chicago,
could this be
Sandburg’s City?

I’m overwhelmed
and this is my tenth time here.

It’s almost better,
sometimes it is better,
a lot of times it is better
and denser then New York.

Ask any Bull’s fan.
I’m a Knickerbocker.
Yes Nueva York,
a city that has placed last
in the standings
for many years.
Except the last two.
Yanks are # 1!

But Chicago
is a dynasty,
as big as
Sammy Sosa’s heart,
rich and wide
as Michael Jordan’s grin.

Middle of a country,
center of a continent,
smack dab in the mean
of a hemisphere,
vortex to a world,
Chicago!

Kansas City,
Nashville,
St. Louis,
Detroit,
Cleveland,
Pittsburgh,
Denver,
New Orleans,
Dallas,
Cairo,
Singapore,
Auckland,
Baghdad,
Mexico City
and Montreal
salute her.



2.
Cities,
A collection of vanities?
Engineered complex utilitarianism?
The need for community a social necessity?
Ego one with the mass?
Civilization’s latest *******?
Chicago is more then that.

Jefferson’s yeoman farmer
is long gone
but this capitol
of the Great Plains
is still democratic.

The citizen’s of this city
would vote daily,
if they could.

Chicago,
Sandburg’s Chicago,
Could it be?

The namesake river
segments the city,
canals of commerce,
all perpendicular,
is rife throughout,
still guiding barges
to the Mississippi
and St. Laurence.

Now also
tourist attractions
for a cafe society.

Chicago is really jazzy,
swanky clubs,
big steaks,
juices and drinks.

You get the best
coffee from Seattle
and the finest teas
from China.

Great restaurants
serve liquid jazz
al la carte.

Jazz Jazz Jazz
All they serve is Jazz
Rock me steady
Keep the beat
Keep it flowin
Feel the heat!

Jazz Jazz Jazz
All they is, is Jazz
Fast cars will take ya
To the show
Round bout midnight
Where’d the time go?

Flows into the Mississippi,
the mother of America’s rivers,
an empires aorta.

Great Lakes wonder of water.
Niagara Falls
still her heart gushes forth.

Buffalo connected to this holy heart.
Finger Lakes and Adirondacks
are part of this watershed,
all the way down to the
Delaware and Chesapeake.

Sandburg’s Chicago?
Oh my my,
the wonder of him.
Who captured the imagination
of the wonders of rivers.

Down stream other holy cities
from the Mississippi delta
all mapped by him.

Its mouth our Dixie Trumpet
guarded by righteous Cajun brethren.

Midwest?
Midwest from where?
It’s north of Caracas and Los Angeles,
east of Fairbanks,
west of Dublin
and south of not much.

Him,
who spoke of honest men
and loving women.
Working men and mothers
bearing citizens to build a nation.
The New World’s
precocious adolescent
caught in a stream
of endless and exciting change,
much pain and sacrifice,
dedication and loss,
pride and tribulations.

From him we know
all the people’s faces.
All their stories are told.
Never defeating the
idea of Chicago.

Sandburg had the courage to say
what was in the heart of the people, who:

Defeated the Indians,
Mapped the terrain,
Aided slavers,
Fought a terrible civil war,
Hoisted the barges,
Grew the food,
Whacked the wheat,
Sang the songs,
Fought many wars of conquest,
Cleared the land,
Erected the bridges,
Trapped the game,
Netted the fish,
Mined the coal,
Forged the steel,
Laid the tracks,
Fired the tenders,
Cut the stone,
Mixed the mortar,
Plumbed the line,
And laid the bricks
Of this nation of cities!

Pardon the Marlboro Man shtick.
It’s a poor expostulation of
crass commercial symbolism.

Like I said, I’m a
Devil Fan from Jersey
and Madison Avenue
has done its work on me.

It’s a strange alchemy
that changes
a proud Nation of Blackhawks
into a merchandising bonanza
of hometown hockey shirts,
making the native seem alien,
and the interloper at home chillin out,
warming his feet atop a block of ice,
guzzling Old Style
with clicker in hand.

Give him his beer
and other diversions.
If he bowls with his buddy’s
on Tuesday night
I hope he bowls
a perfect game.

