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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.

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
Antino Art Feb 2018
South Florida
if you were a body part,
you’d be an armpit.

You’d be a bulged vein
on the side of a forehead
forever locked in a scowl
behind sunglasses.

You speak the language of horns
middle name, finger
blood type, combustible

You're a melting ***
that's boiled over the lid
sweating salt water at the brows
eyes red as the brake lights
in the maddening brightness,
you’re torrential daylight
heating nerves like greenhouse gasses
waiting for a reason to explode.

You’re a tropical motilov cocktail
no one can afford
2 parts anger, 1 part stupidity
melting in place, thirsty for attention
full of yourself in a souvenir glass with a toothpick umbrella
You're all image

You’re the curse words breaking out the mouths
of the angry line mob at Starbucks in the morning
You’re the indifferent silence
in the arena at the Heat games leaving early,
showing up late
due to the distance
from Brickell to Hialeah,
West Palm to Pompano
the gap between the entitled and the under-paid
a skyline of condos in a third world country
You’ve always been foreign to me.

You’re winterless, no chill
you attract only hurricanes
and tourists,
shoving anything that isn’t profitable
out of the way like the Irma storm debris
into the backyards of the Liberty City projects,
onto Mount Trash Can off the side of the Turnpike
hidden beneath Bermuda grass, lined with palm trees
you’re cold blooded
crawling with iguanas
blood-******* mosquitos
parking lot ducks and people not afraid to get run over
you get yours, Soflo
and you'll go as low
as the flat roofs of your duplexes
and the incomes that can barely pay the rent to get it
latitude as attitude
temper as temperature
if you were a body part
I swear you’re an *******

south of the brain, one hour
in all directions,
I’d find you.
You’d impose your way
onto my flight to the Philippines,
to Seattle, to Raleigh
You’d follow me like excess baggage,
like gravity,
bringing me back when asked where I'm from:

That area north of Miami, I’d say
(the suburbs, but whatever, we are hard in our own way)
I'd show you off on their map
as if some badge of grit,
certificate of aggression
I know how to break a sweat
walk briskly thru Walmart parking lots, drive evasive
ride storms in my sleep
I know you, I’d say,
“He’s a friend of mine.”
and I’d watch them light up
and recount
the postcards you've sent them
of the sunrise
welcoming brown immigrants
onto white sand beaches
You were foreign to us
yet raised us as your own
in the furnace of your summers
edges sharpened, iron on iron
the forger striking softness into swords
built for survival
I'm made of you

my South Floridian anger cools down
in your ocean breeze

if you were a body part,
you'd be a part of me
a socked foot in an And1 sandal
pressed to the gas pedal
as my drive takes me north
of your borders, far from home
You in the rear view mirror
tail-gating
like a sports car on the exit ramp
the color of the sun
shireliiy Nov 2015
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Of that sort of Dramatic Poem which is call’d Tragedy.


Tragedy, as it was antiently compos’d, hath been ever held the
gravest, moralest, and most profitable of all other Poems:
therefore said by Aristotle to be of power by raising pity and fear,
or terror, to purge the mind of those and such like passions, that is
to temper and reduce them to just measure with a kind of delight,
stirr’d up by reading or seeing those passions well imitated. Nor is
Nature wanting in her own effects to make good his assertion: for
so in Physic things of melancholic hue and quality are us’d against
melancholy, sowr against sowr, salt to remove salt humours.
Hence Philosophers and other gravest Writers, as Cicero, Plutarch
and others, frequently cite out of Tragic Poets, both to adorn and
illustrate thir discourse.  The Apostle Paul himself thought it not
unworthy to insert a verse of Euripides into the Text of Holy
Scripture, I Cor. 15. 33. and Paraeus commenting on the
Revelation, divides the whole Book as a Tragedy, into Acts
distinguisht each by a Chorus of Heavenly Harpings and Song
between.  Heretofore Men in highest dignity have labour’d not a
little to be thought able to compose a Tragedy.  Of that honour
Dionysius the elder was no less ambitious, then before of his
attaining to the Tyranny. Augustus Caesar also had begun his
Ajax, but unable to please his own judgment with what he had
begun. left it unfinisht.  Seneca the Philosopher is by some thought
the Author of those Tragedies (at lest the best of them) that go
under that name.  Gregory Nazianzen a Father of the Church,
thought it not unbeseeming the sanctity of his person to write a
Tragedy which he entitl’d, Christ suffering. This is mention’d to
vindicate Tragedy from the small esteem, or rather infamy, which
in the account of many it undergoes at this day with other common
Interludes; hap’ning through the Poets error of intermixing Comic
stuff with Tragic sadness and gravity; or introducing trivial and
****** persons, which by all judicious hath bin counted absurd; and
brought in without discretion, corruptly to gratifie the people. And
though antient Tragedy use no Prologue, yet using sometimes, in
case of self defence, or explanation, that which Martial calls an
Epistle; in behalf of this Tragedy coming forth after the antient
manner, much different from what among us passes for best, thus
much before-hand may be Epistl’d; that Chorus is here introduc’d
after the Greek manner, not antient only but modern, and still in
use among the Italians. In the modelling therefore of this Poem
with good reason, the Antients and Italians are rather follow’d, as
of much more authority and fame. The measure of Verse us’d in
the Chorus is of all sorts, call’d by the Greeks Monostrophic, or
rather Apolelymenon, without regard had to Strophe, Antistrophe
or Epod, which were a kind of Stanza’s fram’d only for the Music,
then us’d with the Chorus that sung; not essential to the Poem, and
therefore not material; or being divided into Stanza’s or Pauses
they may be call’d Allaeostropha.  Division into Act and Scene
referring chiefly to the Stage (to which this work never was
intended) is here omitted.

It suffices if the whole Drama be found not produc’t beyond the
fift Act, of the style and uniformitie, and that commonly call’d the
Plot, whether intricate or explicit, which is nothing indeed but such
oeconomy, or disposition of the fable as may stand best with
verisimilitude and decorum; they only will best judge who are not
unacquainted with Aeschulus, Sophocles, and Euripides, the three
Tragic Poets unequall’d yet by any, and the best rule to all who
endeavour to write Tragedy. The circumscription of time wherein
the whole Drama begins and ends, is according to antient rule, and
best example, within the space of 24 hours.



The ARGUMENT.


Samson made Captive, Blind, and now in the Prison at Gaza, there
to labour as in a common work-house, on a Festival day, in the
general cessation from labour, comes forth into the open Air, to a
place nigh, somewhat retir’d there to sit a while and bemoan his
condition. Where he happens at length to be visited by certain
friends and equals of his tribe, which make the Chorus, who seek
to comfort him what they can ; then by his old Father Manoa, who
endeavours the like, and withal tells him his purpose to procure his
liberty by ransom; lastly, that this Feast was proclaim’d by the
Philistins as a day of Thanksgiving for thir deliverance from the
hands of Samson, which yet more troubles him.  Manoa then
departs to prosecute his endeavour with the Philistian Lords for
Samson’s redemption; who in the mean while is visited by other
persons; and lastly by a publick Officer to require coming to the
Feast before the Lords and People, to play or shew his strength in
thir presence; he at first refuses, dismissing the publick officer with
absolute denyal to come; at length perswaded inwardly that this
was from God, he yields to go along with him, who came now the
second time with great threatnings to fetch him; the Chorus yet
remaining on the place, Manoa returns full of joyful hope, to
procure e’re long his Sons deliverance: in the midst of which
discourse an Ebrew comes in haste confusedly at first; and
afterward more distinctly relating the Catastrophe, what Samson
had done to the Philistins, and by accident to himself; wherewith
the Tragedy ends.


The Persons

Samson.
Manoa the father of Samson.
Dalila his wife.
Harapha of Gath.
Publick Officer.
Messenger.
Chorus of Danites


The Scene before the Prison in Gaza.

