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Robin Carretti Aug 2018
Where do we meet
    Oh! No He_*
Getting onto
the next courses
Oh La- La "Cheri"
K>ANSAS>>City

_ Prime spot pretty

 let's >- jump ))) To Love
Please raise the horses

What a skirt steak in her
Petticoat Junction
Going to Kansas City affection
Different tribe or breed
What needs to love me
tender Elvis meet Beavis Buthead
    More  T.L.C  
computer DOC Tick Tock
IRS taking a meat beef
chunk is everybody drunk
IOS what is really the meat
Business Politician Trump

Subscribe well done
Cooked or rare spooked
Taking a Spin City kick
She got canned and licked
The prime meat hot seat

The ******* who arrives
first class steak knifes
Ms. Pork hard chew 
Mr. Beans second rate
Dark pumpernickel
Saloon *******, he
is eating
The young tender
chicken leg

High five thigh? Hands
up Robin Fly
Save the meat "let it be"
  "Let it Be" Beatles
The beat Colonel deep fried
Grade A rare meat slicing

Eating in a board meeting
The pig meat market
of pricing

Doe a deer
he loves
International beer
A very sensitive time
Slaughterhouse no way out
His poker face meets
potato heads beef jerky
Surrender Weds
maple smiles picky
The rich Syrup
Disney Mickey Mouse
Kansas City Wonder
meat house

The beauty of animals
"Moms kettle she is talking
to Parrots" meat
the market for rings riot
Six enemies making
6 rounds
Six servants 666 carats
Robin smiles heartily
"Campbells Chicken" little


He's the Beef Man stew
If you only knew

He's spitting tobacco chew
She peels the potato for the
meathead bad to the
T-bone Dachshund I Bone

Garlic knots heart of the
Sausage wearing the
meat corsage Superbowl
My sweet basil good soul
Grilling your bullhead
Pirate Ribeye steak pupils
Mr. "Billygoat" Bachelorette
Hair flat crepe Suzette

Moms Korean style fuss
coleslaw
what a seesaw
Playing Porgy and Bess
 Scarlet the red rare meat
Rolling stone baking pin
Mississippi one or two
Under my meaty thumb

Comes in three-4-5-6- Lucky 7
-Crazy 8 furries
Nine meat ribs-10 babies
with bibs
Hungry Man meat when!!
Country plaid tablecloth
"Kansas Men" of the cloth
The Pig approval
Kansas City Mayor
new arrival

Family together eating
Don't eat our animals
Why is life so unfair
Feeding the poor
with cans
The bad cut of meat devil
this is not the "Grade A"
This is not a ring
circus trainer Bullseye

Robin coffee animal-friendly
Two peas in a pod I pods
  I tune like Gods
Were the luckiest people to have
animals  

The Floridian with dog murals
Palm trees green thumb
plants sunshine events
The symphony dog tails
of hunts
Whats to compare her twilight
eyes hold the moment stare
Talk to the animal's hearts care
The barbecue all the meat men and the women who love their fruit listen to the Owl lady how she hoots those Kansas city slicker boots and the Hehaw have a good time with family and friends treat the animals with tender loving care
King Panda Oct 2016
I’m sorry you have to see me like this
all stinky and bruised
love, these thoughts torture me like this pie
it’s made with red corn syrup
it reminds me of your blood
I see underneath your skin
to your almond eyes shimmering
to your beating heart somewhere in Colorado
lord, how I love you
lord, how life is a road trip through hell sometimes
how we end up in rooms with pink noise
but how?
how does love end in places where no one wants to go?
where no one lives
where pie taste like blood
and you are pale, grief-stricken
almost crying
I see how things are
I see how I am a man destined to eat the air you left behind
you, perfumed with thoughts of me and I beat because of it
you, tortured by my spirit
you, half my soul. don’t run away just yet
wait until I finish my pie and fall over, flushed.
J Rodriguez Feb 2017
I'm as cold as Alaska, Can't seem to warm up like Texas , If I go to Las Vegas I would lose and go to Kansas !
zebra Aug 2018
The new # 69 hoochi coochi smoochi
rubberized *** robot ****** sucker model 2.0
now available