He’s earned it.
He works hard.
Hard work and faith
built this city.

And it’s not just the faith
that fills the cities
thousand churches,
temples and
mosques on the Sabbath.

3.
There is faith in everything in Chicago!

An alcoholic broker named Bill
lives the Twelve Steps
to banish fear and loathing
for one more day.
Bill believes in sobriety.

A tug captain named Moe
waits for the spring thaw
so he can get the barges up to Duluth.
Moe believes in the seasons.

A farmer named Tom
hopes he has reaped the last
of many bitter harvests.
Tom believes in a new start.

A homeless man named Earl
wills himself a cot and a hot
at the local shelter.
Earl believes in deliverance.

A Pullman porter
named George
works overtime
to get his first born
through medical school.
George believes in opportunity.

A folk singer named Woody
sings about his
countrymen inheritance
and implores them to take it.
Woody believes in people.

A Wobbly named Joe
organizes fellow steelworkers
to fight for a workers paradise
here on earth.
Joe believes in ideals.

A bookkeeper named Edith
is certain she’ll see the Cubs
win the World Series
in her lifetime.
Edith believes in miracles.

An electrician named ****
saves money
to bring his family over from Gdansk.
**** believes in America.

A banker named Leah
knows Ditka will return
and lead the Bears
to another Super Bowl.
Leah believes in nostalgia.

A cantor named Samuel
prays for another 20 years
so he can properly train
his Temple’s replacement.

Samuel believes in tradition.
A high school girl named Sally
refuses to get an abortion.
She knows she carries
something special within her.
Sally believes in life.

A city worker named Mazie
ceaselessly prays
for her incarcerated son
doing 10 years at Cook.
Mazie believes in redemption.

A jazzer named Bix
helps to invent a new art form
out of the mist.
Bix believes in creativity.

An architect named Frank
restores the Rookery.
Frank believes in space.

A soldier named Ike
fights wars for democracy.
Ike believes in peace.

A Rabbi named Jesse
sermonizes on Moses.
Jesse believes in liberation.

Somewhere in Chicago
a kid still believes in Shoeless Joe.
The kid believes in
the integrity of the game.

An Imam named Louis
is busy building a nation
within a nation.
Louis believes in
self-determination.

A teacher named Heidi
gives all she has to her students.
She has great expectations for them all.
Heidi believes in the future.

4.
Does Chicago have a future?

This city,
full of cowboys
and wildcatters
is predicated
on a future!

Bang, bang
Shoot em up
Stake the claim
It’s your terrain
Drill the hole
Strike it rich
Top it off
You’re the boss
Take a chance
Watch it wane
Try again
Heavenly gains

Chicago
city of futures
is a Holy Mecca
to all day traders.

Their skin is gray,
hair disheveled,
loud ties and
funny coats,
thumb through
slips of paper
held by nail
chewed hands.
Selling promises
with no derivative value
for out of the money calls
and in the money puts.
Strike is not a labor action
in this city of unionists,
but a speculators mark,
a capitalist wish,
a hedgers bet,
a public debt
and a farmers
fair return.

Indexes for everything.
Quantitative models
that could burst a kazoo.

You know the measure
of everything in Chicago.
But is it truly objective?
Have mathematics banished
subjective intentions,
routing it in fair practice
of market efficiencies,
a kind of scientific absolution?

I heard that there
is a dispute brewing
over the amount of snowfall
that fell on the 1st.

The mayor’s office,
using the official city ruler
measured 22”
of snow on the ground.

The National Weather Service
says it cannot detect more
then 17” of snow.

The mayor thinks
he’ll catch less heat
for the trains that don’t run
the buses that don’t arrive
and the schools that stand empty
with the addition of 5”.

The analysts say
it’s all about capturing liquidity.

Liquidity,
can you place a great lake
into an eyedropper?

Its 20 below
and all liquid things
are solid masses
or a gooey viscosity at best.

Water is frozen everywhere.
But Chi town is still liquid,
flowing faster
then the digital blips
flashing on the walls
of the CBOT.

Dreams
are never frozen in Chicago.
The exchanges trade
without missing a beat.

