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The streets are clear, we're hydrophobic
Hoods propped by hats and socks pulled high;
The rain brings peace to the agoraphobic
Puddles form moats and clouds fill the sky.

Splash, droplets hit the window,
chauffeured by the gail outside.
Squint your eyes and flash back
boats tilt starboard, with the tide.

The captain shouts to the decks, paranoid
'Clear the decks and brace for impact'
Without turbulence we are disenfranchised
Boredom becomes us when we're boring.

Shake it off and stare at the dot to dot
the residual carving of water as it slides
Another droplet falls beside it, parallel
it aligns, growling thunder overhead.

Without stirring we are robotic workforces
Without awaking we are left inside
The constructs created for us, by corporate-
conglomerate elitist-psychopaths.

Two drops of water on the window
simmer red with burning anger.
Crash lightening sears the sky
Rage becomes you, girders melt.

The starry night undercurrent, flings
us backwards, never up, as democracies
which seek to serve sink into a sea of
stocks and shares, the wall street journal

sits atop the captains lobby, economies
were meant to tumble as the working classes
fumble for bread, men in suits gaggle
and toast to the millions they left for dead.

Resistance is futile, when eighty-five
of the richest suit owners sit on currency
that was meant for the three point five
billion who aren’t driven by gluttony.
Andrew Aug 2017
Freedom flings
Tyrant kings
Into their rightful place
A head on a plate
Democracy inflates
The morale of the people
Oligarchy deflates
The idea that we're equal

Spiteful dictators make their way through the system
And dominate the world while nobody listens
Distracting people with things that glisten
Disseminating hatred as their vision
Engendering fear is their mission
To buy or sell weapons
For more money or more power
Dropping bombs from their ivory tower
From extreme explosions we cower
Explosions of hatred then violence
Explosions hastened by silence
Explosions of fire we ferment
To burn the faces off our enemy
To avoid exercising our empathy
Creating a world filled by entropy
People say ******* like freedom isn't free
When the currency we pay for freedom
Is restriction
We dampen our fiery feelings
With prescriptions

Freedom is free
It's inherent
It can only be taken or given away
It is not a proper excuse to slay
Those that rightly disagree
With what you're imposing

Freedom is fleeing far far away
When people are molded by clay
Of those with the power to shape civilians
Of those with the power to bring billions
Of people to their knees
When freedom is our fee
To live in timid apathy
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
jonni inferno Feb 2018
stop
be still and listen
hear ye not
that soulful song
of endless motion
that tireless voice
of storm wracked potion

her swollen bosoms'
rising, falling
her shameless
cresting
foam flecked
devotion

pouring out
her effervescence
on lips that drink
her adoration
yet never taste
her vital essence

her drumming chorus
a roaring thunder
on rocky clefts
torn asunder
as mourning rays
of misty raining
her teardrops falling
gently tracing
our loves
our sorrows
engraved each day
on these
mortal paintings

on granite shoulders
her message beats
that pounding drum
of thunderous need
as she flings
her ageless
storm tossed beauty
onto granite arms
etched and fluted
from hollowed cheeks
her kisses pouring
as sea birds cry
on stiff winds soaring

and ever on
throughout the ages
enduring
her ravenous
inclinations
never wincing
from her brazen charms
her surging seduction's
voiceless call

immersed
within her warm caresses
glistening
in her wind tossed tresses
enfolding him
in her flowing graces
in dulcet tones
of annihilation
.
.
http://oi62.tinypic.com/vuya0.jpg
.
visualize
a stormy ocean
crashing upon
granite cliffs
Philipp K J Jan 5
Clean of blots
and residue clots
Love overflows the moats.
Ripples weft dimple nets
Emit smiling drifts
Doling out thrills
This flowing rarity
Flows and flows
Rolling infinity
Falls on solid rocks
And flings out and flocks
On spontaneous little wings
flights of life butterflies.
Sebastian Macias May 2016
as I sat here alone tonight
I took my look around the place
listening to the magical, talented
voice of Mr. Leon Bridges
and begin to think about
people who I once knew, but
now are strangers, and strangers
who are kind of a family now
and those who've never left my side
I think about past flings
long nights, days of tears
weeks of uncertainty, years of regret
thoughts that only run though me
when I'm alone and its just that