*******
feelin lonely
tired of spats
credit cards charged up from dates that don't put out
don't like the same restaurants
not ***** to your taste
cant stand the in-laws
you wana live costal, they like Kansas
or
tired of internet dating
and no time for a quickie

when the one you love tells you they aren't in the mood

well bunky
its a brave new world
take a spin in our new model
robot 69, 2.0
they talk
they walk
warm all ova inside and out
scented oiled perfumed *** optional
and flavored
to include
chocolate crunch, vanilla, strawberry
and
phooey
replete with an array of assorted interchangeable
*****, *****'s and butts
extra sturdy for ware and tear
and those little irresistible spankies and whoopins
you just cant live without
plus any colors, or rainbow rubber chasse
*** straight or mix it up how eva
trans trans gender

buy out right
or rent ala cart
deluxe or standard
voice activated

advanced multi lingual
baby talk and hits the high notes
talks back software program
and
NO always means YES
plus
screams
cu cu cu cu cu cummmmming
cooes I love you
**** me now *****
shred me you ****** ******
and many others
in over 50 languages

Other optional features include

age play
ethnic fetish
banjee
blow jobs
tipping the velvet
**** to mouth
salad tossing
*******
spit roast
bare back
chicken head
death grip
*******
mammary *******
*******
Netflix and chill
*******
*******
brown bath
cream pie
*******
motor boating

and the shocker  
two in the pink and one in the stink
adult ***
Sean M O'Kane Sep 2018
Auntie Em is calling….

I was just getting to love my Emerald City
The shiny feel of it, its sweetly diverse demi-monde.
Its shimmering green beauty and tranquil sense of safety.
The heels of my ruby red slippers were well & truly dug in.
But no, the state fair balloon stands before me ******* & ready to go.
A grand exclamation mark in my way if ever there was one.
And Toto for once has gone mute, no chance of a last minute hold up.

"Dorothy, Dorothy, where are you?"

I guess it must have been too fantastical a dream to be true.
A time for goodbyes.
I’m embracing the Lion telling him to always be proud of himself & not to walk unafraid.
The Tin Man’s gentle open heartedness I compliment him on as we both shed tears.
The Scarecrow I kiss and thank for his loyalty & grace under fiery pressure.
With a heavy heart, I climb that first tentative step on the block.  

"We’re sick with worry over you"

I could be angry but the wise words of the mystic ring loudly in my year.
I do need to go back – My Auntie Em is really calling me.
Calling me back to the grey flatlands of home.
Back to the numbness of small town heteronormativity.
Where Twisters rarely every came by to sweep you away and save you.
I could only keep singing ‘Over The Rainbow’ in vain hope.

"Find yourself a place where you won't get into any trouble!

Unlike Dorothy Gale, this Dorothy left Kansas voluntarily
The long yellow brick road finally took me under the rainbow and on to my Emerald City
I no longer pined for home but knew all along that it would call me back one day.
And so here I am, drifting higher & higher away from my adopted home.
Perhaps I need to build a revolving door when I get there to pass through both worlds easily
Or perhaps bring something of the rainbow back to illuminate the grey-lands.
Or perhaps – in reality -  some reconciliation between these worlds is in order.
Perhaps.
It’s time to slip on the ruby red slippers and prepare the way for Kansas.
Yes, this Dorothy has surrendered but
I always had the power to be me, my dear.
I just had to learn it for myself.

August –September 2018
This poem was written in response to my feelings about some tragic news I received last month & how I was dealing with it. Initially, it was quite deep & bitter in the way it wallowed over the world I thought I was losing because of my duty to family. My home town is a stifling throwback to bad old neanderthal homophobia and has nary a sniff of transcendental beauty unlike my adopted home.