Trading wet dreams,
the crystallized vapor
of an IPO
pledging a billion points
of Internet access
or raiding the public treasuries
of a central bank’s
huge stores of gold
with currency swaps.

Using the tools
of butterfly spreads
and candlesticks
to achieve the goal.

Short the Russell
or buy the Dow,
go long the
CAC and DAX.
Are you trading in euro’s?
You better be
or soon will.
I know
you’re Chicago,
you’ll trade anything.
WEBS,
Spiders,
and Leaps
are traded here,
along with sweet crude,
North Sea Brent,
plywood and T-Bill futures;
and most importantly
the commodities,
the loam
that formed this city
of broad shoulders.

What about our wheat?
Still whacking and
breadbasket to the world.

Oil,
an important fossil fuel
denominated in
good ole greenbacks.

Porkbellies,
not just hogwash
on the Wabash,
but bacon, eggs
and flapjacks
are on the menu
of every diner in Jersey
as the “All American.”

Cotton,
our contribution
to the Golden Triangle,
once the global currency
used to enrich a
gentlemen class
of cultured
southern slavers,
now Tommy Hilfiger’s
preferred fabric.

I think he sends it
to Bangkok where
child slaves
spin it into
gold lame'.

Sorghum,
I think its hardy.

Soybeans,
the new age substitute
for hamburger
goes great with tofu lasagna.

Corn,
ADM creates ethanol,
they want us to drive cleaner cars.

Cattle,
once driven into this city’s
bloodhouses for slaughter,
now ground into
a billion Big Macs
every year.

When does a seed
become a commodity?
When does a commodity
become a future?
When does a future expire?

You can find the answers
to these questions in Chicago
and find a fortune in a hole in the floor.

Look down into the pits.
Hear the screams of anguish
and profitable delights.

Frenzied men
swarming like a mass
of epileptic ants
atop the worlds largest sugar cube
auger the worlds free markets.

The scene is
more chaotic then
100 Haymarket Square Riots
multiplied by 100
1968 Democratic Conventions.

Amidst inverted anthills,
they scurry forth and to
in distinguished
black and red coats.

Fighting each other
as counterparties
to a life and death transaction.

This is an efficient market
that crosses the globe.

Oil from the Sultan of Brunei,
Yen from the land of Hitachi,
Long Bonds from the Fed,
nickel from Quebec,
platinum and palladium
from Siberia,
FTSE’s from London
and crewel cane from Havana
circle these pits.

Tijuana,
Shanghai
and Istanbul's
best traders
are only half as good
as the average trader in Chicago.

Chicago,
this hog butcher to the world,
specializes in packaging and distribution.

Men in blood soaked smocks,
still count the heads
entering the gates of the city.

Their handiwork
is sent out on barges
and rail lines as frozen packages
of futures
waiting for delivery
to an anonymous counterparty
half a world away.

This nation’s hub
has grown into the
premier purveyor
to the world;
along all the rivers,
highways,
railways
and estuaries
it’s tentacles reach.

5.
Sandburg’s Chicago,
is a city of the world’s people.

Many striver rows compose
its many neighborhoods.

Nordic stoicism,
Eastern European orthodoxy
and Afro-American
calypso vibrations
are three of many cords
strumming the strings
of Chicago.

Sandburg’s Chicago,
if you wrote forever
you would only scratch its surface.

People wait for trains
to enter the city from O’Hare.
Frozen tears
lock their eyes
onto distant skyscrapers,
solid chunks
of snot blocks their nose
and green icicles of slime
crust mustaches.
They fight to breathe.

Sandburg’s Chicago
is The Land of Lincoln,
Savior of the Union,
protector of the Republic.
Sent armies
of sons and daughters,
barges, boxcars,
gunboats, foodstuffs,
cannon and shot
to raze the south
and stamp out succession.

Old Abe’s biography
are still unknown volumes to me.
I must see and read the great words.
You can never learn enough;
but I’ve been to Washington
and seen the man’s memorial.
The Free World’s 8th wonder,
guarded by General Grant,
who still keeps an eye on Richmond
and a hand on his sword.

