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Juhlhaus Jan 25
Wellspring of blood and gold
In flame and glory ever
Doest thou faithful rise
Cast off thy vapor shrouds
Radiance of ancient godhood undimmed

Magnified by singing ice
As prophesied in the late darkness thy
Hoped triumph heralded while
Bearers chained on metalled rails
Muttered protest under
Hoary breath of polar air

But lo! The brazen promise of thine
Image graven in beholder's eye
Rings hollow in the bitten ears
And the stung flesh
Feels thy boasted fire
Not at all

Above thee stands the city's goddess proud
So virile once thou smilest
Upon her white clad shoulder now
Ceres scorns thine impotence turns not
But fixes her steeled gaze
On the frozen north
Mythos of a -15˚F Chicago sunrise.
Hisham Alshaikh Aug 2018
Brave men fighting
Knights crawling
Strong men dying
Kings crying
Emperors imploring
Kingdoms falling
Empires collapsing
Poets writing
Musicians performing
Paintings begging
Statues Kneeling
For a glimpse of your eyes


--Hisham Alshaikh
Glimpse of Your Eyes. Version 1.
At the start we fought and argued
Trying to find some common ground
But now those days are gone
We could conquer empires
DivineDao May 2016
‘Ik hou van poëzie!‘
~~~~

Netherlands' open tulip fields are
Reflecting the dutch eclectic Symphony
A diverse blending of languages, coloured
Sounds, vowels n' consonants borrowed through Time

I'm able to decode :

English prolonged hound dog howlings ... Dignified
German high class hardness ... Uncompromising
Scandinavian fractally crashed sound waves ... Rocking
French  'Crème de la crème' soft erotica ... Tempting
Hi-**  hi-** Hi-**  Beaujolais  pistacchio  Heineken
Friendly rascal naughtiness
Loud laughter
Cheering
Celebrating
The chocolate desires
The spectrum light alleys
Like Hollander ridden bicycles
The resplendant diamond empires
Delicious sandwiches, allkindofberry yoghurts,
Ships, colourful cargo and windmills of Vintage nostalgia

I think I dig them!!!

In English I can dream and write down
at least one
perfect present sentence: "I think I love you!"
In German "Ich habe hunger für dich ~ Rilke & Goethe" & "Meine lieblings" & "Bitte schön ..."  & "Lass mich in ruhe. . .shatzi!" &
"Meine seele ist{nicht}verlossen." & "Ich liebe dich!"
In Scandinavian only one word: **Skåll!!!
‘Ik hou van poëzie!‘ ~ in Dutch
Translated to English language means
I LOVE POETRY : )
Skaidrum Oct 2015
...
Ͽ
I'm witnessing the night erupt in celestial warfare;
Galaxies upon the fleeting edge of collapse.
Constellations rise as warriors
Planets fall as if they were empires
Shooting stars committing suicide
Eclipses; full-fledged victims of ******
Toxic comets threaten disaster
Supernovas; spells of death
Starlight diminished by the savages;
Nebula messages slaughter hope.
This is a massacre of our milky way~
Our universe;
a brilliant display of
a civil war.

Ͼ
Goodnight.
...
Sweet dreams.

© Copywrite Skaidrum
Michael Briefs Nov 2017
It seemed so much had been lost.  

So much had slipped through
A grasping hand,
A yearning heart,
A desperate mind
As mine.

The dull march of days present
Was shadowed by the
Gloom of regrets and
Shrieked by a shrill wind at lonely,
Bitter hours.  
What was mine? What was ours?
Gone for good and all?

My love, it seemed, was only
Ever a dark dream.
In my swelling and stinging agony,
Love was
As a locked door
And my heart was a bloodied fist
Beating against it.  
A wraith-like specter of doubt clung to me
With oppressive raiment,
Scrapping over exposed skin
Like course, mortifying fabric.  

Then, from out of a pristine past,
A voice  
Called out to me.  
The herald of an angel
Rung clear and glad as winter bells,
Celebrant!  
