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FIRST DAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chicago,
could this be
Sandburg’s City?

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

Chicago,
Sandburg’s Chicago,
Could it be?

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

Now also
tourist attractions
for a cafe society.

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

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

Great restaurants
serve liquid jazz
al la carte.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Its mouth our Dixie Trumpet
guarded by righteous Cajun brethren.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3.
There is faith in everything in Chicago!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4.
Does Chicago have a future?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The analysts say
it’s all about capturing liquidity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sorghum,
I think its hardy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is an efficient market
that crosses the globe.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Many striver rows compose
its many neighborhoods.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


SECOND DAY

1.
Out my window
the sun has risen.

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

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

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

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

I set my watch
to Central Standard Time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Always more.
Much much more
in Chicago.

2.
Sandburg
spoke all the dialects.

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

Sandburg understood
what it meant to laugh
and be happy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What level
is he speaking of?

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

I wonder
if I detect
condensation
in his voice?

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

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

This seditious talk!

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is the true level
of this city.

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

Splashing
the nation,
anointing
its people
with its
blessing.

A blessing,
Chicago?

All rivers
come here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sandburg knew
a Chicago
I will never know.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Blues live
on in Chicago.

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

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

Music:

Robert Johnson
Sweet Home Chicago


jbm
Chicago
1/7/99
Added today to commemorate the birthday of Carl Sandburg
Purcy Flaherty Oct 2018
I'm so lonely; all alone in my bed,
I don't recall all the things that you said,
but I dream of you all night long and I'm singing this crazy love song.

Oh honey won't you give me ~
Won't you give me your love;
under the stars above.
Stars above

Fold your arms around me,
and squeeze me tight.
we'll dream together;
all through the night.

And I won't be lonely; all alone in my bed,
And I'll recall all the things that  you said,
and I'll dream of you; all night long
wake up singing this crazy love song.
Oh come on honey won't you give me ~
won't give me your love; under the stars above..
Under estimates falling in love
Jolly, swing blues in C
zebra Apr 2018
i could taste her with my fingers
feel her sweltering tongue
like a red field burning
until our lives fell to snow
grottoes icy labyrinth
dismantling us
a bone at a time

we studied each others
shifting decrepitude
watching each other rot
*****, twisting to white ashes
like a fiction of flickering transparencies
drawn faces ***** downwards
every day
a dark-eyed Halloween
and i cant hear her voice

still a giddy pig
with **** talk
floundering in the mud
laughing about death
my heart is a secret terror
my breath tangled in your words
every syllable like a pound of grain
breathing black pebbles

I'm facing destiny
a dark jazz
like all before me
and you
my beloved
until all is parched dust
with
one of us still left standing
haunted by the absence of the other
Josh Nov 2017


Absorbing dust and Golden heat,
living more openly than I do,
he shimmies to Billie Holiday

The year is not 1957, though
he lives in a San Francisco fog
longing to play the piano

The time in not 11:57pm, though
he orders a ***** martini & swims
in the fishbowl bay

Escaping to Telegraph Hill
to drink moonlight jazz & vermouth
he pretends to live

Way back when

*
I haven't wrote a poem in 2 years!
Amanacer Sep 2018
Jazz in Monterey
What can I say?
The notes float to heaven
A stairway away

The full moon shone
Our mines excessively blown
The notes float to heaven
Where the angels moan

Babababababa
Baboom BaBoom BaBoom
The notes float to heaven
She will hear them soon

And God must weep
Tears of joy -- and keep
The notes that float to heaven
As she drifts gently to sleep
#MJF61 #jazz #ecstasy #nirvana
Nis Jun 2018
Ojalá mi cara fuese jazz.
Ojalá mi cara fuese atardecer de cien días
y se perdiese como música en la marea.
Ojalá mis notas fuesen fuego
que corriese raudo por tus venas.
Ojalá se perfumasen en el aire
y  diesen sentido al amanecer del alba.
Ojalá fluyesen como el agua
suavemente rizando la rojez del cielo.
Ojalá fuesen contundentes como la roca
y cayesen a plomo junto a mi corazón muerto.