Through this American winter
Abe ponders.
The vista he surveys is dire and tragic.

Our sitting President
impeached
for lying about a *******.

Party partisans
in the senate are sworn and seated.
Our Chief Justice,
adorned with golden bars
will adjudicate the proceedings.
It is the perfect counterpoint
to an ageless Abe thinking
with malice toward none
and charity towards all,
will heal the wounds
of the nation.

Abe our granite angel,
Chicago goes on,
The Union is strong!


SECOND DAY

1.
Out my window
the sun has risen.

According to
the local forecast
its minus 9
going up to
6 today.

The lake,
a golden pillow of clouds
is frozen in time.

I marvel
at the ancients ones
resourcefulness
and how
they mastered
these extreme elements.

Past, present and future
has no meaning
in the Citadel
of the Prairie today.

I set my watch
to Central Standard Time.

Stepping into
the hotel lobby
the concierge
with oil smooth hair,
perfect tie
and English lilt
impeccably asks,
“Do you know where you are going Sir?
Can I give you a map?”

He hands me one of Chicago.
I see he recently had his nails done.
He paints a green line
along Whacker Drive and says,
“turn on Jackson, LaSalle, Wabash or Madison
and you’ll get to where you want to go.”
A walk of 14 or 15 blocks from Streeterville-
(I start at The Chicago White House.
They call it that because Hillary Rodham
stays here when she’s in town.
Its’ also alleged that Stedman
eats his breakfast here
but Opra
has never been seen
on the premises.
I wonder how I gained entry
into this place of elite’s?)
-down into the center of The Loop.

Stepping out of the hotel,
The Doorman
sporting the epaulets of a colonel
on his corporate winter coat
and furry Cossack hat
swaddling his round black face
accosts me.

The skin of his face
is flaking from
the subzero windburn.

He asks me
with a gapped toothy grin,
“Can I get you a cab?”
“No I think I’ll walk,” I answer.
“Good woolen hat,
thick gloves you should be alright.”
He winks and lets me pass.

I step outside.
The Windy City
flings stabbing cold spears
flying on wings of 30-mph gusts.
My outside hardens.
I can feel the freeze
deepen
into my internalness.
I can’t be sure
but inside
my heart still feels warm.
For how long
I cannot say.

I commence
my walk
among the spires
of this great city,
the vertical leaps
that anchor the great lake,
holding its place
against the historic
frigid assault.

The buildings’ sway,
modulating to the blows
of natures wicked blasts.

It’s a hard imposition
on a city and its people.

The gloves,
skullcap,
long underwear,
sweater,
jacket
and overcoat
not enough
to keep the cold
from penetrating
the person.

Like discerning
the layers of this city,
even many layers,
still not enough
to understand
the depth of meaning
of the heart
of this heartland city.

Sandburg knew the city well.
Set amidst groves of suburbs
that extend outward in every direction.
Concentric circles
surround the city.
After the burbs come farms,
Great Plains, and mountains.
Appalachians and Rockies
are but mere molehills
in the city’s back yard.
It’s terra firma
stops only at the sea.
Pt. Barrow to the Horn,
many capes extended.

On the periphery
its appendages,
its extremities,
its outward extremes.
All connected by the idea,
blown by the incessant wind
of this great nation.
The Windy City’s message
is sent to the world’s four corners.
It is a message of power.
English the worlds
common language
is spoken here,
along with Ebonics,
Espanol,
Mandarin,
Czech,
Russian,
Korean,
Arabic,
Hindi­,
German,
French,
electronics,
steel,
cars,
cartoons,
rap,
sports­,
movies,
capital,
wheat
and more.

Always more.
Much much more
in Chicago.

2.
Sandburg
spoke all the dialects.

He heard them all,
he understood
with great precision
to the finest tolerances
of a lathe workers micrometer.

Sandburg understood
what it meant to laugh
and be happy.

He understood
the working mans day,
the learned treatises
of university chairs,
the endless tomes
of the city’s
great libraries,
the lost languages
of the ancient ones,
the secret codes
of abstract art,
the impact of architecture,
the street dialects and idioms
of everymans expression of life.

All fighting for life,
trying to build a life,
a new life
in this modern world.