The dark narcissus of mortality was
Driven off!
The burial cloak was split;
The stone was rolled back!  

A hope newly found
Surrounds and soars above me,
As a deep, azure ribbon of
Stretching, unending sky!

I am imbued with cheering thoughts
Of our days gone by!
Glories recalled in a moment relived;
Revelries and song lifted with voices
And hearts, stout and full!

Together,
With my beautiful Eurydician queen;
Returned, she was,
From an underworld of time.
We coax and stir
The memories of first passions,
Innocent, powerful and pure.
We are now bending
The arc of our history,
Rending the precious pearl of affection
From the murky domain of
A love denied.  
Renewed and viewed through  
Prismic fractures of sadness
And through the sharp focus
Of blue eyes, in rapt recognition,
Surprised!  

Today is reborn,
Lived again and again,
With each pulse of the clock,
Each beat of my heart.  
The blood within
Is purged of that familiar poison.  

All is potent and refreshed:
You, your face, your voice, your touch, your scent,
Your vibration pours to and through me, once again!
Oh, true friend,
Tender lover,
Gently knocking at my door.
You return from distant lands
Remote and misty,
Bringing light and love
To my lonely shore.
I approach from my realm,
Far removed.  
Age and ages have chiseled
The shape of my soul.
In part, it is smoothed;
Refined with wisdom, empathy, and clarity.
Also, though,
It is,
In part,
Broken, jagged, and cracked,
As the forgotten sculptures
Of ancient empires,
Renowned
And doomed.

Yet I realize, all at once,
That I am not forgotten.  
I am not doomed
To shadow.
I breathe,
I seek,
I still have hope and
Words to tell!
And I still have my love for you!
My life is now freed from that
Sad spell.  

This breath,
This stony soul
(Sculpted by the Artist of Pain)
And this trammeled heart
Trembles in desire of
Your beauty,
Your touch and
Your presence --
Your calming presence,
Bringing levity,
Reassurance
And familiar stories of
Hopeful remembrance.  
From love recalled,
Comes your unexpected
Embrace and
Sweet sign of friendship.

That time of distress has come and
Gone and we turn to discover that
Our tender connection remains,
True and undefeated!
It rises with the earliest song
Of still sleepy birds,
Lilting on the cool air of the morn.  

This uplifting emotion
Again flows within me,
As an angel granting absolution,
Touching me in a place
As deep as first love.  

Welcome!
Arrow May 13
I've had dreams
Uncountably many
Some of fairies
Some of vampires
Some of kings
Of their vast empires
But the best of
Dreams I've dreamt
Is the dream
I dream everyday
Is the dream of you
Which I can't tell if it's true
But I guess it is a dream
Cuz a girl like me
Isn't worthy of someone like thee
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
You make me shy
I have no idea why
this sweet honey
two minds the same

How can I say what is in my heart
for you are so far away
nights and days go by
as I wait to be by your side

If grace meets perfection
then you will be mine
and my empires will be yours
till the end of time

With my trust
I give all my names
so you know
the angel of me



By Christos Andreas Kourtis aka NeonSolaris
Ken Pepiton Oct 2018
Drunk, we staggered home.

Aware of having been
some
other where
a while

That woman, she could answer

any question rebbi axt,
Ohhhhmyyy

she laugh and say, Dude, I got the Intent-net,
in my hand

That's more than a list of numbers, this
accounting idle words going on, on going, as fast as

lightning, at the scale, of, say

cat-ions ifiying an-ions
at random,
seen systematical, from a distance
zoom out
at the scale, of, say
Great Deep Field.

Center you, I'm no matter.

synchro
now

zoom out
Use that steam program
Universe Sandbox,
you gotta see that to imagine this, right,

and next is what you keep saying is unbelievable,
but its not.

Good things come to them
to whom
good makes more sense.