It's my drink, my pasta
and this original Olivetti typer tonight
which pretty much sums up my life
and I realize how short the time
we have, we are gone so quickly
I see the world go by everyday
the bus drivers, the fellas goin' to work
girls at the bus stop, the lawyers
the mothers, the fathers, the children
I sometimes feel if nobody moved
if we didn't make the day rise up
would the world even spin around
we are so ******* important
and there is too many people
with closed eyes, waiting for the day to die

so here's to the artists
the unapologetic, the mother *******
the lovers, the insane
the everyday man not afraid of the morning
Infamous one Apr 6
I love you is away to appreciate
Doesn't mean you're getting married
Not saying it can leave regret
Some run away from the expression
Others want love but cant have it
Some give love the best feeling to receive
Others hold back fear of getting hurt
Some are hurt never recovered
Stuck on old flings use to be a ruush
Wishing to rekindle burning emotions
All wrong that can't be right
Wanting to make it better
Only to make it worse
Love can be an addictive curse
Getting hurt or broken ends the spell
Learn to love yourself
The wrong person will never change
Break your spirit keeping faith
From love to hate soon emotions fade
Heal be true real with the heart
Bella Apr 15
“what might have been?” YOU ASK MY LOYAL LOVE / IM TERMINAL YOUR RECKLESS PUPPETEER / YOU COME CRAWLING TO ME OUT OF YOUR FEAR / DESPERATE DESIRE ASH PRESSED ON YOUR TONGUE / I BLOCK OUT LIGHT TILL YOURE BEGGING FOR SUN / MY VOICE IS SO LOUD ITS ALL YOU CAN HEAR / ALL YOU WANT IS TO BE WITH YOUR LATE DEAR / PULL AT YOUR STRINGS COMPLETELY UNHINGED, LUNGE / YOURE THE ONE WHO DID IT WITHOUT THINKING / HAVE YOU EVER TASTED SERENITY /
I PRESCRIBE YOU EXHILARATING FLINGS / TAKE MY HAND, KISS WRITHING CALAMITY / BURNING HATING FLAMING ASHES FALLING / TAKE THIS DANCE, TASTE ME, IMPULSIVITY!
my first shot at a Petrarchan sonnet <3 i really dig this because it's presented similar to a car commercial, and our host is the woman addicted to eating her dead husbands ashes from "my strange addiction", and the car is impulsivity.
PrttyBrd Dec 2018


shackled to a notion
rubbing through wrists
in rusted remains
of beautifully easy

it's a slow bleed
through insults slung
in fear the unmaliciois
only noticed in hindsight

calling the innocent a *****
doesn't breed hate from love
the duke-yeilding cowardly lion
flings back like a monkey


##

breaststroking a marathon in tears
wading through pain I never caused
pelted with double-barrelled denial
THIS IS NOT WEAKNESS

there is no waver on my solid ground
torn flesh and compound fractures
cannot break harder than history

still, gavel strikes
in sucker punched cracked ribs
that look like a past that ain't mine

###

keep hacking off pieces
maybe I'll fit into those pretty boxes
your liars left as gifts
nasty reminders that trust has sharp teeth

maybe that's just you
biting back any hand that gets too close
pandering in placating platitudes
ain't my bag

flattery fails to flounce from unfettered friends


####

can't be beat into submission
with unspoken broken rules
can't run from a truth in plain view

this is what it looks like
to believe what you know over
what you've lived

I'm not running
I'm not biting back
I'm not going anywhere

then again, why would I
I'm not the one afraid to love you




https://soundcloud.com/user-166761247/a-fourth-in-time-to-cracked-selections-of-music
122518
205w
I sit back on the computer,
Browsing through the pages of those I grew up with
Those people who thought they knew everything about me
I sit back and see what they’ve made of themselves

This girl is single, living alone with her four cats
This other girl now has two kids, unmarried and no degree
This girl is engaged to her high school sweetheart, yet they don’t look happy
This other couple broke up, wait they’re back together, nope spoke too soon
This guy is working at the local supermarket, never went to college after his arrest
This guy gained a few pounds, no longer the star athlete
This guy dropped off the map

See being the quiet girl, I learned secrets
I knew the deepest secrets of every single one of these people
Because while they sat in the back of the room chattering on about their so called problems
I was sitting in the front,