Walking across
the Michigan Avenue Bridge
I see the Wrigley Building
is neatly carved,
catty cornered on the plaza.

I wonder if Old Man Wrigley
watched his barges
loaded with spearmint
and double-mint
move out onto the lake
from one of those Gothic windows
perched high above the street.

Would he open a window
and shout to the men below
to quit slaking and work harder
or would he
between the snapping sound
he made with his mouth
full of his chewing gum
offer them tickets
to a ballgame at Wrigley Field
that afternoon?

Would the men below
be able to understand
the man communing
from such a great height?

I listen to a man
and woman conversing.
They are one step behind me
as we meander along Wacker Drive.

"You are in Chicago now.”
The man states with profundity.
“If I let you go
you will soon find your level
in this city.
Do you know what I mean?”

No I don’t.
I think to myself.
What level are you I wonder?
Are you perched atop
the transmission spire
of the Hancock Tower?

I wouldn’t think so
or your ears would melt
from the windburn.

I’m thinking.
Is she a kept woman?
She is majestically clothed
in fur hat and coat.
In animal pelts
not trapped like her,
but slaughtered
from farms
I’m sure.

What level
is he speaking of?

Many levels
are evident in this city;
many layers of cobbled stone,
Pennsylvania iron,
Hoosier Granite
and vertical drops.

I wonder
if I detect
condensation
in his voice?

What is
his intention?
Is it a warning
of a broken affair?
A pending pink slip?
Advise to an addict
refusing to adhere
to a recovery regimen?

What is his level anyway?
Is he so high and mighty,
Higher and mightier
then this great city
which we are all a part of,
which we all helped to build,
which we all need
in order to keep this nation
the thriving democratic
empire it is?

This seditious talk!

3.
The Loop’s El
still courses through
the main thoroughfares of the city.

People are transported
above the din of the street,
looking down
on the common pedestrians
like me.

Super CEO’s
populating the upper floors
of Romanesque,
Greek Revivalist,
New Bauhaus,
Art Deco
and Post Nouveau
Neo-Modern
Avant-Garde towers
are too far up
to see me
shivering on the street.

The cars, busses,
trains and trucks
are all covered
with the film
of rock salt.

Salt covers
my bootless feet
and smudges
my cloths as well.

The salt,
the primal element
of the earth
covers everything
in Chicago.

It is the true level
of this city.

The layer
beneath
all layers,
on which
everything
rests,
is built,
grows,
thrives
then dies.
To be
returned again
to the lower
layers
where it can
take root
again
and grow
out onto
the great plains.

Splashing
the nation,
anointing
its people
with its
blessing.

A blessing,
Chicago?

All rivers
come here.

All things
found its way here
through the canals
and back bays
of the world’s
greatest lakes.

All roads,
rails and
air routes
begin and
end here.

Mrs. O’Leary’s cow
got a *** rap.
It did not start the fire,
we did.

We lit the torch
that flamed
the city to cinders.
From a pile of ash
Chicago rose again.

Forever Chicago!
Forever the lamp
that burns bright
on a Great Lake’s
western shore!

Chicago
the beacon
sends the
message to the world
with its windy blasts,
on chugging barges,
clapping trains,
flying tandems,
T1 circuits
and roaring jets.

Sandburg knew
a Chicago
I will never know.

He knew
the rhythm of life
the people walked to.
The tools they used,
the dreams they dreamed
the songs they sang,
the things they built,
the things they loved,
the pains that hurt,
the motives that grew,
the actions that destroyed
the prayers they prayed,
the food they ate
their moments of death.

Sandburg knew
the layers of the city
to the depths
and windy heights
I cannot fathom.

The Blues
came to this city,
on the wing
of a chirping bird,
on the taps
of a rickety train,
on the blast
of an angry sax
rushing on the wind,
on the Westend blitz
of Pop's brash coronet,
on the tink of
a twinkling piano
on a paddle-wheel boat
and on the strings
of a lonely man’s guitar.

Walk into the clubs,
tenements,
row houses,
speakeasies
and you’ll hear the Blues
whispered like
a quiet prayer.