Ojalá mi cara fuese jazz.
Siempre cambiante, nunca la misma
subebajando en el horizonte.
Tierna y vibrante, siempre difusa
alzándose hacia el cielo con alas desplegadas.
Dulce y salada, externa e interna,
por ósmosis entrando por cada poro.
Pesada y rígida, sólida y pura
cercenando la realidad con su ser preciso.

Ojalá mi cara fuese jazz
siendo lo que no es,
no siendo lo que es.
En cada instante de su espacio manifestándose
en cada punto de su tiempo existiendo.
Única e indivisible, aunque difícilmente alcanzable.
Verdadera mentira que perdura tras los siglos.
Satírica cual elefante boca arriba
dando a luz a lo que siempre ha sido nuestro.

Ojalá mi cara fuese jazz.
Saliendo hacia la luz verdadera
y tornando hacia la oscuridad traicionera.
Volando hacia arriba y en picado,
oteándose a si misma , eterna y cierta.
Creando un nuevo mundo igual a este,
igual de distinto que este a si mismo.
Imitando la certeza de lo incierto.
Pretendiendo con falsedades llegar al verso.

Ojalá mi cara fuese jazz
y fuese objeto de su ser
y fuese sujeto de su haber
y se realizase siempre que le dieses tiempo
y se realizase siempre en lo que siempre fue
y avanzase inmóvil hacia la verdad
y esperase impasible a la mentira.
Ojalá de cada error saliese un mérito,
una esperanza, una virtud siempre precisa.

Ojalá mi cara fuese jazz
tornando el arte arcana en ente nuevo,
aunque sea falso.
En estúpidas epifanías tornando el acto
cual poeta escribiendo estos versos.
Ojalá repetir versos pasados en lenguas nuevas
y llamarse artista.
Mero comentarista y observador
de lo que precedió en tiempo y espacio.

Ojalá mi cara fuese jazz
existiendo con sólo pensarlo
negando el pensamiento mismo,
lógica implacable mintiendo mi rostro,
contradicciones inapelables mintiendo mi ser.
Con precisión matemática ser mentira,
con la etereidad del arte ser verdad.
Ojalá como estafador maestro ante tu mirar
se hiciese música que disfrutar.

Ojalá mi cara fuese jazz,.
Ojalá mi cara no fuese jazz.
Ojalá no tener cara, ni nada.
Ojalá el solo pensarlo me dejase ciega,
sorda para la música de mi rostro.
Ojalá pasar por debajo de una escalera tirada
para no recibir buena suerte.
Ojalá austera o inexistente,
cual dios mirando tu filosofía vana.

Ojalá mi cara fuese jazz
y unificase tantas corrientes
como puede abarcar con sus brazos.
Ojalá pudiese tornar cierta la realidad
por el mero hecho de pensarla, pero no puedo,
pero mi rostro se muestra impasible
ante desdicha tal y sigue avanzando;
regla dorada entre uñas de marfil,
largos palillos para comer la realidad desvirtuada.

Ojalá mi cara fuese jazz
y revolucionase el mundo con su pensar
y desmontase heregías como ciertas.
Ojalá años más tarde siguiese su lucha
contra el infiel divino hasta su muerte,
y como la de un mono con barba
se tornase contra el padre de la ciencia moderna,
y le enseñase a pensar en sueños,
a soñar en vida, a soñar en muerte.

Ojalá mi cara fuese jazz
y se repitiese eternamente para mi suerte,
nunca cambiando, siempre presente.
Ojalá asesinase al padre de todo
y se adueñase de su lugar.
Ojalá existir antes de ser.
Ojalá rodar por la vida sin mirar a los lados,
destruyendo lo que tantas veces nos ha aplastado
y creando la belleza del arte, que es eterna.

//

I wish my face were jazz.
I wish my night were sunset of one hundred days
and it lost itself like music in the tides.
I wish my notes were fire
which ran swift in your veins.
I wish they would perfume itself in the air
and gave meaning to the morning's sunrise.
I wish they flowed like water
softly curling the sky's redness.
I wish they were sturdy like rock
and they plummeted next to my dead heart.

I wish my face were jazz.
Always changing, never the same.
updowning in the horizon.
Tender and vibrating, always diffuse
rising towards the sky with open wings.
Sweet and salty, extern and intern,
by osmosis entering through each pore.
Heavy and rigid, solid and pure
cutting through reality with its precise being.