Earth from the moon POV

Confusion flux, spurtual,  caused by the solar flare of all solar flares,
one side

Whooshing the Ice left from Patton's flood
into steam, the stuff, not the app,

which swooshhhesssssssssss smack
into the freezing repurcussions
from the daark side…

The Noah event, that was bad,
This one, the last one, this just previous one,

was spiritual. Magnitudes incomparable
(save in parable and example, exemplar gratis,
says the bodiless being, with a roll of  my wrist and a bow)

At that very time on the side away from the flare,
the daark side of the planet, this one…

a Donald Patton nitrogen snow ball
that nearly breached Roche's limit,

too not nearly enough,
dis -integration
The atmosphere freezes
to the quark level, snap,

the cold
explosive
forward momentum
booms a nitrogen bubble now
minusminusminus
solid nitrogen
melting

any heat locked in flare fired steam,
what was once the water
that washed away the gods and locked their cities
of ivory under the ice

on the sunny side,
where now, then,

a solar flare like legends build empires upon
has passed, fires rage

there were survivors who lived to tell

and old stories never die. Old story tellers do,

Only miners survived, gold digger mostly,
few alchemists who knew the mystery in mercury,
Lost was all knowing but to a very few,
who truth be told had been the owner's
well kept servants, ministers of this and that
they perished with all the fires touched

we diggers, we only marvel

How bits of time, exact as ours, can be seen happening
all in bubble of Mercury. Cooked out red rock like these.

"Blood o' the gods of old, swat I'astold."

Messages from the gods, grandma, said, "Mercury calls for gold, gold listens, when fire's hottern fire can be,
unless
the breath of men blow on the coals", we all said that last part and blew out the light. G'night


but a story told a wee bit here a qubit there
here a little, there a little
line upon line,
precept upon precept,

'cept no body knows what I know about cept,

capere, a story starts, a provisioning tale. Wait.

it means grip. like a tool. rock breaks nut.

Paper covers rock, but scissors are so far in the future
that now, my time, my mind wanders after whys

this authoritative telling of the story, in it,
none know the terminal tale.

As in times past, there were survivors who lived to tell

and old stories never die. Old story tellers do,

Tho' here's a clue.
Meek's not bad,
stupid, for no reason, is.

Living long for the sake of a song heard once,
in dream luring me on, promising right now, I'll

know what it's like to see, oh

POV I made this clear some time ago,
time is less predictable than any imagined, before 2018
when, you know…

Even those tales old drunk Hesiod sold
in the Hittite tavern at Delphi,

Chronos thought wrong in those,
he ruled but for the merest gleam o'

Time, then a bubble gen erated by the thought of
opposition to transition,
nothing to something,
pushing /pushing back
stretch/snap/spark
that takes power, pulsing power, throbbing power

push/stretch
glow/snap
you know, imagine, glowing - cheat, think 2018 CG
glow/snap
Planc time,
each time the bubble pushes back
a ripple
imagine a clock, later, if you believe then, you must.

Now, see the bubble of all men have imagined,
since the time when such a bubble was only evil,
continually.

It went viral.
Noah we know for sure, almost, survived, ? Cushites kept records. In Africa.
Akkad kept record, too.
Some Hopi survived somehow and they have a tale.

They say they know the story is ten thousand years old,
I've been to a crossroads
on their journey,
stories
tell of it, still, today.

Holy means marked for good reason.
Marked with clues, not riddles, maps

Sacred means secret means hidden away for use,
not common, every day, quotidian use, right use.

Time, the opposing force, is precious to us all.
In time, we do all we can and die,

in ever, we expand, in no time at all. I imagine.

You fill it. Now, Your expandable mind's time,

time pushes from the outside,
wisdom pushes from the inside,

And so it goes, life goes on and music grows on ya,

Amusing how they do that, teeny muses dancing
shiva on the tip of my tongue,

singings songs in tongues I've never known
if they
are words on tongues
or sounds on tongues,

notes,

Baysian Binary Cross Validation
still ends with some people thinkin'
"it is finished" left them with a ton o'weight,
that's wrong, insist resistance.