Tidewater Blues
from Virginia,
Delta Blues
from the lower
Mississippi,
Boogie Woogie
from Appalachia,
Texas Blues
from some Lone Star,
Big Band Blues
from Kansas City,
Blues from
Beal Street,
Jelly Roll’s Blues
from the Latin Quarter.

**** even Chicago
got its own brand
of Blues.

Its all here.
It ended up here
and was sent away
on the winds of westerly blows
to the ear of an eager world
on strong jet streams
of simple melodies
and hard truths.

A broad
shouldered woman,
a single mother stands
on the street
with three crying babes.
Their cloths
are covered
in salt.
She pleads
for a break,
praying
for a new start.
Poor and
under-clothed
against the torrent
of frigid weather
she begs for help.
Her blond hair
and ****** features
suggests her
Scandinavian heritage.
I wonder if
she is related to Sandburg
as I walk past
her on the street.
Her feet
are bleeding
through her
canvass sneakers.
Her babes mouths
are zipped shut
with frozen drivel
and mucous.

The Blues live
on in Chicago.

The Blues
will forever live in her.
As I turn the corner
to walk the Miracle Mile
I see her engulfed
in a funnel cloud of salt,
snow and bits
of white paper,
swirling around her
and her children
in an angry
unforgiving
maelstrom.

The family
begins to
dissolve
like a snail
sprinkled with salt;
and a mother
and her children
just disappear
into the pavement
at the corner
of Dearborn,
in Chicago.

Music:

Robert Johnson
Sweet Home Chicago


jbm
Chicago
1/7/99
Added today to commemorate the birthday of Carl Sandburg
The Napkin Poet Oct 2017
Blood stains covered my art supplies
You didn’t believe in that artistic risk though
It wasn’t too long before my sharpener laid in in your trash can

You picked my pills and I off the tiled floor
I thought i’d be the one who’d be flushed
But it was the pills that drained down the toilet

You always grabbed my hands as they craved color
That familiar purple stain my skin wore too well
You bought me a fidget cube to fiddle with my tensions

You took everything I loved from me
Every form of devilish comfort
Alot more than I could ever do for myself
Evan Stephens Nov 2017
The garden is filled with gods
and beggars and dull, fat cubes
that gather rain.
A bronzed angelic family nods,
weighted neck-joints, tubes
of browning flames.
Arrested drama, perpetual frown,
wrestlers mid-lock,
eyes into the sky.
I can relate, my luck's down,
girlfriend's gone, I'm stuck
to my skin, lonely.
Easy to imagine the appeal
of the museum garden life,
to be appreciated and secure,
with a fat cube friend's repeal
of flat love, a new bronze knife
to cut into the meat, to cure.
Jess A Opperman Oct 2018
This poem is an ice cube
just pick it up and see
the colors and emotions there
are frozen for all of time
please turn it over and behold
when up against the light
look hard and you will see it flash
reflections of yourself
feel the coldness as it starts
to melt and run with ease
through fingers numb with icy pain
and now with puddles in your lap
this poem's a part of you
Sim0ly woke and wrote.
who was responsible
for the queen's ultimate disappearance
who took it upon themselves
to seek her clearance

over quite a length of time
those of a regal pedigree
have been unexpectedly vanished
from the monarchical tree

these culprits cannot be
traced anywhere on the ground
its as thought they are secreted
beneath a shadowy mound

and we aren't able to stem
their anti regal sentiment
which is ever hardening
like a ten ton cube of cement

exhibiting the crown's
bloodline doth bring vaporization
where there will be nowt more
espying of a visitation

danger is omnipresent
and its peril aimed on any empress
an unknown body of disfavour
not requiring her impress
Sobbingsoul Jan 23
Like a cube of ice
Melts in the presence Of fire
The warmth of your love
Melts my heart like  butter

©️Sobbingsoul
clairevanya Mar 2018
Sometimes I think about.
High buildings, moving cars or bridges with beautiful scenery.
I have this saviour complex, an rubix cube lover.  
Destructive distractions are a pass time, I have an infatuation with underdogs.