I wish my face were jazz
being what it is not,
not being what it is.
In every instant of its space manifesting itself
in every point of its time existing.
One and indivisible, although hardly reachable.
True lie which endures beyond centuries.
Satiric like elefant on its head
giving birth to what always has been ours.

I wish my face were jazz.
Going out to the true light
and turning to the treacherous darkness.
Flying upwards and in a dive,
scanning itself, eternal and true.
Creating a new world equal to this,
equally as distinct as this to itself.
Imitating the certainty of the uncertain.
Trying with falseness to reach the verse.

I wish my face were jazz.
and it were object of its being
and it were subject of its having
and it came true always you gave it time
and it came true always in what it always was
and it moved fordward unmoving towards the truth
and it waited impasible the lie.
I wish of every error a merit would come out,
a hope, a virtue ever precise.

I wish my face were jazz
turning arcane art into a new being,
even if false.
Into ****** epiphanies turning the act
as a poet writing this verses.
I wish to repit old verses in new tongues
and to call myself an artist.
Mere commentator and observer
of what preceded it in time and space.

I wish my face were jazz.
Existing with only thinking of it,
negating thought itself,
implacable logic lying my visage,
unnappealable contradictions lying my being.
With mathematical precision being a lie,
with the ethereality of art being the truth.
I wish that like master con artist before your looking
it turned itself into music to enjoy.

I wish my face were jazz.
I wish my face weren't jazz.
I wish I didn't have a face, nor anything.
I wish only thinking of it made me blind,
deaf to the music of my visage.
I wish passing under a fallen ladder
to not receive good luck.
I wish austere or non-existant,
like god looking at your vane philosophy.

I wish my face were jazz,
and it unified so many streams
like it can embrace with its arms.
I wish I could turn reality true
with the mere act of thinking it, but I can't,
but my visage shows itself impassible
before such misfortune and continues onwards;
golden rule among ivory nails,
long chopsticks to eat the desvirtuated reality.

I wish my face were jazz
and it revolucionised the world with its thinking
and it disassembled heressies as true.
I wish years later its fight would continue
against the divine infidel until his death,
and like a bearded monkey's
it would turn itself against the father of modern science,
and it taught him to think in dreams,
to dream in life, to dream in death.

I wish my face were jazz
and it repited itself enternally to my fortune,
never changing, always present.
I wish it assassinated the father of everything
and took its place.
I wish existing before being.
I wish rolling through life without looking sideways,
destroying that which always has crushed us
and creating the beauty of art, which is timeless.
Ufff this was a long one, took some time to translate it and I think is as accurate as a translation of a poem can be, but any advise regarding it would be appreciated. I know it sounds pretty random, and it is, as it was made mostly through automatic writting; but there is a common point joining the whole poem and giving it order. If you really like it, give it a few reads and see if you can find it ;)).
CK Baker Jan 2018
who lit the candles
placed eloquently
behind purple rock?
the sculpted radiance,
chapel grace
wound in a chosen
defined way
down the spiral
stone stairs

street cars dawdle
alongside
the packer slew
biding merchants
and frontmen
shuffle their wares
as the madman
and pock face
sing their
holy blues

cut jazz echoes
over the accompanying
gabble and drone
incense and haze
pour from
a lower trap door
sack fish, truffles
and splendid crafts shine
inside the stained glass fronts

a wide mouth
snapper
with a bloated tongue
greets the
morning tide
(not camera shy
in the least!)
fish traps
and beaneries
dot the busy causeway

hula hoops
and ballers
join the
cobaine stage
favoured rogues
and mac jacks
speak easy
of the big daddy

beth’s triple by pass
taking firm hold on
tricky ****
and the nutcracker
maze ways,
taggers and
lost tunnels
of cu chi
strike a
nerving blow

a poised finger man
belts out his tune
(with a sniff sock
and iterating glare)
his nosey neighbors
cut artisan bread
(with a white wine
and jelly spread)
midwives push forward
for an afternoon
toddle and stroll
Donall Dempsey Sep 2018
DEATH OF A JAZZ MAN
( for Jazzman John Clarke )

It was as I
expected

there was these
angel chicks

playing on harps
on Cloud 9

other angel dudes
playing trumpets and horns

but man
there was the Big Guy himself

playing a mean baritone
saxophone

like he was Gerry Mulligan
or something

the lyrics were
you know

hard to catch
"...you are the music while the music lasts..."

or something
Eliotish like that

I strode up
to the Big Guy

checking his *******
with a grin

"Man, that's real
solid gone!"

