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bulletcookie Oct 2018
she asked a kiss from those depths
that defy every fear of mute darkness
as their eyes neared and exchanged
their world opened and altered
this moment in drops
with each beat of their hearts
an interminable anticipation
of simple love's dissertation
pivots on lip's hinge
and whirl of their breath

-cec
Living in this yellow box filled with aging trinkets
A lonely guy trying to get by just hasn't sealed the link yet
Bout a cup of milk left in the fridge and God forbid I drink it
A shaggy dog; that ***** hog, why can't they smell the stink yet?
The junk comes barreling through the door so fast that you can blink it
There's no more room for gloom and doom, but let's fit one more inkjet
They just got rid of dinnerware,  a silver and a pink set
So now to hoard an ancient sword, a blender and a mink set
Five garbage bags of someone's clothes, the sixth one's in the sink, wet
With lots of cans and pots and pans, we'll reach the jagged brink yet
They're trying to let go, said there ain't no space to think yet
They're workin hard to raise the bar, ain't  worked out all the kinks yet

Pressed for time and low on space
****** I need to get out of this place...
hoarders
bythesea Nov 2017
which layer would you take away
to mold yourself now
to stop your shoulders from rounding
to stop yourself from losing
your heart.

which year would you burn,
who would you have slept with,
tied legs and arms with
in linens

which piece would you move. who
would you have loved harder
if you had the heart
and weren't bound this way
patty m Jul 19
Fragile normalcy carefully tended
while my off kilter mind
finds a cat and befriends it.
Railroad track thoughts
turn ever grayer
as they wind through the past
and peel back the layers
Behind dull facades
and stately mansions
Do You Want to Touch Me
or is that out of fashion?
Blind-sided heart
torn to Bits and Pieces
brings death to romance
and the hate it releases
Trusted friends
turn out to be players
cutting me open
to peel back the layers.
Hallucinations
of a tatooed star
things slightly odd
soon become quite bizarre.
Trips to places I've never been
incriminations whisper again and again.
My lineage soon turns quite exclusive
and I, it seems too reclusive
FATE pecks at glass, it's shiny frame
it all becomes a silly game,
as life that cruel rapacious slayer
rips out my heart and peels back the layers.
Cage of chambers:
Lark of sparks.
Morning bears
Shore that layered.

Eat up the whole plate,
Kick back the bored chair.
Sick is the core layer.

Crack, crack - it is inside you.
"Man is noise" - clickclacks the mechanism
That is beyond the wall and eats it's wheels.
Stap back, not through the door.
Open the window, crawl to the floor,
Sneak into a crate.

Eat at the skin slate.
Kick in the core layer.
Dive in the bored chair.

Abrupt angels
Drowning in black bacon,
Tattered crucifix
In a sea of marmalade.

Ricochet sounds the ricochet
Of flying lead
And it's echo
From bronzen metal
Plate
Of my clean skate.

The starlessness of night
Is born within a brooding mother.
And grieving is the father
For himself. As that is not
The sun he want-
ed.
Fed.

Bitten is the core layer.
Bitter is the mouth's tedder.
I am amused by the bored chair.
Alice Baker Jan 2016
I am a canvas
Painted in harsh strokes
With kind words
Mistakes blend in
Over time and diligence
But are never erased
They sit quietly
Under layers of oil paint
Built into my foundation
Cné Oct 2015
Ah yes, the magic of human touch,
Trusting to warm my soul's skin
Tis nature of loves connection, as such.

My body accepts, oh if you only knew
Like an honored guest, I grin
Anticipating the pleasures, one of the few.

Skin to skin, our bodies converse.
Uninhabited, my mind wander
Deep inside, my craving thirsts.

Artful hands sculpt with purpose
Lulling layers open, you're quite the artist
Soothing caress melt my body formless

I'm yours, silently, I surrender.
As my flesh cries out for more
Arching waves of splendor

Rewarded my senses sated.
With newfound clarity reborn
Mind, body and spirit replenished.

I thank you for your gift of touch.
Lovingly, I would return the favor,
as such.
Nothing is spoken, just being open to touch is the reward.
jane taylor May 2016
precious innocent soul
skipping rocks
on cobblestone roads
vulnerable untarnished pure
no residue of earthly soil

return me to that naiveté
unburdened by layers
of fake masks
and perfect capped teeth
in narcissistic societies

but I shan’t grasp
at ethereal edges
of nebulousness
and ephemeral
innocence

i shall endure
what I abhor
a master’s soul
cannot be forged
in paradise

wisdom’s essence
‘tis not pristine white
hints of ivory
tinge the effervescence
of the sage’s breath

©2016janetaylor
JV Beaupre May 2016
"So why are you painting a woman in a bottle?"
The challenge. Handling all those quirky reflections and layers of transparency.