However, I thought long & hard and realised that because I now stand tall as a proud bi/pan/queer person I should take what I have gained and use it to guide me. Plus my anger was wrongly placed - not at the family member for taking me away from my Emerald City but cancer itself for throwing chaos into our lives.
Woody Sep 2018
Tonight, eyes dry as a bone
I went out on the dock alone
and spit at the dark by myself
until the wind broke like a river
in Kansas, that flows through
my heart, still, you know who you are
and the moon came out and played
a tune on its white piano, about you
as the clouds flew by beginning to cry
and the wind blew that spit into my eyes.
For lecomps, where ever you be; be happy and well.
Tyler May 27
I am not in Kansas,
I can’t stand but I am dancing
Atop table counters at the mall,
Crying out in every bathroom stall.
Razor blades take lucid shapes,
Cut it all out, but save the rage,
Compress it into a can of air;
Forget where you are and why you’re there.
Freeze my lungs and burn my lips
In the grasp of your fingers’ tips.
Arizona is slipping away
My shoulder’s ink just fades and fades,
I am not in Kansas,
I got lost off where the sunset beckons,
Oh it’s calling to me,
In between all my lost ideas.

It’s been a while since I’ve bought a dress,
Or gotten a pack of cigarettes
Then burnt them and inhaled the ashes.
Now I just see ghosts of ghosts,
And can’t recall the words I spoke
Years ago to Mallory Olson,
**** it I killed my memory.
You gave me all of your mom’s liquor,
When I started getting a little too sober;
Oh I would’ve spun so hard,
I would’ve fallen so hard,
Jumping the fence to my backyard,
I am not in Kansas,
I got lost off where the sunset beckons,
Oh it’s calling to me,
In between all my lost ideas.

The ceiling only ever danced for you,
I was just happy to have a room,
Away from my home and family,
I liked the fire more than all the trees,
They all spoke to me in prophecy,
College degrees, wives, sons and daughters,
Each day destiny’s a little farther.
I left you where I met you,
With pyrite and a tattoo;
The flowers cover over all the scars,
Darling, the flowers cover everything,
The flowers will cover over everything.
I am not in Kansas,
I got lost off where the sunset beckons,
Oh it’s calling to me,
In between all my lost ideas.
A Apr 8
Iced coffee brew
Cars in a monoxide stew

Wind on a pigeon's back
Paper pierced by a tack

Tapping feet, concrete floor
Spray paint on the decor

Cold air swept in lungs
Gum rolled across sugar tongues

Change in a rough hand
Canned tomatoes, name brand

Pillars scraped by the sky,
They stare down, eagle eye.
I'm writing this for a competition, so...comments and reviews would be fantastic. The poem is based on the rhythms of cities. The one described here is Kansas City.
Kay-Rosa Apr 13
checkerboard flooring, red rose walls
the large caterpillar's snoring, lets count humpty-dumpty's falls

excessively strong tea, smiles that drive the crowds crazy
a snakeskin hat just for me, something in the tea made the world a little wavy

find me that hare, i want a scone
the white roses are still there, i want a jabberwocky of my own

please give me a design, i'll sew it up for you
NO THAT ONE'S MINE, i'll make tea for two

i want to save the world, then again it really doesn't matter
'cause you won't understand a word, i'm mad as a hatter
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
Aaron Combs Dec 2018
This, this letter I made you, let it pierce your heart,
like the silver moon earrings, I gave you,

Let me hold you on high.
Let me hold you on high.

Like the Kansas fields that outnumber the stars,
let's walk on the wheat fields of gold, for even
if I can't forgive you, my heart will freely love you.

Over and over,

like red Georgia Peaches,  like Florida Beaches
let me be the one for you.

Everything passes on,  so let not the venom of angels,
whisper us away ,

(they're just droplets of cold rain. (cold rain)  

Now like Chicago, let me sing you into fame
until every knows your name, let me sing, let me sing.

Embrace me, like a California dream, pretend it's just me,
like the ring on your finger, let me be, let me be,
the one and only, like your silver moon earrings.