Some, heavy duty, leaders of lambs, they claim
power in their mouths, spoken from fixed hearts,

but fixed upon, is truly the song,
said, words are only
little bits of whole sym ulacrum of re-ify-ing

where broken things re-pair, and life goes on…

"fixed, my heart is fixed",
no, your heart is machine of the most magnificent design, perfected,
a time at a time.
Flexing, pacing time itself, faster slower,

try some time
alone
be still, pond still

I know the story broke,
I could not hold it.

In the night, bitter cold
Frozen fragile...

There are pieces scattered every

where, everywhere
there is time, there is at least, a point

a story may stand upon and ask an angel
to dance.
Dance, give it some flare, what do we care?

Nobody's watching, but that fly.
This is read, by me at http://anchor.fm/ken-pepiton
Life is good at my house, thankyou. A reader is needed more than words can tell. My posts are a book now, few stand solidly on their own. Thank you if you spend your time perusing them please tell me where I muddy the flow, or break the story.
Nassif Younes Mar 2016
We were born screaming
And will die sighing.

At some point in between,
Our energy
Our passion
Our optimism
And our pride
Was forced
Into premature expiration,
Leaving us afraid,
Hopeless
And totally functional.

With our fully trained,
Sterile imaginations
We wake up
At the same time every day
Accepting, perpetuating
And then sleeping
In the same place we woke up in.
We despise it but we do it anyway -
That’s the way it’s always been.

Where wars are a pragmatic business scheme
And the lives of others, expenses,
Where politicians promise with one hand
And ****** twice as fast with the other,
Where the money you paid
To drown your sorrow
Will line the pockets
Of the man who robbed you,
Where forests and oceans are stacked on shelves
To be sold for smoke and steel
The way it’s always been.

Where advocates of peace are cowards
And murderers are heroes,
Where the creation of art is useless
And destruction by toxic chemicals is economically necessary,
Where voices in uniform are voices of truth
And our neighbours are not to be trusted,
Where we wish for difference
But concede it is just a wish
The way it’s always been.

Born screaming,
We will die sighing
The way it’s always been.

But every now and then,
Enough becomes enough
And we realise that the dream of one
Is just a dream
But the dream of millions
Can become reality -
The few becomes the many,
The way it’s always been.

Every day, strong people
Protect weak people,
Compassion is chosen
Over conflict,
One person falls
And another picks them up,
A child grows up
But never stops asking "why?"
Never stops screaming
Until a lonely cry is answered,
And a lonely hand is held,
The way it’s always been.

And, in their arrogant binge on prosperity,
Our Leaders –
Our Bosses -
Our Masters -
Our oppressors will forget
That all empires fall,
The powerful become powerless
And a new world grows
On the grave of the old -
That’s the way it’s always been.
Empires and rivers, time and space, man and nature.
Yet nothing, nothing satisfies like clear sinuses and arteries.
The struggle to express and understand is seemingly futile.
Pope’s Iliad, Milton’s Paradise, Armand Schwerner’s Dante.

Chemotherapy, quatrains, everything rhymes with comedy.
Good luck saying anything useful. Solutions to the equations
Are called wave functions or orbitals. Armpits and genitals.
Three *****, two strikes, full count. First and goal. Global

Warning.
So far, a few pages into his tome, Easterbrook has one useful
Idea:  "In almost every ecological category, nature for millions of centuries has been generating worse problems than any created by people. U.S. factories, power plants and vehicles emit about 19 million tons per year of sulfur dioxide, the chief cause of acid rain. Yet in 1991, the Mount Pinatubo eruption in the Philippines emitted an estimated 30 million tons of sulfur dioxide in just a few hours. Ongoing natural processes such as volcanic outgassing and ocean chemistry put about 100 million tons of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere annually. Nature has spent vast spans of time learning to cope with acid rain, greenhouse gases, climate change, deforestation, radiation, species loss, waste, and other problems we humans so quaintly believe ourselves hurling at the environment for the first time."