Sam:  A little onward lend thy guiding hand
To these dark steps, a little further on;
For yonder bank hath choice of Sun or shade,
There I am wont to sit, when any chance
Relieves me from my task of servile toyl,
Daily in the common Prison else enjoyn’d me,
Where I a Prisoner chain’d, scarce freely draw
The air imprison’d also, close and damp,
Unwholsom draught: but here I feel amends,
The breath of Heav’n fresh-blowing, pure and sweet,
With day-spring born; here leave me to respire.
This day a solemn Feast the people hold
To Dagon thir Sea-Idol, and forbid
Laborious works, unwillingly this rest
Thir Superstition yields me; hence with leave
Retiring from the popular noise, I seek
This unfrequented place to find some ease,
Ease to the body some, none to the mind
From restless thoughts, that like a deadly swarm
Of Hornets arm’d, no sooner found alone,
But rush upon me thronging, and present
Times past, what once I was, and what am now.
O wherefore was my birth from Heaven foretold
Twice by an Angel, who at last in sight
Of both my Parents all in flames ascended
From off the Altar, where an Off’ring burn’d,
As in a fiery column charioting
His Godlike presence, and from some great act
Or benefit reveal’d to Abraham’s race?
Why was my breeding order’d and prescrib’d
As of a person separate to God,
Design’d for great exploits; if I must dye
Betray’d, Captiv’d, and both my Eyes put out,
Made of my Enemies the scorn and gaze;
To grind in Brazen Fetters under task
With this Heav’n-gifted strength? O glorious strength
Put to the labour of a Beast, debas’t
Lower then bondslave! Promise was that I
Should Israel from Philistian yoke deliver;
Ask for this great Deliverer now, and find him
Eyeless in Gaza at the Mill with slaves,
Himself in bonds under Philistian yoke;
Yet stay, let me not rashly call in doubt
Divine Prediction; what if all foretold
Had been fulfilld but through mine own default,
Whom have I to complain of but my self?
Who this high gift of strength committed to me,
In what part lodg’d, how easily bereft me,
Under the Seal of silence could not keep,
But weakly to a woman must reveal it
O’recome with importunity and tears.
O impotence of mind, in body strong!
But what is strength without a double share
Of wisdom, vast, unwieldy, burdensom,
Proudly secure, yet liable to fall
By weakest suttleties, not made to rule,
But to subserve where wisdom bears command.
God, when he gave me strength, to shew withal
How slight the gift was, hung it in my Hair.
But peace, I must not quarrel with the will
Of highest dispensation, which herein
Happ’ly had ends above my reach to know:
Suffices that to me strength is my bane,
And proves the sourse of all my miseries;
So many, and so huge, that each apart
Would ask a life to wail, but chief of all,
O loss of sight, of thee I most complain!
Blind among enemies, O worse then chains,
Dungeon, or beggery, or decrepit age!
Light the prime work of God to me is extinct,
And all her various objects of delight
Annull’d, which might in part my grief have eas’d,
Inferiour to the vilest now become
Of man or worm; the vilest here excel me,
They creep, yet see, I dark in light expos’d
To daily fraud, contempt, abuse and wrong,
Within doors, or without, still as a fool,
In power of others, never in my own;
Scarce half I seem to live, dead more then half.
O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon,
Irrecoverably dark, total Eclipse
Without all hope of day!
O first created Beam, and thou great Word,
Let there be light, and light was over all;
Why am I thus bereav’d thy prime decree?
The Sun to me is dark
And silent as the Moon,
When she deserts the night
Hid in her vacant interlunar cave.
Since light so necessary is to life,
And almost life itself, if it be true
That light is in the Soul,
She all in every part; why was the sight
To such a tender ball as th’ eye confin’d?
So obvious and so easie to be quench’t,
And not as feeling through all parts diffus’d,
That she might look at will through every pore?
Then had I not been thus exil’d from light;
As in the land of darkness yet in light,
To live a life half dead, a living death,
And buried; but O yet more miserable!
My self, my Sepulcher, a moving Grave,
Buried, yet not exempt
By priviledge of death and burial
From worst of other evils, pains and wrongs,
But made hereby obnoxious more
To all the miseries of life,
Life in captivity
Among inhuman foes.
But who are these? for with joint pace I hear
The tread of many feet stearing this way;
Perhaps my enemies who come to stare
At my affliction, and perhaps to insult,
Thir daily practice to afflict me more.

Chor:  This, this is he; softly a while,
Let us not break in upon him;
O change beyond report, thought, or belief!
See how he lies at random, carelessly diffus’d,
With languish’t head unpropt,
As one past hope, abandon’d
And by himself given over;
In slavish habit, ill-fitted weeds
O’re worn and soild;
Or do my eyes misrepresent?  Can this be hee,
That Heroic, that Renown’d,
Irresistible Samson? whom unarm’d
No strength of man, or fiercest wild beast could withstand;
Who tore the Lion, as the Lion tears the Kid,
Ran on embattelld Armies clad in Iron,
And weaponless himself,
Made Arms ridiculous, useless the forgery
Of brazen shield and spear, the hammer’d Cuirass,
Chalybean temper’d steel, and frock of mail
Adamantean Proof;
But safest he who stood aloof,
When insupportably his foot advanc’t,
In scorn of thir proud arms and warlike tools,
Spurn’d them to death by Troops.  The bold Ascalonite
Fled from his Lion ramp, old Warriors turn’d
Thir plated backs under his heel;
Or grovling soild thir crested helmets in the dust.
Then with what trivial weapon came to Hand,
The Jaw of a dead ***, his sword of bone,
A thousand fore-skins fell, the flower of Palestin
In Ramath-lechi famous to this day:
Then by main force pull’d up, and on his shoulders bore
The Gates of Azza, Post, and massie Bar
Up to the Hill by Hebron, seat of Giants old,
No journey of a Sabbath day, and loaded so;
Like whom the Gentiles feign to bear up Heav’n.
Which shall I first bewail,
Thy ******* or lost Sight,
Prison within Prison
Inseparably dark?
Thou art become (O worst imprisonment!)
The Dungeon of thy self; thy Soul
(Which Men enjoying sight oft without cause complain)
Imprison’d now indeed,
In real darkness of the body dwells,
Shut up from outward light
To incorporate with gloomy night;
For inward light alas
Puts forth no visual beam.
O mirror of our fickle state,
Since man on earth unparallel’d!
The rarer thy example stands,
By how much from the top of wondrous glory,
Strongest of mortal men,
To lowest pitch of abject fortune thou art fall’n.
For him I reckon not in high estate
Whom long descent of birth
Or the sphear of fortune raises;
But thee whose strength, while vertue was her mate
Might have subdu’d the Earth,
Universally crown’d with highest praises.

Sam:  I hear the sound of words, thir sense the air
Dissolves unjointed e’re it reach my ear.

Chor:  Hee speaks, let us draw nigh.  Matchless in might,
The glory late of Israel, now the grief;
We come thy friends and neighbours not unknown
From Eshtaol and Zora’s fruitful Vale
To visit or bewail thee, or if better,
Counsel or Consolation we may bring,
Salve to thy Sores, apt words have power to swage
The tumors of a troubl’d mind,
And are as Balm to fester’d wounds.

Sam:  Your coming, Friends, revives me, for I learn
Now of my own experience, not by talk,
How counterfeit a coin they are who friends
Bear in their Superscription (of the most
I would be understood) in prosperous days
They swarm, but in adverse withdraw their head
Not to be found, though sought.  Wee see, O friends.
How many evils have enclos’d me round;
Yet that which was the worst now least afflicts me,
Blindness, for had I sight, confus’d with shame,
How could I once look up, or heave the head,
Who like a foolish Pilot have shipwrack’t,
My Vessel trusted to me from above,
Gloriously rigg’d; and for a word, a tear,
Fool, have divulg’d the secret gift of God
To a deceitful Woman : tell me Friends,
Am I not sung and proverbd for a Fool
In every street, do they not say, how well
Are come upon him his deserts? yet why?
Immeasurable strength they might behold
In me, of wisdom nothing more then mean;
This with the other should, at least, have paird,
These two proportiond ill drove me transverse.

Chor:  Tax not divine disposal, wisest Men
Have err’d, and by bad Women been deceiv’d;
And shall again, pretend they ne’re so wise.
Deject not then so overmuch thy self,
Who hast of sorrow thy full load besides;
Yet truth to say, I oft have heard men wonder
Why thou shouldst wed Philistian women rather
Then of thine own Tribe fairer, or as fair,
At least of thy own Nation, and as noble.

Sam:  The first I saw at Timna, and she pleas’d
Mee, not my Parents, that I sought to wed,
The daughter of an Infidel: they knew not
That what I motion’d was of God; I knew
From intimate impulse, and therefore urg’d
The Marriage on; that by occasion hence
I might begin Israel’s Deliverance,
The work to which I was divinely call’d;
She proving false, the next I took to Wife
(O that I never had! fond wish too late)
Was in the Vale of Sorec, Dalila,
That specious Monster, my accomplisht snare.
I thought it lawful from my former act,
And the same end; still watching to oppress
Israel’s oppressours: of what now I suffer
She was not the prime cause, but I my self,
Who vanquisht with a peal of words (O weakness!)
Gave up my fort of silence to a Woman.

Chor:  In seeking just occasion to provoke
The Philistine, thy Countries Enemy,
Thou never wast remiss, I hear thee witness:
Yet Israel still serves with all his Sons.

Sam:  That fault I take not on me, but transfer
On Israel’s Governours, and Heads of Tribes,
Who seeing those great acts which God had done
Singly by me against their Conquerours
Acknowledg’d not, or not at all consider’d
Deliverance offerd : I on th’ other side
Us’d no ambition to commend my deeds,
The deeds themselves, though mute, spoke loud the dooer;
But they persisted deaf, and would not seem
To count them things worth notice, till at length
Thir Lords the Philistines with gather’d powers
Enterd Judea seeking mee, who then
Safe to the rock of Etham was retir’d,
Not flying, but fore-casting in what place
To set upon them, what advantag’d best;
Mean while the men of Judah to prevent
The harrass of thir Land, beset me round;
I willingly on some conditions came
Into thir hands, and they as gladly yield me
To the uncircumcis’d a welcom prey,
Bound with two cords; but cords to me were threds
Toucht with the flame: on thi
On the land molded by footsteps and ruled by obnoxiously bleached clowns,
Visited by swarms of neighborhood guttersnipes and the opulent from uptown.