For if you harden your heart, lets go back to one,
let me be like your silver moon earrings,

let me hold you on high.
let me hold you on high.
For her
Brielle Bishop Aug 2018
8.10.18//
A triangle is a polygon
Three edges
Three vertices
A, B, C denoted
Scalene, Obtuse, Acute
No matter the internal angle,
The degrees,
You’ve never found that
Of an Equilateral appealing
Unable to relate,
Obtuse seems far more fitting
Difficult to understand
Two sides annoyingly sensitive, impossible
High hopes of overshadowing the smaller
Base of the shape
What the opposing angles
Fail to realize is nothing would be possible
Without the foundation
While the top portion remains
Sharp and ominous
The root exists patiently and quietly
For the value to be found
If I could, I would have
Used a fine tipped pencil
Versus a pen to sketch
If I could, I would erase both angles
To form a linear arrangement
Instead I dispose of the scratch sheet
Some equations are left unsolved
For temporary periods of time,
Regaining composure
The values of A and B discovered
So we start from the beginning
The base
Progressing from one stage to another
Sequential
A singular line
Possesses more meaning than you may think
For instance
Roads that extend for miles
Through the flatlands of Kansas
The Midwest and back
To the heart of the desert
Outstretched limbs
Welcoming and warm
Beaten dirt paths
That eventually led me to you
James Floss Sep 2018
Questions asked—
Answers evaded

Questions asked—
Churlish responses

Questions asked—
Reality revised

Questions asked—
Dangerous denials

Questions asked—
Squeaky clean!

Questions asked—
RED HERRING!!!

Questions asked—
Deny FBI

Questions asked—
AD HOMINEM!!!

Questions asked—
Boast, repost

Questions asked—
Uncivil snivel

Questions asked—
Snide asides

A question asked:
Where are we?

Scary judiciary?
End times?
Revolution?
Not in this Kansas.
It’s a bit like shock therapy
When you’d come to.
It was the Depression, sure,
And I was barely clothed and fed
But I woke up refreshed
Realigned and adjusted.
A clean sweep!
Surrounded by my loving family.
Back.
So this is the way things are;
The way things were,
Before
But it’s not so bad in comparison.

That over there was a disaster
The so-called
“Loss of consciousness”
Was I in a coma?
With witch’s feet
And those dancing trolls
A road leading where and why?
There are no other roads, so who cares the color?

It was a horror story, not a morality play
They were so presumptuous,
What I needed!
They told me that I had killed someone,
a complete stranger
and
That’s when it all got worse.

Bluebirds fly
Yes I suppose they do!
You are right!
I got my wish in a sick kind of way
I went beyond a “rainbow”
as it were

It was bad.
I liked those gorgeous orange woozy poppies
but so what,
I was asleep anyway.
Do you see what I mean?
Chased by monkeys and
people who don’t really like me.
Not really.
Not any more than anywhere else.
Despite what they say.
Anyway, everyone clearly had their own agenda.
It was a matter of convenience and opportunities.
What was mine again?
Oh yeah.
For it to stop.

The Wizard was a Kansas Man
He said so himself
And when I showed up
Well he decided to clear out
I guess we were two Kansans too many

Stay with us Dorothy!
We love you!
All of us!
We don’t want you to go!
Doesn’t that sound a bit odd?

So I came back with this bit about
Well “if I ever look
for my heart’s desire
again
I will look no further
than my own backyard
Because if it isn’t there
(It gets good!)
I never really lost it
To begin with!”
Can you believe that?
I also relentlessly repeated
HOME
Euphemistically speaking
and the word
LIKE
Which isn’t really a total and complete
lie

And somehow it worked
It came to an end
I can’t really explain why but
It could have been a Jim Jones situation.

But do you think that I believed any of it?
I escaped
And now I think that I know how to do it.
And I can do it again.
But to someplace
Else.
Andrew Maitland Oct 2018
I watched the water rise. Creeping down the muddy street. As if a divine force was attempting a stealthy act of insurrection. I didn't have the heart to fight it. Had I only known.

I watched Hell's Half Acre silently succumb to the whimsical (however so pleasantly devastating) path of Gaea. Through this empowering incident I felt redemption like I never had before.

I jumped down from the platform of the livestock pen to personally welcome the satisfying force of nature's purification. The water lashed out and grabbed my leg. At that moment my jubilate spirit spoiled to uncontaminated terror. It was not a redemptive Spirit winding its way through the rail tracks but the serpent Lucifer. Had I only known.

And so in the West Bottoms Tavern I found myself under the ***** shoe of The Machine. A wayward phantom rising from our precarious Kansas River. It drifts through the sweet Midwest like the coal black locomotive smoke that paints a suffocating thick haze above the Stockyards.