"I shall be made
thy music..."

The Big Guy
smiled...blew

one long long
final note.
Seanathon Jan 11
You are snowflakes dancing in the draft of winter
Upwards and yet with all the warmth and kindness of the hands behind the window

You are springtime in December
Let me climb my way through you into the coolness of an April day for just a moment or two
Zokuse
Waltzing through the chaos that life’s left for today,
Dragging along my battered horn in case she wants to play
‘Scuse me, Ms. Bartender, but I’ve got something to say
Ain’t nobody listening to the radio anyway

I don’t need a soapbox, no suit or microphone
Just a little place to spread some truth wherever I may roam
I speak straight from the bottom of a bottle left at home
The struggle’s so much easier when you take it on alone

Hear ye, hear ye, gather round to hear a tale
Of dreaming big, working hard, but destined still to fail

Shredding that loopy little melody,
The craziest cat you ever did see!
Make you feel so alive, ladies screaming, “Wow boy!”
I jump and I jive, cuz I’m a bebop cowboy
"Jazz is dead."
~Anonymous
Rich Sep 2018
Alice Coltrane, your music brings something out of me,
Something nameless
something I keep buried.
As I lay on this bare mattress, humming along to “Turiya And Ramakrishna”
I ponder if you knew your legacy.
If during those last days in 2007, you ever thought your work could inspire poets of the next generation
or was that even a question lingering between your tempels?
Perhaps not.

Well as this pen dances to the melodies you wrote,
I think, and think
and blink
and sink
I wonder if my last hours will happen a year from now or a decade
or a month
or a week
And what will remain of my creations
Have I touched enough lives
Have I loved enough souls
Have I danced enough
Gave enough
Laughed enough?

I envy the sand devoured by oceans
because it’s simply moving on to its next life
I envy photographs because their moments last forever
I envy the tortoise’s shell
I envy the hourglass because its fate is no mystery
I envy those who do not envy
I envy the days before sundials
when days simply couldn’t fit onto paper squares

I...don’t want you to worry.
I am a spark
Finite but furious
bright, unstable, contagious
and capable of lighting your way before I fade

At least I hope.
onlylovepoetry Mar 2018
Friday night immodesty

theater on East 4th street @ 8:00pm,
so the girlie stuff commences on schedule
90 minuets a-priori and the medley music
(adele+amy+alicia+ pink bach for some zing)
a harbinger, a pioneer Greek heralding of
Friday night immodesty

the clothes laid out upon the bed, the shoes,
pumps selected and already on,
(always a puzzler to me,)
the subdued lower east side jewelry possibilities,
on the dresser drawer,
indifferently hoping for selection, but
casually beaming quietly,
like those kids waiting for interviews in the waiting room
of the college Admissions Dean’s office,
all with serious smiles
and tiny tearing eyes

aside:
helloooooo, I am in a poetry polo with my best jeans ready to go
2 hours before the curtain calls out,
hellooooooo

she sits at the makeup mirrored desk,
clad in only her underneath garments of varying utility,
when I sweep in imperially
and with one hand twist gentle her hair upwards,
betraying
her neck nape which is again
the sujet of a poem aborning

lips,
like a Greek lyre strings, pluck, the tiny hid hairs never seen,
her instant moans at the never fully expected motion poem,
beg more mercy but no quarter given despite repeated cries
of you’ll mess my makeup,
the best defense known to a lady!

god gave men two thumbs to lift up,
simultaneously stimulating,
slide down each of the thin black brasserie strap invitations,
upon each, a writ,
upon her flesh colored shoulders,
stating
“what was she thinking!”