Blowing bubbles, I like to swim against them.  
Purgatory is my sanctuary.
Pain is paradise, numb to most.
Inflicting paper cuts for fun.  
The caring nature of a broken soul, is a laughable misery.
Otis Apr 7
bleak rot
traces static cube rim glasses
and chases the quota
of the sum
of the total
of the whole
into a long and tall and capital I.

I am red of ear, slink of wrist,
and marrow;
fuming like a full tread insect.

slanderous geology
as tongue speckling glory
is ****** and lowly
on the cowgirl trail
showing it's back
as it's best
and trading weekdays
for poor metals.

fibrous, numinous
radiology. sulking and wading.
tributary becomes runnel
becomes mighty becomes cash
becomes pulpit, or pulp.
Brandon Conway Sep 2018
Squalid off-white cube
fluorescent buzzing hue
water stained tiles
tribulation from digital files

dilapidated symbiote
invisible hungry parasite
optimism capsized in the abyss
tedium tongue french kiss

five hours a month
forest bathing in the sun
a cure they say
nature is a gateway

shambling down trails
languid gait sails
fractal patterns surround
tweets in background

head starts to clear
wondrous frontier
five hours a month
soaking in the sun

not enough time
to melt away grime
five hours a week
leaves a happier physique

summer sea breeze
rolling over unease
basking in the heat
leaving is so so bittersweet

return to human farm
pray for fire alarm
nature is a gateway
natures my getaway
anusha Sep 2018
tasting god from my fingertips//
to this matchstick (every time a part of me breaks,
my flesh bursting forth clear and pure and seraphic,
i kneel between the pews) /you lead me drunk//
off the rooftop, the night we first kissed.

i’m in a dull, grey cube, wincing at fluorescent terrors
look down and i’m *****, veins peeling open/
/Will you come back, if i show you
how much i feel it? it couldn't hurt—
i couldn't hurt any more than this/

my friends haven't known spirituality
past a bag/ pushed through through your truck’s open window/
passed a bar passing hands like a love note
limp joints burning our fingertips//
your hands, my throat

open your nose, open your eyes to the world
watch the clouds racing through the sky
and in this moment// everything is perfect
heaven's light falling upon our faces
T Dec 2018
I’m a chiliagon, a rubik’s cube -
Not to be unriddled or unwound
I’m a disproportionately curvatured polygon; too spiritual to be mathematized
I am art, not the artist, and I have transcended my pain and fear because I walked with them in darkness, in depth, to understand not to conquer them
I am a mirror of mosaics and I have reorganized my pieces so many times trying to make sense of how they see me and I’ve learned that they only see themselves
Because we are all teachers and students and
There is so much to learn
About ourselves
Through each other
So open your eyes
And walk with me
Through this great life of self-reflection
So that we may understand
And transcend
These bodies that ground us
Travis Green Nov 2018
What I missed the most about
college was the days that I used
to hang out with my brother
John, the late-night chilling
in Gold hall playing Medal
of Honor on the Game Cube
conversing and giggling
about the most random
conversations.  And the
next day we would
walk around the campus
and breathe in the sweet
refreshing air, the stares
and smiles rising in the
sky, slow-wheeling breezes
brushing up against our bodies,
vibrant vibes soaring across
the jazzy surface.  There
was a rhythm of tranquility
reverberating in various
motions, a satisfying sensation
surrounding the glorious
landscape.
Chrissy Mar 6
Hey , just so you know I will never forgive you for figuring me out like a rubik's cube

Love from …….
Jenny Gordon Mar 22
Nope.



(sonnet #MMMMMMMDCCXCVI)


I lick my finger slowly, with a sense
In closing as of stealing frosting, pale
As aught compare, th'espresso's foam detail
Tinged subtly with milk's sweetness for intents,
Like that finale suited for it hence,
The rainy blacktop half dried in betrayl,
While minutes tiptoe by on wings more frail
Than insects' glassy touch we note from thence.
Prepare their lunch with baggies for as twere
Thin cleanliness, cuz honey's sticky to
A fault; cube our potato like in tour
What, eh?  I tossed my brother's typed note, knew
Not that twas worth aught, and discuss how poor
Tis that all's typed, not writ by hand.  And you?

21Mar19b
Interesting thought, eh?
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