A welcome slate of provision. A shelter covering us from the racial tension and poverty smothering the outside world. To those in the Bottoms with unruly desires, a saviour. To those at City Hall with loose morals, the messiah.

And it was at 1908, I nervously pulled the covers over my vulnerable body and sealed Satan's foul kiss with a diabolical red scrawl. We skipped hand in hand through the freshly paved streets of our "wide open" town. I always tried my best to look the other way but I knew full well that I travelled with a gang of thieves.

Nonetheless, everyone votes in our town. A brutal party whip keeps the Jackson County Democrats in line and "Charlie the ***" prevents any Rabbits from multiplying.

But I've been working from within the belly of a "whale" for years and I fear we've now run out of ocean. Our arranged marriage has robbed my capacity for faithful navigation. I'm seeking a radical divorce from The Beast, the cost has become inconsequential to me.

So I found genuine redemption. Finally. I closed the driver side door to my sedan and walked out to the edge of the bridge. The water below seemed whimsical (and so pleasantly devastating) in nature, much the same as it had 36 years ago. I pinned this note to the window, and with a Ready-Mixed Concrete block tied around my waist I watched the water rise.
Bill Johnston May 31
Kansas still hangs 'em high.
Albert will dangle for twelve years.
KBI presented an insufficiency to 12 blind mice.

A mischief destroyed Mr. Wilson.
He has no North Pole any longer.
He hangs on the tree of injustice
Discrepancies in sentencing?
Ken Pepiton Nov 2018
The puppy seemed happy to see me
when I seen her at the park that other day.
you coulda seen it right away.

So the shrink lady she say, so what?

Dunnno, jisayin' somebody seemed happy

after seeing me naked paraded before all
who may have noticed,

maybe not.

What if nobody noticed and I am happily
seen a naked thing I am

unnoticeable save for seekers of knowns

believed to be known or
knowable

by you, down in the slew, Bunyan's slough,

ya got iron in yer blood?

ya areckon.

Yer Uncle Sam needs ya, boy,

you leave that Kansas lass to
stare at those July buttermilk skies,

there's a war awaitin' for Rough Riders,
Arizona reared and steered

Say what, sir? Steered? Not me. Done my time.
Played footballs, by damtotell, at Fort Bliss,
I threw hand grenades,
Football was Ft. Huachuca, autumn, 1967

Bien Hoa was in the spring, one day after
My Lai, my country's legacy from my year

beyond the whole idea of war. History said,
if we are not the Redcoats, we are the Hessians,
at least.

Allegiance to a legion because they are many?
Perish the thought.
Just characteizing finding voice willing to be blamed.
Bill Johnston Apr 21
A bright Kansas moon
and missing you to
tune of Claire de Lune.
Written March 30, 2019 in memory of my wife.
Robin Carretti Aug 2018
Our salvation taking
another high-life (Lip)
The middle-income lip
Our lips leaked
Being possessed the kiss
on empty

Humpty Dumpty sat
on her Lego lips
Singers the Talking Heads
Where are the feds to late
Those stolen lips
State of a wedding trips
Rainbow chalk the state was
on lip nightmare call
Being stalked (Lumber Jack)

The devil filler up poverty
The world being pulled
Push her lip up
                    > >

Arrowsmith bow and arrow
                    >>
  Losing elasticity lips go
UPSTATE gravity

"What an under(state)meant"
"The press (God Bless)
    the golden child
     lips filling in
       the gaps
What!! no comment"

 So sad we need the happy
Irish lad too many
    Sugar Dads
lip recession deadlines to meet
The curveball
Another sip we joined the
Navy but eyeshadow deep-over
the edge gray
The Seal had an unusual tail
Her lips fast food drive smashed
Her Meal

The peace lips blew far away
"Medieval Swords heart lips
            will pay"
Times come and go its excruciating
Lips went too far always mating
Imitating people takes a whole village
Of pain

But the spiritual blessing rain
In Woodstock concerts
What perks to gain
The acid trip music we can
sip each other's lips

    Now if this wasn't passion
What a state got smeared
Like a crime scene
of fashion
Her lips could rise
Like the Millenium