my lips,
now polar explorers, those power (filled) poles side by side,
(east/west for the designer was a smart
bipolar guy-person);
the lips play silent night progressive jazz,
tinkling with higher noted keys,
nape to shoulders moving down to the back’s prefrontal lobe,
the small of her back, the body’s quivering,
a con-federate flag of surrender

her last defense swept aside, we drink honey and milk,
celebrate the week’s mellifluous finish with immodest touching,
the lower east side will belong tonite
to only the hipsters, the millennials,
as our hips are milling and  otherwise
pre-theater and post, occupado

some hours later, watching TV and eating delivered Chinese,
she laterally and literally arm punches my arm
intensely to mark her discontent,
still annoyed,
for I

1) messed up her makeup,
2) best blouse to the dry cleaner and
3) the tickets wasted, and worse,
hits me again!

after I laugh and giggle upon proffering
most modestly, most assuredly,
seconds of
onlylovepoetry

9.21am Saturday
thank you all who liked this tale of
the poetry in the details
of our lives.
olp
I guess that even the jazz musicians
and the street rabble have it too
It sways in the hearts of Westside vagrants
and Fifth Street communists
It sulks in the backpacks of revolutionaries
sweating to dance with wild women
It hides itself in coffee shops
and old movie theatres
livened with smoke and soiled newspapers
It advertises in the want ads and personals
It stacks itself in libraries and on liquor store shelves
swimming in the drinks of poets on the Gulf Coast
It lingered in stains on their checkered gabardine shirts
sending telegrams to New York
from a bar in Havana
King Panda Apr 2016
I’m sorry
I was devouring you
with my eyes
your liturgical eighty-eight
your curves and robes
raising my alter
to this pinnacle of
worship
something holy
to take slowly
into my body
love, I wished
sibling love
not to be mistaken
for religion
for surgical jazz
for something else
love, sister
and my promise—
I won’t go to the pyre
without
you
Antino Art Sep 2018
Who draws strength
from watching the passage of time
after midnight
blur against the windows
of a moving train bound
for ends uncertain.

Who walks most balanced
on the beams of empty tracks.

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

Who sees
clearer through rain.

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

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

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

Who finds their center
hurled in flight,
always coming and going.
Storm flight trains movement
Mateuš Conrad Nov 2018
.and believe me, you will never get into the music of Bohren & der Club of Gore... if you weren't played a lot of classical music as a child, and having graduated from classical music, moved onto jazz music... you will simply not get this band, notably the bass fetish fest on the album Midnight Radio; how did i graduate from classical music to jazz? my GCSE English teacher, a Scot, a Mr. Bunce... THOMAS! he experimented with writing on the basis of our music, my writing partner were to explore whether "satanic" metal music induced violence... we were supposed to speak... but didn't really... first my writing partner's song choice was played, Raammstein's Rein Raus... then mine... Slayer's Spill the Blood... but then one day he brought in a jazz CD... Jazz on a Summer's Day (a compilation)... with the opening track being art barkley's moanin', sooner than later i was asking him to borrow that Ben Webster album, where you can listen to the best cover of the song: how deep is the ocean... and then came Miles Davis... i was probably the only 15 year old who listened to the message literally, and followed the advice the day after, having bought the album... he said... whoever doesn't own Miles Davis' kind of blue by the time they're 30, well... then there's something seriously wrong with them.

who would have thought...
that wes borland
could craft such atmospheric
instrumentals...
well...
     given how atmospheric
the song hold on
was on chocolate starfish
and the hotdog flavored water
,
i'm not surprised...
and almost akin to
to tom verlaine's album
around...
you take one listen
to the song jubilee
from the album crystal machete...
whatever the **** he did
with big dumb face
with that death-metal growl...
i'm happy he finally found
his strength to compose
purely instrumental music...
obviously he's not a guitar
maverick,
   in terms of showing-off
like some Van Halen or
a joe satriani...
the whole point was to craft
something akin
to the comparison with
the album kenotic (2005)
by the band hammock...
yes, great... you can pick up
the frets,
the solo *******
into excess..
but like food...
   where the balance of flavors,
and texture are important...
texture translated from
a critique of food...
into music?
       atmosphere...
the haunting lingering on...
a simple nuance,
   matched to a perfected
repetition...
what texture is in food,
atmosphere is in music...
now... i figured...
   if john frusciante could
tap into a purely instrumental
album,
  and forgot about singing...
he'd probably come out
with a Grammy's worth of
an album...
             i mean... i like his music...
but if he continues to
preserve the multitask
endeavor of singing,
and playing guitar?
    he's not prince...
                 but if wes borland
can move away from
  that... ******* that was
big dumb face...
and make something akin to
crystal machete?
then john frusciante
can pull-off a tom verlaine...
or at least work with
something akin
to davy graham's
virtuosity on the track
blue raga,
from the album
              large as life and twice
as natural
(1968).
Kevin J Taylor Jun 2017
A poet's breast within me beats
Beats heart and something I call soul that leaps
Charges, races, racing, finds its feet
Drags me, joyful, joy-filled, from my seat!