Allured by the traditional Irish circus music and the grinding of rusted gears,
To arrive at dawn and to leave only when the night sky is tired of fireworks and flares.

Skittish and gleaming eyes would roll on the floor, struck by daze and lost in wonderment,
At the marvel of giant steel rides and god forsaken and socially foretoken genetic mutants.

The word of a woman with two faces and the boy with a tail would make any catholic priest run.
Amusing the rational ones, alongside the man with elastic skin and the girl with the forked tongue.

The opera lady with outlandish proportions and tumorous lips sings to break a piece of cheap glassware.
Little do people know,that the magician’s red gloves are actually stained with blood of rabbit that disappeared.

Their noses get caught in the medley of fragrances from the exotic perfumes shop,
Blended with the saccharine tang from the stall that sells candy floss and soda pops.

Indulging over the overly priced confectioneries at the stall of the baker with the forbidding grin.
Try it a hundred times,try it a thousand,you’ll never get the fifth one right in the game of rings.

People will come out screaming from the haunted house,only to laugh about it later,
Little do they know,that skeletons that drove them pale and white couldn't get any realer.

They’ll jostle and struggle to make their way through the crowd to various rides and attractions.
Hustling to navigate through the maze the carnival is, encountered by countless illusions.

And once your body wears out and senses give in,that’s when you've truly entered the carnival state of mind.
Your ears stinging ,nose stifled,tongue baffled, eyes exhausted,and your sense of judgment blinded.

That’s when my masked act begins,the most profitable act at the carnival,
Diving into the heart of the crowd,to draw an act of brilliance lasting an ephemeral.

Slithering across the crowd in a different disguise every hour,concealed by stealth.
Sneaking into every nook and corner and slipping my furtive hands into your pockets for a little bit of wealth.

Only to dine with the clowns and the carnival family at the haunted house at the end of the day.
**And of course, rabbits for dinner,if the baker may
in my family conversation is seldom thoughtful questioning filled with wonder quiet pauses instead it is sociable banter teasing goading spontaneous gratuitous remarks clever embellishment excessive flattery it is an ancient system passed down patronage pecking order nepotism sycophancy near to impossible for me to be honest in presence of their overwhelming vanity when it comes to family gatherings my voice isn’t very strong my family’s joking squelches my chirp they are each and all more loud sarcastic faster wittier more crude outrageous more funny loud gregarious sanguine Mom embarrasses herself with uncalled for flirtations (her mental state rapidly deteriorating) everyone laughs boisterously they snap kid exaggerate amplify taunt i can hardly get word in i need to repeat myself several times or more to be heard my voice is minor i struggle to tell story they listen politely then rush back into their rowdy repartee i am way too sincere way too naked in my ineptitude my stomach ties in knots biting lip shivering from cold fear what’s going to happen pitch black in front of me voice inside screams please i need help so bad please make it easier i’m lost in all this commotion drama hunger lack of clarity

Chicago 1980 Odysseus always revered cousin Chris is taller tan-skinned handsomer stronger protective of Odysseus knowing he is frivolous liability tags along with Chris and his prosperous trader friends advantaged echelon inherited wealth educated white young men they float above everyone else their tastes in clothes furnishings run Brooks Brothers Burberry Giorgio Armani Ralph Lauren John-Paul Gautier Paul Smith Emile Zegna Salvatore Ferragamo their preference in women run typically blonde large ******* tight butts make-up painted nails they think Odysseus is a freak because he usually chooses females none of them want Odysseus likes skinny girls flat chests glasses he knows he is an extraneous art pet to Chris and his group

Chris joins newly built state of art fitness facility pricey membership accesses all of Chicago’s fast track shakers movers politicians lawyers pretty people Odysseus has his limits he does not have money to join also he dislikes snooty elitism several times Chris invites Odysseus as guest Odysseus feels insecure outsider Chris always includes Odysseus pays for dinners they begin with round of doubles then 2nd round of doubles before glancing at menu Chris drinks Canadian Club on the rocks Odysseus follows they raucously order extravagant meals with appetizers 3rd 4th 5th rounds of doubles after pricey dinner at chic restaurant Chris’s group rendezvous at bar or club they order round of drinks tip lavishly sip drink glare around room leave barely touched drinks walk out with look of disdain they scavenge more bars in search of females or some intangible attraction Odysseus is never certain what they are looking for or what is the source of their contempt each wears black leather jacket carries huge wads of cash $20s $50s $100s folded stuffed in front pockets no wallets or clips

the Red Meat palace or Chang’s Szechwan grill are their favorite restaurants as many as 8 men sit at table pack mentality prevails for dessert course they pull out small brown bottles filled with ******* if it is Friday night Chris’s pad is frequently elected females other arrangements settle bill depart restaurant one night Odysseus arrives early at Chang’s wanders downstairs into women’s boutique salesgirl named Fiona greets him they hit it off he invites her to join him and his hosts upstairs after her shift is done Fiona arrives as dessert is about to be served table of men look desirously at Fiona beams Odysseus and Fiona along with Chris Phil Tom go to Odysseus’s place Fiona is perhaps 22 petite lovely with deep blue eyes set wide apart long eyelashes brown thick hair cut to shoulders high ******* pink ******* fragrance of linden flowers delighted by male attention Fiona ***** fondles each men are quite intoxicated Odysseus and Phil are only capable to sustain erections Odysseus stares mesmerized at Fiona’s extraordinarily swollen ***** she notices his fixation grins blushing men shout commands but in actuality Fiona is in charge reducing each of them to little boys vying for her attention near conclusion she requests they form circle around her ******* on her chest she fondles them touches herself men laugh mockingly as if to compensate for their lack of performance Tom picks up plastic dart gun aims it at Fiona she laughs crawls on all fours Tom fires dart hitting her on **** Phil grabs gun from Tom reloads another dart suddenly it feels like fraternity stunt Odysseus goes along offended by his own complicity to him episode feels more like men having *** with each other than being with a woman telephone rings it is Odysseus’s latest love pursuit she tells him she is on her way over everyone rushes to put on clothes change bed sheets they depart within minutes she arrives finally ready after weeks of romancing to put out for him after that night when Chris and Odysseus get buzzed in bar Chris routinely speaks the line to women have you ever been done by 2 cousins one night at Green River tavern woman squeezes milk from her ****** into shot glass dares cousins to drink Chris laughing turns down her offer Odysseus shoots back shot of milk then takes swig of Irish whiskey cousins go see Billy Idol at Odysseus’s insistence they stand near front stage young girls screaming after show driving home in Chris’s Fiat Spider Chris complains his ears are ringing i don’t know how i’ll be able to work tomorrow Odysseus nods like he hears hollers out window hey little sister shotgun!

Mom and Dad want their son to enjoy fruits of burgeoning affluence they feel certain what they are doing is best for him they rent quarter seat at Chicago Mercantile Exchange they originally promised full seat but they are overextended Odysseus enrolls in trading course he learns to trade Certificates of Deposit and Eurodollars which are recently established markets suddenly Odysseus has lots of cash his parents are dishing out he does not know what he is doing newly launched markets lack investment and fleece young men of their parent’s money his friends surroundings change he loses sight of himself he is a thoroughly incompetent trader bleeding cash scatters money between harebrained panicked trades or ******* girls $1000. wristwatch when Mom and Dad see jewelry they become furious in a way he represents his parent’s design for how to build successful son yet their plan is going dreadfully wrong he wants to stand up speak out against Dad and Mom he is not courageous enough to counter their weight he wants to express with more assurance his passion to pursue painting and writing isn’t fact he graduated from art school evidence enough of his aspirations commodities exchange is last place in the world he belongs Odysseus is risk taker but he is not aggressive or entrepreneurial only lesson he has learned with respect to his parents is how to run away

by all appearances cousin Chris is brilliant trader in reality Chris is hooked up with powerful crooked brokers they use him as their bagman he covers losing trades and is compensated or offsets winning side of profitable trades subsequently dealt his share Chris is not a criminal he stumbles into profit-making situation when certain conditions are flexible to advantages Chris is diligent hard worker the vast sums of money he earns do not distort his personality he is always generous shielding of Odysseus gold trading pit becomes so shady S.E.C. intervenes relinquishing exchange’s contract Chris and his bosses walk away unscathed having made their bundles