"She has phantom arms and legs, what about that?"
Yes, pretty cool. A Vitruvian woman in a bottle. *

"I'm looking for Meaning: Don't paintings look under the surface?"
You mean, what does it mean, really mean? It's just a way to test my skill.

"But what are you saying with that?"
It's not feminist nor anti, it's just an exercise. Besides, there's a rope.

"But aren't you, as an artist, exposing reality, presenting emotions and feelings, seeing the soul?"
I'm not on a soapbox-- I'm testing my skill-- I paint and don't think about it too much. After all, 'Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar' or is it 'just a smoke'?

"I don't like your message."
OK, I'll paint you in a bottle...
As a shrunken head.
On the other hand, I once painted an agricultural scene based on a photo from the 1930s that I thought carried a social message. Most people wanted to know what kind of tractor it was.
Rohan Press Oct 2018
requiem, black
ink, darkened pencil-
tips paint the air.

lethargy is a
green that defies
autumn.

its darkened
palms (once open,
once layering you in

cold) gently remind:
we'll all ensconce
in ground.
you wore four layers today.

i have only one: but it opens up, unleashing my heart, every time you stop by.
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
Ashley Chapman Sep 2017
Sandwiched in layers of liquid crystal display,
Encased in vats of plastic,
                          
                            we
Voyaging in data-spheres, plumes of digital play.

Mindless,
         In the soup of silicone,
                            
                            all
Myt­h-makers,
         Pouring over electro-spawned
         networks,
                            
                            fall
Workers,
          In the buzz of bits and bytes, of
          megabytes and terabytes,
                            
                            down
Everyone
          Far from the wood, the brine, the
          mud that caked us,
          In tighter and tighter
          digitised  projections,
                            
                            click!
‘Like me’,
‘Share me’,
‘Leave your comments.’

Messages smoothed out in polymers,
Beyond reproductions of ourselves,

                           enter:

Deeper, delving in the mire of dream-conscious,

Now a waking voice,
          Hardened, digitised, recorded in
          bubbles, in drives, in clouds:
                        
Numb numbers of numbers numb,
                          mirror.

          A platform slotted home:
The motherboard!
          To record the echo in the hollow
          of our Being.
Wrote this a while back. It was published in The Tunnel Magazine, which was great. Anyway, hope it gets a wider audience.
I can't listen to
Heartbreak music
This one can't do
Hadn't got to use it
Now I'm twenty two
DO NOT LOSE IT

A short expression of my heaviest burden
First impressions, barely got a word in
Last impressions before you'd chosen him
Was we could be thorns on God's roses
Cause we would never part like Moses

Revelations

The story of my life
A book of my lies
But what is life without love
But death in disguise
If I die with our love
We can sing in blue skies

Daydreams while I'm awake
Remember all I want is fake
No closer do we quake
Than the sun and moon
The beauty he can never take

Wrestling dualities
Welcoming reality

Unfortunately

-Luca Ivaldi
Hey, just that guy that you feel bad will die alone.
AprilDawn Jun 2014
as though a small town
beauty pageant winner
paraded through  
tossing sweet petals
like fist-fulls of  candy  
from her seat perched high above
local roads
this fragrant litter
purged  in layers
from the catalpa tree
with  it’s divinely
designed
heart shaped leaves
plainly remains
      an organic  shade
for the neighbor's shed

.
This  is  a poem I began to write  7 years ago in Massachusetts ! I realized this  tree also existed  in my  neighbor's back yard where I live now about 2 years ago  ,  a truly  delightful discovery.The shape of  this tree   was  different  and that had thrown me, in identifying it.One day  my nose was clear enough to smell the flowers on the  stepping stones on my way to the car and  the fragrance  catapulted me back to  that  big   tree  in New England.
M Solav Sep 2018
Hear the asynchronous pulsation,
Clicks of eyelids, toggling,
And the beating of a heart:
A Life, in thick layers of rhythms,
Coating a stubborn core.

Watch the white curtain of the mansion,
Behind windows, dancing,
And the fire in the hearth:
A Life, in thick layers of stones,
Glowing it out with warmth.
Written in August 2017.
jonni inferno Feb 2018
follow me
if you can
thru tortured paths
and wintered lands
where the sun is lost
the moon unknown
beyond this dark
encroaching gloam

follow me
if you dare
where voices speak
in whispered layers
of external wars
undeclared
where twisting turning
bodies play
on silken sails
on captured waves

follow me
if you would know
where silver rivers
sometimes flow
and flying angels
falling lay
sweetly laughing
in their gentle way

follow me
if you wish
and play in childhood's
autumn mist
where paper dragons
fill the air
and broken hearts
still beating share
a love for passion's
written snare

follow me
and I will show
how wounded heart
now mended grows
where many paths
once hidden glow
and light the way
to where I go