Listening

This girl had two boyfriends, and even more flings
This girl slept with four guys in one night
This girl’s boyfriend cheated on her, over and over again
This couple would sneak off in between classes, during lunch, or school assemblies
This guy was the trophy child, who gave away free drugs to his friends hidden inside pens
This guy was the quarterback; everything handed to him on a golden platter
This guy was the school stud who was hiding a relationship with his boyfriend by sleeping with every girl he could

Back then I listened because I wanted to feel apart of something bigger
I wanted to be one of them,
I wanted to be invited to all those weekend bashes
I wanted to be the girl people felt awed by, inspired by, idolized
I wanted to be part of the “in” crowd

So I stood there, day after day
As they teased me
Berated me
Shattered my confidence
Tearing apart everything I was
Telling me I would never amount to anything
Telling me I was fat, ****, stupid
That I unworthy of love
Telling me…

I

Was

Nothing




Let them tell me that today
I see everything of what they have become
Those people I wanted to be are no longer there
Their confidence shattered by reality

The best days of their life ended the day they left high school

Mine on the other hand are just beginning
I am the girl who is wanted
I’m the girl who can go wild
I’m the girl who can be passionate
I’m the girl who is adventurous
I’m the girl who brings pride
I’m the girl who is the athlete
I'm the girl who travels the world
I’m the girl who is unashamed of who I am

Because by pushing me out
My oppressors gave me everything I needed
The strength to try
The courage to dream
The ability to think
The confidence to be unique
Independence to thrive
But more than anything
My oppressors gave me desire

Desire to be more than they believed I could be
Carlos Lewis Jan 5
People tend to look at me
And darkness is all they see
But maybe that's how it was meant to be

They say a lot of bad things
But the truth is they don't know what clings
Or what flings

But does it matter?
If my life is going to shatter
My existence is only a crack of light
Existing between two eternities of darkness

No one wants me anymore
All they do is ignore
But sometime for sure
I am going to score
Paul Butters Aug 25
A massive moth outside in the night
Flings itself at
My bathroom window.
Another Icarus
Sorely tempted by the electric light within
My house.

A swooping vulture
It tries again and again,
Fracturing its fragile wings:
Battering itself to exhaustion.

Perhaps it curses some Moth God
And feels a failure in life,
Totally frustrated
At not being able to reach its imperative goal.
Not knowing
That had it succeeded
It would now be
Incinerated.

Paul Butters

© PB 25\8\2019.
Yes, I took my annual bath. hehe
Dave Gledhill Aug 2018
The eagle searches, circling, senses strum like spider silk.
Sorrow’s scent slides up on a sea breeze.
A solitary slave spits sullenly into the spray.
Silently, suddenly, the sentinel streaks down.

Beak breaks skin, breaches bone, crimson blots the ocean’s foam.
Defenceless, relentless, the bird blurs in a barrage of blood.
Banished, betrayed, the ravaged titan sways -  
between the rocks that form his cage.

His foe retreats; a closing caw as crooked claws cleave meat.
Head bowed in defeat, our hero strains as chains bind
hands and feet.
Enduring bonds cut deep and bleed him bittersweet.

Cast against the crags,
this castaway’s castigated cries call out
to no-one.
Chastised, he squints with hollow eyes
towards a lifetime of the bird’s reprise.
  
Furious. Fists flex,
thrashing against his fortress.
Face furrowed into a frown he flings forward
and for once finds his foot…
unfettered.  

Bindings broken, his bonds bite terra firma,  
as first a foot and then a hand finds favour.
Boundless, he bellows at the sky
as the flotsam of his freedom floats on by.

Reprieved. Aggrieved. He is restless in release.
An errant righteous line repeats.  
Relentless in its beat, it rings out like raw steel on teeth.
A ricochet that disturbs his sleep

“Is this victory, or defeat?”

Racked by reminiscence,
his reality and responsibility remain.
Warped roots rammed down
with rock-filled boots.
Resistance seems obtuse against such reoccuring fruit.

Reluctant, resigned, he rattles out a sigh -  
the last gasp of this transitory high.
Reaching for the rope and tack he re-binds the knots
that hold him back.  
With one last glance towards the past
he hoists his soul upon the mast.