One of nature’s coping mechanisms is species extinction. As for the
      individual,

Being good or bad, rational or instinctual, violent or compassionate
Are survival strategies. The economist in you wonders
Why care about the future, the dead don’t live to see it.
Life is a river and the self is an empire. Read their poems.

Or any other mountain with a fiery *****.
Am I the only one here who is sexually aroused by certain landscapes,
      ridges like *****, gorgeous vaginas.
He wanted to get the world into his poem so he did. She wanted to know
      one person or place intimately
so she did. The substance of Easterbrook’s argument: what doesn’t **** the
      biome makes it stronger.

Bogle Phantom 2007
"The coveted Phantom, Bogle’s apparition of three unique varietals, combines lush berry and fierce spice into a wine of complex character. Vivid essence of black pepper, dark fruit and juniper haunts the nose, while brighter flavors of blackberries and blueberries glance off the palate. From the shadows, toasty cinnamon and nutmeg emerge, subtly embracing the deeply luscious and succulent fruit to create a full-bodied, ruby-rich wine captured in 1, 2 and 3 year old American oak barrels."

Being good is its own reward, but what’s good!
I can take you and you and you and you and win.
That tiny Buddha, intricately carved, among the hemlocks, near the
      stream cutting the gorge, a parallelogram of white birch bark for
      a prayer mat,
Is gone.

Did a selfish traveler or the original owner take him far?
Although he had reorganized the woods around him like Stevens’ jar
I find the woods remain organized and orderly without him.
I go home and the naming of things goes on.

"Each of the planet’s cultures is a unique answer to the question of what it means to be human. And together they make up our repertoire for dealing with the challenges that will confront our species in the millennia to come. Consider the achievements of the Polynesians. Ten centuries before Christ—at a time when European sailors, incapable of measuring longitude and fearful of the open ocean, hugged the shores of continents—the Polynesians set sail across the Pacific, a diaspora that would eventually bring them to every island from Hawaii to Rapa Nui, the Marquesas to New Zealand. They had no written word. They only knew where they were by remembering how they got there. Over the length of a long voyage the navigator had to remember every shift of wind, every change of current and speed, every impression from sea, sky and cloud. Even today Polynesian sailors, with whom I have voyaged, readily name 250 stars in the night sky. Their navigators can sense the presence of distant atolls of islands beyond the visible horizon by watching the reverberation of waves across the hull of their vessels, knowing that every island group has its own reflective pattern that can be read with the ease with which a forensic scientist reads a fingerprint. In the darkness they can discern five distinct ocean swells, distinguishing those caused by local weather disturbances from the deep currents that pulsate across the Pacific and can be followed as readily as a terrestrial explorer would follow a river to the sea."
Easterbrook, Gregg, A Moment on the Earth: The Coming Age of Environmental Optimism, Penguin Books, 1996.
--Davis, Wade, “Last of Their Kind: What Is Lost When Cultures Die?”,
Scientific American, September 2010.
Baylee Kaye Jan 21
look now, we own the empires.
we can rule the kingdoms
as far as eyes can see,
as long as you’re next to me.
this isn’t just a dream.
d.c.
It all started at our first Anniversary celebration
Then we built burning empires with our lips
We tattooed venomous love bites in our skin,
With Jokes cracking a womb till it tuned a cradle,
Nine months later babies fell from the sky (baby shower).

But our love story starts with folded fist painted on my face,
I can still see the folded fists holding roses with a ring on one finger.
Let’s raise the rose and our story will sculptor itself.
Philipp K J Aug 12
Tears gushed
surpassing the cry
Fears gazed
causing it to dry
Warmth of the hearts
Froze in rubbles
Sobs of the breaths
Chocked in mumbles

The dancing rain
Of lovely screen
Lost its smiling
lively sheen
The wafting tasty
Kitchen smell
Paused in a fill of
debris hell

Temple lights
and canteen delights
Crumpled dark in
a flash of lights

Oh hand that fed
This lovely valley
Are we not value
In your tally?