.
http://oi61.tinypic.com/dc573k.jpg
.
.
added link to pic/poem
Dead Rose One Mar 2015
In The Prison Of Winter, No Rise, No Set**

orbit nearly closed,
the radio announcer gleefully
chirruping, the twittering fool,
"only ** graves to X off till
                                               spring"

the weight of the prior
the wait of the more
no matter how little
yet to come
                    too much insufferable

having suffered
multiple life sentences
you snit ****, u don't know better,
ha, they don't even run
                                         concurrently


there are no sunsets
in the girding grays
of harsher enough and words that fail me,
are the winners in the
winter of the ****,
tests and hunts,
I have successfully
                                 failed

of course I'm wrong you
petulant hobgoblin wringing
nyet from me you'll get no concession,
**** science,
there are no sunsets in the winter
and the sunrises,
short unsweetened,
light-less, less of less,
frigid glaring revealers
of dead trees
and deader
                    men

maybe in the Rockies,
perhaps the Alps,
wonderlands photoshopped,
pretty lies on the Internet BS posted

where I live,
wear the wear the weary
neath the sweat stink of layers of
unbundled choking hands,
winter's damage
assessed and assessment is
never overdue, payable in
                                             immediacy

heating bills I can't pay,
a job that said no more of you,
unpretty please,
a woman who sorcerer-scarced herself
right freaking black magic quick,
trust me I have certified verified,
me and Nixon,
X's on the kitchen calendar,
there is daylight, there is mighty night,
almighty in long and colorless
and nothing in between,
but the smog stained slush of
                                                    smothered life

but definitely
no sunrises and no sunsets
watched all day from the
imprisoning kitchen window
which doubles
as a *******
                       mirror

there are no, not any,
you know what,
cannot even say them,
the pipe dreams of better yet,
pipes that have beaten down
me and my
disassociated senses,
signed sealed and now delivered,
from the formerly known as
The Summer Man
TB Dentz Jul 2018
I’ll lose myself in another person again and again
Sometimes a different person and
Sometimes the same person over and over

Every time I come back a new person, myself
I picked up a piece of them and made it my own
Hopefully for the better

What I really hope for is that no one’s heart breaks
We might be sick of each other and that’s tragic
But if everyone is in tact everything will work out

I fear for the others more than for me
I’m made up of pieces I stole from others
I can’t be hurt for long
All I have to do is shed a layer
And I’ll be reborn
Ready to dive in again
If you are reading this I want you to know I like you a lot and I'm a great person so you should really feel honored.
shaun Aug 2018
layers upon layers on the wall and i've bared all.
peeling the wallpaper
fresh start, better days
moving forward?
but the purple underneath is more than a colour
an emotion, time, reminder
you once stood here, too
wondering who the **** plastered these walls
the cracks are taller than me
but a mere fraction of the size of the ache i feel in my chest

half of you remains in the room next to mine,
well-polished & cared for,
but the small wooden box fails to reflect your big heart
or the hole left in mine
but
i will continue to talk to you
until my mouth dries up
or i lose my speech
for you are home
very messy, just like my thoughts
beth stclair May 2015
like a stone you fell, stars on your lips,
out of the dark, like a bird carrying the sky.

i stretched towards you my soul singing
of meadow grasses and old ruins.

everything you touched became a flame,
joy burnt like a fever beneath your wings.

i ran to you, shadows drawing back
the night like a curtain.

oh, the echoes of a pounding heart, across hills,
across continents, you strided on the wind

until the sea shook out its sheets
and the leaf shivered on the branch.

the night settled its layers of black
into dark forests, rested against the glassy tide

and you were gone, you were gone,
lost to hair more fragrant than mine.
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/and-then-i-returned-to-you-you-my-poet-of-the-water-beth-st-clair/1115678228?ean=29400165

from my book
Genevieve Feb 2018
please do not serve me **** pie on a silver platter!
oh, your unfamiliar with this type of pie?!! it is the kind
that is hot & fresh with buried lies and deceits colored scented to seem sweet.

Please, I do ask that you not serve this dish to me!
I see through and know there are many many layers
covering the other so I tell you do not serve to me
             **** pie on a silver platter!!          
Just be straightforward
then we are good and clear as long as you are a truth
teller you will have nothing to bury or hide baked
        into quadruple **** layered sphincter pie so keep it straight
        and girls won't hate but we will test and figure things,
        So go with caution just as long as
we don't sniff a whiff
       being served to us by you via silver splat
oh oops, that was your face oh-oh.
SorryNotSorry bout that!
Often the circles have been created by you
it just takes acknowledging their attitude
had been placed there by actions
or lies you choose to color and justify
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