Ceaselessly.
Senselessly.
The
sentinel
streaks
down.
I'm done being broken
The unrequited love I've spoken
The nights where the only love I felt was in the drugs I was tokin’
The days I spent making others happy because I was jokin’
But in reality I had gave up hope and just needed someone to listen for a moment.

I'm done being broken
Cause im not
I'm more than the scars
The bruises
The road rash from cruisin’
With those who pushed me out
Cause when I doubt
God reminds me
“Come and find me”
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Weak, we thirst for things of odd and in this sightlessness; all these flings rally tattered love upon you.

I'm done being broken
The unrequited love I've spoken
The nights where the only love I felt was in the drugs I was tokin’
The days I spent making others happy cause I was jokin’
But in reality I had gave up hope and just needed someone to listen for a moment.

Just listen
Sense what your missin’
And make it your mission
To make life your ***** and end the wishin’
Cause we're done being broken
So here's to hope and your soul being awoken.

Cause we're done being broken
The unrequited love we've spoken
The nights where the only love we felt was in the drugs we were tokin’
The days we spent making others happy cause we were jokin’
But in reality we had gave up hope and just needed someone to listen, for a moment.
-Luca Ivaldi
Daviaso Feb 2018
I find that paper lends itself
Excellently to flow of thought;
Far better than keystrokes and light.

A screen blasts its presence forward;
Takes what is does not possess and
Flings it into our tired eyes.

Paper takes what it is given
And dutifully holds it close
Until decay does to it part.

Like a soldier brave and hardy
It values its charge most highly
And gives up its life before it.
This is unfinished, both in idea and form.  At some future date I would like to revisit this, flesh it out, and put it in a proper meter instead of this freeform tetrameter.
Mikaila Oct 2018
What you see in me
Is someone who is so used to isolation
And so good at disguising it
That to be present in the world is a surprise.
Everything rushes in
Everything touches me all of a sudden
And I am overwhelmed.
I don’t know if it’ll ever go away.
I don’t know if I want it to.
It brings a certain strangeness out in me
As I struggle to contain and conceal
Not my otherness
But my sudden immediacy.
I feel the floor pressing up against my feet
And the soft turnings of quiet things in the ground so far below it.
I feel the sea.
I feel the past and its whispers.
I feel the way a tree must feel
When struck by lightning.
Somewhere an artist carves the face of a statue in a quiet room
And something new is born
And I feel that.
Somewhere someone flings their arms wide
Leaning out across a railing over the water and laughing as the wind holds them up
And I feel that.
Somewhere lovers find each other for the first time
Somewhere a child learns a new word
Somewhere, someone tired and peaceful breathes for the last time
And I feel that
And that
And that.
It rushes in,
It all rushes in.
At once I am painfully in place
And scattered across the world
And it all swirls through me.
I am so used to being silent inside
And filling the space with music and words
Petty distractions and safe thoughts
But
Suddenly
If I had a thousand bodies and souls it would not be enough to hold all this
And I am disoriented
Like I’ve been thrown into deep water only to realize I can still breathe somehow.
It is that confusion you see in me.
It is the memory of before
Of having been everything and nothing all at once, forever,
And then suddenly contained-
I had forgotten,
But part of me remembers every time I see you
And it is always a surprise.
I don’t know if it will go away.
I don’t know if I want it to.
It’s why I miss things,
Why I can’t focus,
Everything in the world calls to me,
And everything in me sings back,
“Please don’t let me go again,
Please let me sink my hands into the earth and grow there
And never feel alone again.”

It’s a hell of a lot to act normal through.
Eve Stumpges Jan 25
I thrive off the hole in my spirit.
I fill it with other peoples’ dogs, mending strangers, worn hiking shoes, yoga pants, unhealthy flings, wine, chocolate, substantial friendships, and attempting to love myself with the same fondness I hold for the sun’s warm generosity.
But nothing satisfies. My spirit habitually empties.
The underlying dark earth briefly revels in the light while the rain propels the earth’s unassuming descent to re-consume me.
SWEET

The day she went
out of our lives

I offered her a sweet.

'"Thanks love, I'll eat it
later on the bus.'

She snaps it shut in her little red purse.

I still feel my hand  letting go of her hand
see for the last time her never-again-seen face.

Only the little red purse returns
out of its mouth…Death laughs

in blood besprinkled glass
some small change…the never eaten sweet.