Mom and Aunt Rita run social itinerary for family including birthdays holidays all other gatherings where family will meet changes by the minute depending on Mom and Aunt Rita’s caprice checking in by telephone at least an hour before is mandatory arriving at destination Mom and Aunt Rita insist on specific table location seating arrangement it is important they be seen viewed by others at restaurant they never sit near kitchen or washrooms or where there is too much noise light away from drafts who sits next to who is crucial round tables are their favorite preferring backs to wall looking out so they can nod wave Mom rules from proud pedestal Dad upholds chain of command sometimes he irritably gripes Aunt Rita immediately comes to Mom’s defense Dad points finger back off Rita you’re way out of line where do you come up with a remark like that Mom mediates Max that’s enough in a way the sisters are spoiled little girls over-indulged by their father they believe their opinions and tastes are the best most correct everyone in family are subordinate to their no and don’t Mom and Aunt Rita routinely criticize Odysseus’s semantics oppose his observations critical of his clothes conduct they handily misconstrue his comments to mean fodder for their amusement Mom and Aunt Rita’s efforts to keep prim proper decorum cause resentment Odysseus feels constricted by his subservient role in drama of family he fails to understand their care

Odysseus busts out of markets leaving behind alarming debts for family to pay off he feels humiliation disgrace plunges into bottomless sleepless despair hides in house door locked window shutters shut phone rings unanswered hates life willfully wants to destroy himself there is no way out after week Chris comes by to see if he is all right Odysseus is reluctant to let Chris in Chris commands be a man get a grip on yourself Odysseus replies maybe i’m not a man he feels failure shame realizes he has become traitor to himself he wants to look at existence head on embrace it but all he knows are dishonor regret deception he conceives his being has been stolen he wants his life back but knows not how to recover it he feels deep in obligation to Mom and Dad thinks to escape from Chicago but his parent’s control is crushing he wakes late drinks black coffee smokes cigarettes marijuana hangs out alone sky changes from light to dark to light phone rings he reads Nietzsche Sartre frequents ***** Hole punk rock dive several blocks from residence becomes orphan of night drinking drugging

January 5 2011 30 years have passed Chris marries fathers son becomes best father to his child he can be leaves markets in late 80’s Dad dies in ’91 Odysseus leaves Chicago in 1994 he manages to paint some paintings write some words stomach ties in knots biting lip shivering from cold fear what’s going to happen ***** pink gray skies behind pitch black in front sometimes you need to take a step back in order to move forward Mom says she worried enough about money when she was younger and isn’t going to worry about it anymore her entire life she boasted i’m saving for my children but in the end she saved solely for herself Odysseus never learned to stand on his own all he ever wanted is to love and be loved he wonders what will happen next
Matt Jun 2015
Soon the lie will no longer be profitable and the evil elite won’t be able to hide the extreme environmental changes and chaotic sociological behavior manifestations. When it’s obvious to everyone that things are getting worse, because infrastructure and entire areas of real estate are not being repaired, know that the false powers at be understand there is no need to fix them, because more damage is on the way.
This summer, right now, and getting worse every day, food rationing is increasing because our food chains are being altered with GMO and infected purposely with deadly viruses. This summer, right now, and getting worse every day, water restrictions are extending into more areas because our weather system is a mess, they have ******* with it so much it’s now effecting our vital resources. When our basic needs to sustain life start being taken away from us, the game is over.
Take note, are you profitable to the planetary system being put in place? Do you go along with what the government tells you to do, and how to think? Do you question? Do you support vaccines, same *** marriage, one world religion, one world government etc. etc? If you are not on board with the one world thought that is about to be massively unveiled, when the re-boot starts your purpose will evolve into soylent green (food for other humans-cannibalism).
Once it is obvious, that the bulk of humanity will no longer be profitable via work force labor (because labor is becoming mechanized using robotics) in any form, guess what? You’ll be used for slave support yielding Food, and a section of humanity that is remaining will be harvested. Everyone is familiar with the term hell on earth, well this term was created for this time, and everyone is gonna have seat at this picture show, everyone.

Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Pray for your family, friends, neighbors and countrymen.
Alert from former Navy Seal
Hal Loyd Denton Dec 2011
A summer of special magic

Why write this because it’s a special time of year when you think of certain ones fondly and also
Maybe life is throwing junk in your path the kind that lingers and just for a few moments it takes to read
This you can have a breathing space and hopefully you can insert your own experience and get a little
Pleasure that will last a while during this wonderful time of the year I have to admit it will sound strange
I have never let that get in the way I spoke about this person before how she was the perfect one to fall
In love with blond with a pony tail a strand of cinnamon lighter than a feather just drifting on the
Summer breeze oh how sweet innocents personified truly easy on the eyes and a blend of southern
Charm with a Midwestern twist chubby checker style and too for lost love or the one who was your
Special someone and still is the window is right for romantic discussion but probably not this one I did
Have a captive audience we were alone and finally she would hear the deepest feelings that I felt and by
Her actions they were successful and again as I wrote before I can’t speak to her anymore because death
And time changed everything but if I realized I talked to her then and in a way I will always be talking to
Her soul once you do it right it is good for all time the soul is the great repository of all that is meaningful
And precious it might go into deep reassesses and time lays on it heavily but just a word softly spoken
Will clear all the silver and golden cobwebs away and your voice will be as clear as ever I spoke this
Before there is something extraordinary and tender and touching about a woman with wet hair and
When she refreshes her body and soul through bathing vulnerability and sweetness runs at its deepest
Level I didn’t have a clue I was as teenager but I knew how special Nan tan was the name is fitting it
Speaks of a Meteorite one in particular of iron that fell in china years ago yes throw in the mysterious
Orient it isn’t Out of order and it pays her more honors that she truly deserves so she was in the house
And I stood out Side just a common place out by the back door but this was my only chance to speak my
Feelings so not to sound like the complete fool I presented it as I was in a sense talking to God sorry
Father what I said isn’t the main thing let’s put it this way she never questioned again if she was pretty
And special soul to soul mind to mind I let her know what I felt all have had this happen and you can
Borrow From it of Course it didn’t happen this way but I wasn’t going to miss out on having my say and
Now it Returns In splendor more wondrous than the original especially under the circumstances and I
Need it so I guess I’m just forcing it again but where would I be without it?
With our voices we touch the inner being of another we put layers of softest telling riches sing softer
Melodies across the tenderest tendrils it blows across the pool where tears are drawn from
Depending on their depth and passionate fire will determine how hot the tears will flow down the
Most beautiful face flat diamonds that collect on a pillow or fall unnoticed on the floor but they are
Noticed by the love angel Cupid’s mother they show his work is most profitable and pleasing as the trees
Have foliage so the heart has blossoms’ pedals so fine to touch them you would be moved to spill many
Tears they are shaped in the design of the beloved no finer art exist each shade and high point is caught
In brilliance it resounds with the truest ring no distortion we are master artisans our fingers follow what
Our eyes behold we render the purist and most perfect expression of another ever seen in this realm
With felicity unerring the scope and depth we produce not just an outward understanding but one of
Completeness that goes beyond compare the inner sanctum is surveyed by piercing that probes
Completely love is not built on assumption but by that which is divined intense understanding if this
Process came with lighting the one being observed would be fused with light almost to the point of
Being blinded then the emotional surges I think people have complained of this like they felt drained
While the one who gained excess at this level is so overloaded they can hardly manage intelligent
Conversation but in a divine state of bliss what is time my thanks forever for knowing you
I  live on the mountain
Below the silver mist
In the valley, full of magic
Where the sun has rarely kissed

I am called a smudger
I live on what's left behind
I have been here near forever
I'm the last one of my kind

Below the mountain major
Lives a dragon, fierce and bold
Sleeping now, and dreaming
Of it's hoard of stolen gold

Eleventy years plus twenty
I have been here on this earth
Cleaning up the dragons droppings
It's how I justify my worth

The dragon's ruled this mountain
For a thousand thousand years
The silver river that flows through it
Is full of snow melt and of tears

Once a generation
Someone comes from down below
Gets the villagers all riled
Says "The dragon has to go"

They go and fight the dragon
Try to take his hoard of gold
And that is why, it's me the smudger
Who knows how the story must be told

The fighter leaves the village
Full of gusto and incensed
Saying "justice for the village"
or close to that....condensed

The dragon then awakens
Flys around and burns the town
Leaving nothing left but ashes
everything gone or burned down

Now, I, your local smudger
Cleans up the dead and done
It's a profitable existence
Since I am the only one

The dragon knows there's nothing
Much more of value to behold
The villagers were poor folk
Owning neither jewels or gold

I've cleaned up more destruction
Caused by villagers who go
On up to face the dragon
And get killed with just one blow

Now, I make candles with their bodies
I use their skin and body fat
I weave the hair not melted
And I make a nice new front hall mat

The bones I grind and scatter
On the mountain in the trees
It helps the ferns all grow strong
And keeps the trees free from disease

What little money I find
I leave half by the dragons den
Over time I have left there
Money from five thousand men

I've swords I sell at auction
When I travel, but that's rare
There is really nothing for me
That's not near the dragons lair