Elevating common prose
For pleasures sake, each poet knows,
Gains by use of tools as those
He would at length I’m sure disclose

If payment were perhaps an ear
Just for a moment lent to hear
Keenly offered verse— or beer,
Loved by poets too, I fear.

Most often those who are unwise
Negate the poet’s enterprise
Out of their need to criticize
(Perhaps within their misery lies)

Quite certain they must find a fault
Regardless of the somersaults
Some poets do to try and halt
Those who, in the name of help, assault.

Unless you’ve written words as these—  
Verses made and meant to please
With just a little work to tease
Xenia* coaxed from a’s and z’s

Your day lacks all that razzmatazz—as
Zest for verse—and all that jazz.
.

*Xenia—gifts given to a guest or stranger.
This is an Abecedarian. First letter of each line follows the alphabet. Fun to do.
King Panda Jul 2017
a haw and saw.
a thorn.

fruit: it is ecstasy
never bit and
undeniable.

you slurp—a cat licking
its paws
ruby and clear.
moth and cloud
drape over fruit,
make up sparkling nectar.

love is sickening.
you spend five dollars on
a rose at a bar for
a girl you will never see
again.

she will take the flower and
throw it in the trash
outside with the hundreds of
other roses.

no matter.
they have fruit, and fruit
concludes. it is life
cut with claws.
their beauty, seemingly to
be always in the clusters above.

*******, rose. **** your dew.

they seem to say. that’s when
the light hits and microbial
bleeds to miss ruby.

JAZZ!

at night retrains
beauty, makes it edible.
the rose, changing the color
of its dew—black pearl in
this drape of mystery-shaped
night.
Vicki Kralapp Aug 2012
Yes, I have known how to sing the blues,
for I’ve sung them before we met and know them well.
I‘ve just forgotten how to sing them in tune,
You’ve taught me how to sing them again
With your sad goodbyes and my broken heart.

You’ve taken me from jazz to the blues in one chord.
I have searched again for a song of me.
Reggae, jazz, and rock surround,
Guitars in harmony, with others moving to their music
but the blues is all I hear since you’ve gone.

I’ve been moving to your song for so long,
that I’ve forgotten how to make my own melody.
Singing only cover songs that I’ve heard since you left,
trying to find my own voice again.
Oh lend your voice that we may sing in harmony once more.
All poems are copy written and soul property of Vicki Kralapp.
King Panda Feb 2016
the clay patio was baking
just hot
enough for the dough to rise and crisp
and for you to spread your blanket
in the sun
perfect for a picnic with the kids
and observing the man on that really tall bicycle

it’s times like these when you think
why doesn’t everyone just shut off
and bake in the sun
with a glass of peach tea and a pair
of well behaved kids
who share life like it was their job to love
each other
their mother
dad
and especially
the old dog

even the young lovers get jealous
as their gaze from the park to
your front patio
witnessing that there is something more to love
than just body heat
chocolate-dipped strawberries
and jazz clubs
that children grow like spinach flowers
in mellow
medallion
heat
until the training wheels come off
and they feel earth’s balance for the first time

and the peaches!
they shackle the branches
like juicy bombs
and you decide that
mothers are like fruit
unbruised
unwashed
and perfect
something that God
herself
keeps in her finest
crystal bowl and replants
in the summer

mother
sister
friend
shoot me some of that peach tea
you’re drinking
that sun you are soaking
that air you are breathing
the world needs more of you
and you deserve the last taste
of its summer light
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