For years it lives behind the wind-up clock
in my mother's bedroom

scaring me each time I have to pass
and it sees me     and laughs.

My little brother not even born then when...
jumps up & down playing alone

all by himself
in a world of his own.

He is both good guy & bad guy
falling down dead on the bed

as a quick spat out shot
ricochets & agggh...gits him!

Even by 7
killing yourself is a tiring business.

He stops. Rests.

...rummages around among
my mother's artifacts.

His little inquiring mind
snaps open the little red purse.

Death laughs(but he not knowing)  
is immune to it.

He sees the white wrapped death sweet
almost glowing against the red.

He sees it...eats it.

The Past has been
eaten by the Present.

Unaware of what he has done
(Death defeated)  

he flings himself on the bed once again
pretending he is dead

sunlight streams through the glass
holds him gently in its hand

this the living child
Death dead at last.
rhiannon Sep 2018
My bright princess, you inspire me to write.
How I love the way you laughs, skips and sings,
Invading my mind day and through the night,
Always dreaming about the gorgeous flings.

Let me compare you to a cute stardust?
You are more pretty, clever and caring.
Smart heat toasts the fond frolics of August,
And summertime has the fine time sharing.

How do I love you? Let me count the ways.
I love your beautiful eyes, heart and face.
Thinking of your happy heart fills my days.
My love for you is the warm marketplace.

Now I must away with a daring heart,
Remember my apt words whilst we're apart
Thirty-nine and single
and its been this way four years.
A few flings on the side,
a little skin to skin win,
jumbled kind words in passing,
bubbled emoji smiles,
a morsel from your crumbling heart,
a giant bite of your sin.

I've never been the cheater.
Had my fun when things were undefined,
kept my exes as friendships,
but never crossed the invisible fence line.
Never broke that kind of promise,
never ate the fruit from that Tree of Knowledge

Never been the cheated as far as I know,
I wasn't born to play that cuckold role.
I am just the grateful accomplice,
a secret man-shaped hole in your life,
you speak of only with that man.
We bump and rub our egos,
while you make more sensible plans.

I am a gift that knows nothing or generosity,
humility that swings with fists for fences,
salvation with a price tag,
water for the hungry,
sunshine on a frigid Universe,
the morality of a well meaning fool.

"I can get by on little or nothing."
And I quit my job without reason.
I've got no paper in my pocket,
and not much working for me,
on the street.

I'm not a vegetarian,
I like the smell,
the flesh and soul,
of sizzling meat.

I am "woke" in a way that is not yours,
Woke to the true and endless fight against injustice.
Woke to pragmatic workable solution,
But I expect people to laugh off
or confront a microaggression.
Your complaints mean little to me.
I was born with an incurable disease.
And "if I was half the man I used to be,
I'd take a flamethrower" to your safe spaces,
to your shout downs,
when they threaten free speech.

My hands and arms are strong,
but my legs are weak.
My life is weak.
My car is scraped, dented,
and full of paint and ash.
I quit my last job without a reason.
The next one will be worse.
I owe more than I earn,
preach more than I learn.

My jacket is torn.
My sweater is fifty years old.
My feet are rough beach rocks.
My jeans sag below an alcoholic's gut.
My teeth are yellow nicotine.
My knees crack.
My *** bleeds.
My hands shake.
My **** quakes.

My back aches,
threatening violent mutiny.
My beard is just beginning
its unstoppable transition to gray.
My sweatshirt reeks of ****.
Nights sweats flood my sheets every night,
whether we are together or alone.

My eyes are above it all,
window to my soul,
so much more apt and able,
to produce tears.
In that one way,
I have grown.

This Soul is the unforgiving ice
of a small pond
in a giant winter meadow.
The yellow grass is dead,
but keeps its head above the snow.
The evergreens sway solemn in brutal wind.
The pond is safe to skate on,
If you don't fall too hard.

As we move towards the work of Love
the internet makes a shrewd habit,
of taunting our loneliness.
It supports an army of strippers,
sending stock requests to be "friends,"
with the hope a man might feel loved,
just enough to surrender Visa digits.
Lost girls courting lost boys,
twelve dozen at a time.

My heart wails for affection,
As all hearts must do.
But the wail is just another song now,
passed by painted fingernails
on the local radio dial,
sung only to myself,
like an organist practicing hymns,
in an empty church at midnight.
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