It's a relationship existing
On destruction and of greed
The dragon burns the village
And I get the things I need

They rebuild and they recover
And a generation may pass by
When once again some young, strong fighter
Wakes the dragon, makes him fly

I guess we need each other
That's the way it's always been
I'm the smudger on the mountain
I'm the one who's never seen
refresh mesh Jun 2015
we were small children when we grew up

wishing our parents would talk to us about the beloved Constitution,
not at us
wishing our parents would decide to quietly invite themselves
into our ideas, questions, our favorite novels
instead of constantly quoting their own favorite parts of The Bible
instead of complaining so fervently about Islam and poor people

wishing instead of asking
scrambling instead of composing
Do you remember anything?
You were small, and barely talking
But always laughing with me, listening
pointing and nodding

we were orphaned for 3 months as toddler and tiny girl,
while they were mobilizing in Saudi Arabia,
we were stuck with a violent guardian from the family, and I remember
her biting my arm, and pushing her chair
onto mine to crush my fingers when she was mad, and I remember
mom screaming at her over the phone when she found out, and I remember
she loved to kick our dog and sleep in their bed and I remember
deciding to say nothing when I saw this
and how she never saw me watching, the narcissist that she was.

so by age 5 my parents now knew that I was certainly old enough to pay close attention
and when mom and dad were deployed to Egypt for 9 months and 6 months, respectively,
they orchestrated a sequence of 3 live-in sitters trading off every 2 weeks, periodically,
we were stuck in a cyclical round of stuffy, busy au pairs
and I was the host
and I kissed dad's picture because he would call us almost every day
and mom would not
yet it was her I remembered the most
yet it was dad that you actually forgot

When we had them back I realized
I wanted to forget him, too, sometimes.
I hated worrying about them. I remember when I was 7 and our dog died
His heart was so debilitated for months.
Soon after he was able to fling our replacement puppies
in a fit of rage, just once
He retired first, that year, while mom was shipped off to Kuwait
Soon we found out he had no friends, she was his only mate
We felt sorry for him
We ate tv dinners every day and night for 6 months
And although I do have small handfuls of memories
with his hands suddenly on my throat and me on my knees
They always end with him apologizing and sobbing
And me, unscathed but shaken, glowing but glaring

by ages 8 and 10
we were reciting the bill of rights and criticizing welfare
but still could never understand ?
competition or war or cosmetics or long hair

I would always march, I felt like a boy and a girl
and also felt like neither one, I would always twirl
I was taught early on that accomplishments
are more
valuable and profitable of an experience
than forming,
with no meaning, such fleeting relationships

I've ending up simply not comprehending courtship
I might be a light, empty holster that you cannot equip.
I've never sensed the fond feeling of an honest liaison
Except at funerals where I'm free to imagine my own expiration

there are those of us who found kindness by insight
while we were taught to play the offense and be glad to fight
Yet intuitively we knew this aggression has a cost
so we harbored it within our frontal lobes, where we became lost
Some of us have been fighting demons since
our own hearts could breathe and our own eyes could rinse,
And the real reasons we did bad things
were simply too boring, too excruciating

these children fear, then assume, their best friend won't want to play
having discovered that having daydreams may be impending dismay
these are all the people who I haven't ever gotten to greet
they echo my certainties that there are other stories to meet

we were children who always imagined being a squib
keeping faith that wizards and wands were real
they'd take us away from this place to another glib
world of feasts and friends
A house consistently without parents, a house in which we could heal
guardians will fuggya up
patty m Jan 2019
Yesterday China shocked the world with its experimentation
of gene editing babies.  
A prominent US doctor took part in this experimentation.  

My daughter asked me, "wasn't it illegal to do this experimentation?

Yes my darling, it is illegal here in the US,  It's very dangerous to experiment on unborn babies or newly born babies, it's a genetic cocktail, and they have no idea of the consequences.    

Yet according to some people and new state laws, they can ****
the unborn or a newly birthed child without a blink of the eye. . There's no consequence or caring, they just ***** out a life.  Then they harvest the child's organs even the skin and sell it.  Quite profitable I hear. 

God bless the babies, who knows what these darlings could have accomplished, now we'll never know.
My granddaughter Abby almost died the day she was born.  She was out of the amniotic fluid and in extreme danger but we didn't know it.  Thank god, Kelly had a meeting for her diabetes that day, she didn't want to go but Mike took her.  When she got there they saw the baby was in extreme distress and performed an emergency operation.  Baby  Abby had to stay in intensive care for weeks with all kinds of scary possibilities hanging over her head .  But she battled through and thrived, How blessed is this gift, I thank God everyday.
Martin Narrod Apr 2014
Oakes-photo, hypocrisy and flagrant mirky plateau. Brimming celestial warrants overcrowding public housing systems. North-South lights, sell costly iPhone Apps; and then there are Social Societies of non-verbal delight. Password protected non-profitable and over-costly educations of no reward or biblical synonyms. Catastrophizing hash-tag dot.com. Weary party going poster children with glowing anemone guts, fruity looped cantlings, ravenous scattered supper clubbed coughing up ******* on their strange and central affairs unit. Overcome the candisation and sugary affairs of any of the ***** and pops that erstwhile matter less and less. We are speaking of nomenclatures that don't arise. Promises and by which confession aloof romanticizes every Tom dicking Mary that carries the theory of sustainable energy, prussian blue, and irregular browsing.
irinia Jun 2014
Increasingly there’s more in my life
A life between barcode
SIM
Remote with apocalyptic news and dire pornographers

life among multiple camera teams
between several videos about a future that all sounds good

blocks of life between advertising and surveys on how
Europeans can achieve
the cosmic ****** and a more profitable single currency

living ever more my own life
inside an inland country
where in waiting and loneliness I see greetings
from where I hope to reach the Himalayas and write:
‘Life is no good with Coca-Cola!’

Dan Mircea Cipariu

[Translated by Jon a’Beckett]

New Europe Writers  Bucharest Tales, Contemporary Literature Press, Bucharest 2014
Tim Knight Mar 2013
I did not kiss anybody last night,
yet my body-
from the lips down-
thinks I did.

Clad in a cotton armour,
like a pitch again tent
in a miserable northern monsoon;
the chest is protected from the disappointment,
the ribs are protected from the disappointment,
as for the heart, that’s the one that gets drenched
in drops of distress-
for it is the one ***** that gets played
by the hand of the female chess player;
knowing and knowledgeable, out to get
your king for only profitable stings
and club-night-pictures-check-the-website-for-more-details,
kisses.
@coffeeshoppoems
Marshal Gebbie Nov 2014
Everybody in Russia loves Vladimir Putin.
In the years since he muscled his way to the top of the tree, he has established himself as the Champion of all Russia!

In the degradation following the collapse of the USSR, national pride in Russia spiralled down to an all-time low, there was little to be proud of. The satellite nations fled to independence abandoning the Rodina,  Agricultural and industrial production fell dramatically, law and order diminished dangerously. The economy shrank and the order of success in business depended largely on connection with Government and/or the Mafia. The Oligarchs became monstrously rich, the average Ivan monstrously poor. Life savings were rendered worthless overnight by the plummet of the value of the rouble. Russian society polarised from the ecstatically happy, filthy rich to the chronically unhappy, beggared poor.

Russian leadership staggered from Gorbechev’s democratisation through Yeltsin’s alcoholism to Andropov’s sudden death…. enter the fray Vladimir Putin.

Putin tightened the reins.
He organised regular payment of wages and salaries to the movers and shakers, the police and the military.
He changed the rules of doing business within the nation and made investment opportunities within Russia available to outside interests.
He took charge and commandeered discipline within the ranks of central Government.
He set about correctional treatment for the terrorists/freedom fighters in the Chechen Republic and elsewhere.
He raised the expectations of the common man and gave the people an element of promise for Russia’s tomorrow.
He invaded and took back the Crimea as legitimate Russian sovereignty.
He garnered the roaring support of the six million ethnic Russians domiciled in the Eastern region of the Ukraine.

Putin now stands, bare chested, astride Russia. He faces a hostile but cowed West with pale, blazing eyes and a ******* bulge in his trousers.
He is widely idolised by Russian women and admired by Russian men. He is their champion; he is believed to be their key to the future.
His nation is currently under severe trade embargo and economic sanction by Europe and the West which is hurting the strained economy right across the board.
The declining price of oil is adversely affecting Siberian oil profits and making further shale oil exploration uneconomic.
He enjoys hugely profitable Siberian natural gas pipeline sales to the Southern neighbour, China, but they watch the unfolding political landscape with careful, calculating tiger eyes.
Putin is regarded by Europe and the West as an unpredictable, serious threat who should not be unduly provoked.
Undeniably, the West, in their sour lipped manner, would be happy to see him and his Russian bear, fade quietly and permanently into the obscurity of the frozen wilds of the far Siberian tundra.