The flowered hill
Was proud of itsef
My mired will
was fond of myself
The house I owned
The wife I found
Empires I built
On mental marsh
You kid and cast
Like spits in trash
Washed off all
in a playful haste
Buried all in a muddy paste

I didnt know the strokes
Of your brush
Could blow with such
a deadly crush

Oh I never knew
You could wipe
Out with such dark
force in one swipe

You counted the sheep
And found the lost
She set the lamp
Began to sweep
To seek the coin
She loved the most.

He sets the table
Feasts his return
Cooks the fat lamb
To feed his men

Your plays are cruel merciful
Dilly dally not with the poor
You send fears
and tears to we men
Then turn the sky
bright and hopeful
We settle with all our mettle
Soon steals in your dark fresh omen.

Your sums
are beyond our asumes
Your tallies
we miss totally
We presume
all in our resume
Yet your views
are beyond our purviews.
Marla Jul 30
Two people sat atop of a green lighthouse one gray and cloudy July afternoon.
They were perched high above the tumultuous sea, captivated by her ferocious and yet subtle beauty.
The wind blew through their hair as they looked off into the distance, a small joint making it’s way between their hands.
Neither of them had ever felt love before.
In fact, neither of them had seen the ocean or scaled a lighthouse before today, yet they were here.
The one holding the joint took a long puff and then gave a soft moan.
“You feel anything?”
“I feel a lot of things.”
“What are you feeling right now?”
They took another draw and then turned to face their company.
“I guess I feel warm, at peace almost.”
“Why?”
They blushed and turned towards the sea, their head cast down a little.
“It’s okay. I’m nervous too.”
As the joint was passed once more, their hands accidentally interlocked.
Both of them looked up only to see each other’s eyes. The shy one looked shocked, yet did not move. Soon, they started to smile and the nervous one took a draw, relieved.
“I’ve never fallen in love before.”
“I’ve never been loved.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means we’re perfect for each other.”
“Says who?”
The nervous one smiled anxiously and cupped the shy one’s face.
“Is it okay if I hold you like this?”
The shy one blushed and nodded slowly, their eyes closed lightly.
Though they both had a heart, neither one had ever felt it beat this hard.
“I could sit here with you forever.”
The shy one opened their eyes and smiled, pulling the nervous one ever closer.
“I know how to make this moment last forever.”
Then, they were together. Bonded by a feeling that has brought entire empires down to rubble.
Their passion roared over the brackish waves as lightning struck the lighthouse and they flew into the abyss,
cementing this love for the rest of time.
persephone Mar 2018
07
i feel the weight of the universe
expanding in my lungs
pushing outward until it fills
the cracks and the spaces
between my ribs
i collapse outward in a scream
formed of stardust
bursting from me in a flood of emotion

i am too full for this hollow body
i am too old for this frame
i am too vast and ancient
to be contained
in a form that is not the sprawling forest
branching out at the roots
a living organism spanning miles
i stretch my arms wide
and touch the edges of
my feeble human consciousness
i **** at the heavy fabric
of the stage curtain
i rip it from its hooks
and stare at the vast nothingness beyond
and i feel infinite infinite infinite

i stare past the stars and the galaxies
and the thick clouds
birthing life from nothing
and i feel myself
unmade
the universe at home in my chest
spreading and pushing and ripping
until my skin
separates from my flesh
separates from my bones
and i am three incomplete lives
on the cold tile floor

i have lived through ages
i have lived through empires
i have lived through
the fabric of the universe
ripping at the seams and
bursting in a flash of light
to create life and vast nature
and love love love

your name rips its way
past my lips in a scream
and i am forced
to face my shortcomings
in the echo of words and
lips on lips on lips
feeling fading but never fast enough
to forget

i curse the day i ever saw your face
and found it kind enough
to smile at
i curse the moment i ever realized
you were worth the wait
because you may be worth the wait
and the pain
and the heartbreak
but i am worth stars
and galaxies

i am worth the creation of worlds
and endless life
and places too real and
immensely powerful
to be contained in a word
i am alive
i am alive

and i intend to stay that way
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