         Max
Playing the jazz sax
Still the income tax

But the state in a crisis
of sales tax
Star a stage minimum wage
All the states we travel her lips
The water stays refreshing where
On her body, he really sees it on
her lips nowhere else

How many states can you
count on your finger
Long lip Ranger

The Victoria Secrets
The Tra la the bra's on the
Five-star Hilton Hotel
hanger

Holding onto her guns
Going right or to the left
Powerful lips he went
off the cliff

Getting Burned and
the State tax
You earned
The Swearing
Her lip talk so caringly
Can we move her lips to
another state more cautiously
How her hips look like
they will inflate

I am not a painting by
your candlelight fate
I felt like a tax right off
Taxi yellow race her lips
on the meter money bluff
I ended up in the state of
*
Michigan
Tricks are ****
Like a lip magician

Kentucky home was barrels
of Bourbon
I never said I wanted a drink
my name is Robin

Going to Deleware
what hardware did anyone care
So humble like the bumblebee
She was way too soft as her software

Have gun we travel but have lips we rumble

We need courage this world of states
can be savage
Gold bonds of "Dynasty European"
top dollar vultures mean
funds that's a grand entrance

Now I see how these states
start to unravel
California here I come right
back where
my lips started from

Her upper society lip could use
Champagne and caviar
The star was getting fat a nice trim
Grumpy beard make it a
short tax cut with him
Text and tweets no lip sweets
Rocky Colorado mountain men

French lips played art
Like Van Gogh perfect 10
Scenic route crazed
So many states should
be sued overly sexed suites

In Alaska, she was on a freeze

All the money in the world she got New York Token

All I asked the waitress
for State fair pie
My lips could have
used *Sweet Peach * so
pucker up
Don't be a sucker
Alabama state trooper
in Kansas City

What a spell click of heels

Georgia is always on my mind
Is New York only a state of
Frank Sinatra singing mind
What a big foot in her mouth
Nancy Sinatra dark lips Goth
State boots softly made
for loving that's just
what lips do one of these
Days my lips are going to
gloss all over you
Who's the Boss
So fasten your lip belts
The spiritual state always does the cross

Bumpy ride (Bette Davis) Eyes
Taking a trip to the end of the
boot of Sicily vineyards
Whats mine Jailbirds
She cut her lip when she was
in (Connecticut Movie cut)
On the Mystic Seaport lips were
getting hot ****** fit

Like a state disease fire pit
State of a lip disaster
But the state couldn't
resist her
Ending up in Arizona
Something is swizzling
it's not Kevin Bacon

Make no mistake when you plan
a state trip you better have your
weapon ready
Mafia bullets Bonnie and Clyde
they rob *Banks money Lips
Stae of mind we are traveling again but our lips will be the walking the yellow pages old news Staes can rock up she has the Wizardly Oz shoes
Sidney Chelle Jan 29
today is almost offensively mild.

the bathroom is sunny and marbled. tiny rivulets run over my hands. the faucet's water isn't cold, and i'm still not used to that.

once dried, i adjust my hair and face in the mirror, fingers brushing against my eyebrows, cheeks.

suddenly, it all comes together, twist-tie threads into one large knot, and my head snaps back. i am not a high school student anymore.

how can this be? i am loose and fluid-looking. when did that spring unwind?

(you know the one. the one in your spine, taut and uncomfortable. you can feel it the most during junior year nights that are not quite stressful enough to remember.)

suddenly the flight and the big boxes and the absence of parents is not just a fun little aside it is loud and bright and i am alone in california and the maturity of it hurts to look at-

inhaleinhaleinhaleinhale 3,000 miles and i am alone in this room oh god oh christ-

i try smiling. it is like that pamphlet on a table in an admissions office. it is like projecting when you speak and projects worth 30% of my grade, fluency and professionalism and pounding bass. oh ****, dorothy, we sure aren't in kansas anymore.

no more electric scents before a summer storm. no more nose-nipping winds. even the gray days look like cousins of those in boston, not twins.

no more chickadees.

how do i tell everyone that the air smells different here?
just typed this one out a little. very open to feedback, it's more a collection of ideas than anything.
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