But if Vladimir Putin plays his cards well, he could actually bring the Rodina all of the benefits, glory and rewards that it seeks.
However, should he overplay his hand here, he may well crash and burn….and in doing so, could bring Russia’s dreams and aspirations crashing down with him.

Marshalg
Auckland
15 November 2014
Trevor Gates Jul 2013
The silent planet of crystallized dreams

Nebula clouds emitting translucency

Nothing is ever what is seems

With God’s touch and delicacy



The song that remains and forever played

Amongst the promised womb before

The mother goddess loved and swayed

While the child watches from the hallway door



“Mother and father copulating with the door open.”

Read the words on the off-white typewriter paper

The boy tedious and tired, working and hoping

His work be acclaimed before meeting his maker



Telling stories of psychopath magicians in Long Island

Or Chicago lawyers fighting underground matches in drag

“A disturbing, fantastic point-of-view, from a ****** man”

Said one critic before nitpicking as reading a greasy pulp mag



Countless images worth their weight in gold

Majestic ballrooms ravishing supple choirs

Groping masked ballerinas with a urge so bold

Witty fops and serving props aiding proper sires

Sir Xavier proclaiming the night as a celebration

Showing sharpened teeth behind his mask

The shadows merging and demonstrating mutilation

With enough wine to soak, bathe and bask



The man breathed in exhaustion. He cracked his fingers and wrote:



“Circles of Blood, of **** and pain.

    Audacious institutions praising the Goat Head of Fame

                    Vicious clowns of chains and leather sought to cleanse the mind

                             The flesh and struggle that was kindled at the discovery of Gabriel’s find

                                      Stiffening, hardening clay over roots and glands

                                      The skin of earth ravaged from birth

                                      Yes men and polished conveyor belt twins

                                      Nodding, prodding and smirking

                                      Evicting and molesting the commonwealth

                                      The taxpayers and voters

                                      The people, new and old

                             Sewing fishing line into us

                   Like strings to puppets

          Severing wings

Denying us flight

          Expecting us to fight

                   With blank expressions

                             And

                   Collective motives

                             Because we should all think the same

                                      While in the jungles of Vietnam

                                                The cities of Korea

                                                          Deserts of Iraq

                                                                   Caves of Afghanistan

                                                                             Or

                                                                   Anyplace our leaders

                                                          Mispronounce

                                                What is to gain if not

                                      Something profitable?

                                                Thieves condemning thieves  

                                                Murders judging murders

                                                Psychopaths killed for killing

                                      Women ***** and thrown into a

    guilt trip for not keeping a child that

    was forced into them, saying the

    will of God is infallible.

    Children without homes suffer for what they are

              While more populate the world with their own

              Before helping the needy


The names of the world

          The foundations built upon on another

The empires envisioned and dreamt

          Destined for glory and prosperity

Then torn down in the cataclysmic volley of change

          Then the cycle, the circle, is repeated again

          This is how the world functions

In the name of one

Or many

Or God

Or even the Gods

The Circles, the rings and arena.”





The man wrote with the typewriter on top of books and clippings

Watching riots outside his window, bottle of liquid fire exploding

Screams of terror, of revolt and damnation drippings

Calling out for all to see, the fury and loathing



What the man wanted to write was a simply story to tell

But his rising emotions took hold of his fingers

Instead, he told a story of malicious passivity in living hell

Where in his room the fumes of gas lingers



What if on other places in space

Where we’ve discovered other Earth-like planets

God Created different forms of humans

And watched how they grew

In their own way

Eliminating one previous flaw from the next

Till there was no conflict



If he did and kept doing that

Till he had the perfect human

Then there would be no more

And just God again.

Mystic moons and puppy dragon tales
Silver oceans with crystal silk sails

Frozen lakes above the stone angel choir

Marble pianos soothed by fingers of fire
Maybe
it's just the first time doing *******
in order to expand my horizons; gain perspective
in great company and knowing full well
the moreish nature, as it has been purported,
of such a vice;

but, you know what they say:
"When in Rome..."

but lest ye forget;

"Do or do not, there is no try"

all the while
still maintaining moderation,
partially by habit and partially by force,
for there is said to be
no such thing as quality
in that regard
from whence I come.
and thus, as if by providence,
"When in Rome.."

So,
'twixt that personally groundbreaking experience
plus lots of Caffeine and Alcohol
in some haphazard alchemical combination
helped Reno to be a good-*** time
on Halloween
after playing a sweet-*** Rock Bar
with some sweet-*** bands.

And, to boot,
having not slept,
this morning was a rude non-awakening,
as well as an ominous first day of November,
what with the LAX shooting;
our roadie and I watched it as it unfolded
with repetitive loops of footage
and dodgy claims with more qualifiers
than actual substantial language;
but the Media is just doing it's job as usual;
play on sensationalism
especially for ratings;
okay if profitable.

Needless to ******* say,
it's been a crazy ******* day.
Needless to ******* say,
it may be a crazy ******* month.
We stayed the night in Reno
so we could party like a proper ******* rock band.
John F McCullagh Dec 2012
He itemized his medical bills,
Maxed retirement deductions.
He's given cash to charities
and Democratic functions.
This scion of the one percent
knows its his cash they're after.
Manipulating tax returns
will keep him the last laugher.
A death this year is profitable
before tax cuts expire.
While he'll probably miss his parents
Still he set their house on fire.
He hates to see the old place go
but still he watched it burn
while thinking of deductions
for the Estate tax return.
Intended as a piece of black humor as we approach the dreaded "Fiscal Cliff"

( No actual parents were harmed in the making of this poem)
e Jul 2014
You towed your broken down
beat up, used, rusted old
Chevy into my workshop
smelling like crap, and looking a whole lot worse
she had a busted engine
sputtered like a plane
(but not in a good way)
you leaked black oil all over my floors
stains of which I still can’t remove
no matter how many gallons of bleach I use
the radiator, well let’s just say
had seen better days
the interior leather seats were torn
and the once slick body
looked like you had *******
some mafia kingpin
so I spent my days and nights
greased up and elbow deep,
in your muck trying desperately,
but lovingly
to do what a mechanic does best
and I was leaking time
like I owned it, when I could’ve
should’ve found a more profitable fixer upper
I told myself, no convinced myself otherwise
and eventually, against the odds,
fixed you
then some schmo walks in
a bulging from both pockets
from wads of cash
and grabs you right outta my hands
the you I returned
to a shiny beauty as best I could
with the tools I had
well then, maybe I did fix you
I just never realised, I was doing it
for someone else.
I am a poor boy - A Capricorn
Perpetually saddened by my surroundings
Eight cats have sought me out for sanity's sake
But none of us seem able to escape on our own
All voices silenced for the sake of the rude,
the drunkard has-been, and so many varieties
of dream abandoned lives.
I fail to see any exit, reasoning, or plan.
These are the trials of a wisdom seeker
trapped in a pretty shell - conjuring Hell.

The west side of this city is falling apart and
my house is definitely no exception.
Any wealth left is gained from trading in
talent, hope, and aspiration for meager work
in refineries and plants that pollute
the bloodstream. Causing Decatur
to purposely decay into Lethe and
remove itself from memory and history - suicidal city.
I am just another generation in a long line
of poor romantics who close their eyes to the world.

I must have been born with the wrong last name
and composed of the wrong ingredients.
I may have insight, but no one dares or cares to hear it.
These people have given up on beauty and
have begun the worship of agriculture, but Artemis is no where to be seen.
My world has abandoned appreciation or art
because they have stripped it down to a profitable formula.
This may be a hopeless venture.
They have infected me with their grief.
Let the slumber of the soy city wash over me.
1248
Westley Barnes Aug 2013
The curse of a great, well-known or (at least) culturally interesting family.
Heralded at birth to mimic similar (or even, surpassing) social feats of achievement/wealth/renown.
Instead manages to underpasses even  mundane non-impressivenesses of second-generation parentals.

I
See them, smirk or folly with time, silently.
....which they seem to quite often.
Biding weekend with multitudes of varying categories of "friends"
and sweethearts who never seem to stick around too long
All aware, of course, of the famous family lineage
Themselves, instead
after lifetimes where first words, senior infants homework,
cheerful accusations of mischief and certificates of age-appropriate health
were lauded as signifiers of a future onslaught of fulfilled capabilities
emerge as providence's lackeys– and meekly, to be
Written out of History
One by One by One.

II
Talent is frequently a despairing life-cycle
for people who witness
and go without.

III
But what price success?
Is it to be counted in public
or left behind in wreaths?
Stern evidence
of favour, fought for and won
or shaky good fortune
One life's profitable fluke

IV
Does the cost of success itself
admit backstories of other kinds of loss
that children
without the chance of ever knowing
or changing their inheritances of fate
are powerless to cease the flow
of their own anonymity
all for the insistences of the unarguable
and for merely treading the average?
(A Christmas Circular Letter)

The city had withdrawn into itself
And left at last the country to the country;
When between whirls of snow not come to lie
And whirls of foliage not yet laid, there drove
A stranger to our yard, who looked the city,
Yet did in country fashion in that there
He sat and waited till he drew us out
A-buttoning coats to ask him who he was.
He proved to be the city come again
To look for something it had left behind
And could not do without and keep its Christmas.
He asked if I would sell my Christmas trees;
My woods—the young fir balsams like a place
Where houses all are churches and have spires.
I hadn’t thought of them as Christmas Trees.
I doubt if I was tempted for a moment
To sell them off their feet to go in cars
And leave the ***** behind the house all bare,
Where the sun shines now no warmer than the moon.
I’d hate to have them know it if I was.
Yet more I’d hate to hold my trees except
As others hold theirs or refuse for them,
Beyond the time of profitable growth,
The trial by market everything must come to.
I dallied so much with the thought of selling.
Then whether from mistaken courtesy
And fear of seeming short of speech, or whether
From hope of hearing good of what was mine,
I said, “There aren’t enough to be worth while.”
“I could soon tell how many they would cut,
You let me look them over.”

“You could look.
But don’t expect I’m going to let you have them.”
Pasture they spring in, some in clumps too close
That lop each other of boughs, but not a few
Quite solitary and having equal boughs
All round and round. The latter he nodded “Yes” to,
Or paused to say beneath some lovelier one,
With a buyer’s moderation, “That would do.”
I thought so too, but wasn’t there to say so.
We climbed the pasture on the south, crossed over,
And came down on the north.
He said, “A thousand.”

“A thousand Christmas trees!—at what apiece?”

He felt some need of softening that to me:
“A thousand trees would come to thirty dollars.”

Then I was certain I had never meant
To let him have them. Never show surprise!
But thirty dollars seemed so small beside
The extent of pasture I should strip, three cents
(For that was all they figured out apiece),
Three cents so small beside the dollar friends
I should be writing to within the hour
Would pay in cities for good trees like those,
Regular vestry-trees whole Sunday Schools
Could hang enough on to pick off enough.
A thousand Christmas trees I didn’t know I had!
Worth three cents more to give away than sell,
As may be shown by a simple calculation.
Too bad I couldn’t lay one in a letter.
I can’t help wishing I could send you one,
In wishing you herewith a Merry Christmas.
John F McCullagh Dec 2011
You hear their siren song in the air,
before you ever see the truck.
If it is “The Rolling Cones”,
Then my friend, you are in luck.

Where "Mister Softee" use to be
an old bald man down on his luck,
“The Rolling Cones” have sweet young things
Make **** sundaes in a cup.

These ice cream ladies sell the wares
while wearing frilly bustiers.
Men of a certain age all troupe
to wave their dollars for two scoops.

Curves and ice cream swirls can be
****, yes, but not obscene,
It’s a profitable duopoly.
They use hot babes to sell ice cream.

To differentiate their trucks
From the ******* coffee vendor “Cups”
They needed a name all their own
That’s why they’re called “The Rolling Cones”
*** sells soft serve
Alexander  K  Opicho
(Eldoret,Kenya;aopicho@yahoo.com)


Dear Beloved potential victim to my foul intentions,
How are you today and your family, I covet it most
I am a citizen of Sudan but currently staying in Burkina Faso.
My name is Miss Ngara Deng,24years old daughter of the richest Sudanese
My wealth in prankstery is spilling over the tumbler of truth,

We originated from Sudan the confused kingdom of penchant tribalism
I got your E-mail address/profile through my justifiable slyness
in the internet search from your country of prank victims,
In the national chamber of commercial fraudulence,
When I was searching for a good and trust worthy person
Who will be my friend  even I con him to the apex of my efforts,

And I believe that it is better we get to know each other
Better and trust each other so that I determine your degree of folly
Because I believe any good relationship depends on your callousness
Will only last if it is built on truth and real love of I frauding you,
My father Dr. Dominic Dim who gave birth to me
A universal queen of fraud an pranking
He was the former Minister for SPLA  contraband Affairs
And Special Adviser to President Salva Kiir in regard to tribalism,
As the main virtue of South Sudan.

My father Dr. Dominic Dim Deng, blessed be his name
And my mother including other top Military officers
And top government officials in this game of ours,
Had been on board when the plane crashed
On Friday May 02, 2008. May be Museven Knows
After the burial of my father, all pranks were there,
My uncles conspired and sold my father’s properties
To a Chinese expatriate and live nothing for me.

One faithful morning, gave a twist of fate;
I opened my father’s briefcase and found out the false documents,
Which he have deposited huge amount of fake money in one bank
In Burkina Faso with my name as the next of kin in prankster,
I traveled to Burkina Faso to withdraw the money
so that I can start a better prank life and take care of wiles.


On my arrival, full in arms as you know am a liar
The Branch manager of the Bank, a Burkinabe
Whom I met in person and desire he was my prey,
Told me that my father’s instruction, vicious ones
To the bank was the money is released to me ,
Only when I am married or present a ****** s trustee
Who will help me and invest the money conning guys overseas
I have chosen to contact you after my prayers and ploys.
I believe that you will not betray my trust.

But rather take me as your own sister in crime
Though you may wonder why I am so soon revealing myself
to you without knowing you to be good in pranking,
Well, I will say that my mind of a thief convinced me
That you are the true foolish person to steal from.

More so, I will like to disclose much to your folly
if you can help me to cheat the police  by hiding in your country
Because my uncle has threatened to counter prank me,
The amount is $8.4 Million and I have confirmed
From the bank in Burkina Faso that am only lying,
You will also help me to place the money in heavenly treasure
In a more profitable swashbuckling venture in your Country
However, you will help by recommending to me
A nice University in your country from when I get a diploma
In thieving and frauding,
So that I can complete my studies in this marketable field


it is my intention to dupe you properly
As you get trapped in my rackets;
The balance shall be my capital
In your illusive establishment
As soon as I receive your interest in helping me,
I will put things into action immediately
In the light of the above of the nonsense
I shall appreciate an urgent message from you
Indicating your ability not to sense a lie
and willingness to handle this transaction in foolish sincerity.

Please do keep this only to yourself as it is fortunes fool
You should contact with my prank email ID below;
missngarad@gmail.com
Sincerely yours,
Miss Ngara DENG
we can use poetry to fight cyber con men
Chairs were creaking from the strain of ignorance,
as the habit of ignorant anticipation gripped the
edge of a creative moment to disrupt thoughts
which hoped to choose the pastel colors of an

expressive photograph.  Rather than deep garden
saturation, the light, fading to become ghosts
of movement, offered a place of acceptance.  Shrugs
rounded the shoulders of the road, so it could be
claimed that no responsibility hindered the

development of suspension systems.  Political
levitation supported the dancers as they turned onto

the public stage in a forum of occupation.  The state
of the street, in the absence of smooth nylon, brought
the parachutes down to flutter, disconsolately, above
the pavement.  Single waves of regret were drawn

to leave the stage, but, as this effort was declined,

determination measured resolve based upon
community options, described in the local papers.
Setting the pages down, each day, the play became
enamel baked onto the restoration and the satisfaction
which kept them all together as a group.  Certain
curtains were raised, as others were lowered to close
the door excluding the poor

from the equal share of space related to the experiments
of the place.

Conversation by clerks sculpted freedom to crimp the
brass cases in ways not accepted by sprites in mid
flight.  These were the colors in the ledger interpreted as
shades of gray or flashing midnight blue, faint copper,
and pearly white.  Forces of education were dismissed
as a superficial demonstration indicating the character,

intensive.

Thus, they were reaching for the money, but funding
remained a gift offered only to those admired and,
through the glass, profitable by cultural attributes.  Some
thought the process was the singular importance of an
event.  The dancers were dreaming, as they rehearsed.
Another kind of artist discarded the event in favor of the
documents and images meant to persist.  These, the
dancing players favored as memories to be contemplated,

some to be cherished.

Materialism, since it included spirit, ruled the transient
existence experienced as joy.  Perception brought
enjoyment into being, yet when the unusual critic walked
away, it was a dispossession.  Other critics were members

of the team.
Allison Neal Dec 2009
It was just a whisper of a touch,
That’s all that was needed for me to arrive at this beautiful confusion. . .
The kind that winds down a narrow road to the deepest part of your being and shakes you inside out.
Relentless in my pursuit now,
To taste you. . .
To live inside your mouth and lie inside your unharbored creativity even if it is just for a season.

The day to day gives way to nights spent waiting for you.
I conjure up excuses,
To invite you to tip toe in again softly,
To sit with you so close and warm,
An unmatched fleeting security,
An exhilarating free fall to my stomach
-Which  I crave

I ponder the most profitable path to gain access to your heart
The usual maps I've followed do not take hold with you. . .
To creep slowly like a cat on the prowl?
Guarded and wise?
To run open armed and embrace?
To not think of how it may end?
Like with you and me,
Lying naked on the floor, our bodies sweaty and tangled?
Your eyes searching for the door?

No you are a different breed.
A roller coaster ride of yes and no.
A  delicious collection of untamed sexiness and unattached heart.
The challenge of the unattainable.
And I,  lusting after your game,
Will learn you.
And possess you.
Until my hunger,
Is only quelled by your matched
Desire
Madison Jackson Mar 2013
ignorance follows me around every corner
and i’m tired of running away to avoid it
i live in a world where post-**** abortions must be proven to be legit
where ****** is advertised to come with a free **** kit
this world is a place where musicians make more than the president
and foreign residents with phd’s are struggling to make ends meet
a continent is left to die to the beat of the greed and street crime
the faces of the dying people don’t look like mine, so i guess it’s fine
i can carry a television with me in my pocket and make phone calls on it
there’s a hit reality show about a five year old girl dressed up like a corner ***
child molesters are taking fashion notes for their dungeon homes
fairy tales are profitable and everyone is worried about a zombie apocalypse
the living dead exist miserably in mass housing and arthritis has destroyed their threat of violence
we are now split in a rational debate over fulfillment of two thousand year old myths or if aliens will come back for us
and a man gets top billing in a national political conference to talk to a chair about war and the capital deficit
actresses are paid thousands of dollars to put make up on and get punched in the face
gladiatorial arts to amuse the masses resurrected for the television age
bread and circuses but there’s no bread left so let’s give them a show
i’m rambling like a crazy man but i don’t see the cameras rolling so it’s all for naught
Kendal Anne Aug 2013
The beauty of youth will forever belong at your side, and therefore it will stay
Even after the hairs upon each of our heads begin to glow like a white halo ray
After it has turned from the fairest of golds to whispy alabaster whites and greys
Never shall youthful beauty whisper farewell to us on any occuring days

Even after long are gone the glorious days in the past and time we have spent
Now filled with the sad longing, with hurting glances, in which is called resentement;
These are from the multitude of wrinkles; of which to gain we never meant
But still; the beauty of youth weeds out those feelings, helping us to repent

The thinning upon our heads? Remind us of the days we were conspicuously snooty
Because those were the fruitful times in which we were often called a "natural beauty"
Noses in the air because we thought being beautiful was our righteous duty
Only now the surface of our faces have been wrinkled and bleached like an old dried abalone

The bounties of our short timed youth, have long been washed away with the waves of time
But that allows us to remember; and rejoice at every steep mountainous climb
Through smiles and laughs; and the misshaps in which we were thoroughly covered in grime
The beauty of youth resonates through every memory even when it tries to be sublime

The richest of light is not from youthful beauty; but forever it will always be lit and cast
The light from the joyful sound of chirping birds; and the tirelessness of laughs,
Of the mindless days we spend vainly dreaming, stepping off our "to be discovered" paths
With the hopes of regaining our once beauty filled and profitable youthful pasts
(Those are the very brightest, of every youthful light)
Mateuš Conrad Dec 2015
it's a paradox of yevgeny zamyatin, that the true rebellion is caused by a stress of the necessity of dreaming... talk to any schizoid individual and you find they're the dream manufacturers... dreams happen in the safe environment of the laboratory of the unconscious... they're the socially acceptable hallucinations... it's even socially acceptable to interpret them... which i find very odd... why should unconscious hallucinations be socially acceptable and profitable and career crafting and conscious hallucinations be socially stigmatised? ah the safety, the environment of the freduain interpretation of dreams: well... he's ******* asleep, isn't he?! ******.

after my usual walks drinking, i tend to enter the
realm of heat and christmas tree
a little bit too brooding,
i just painted a picasso or a kandinsky,
burnt it, and then am told to "plagiarise" it...
i don't like the approach nietczsche had
taking a notebook with him
and writing his thoughts written,
i like the way my faculty memory
eats the immediacy of thinking
as counter to the translation of descartes'
theory equating existence with thought
as if thought could prove i exist
thus uncoupling it from the original:
thought and doubt.
memory is central by comparison,
i have the revision from the miscarriage of descartes'
aim: memini ergo cogito.
it makes sense, given i started the night off
buying three san miguel bottles at tesco,
buying five beers at the turk,
spotting russell the schizoid-affective man
huntched in a corner...
told him five minutes max...
started talking with him
about the ol' sailor's narrative... turbulent noons
and midnights with a bottle of jack...
wide eyed russell every time i speak to him
reflected...
i remember drinking my first coffee aged 7...
i was born with a heart condition...
i shouldn't have... live dangerously though...
drank it... magic!
i remember the taste even now.
the cognitive me is not the existential me...
odd, isn't it?
i should have kept the original kandinsky,
but i burnt it and kept the plagiarism...
why is it that the function of memory
is paramount to mental health?
this prof. of psychology itemised this girl
who's north mania south an airplane descending
from the height vector with the ears popping...
why is it that i can remember me aged 7
and most people got cheated into total engagement
in life in the orientation of satisfied or dis-satisfied
expression of puberty?
if the faculty of memory is not defended
then diseases enter...
not one of the diseased is like an original adam,
like translation of original adam, i.e. mozart beethoven
einstein...
good enough to be without plain jane as narrator
and puppeteer...
let the strings do the talking, please!
i'm in love with ****-****** literature...
take that **** of yours, that suitcase
of ***** stockings to your mother to give it a eco-friendly
spin of the washing-machine...
**** that crap should that crap enter my heart...
you heard of ****** latin? i think you have,
it's not church slavonic, it's rude latin...
the type of thing that adds oil on the cogs
and makes you adherent to the philosophy:
pause for thought or pause for fake vocabulary?
i sweat with oaths to add fluid...
if you're offended by **** and not f
ck you
must be really appreciative of pronography...
so they said: we must rid the word of a vowel
and expose the people with **** corn bits between the teeth!
well... it worked...
i didn't tell you remember the pythagorean theory
you were taught aged 12... i told you
to remember you aged 12... like i remember nathanel
with his briefcase in year 8 in math class...
like i remember this english teacher's legs
when i dropped the pen to loon inside the stash-load
of pooddles and *****...
like i remember racing a guy from bałtów
to ostrowiec and winning: he on a tour de france bike
with anorexic model tires and
my on mountain bike fatties...
i told you memory is crucial... given our thought explored
inanimate things as the perfection of our knowledge,
given our thought explored animate things
as perfectly categorising man and animal alike
thus mis-interpretating ourselves, oh the sacrifice of
the perfectly catalogised atom among the toothbrushes...
a convo of assortments...
it's perfect knowledge in relation to inanimate things...
the sort of thing which is question:
but atoms are animate things... calling them inanimate
just because they're invisible doesn't give you a
right to driftwood clung to in robinson cruseo's shakespearean friday.
hence the passing inspiration... so dull now
that i only feel inspired to pour myself another whiskey
and justify the meaning of relaxed.
associate yourself with the world,
hardly many of us will end of with the genius score of don juan,
we're in an environment of strict biology,
we're told that memory governs our world
with the world being on the quest to repeat...
and it does repeat... sounding the encore of biting frost,
sounding the encore of delighted shadows of summer
having postponed snipers to shoot them dead with night...
the world that inquires per se via repeat
only divinites man's faculty that's memory,
and quickly attacks it in revenge by dementia...
imagination is left to the murderers' who fancy
all the hues of red on the face....
this world is not pleasant to those who think,
to those who couple thought with imagination,
and to those who couple thought with memory...
alas... such few increments are left to re-discover
after being taught the uselessness of centimetre
when no centimetre knowledge is used in their
mechanisation of a profession.
that bit monkey less than man already happened
contradictory in theoretical terms
given the diversity whereby man's diversity
per se cannot explain the diversity of each thing
using evolutionary relativism, niche by-product concerns...
penguins will always make it to antarctica...
no banker or plumber on antarctica... just
scientists who started the whole expedition as
worth anything by counting penguin eggs...
indeed... ah this is going nowhere...
i don't believe in evolutionary relatvism
like socrates didn't believe in moral relativism
theft is punishable with the cutting of the hand
that stole... ****** is punishable with the cutting
of the head - it's all really related)...
and the aesthetic relativism is as true as: beauty
is in the eye of the beholder -
to that girl in the night near the church
walking with a concerned friend
concerned by her attractive panda-eyed mascara expression.
most of the time i find the inherent vice of jungian
interpretation of poets
to be a case of narration: poets don't write enough
to be valued! i respect fictional occupants of the
equivalent hammer of a labourer writing long paragraphs!
well, true enough... any idiot would suddenly exclaim
a symptom as: i differentiate that i'm a constant inspiration
for a non-existent narrator, and the symptom i differentiate
from true to fake by the fact it hinders my faculty to think...
pronoun shrapnel i call it... auxillary pronouns
that benefit me to expand my thought on a levelling
that did not want to see in monochromatic divergence
of continued with linear-ism akin to horse blinders
that only exposed a corridor where a valley could have stood
for the eyes to be inspired by.
anastasiad Dec 2016
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