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DivineDao Feb 2016
It's been almost seven
Months and six eclipses
Since the repetitive sound
Of a metal train wheels lulled my thoughts
And fresh languid lazy summer air hushked through the opened window
and ruffled my hair, blew the chocolate black back to forth, for a moment and covered my eyes. Completely. The aroma of vanilla and honey have vanished into the  pine and palm tree canopies and partialy deep into you, as you breathed me in. The road dust crusted my eyes and I said in a low murmured voice: it's temporary, sweet darling. These tears intimidating the corners of my green would have been lighter with mere weight of a single droplet's fullness. Emotions tore them down. Each itching. You didn't have to be psychic to know it is wise to turn your head for the square angle away, and pretend nothing happened.
You put your headphones on and surrepetitiousely tapping the beat along the music. Melodious were the charming contours of a passing landscape. And those near~dusk dreamy hues, have coloured my silences with beautiful wine grapes and rose bushes, puffy sheep, running children, honking cars, fruit and vegetable stands, stone bridges, horses having a picninc on the remote meadows. Grass was waist high,  villas rose and faded among blue and green, swaying as golden wheat on the horizon, subdued to warm Zephyrs. And gardens were everywhere. Out of the train's window, within your dark magnetic gleams.  Our thoughts became dreams; growing into my soft yearning palms, lines shone and shone. Until the road's end.
CK Baker Jan 2017
cedar planks line the dim lit hall
morning snow begins to fall
sepia print in a chip wood frame
embers spark from the franklin flame

rustling sounds from bunks below
records play in a tight alcove
bacon grills on the iron sheet
gloves are warmed by baseboard heat

bean bags tossed on colored ****
papka placed as a punching bag
red brick wall with mounted poles
windows filled with glacier bowls

whiskey jack on the southern rail
a frozen patch of wine and ale
pine cones fall in gathering white
brothers bathed in firelight

sleighs are on the table top
canyon road is at a stop
northern winds that bite the face
lines are up the gondola base

cornice clipped on gully goat
the rubber man appears to float
alpine depths are on the rise
peaking sun through parting skies

triple ropes and nordic luge
honored guests from baton rouge
gelande jumps on rainbow drive
nostalgia’s light and warm reply
usus Aug 20
I just wanted to get on the train,
any train.
Where was it heading?
Didn’t matter really

I very nearly did it lol

Clouds are bright
Rail tracks are beaming with lights
I say to myself
I'll learn to fly

Sky’s high
Winds are mine
Sam Hawkins Apr 2013
What we have named Fire Escape
(an ordered, angular tangle of ladders and rail)
had made picture geometries in my west window
well-framed and flat--set foreground and background
in two dimensions, as the sun hid,
and my round eye opened.

What we have named Fire Escape
was flaked-paint brown orange, as if
first it had been born of a flame
and then had taken up living as metal--
tempered itself into usefulness,
which I should trust now, in case of the yelling
and the engines.

What we have named Fire Escape
was happy Jungle Jim or Jungle for Jane
for the sparrows I saw this morning
which flitted and wildly played
within, rising up
arched and back again.

Made of the square pairs of ladder rungs--
a tunnel entrance or ducking posts,
or highway bridges to clear;
the birds like small plane, daredevil pilots
each following each, going under.
No sparrow would ever crash.

And what is this I remember now?
How one bird eased its engine and perched there to stay?
As if to offer me, with a little turn of head gesture--
a thank you, for the bread I'd left on the sill? Or to say  
I'd better shut the curtain and make my exit?

Either prideful guess gets me nowhere fast.
Failed even is speaking in any sparrow languages
from my recline stuffed chair; again, but now imagined,
to draw beady eyes to fix on me, telling me much less.

That morning, with the very last sparrow gone,
I remember that nothing in my sight moved,
save an American flag at a distance in the wind,
with its one red-white striped wing
waving toward the cold north,
as the white church spire,
framed in open quadrilaterals,
held its position.
written and posted a few hours before the Boston Marathon Bombing, Monday April 15th, 2013
CK Baker Jan 2017
they stained the back deck today (with a hard to match 7 periwinkle)
400 square feet of knotted pine (in a striking rivet sequence)
red ant drivers (who can forget those little ******)
caked fir needles & feather cone
bug hologram & cedar moss
graffiti crack & cut joist
wheel rut & pick
pike stain (s)
sow bugs
electric
blower
purple
fueled
washer
missing
foul bits
and two of
its former pins
somewhere near
the erratic 9th stroke the
side kick (and his sloppy dullard)
fell sadly in a cacophony of sick laughter
anxious peckers, poinsettias, grub box, rail stems
lacewings (womanlike in their task), third door down windows
old ergonomic chairs (so highly touted in the checkout isle at Lowes)
all for not, I guess ~ seems they never reviewed the Homestead Manual on Fine
Deck Painting
Jeff Gaines Mar 2018
Cardinal
Oh, Cardinal
You great scarlet bird.

You hop along my porch rail
But you don't say a word.

Defiant
So Defiant
Of nature's camouflage.

There is no way to hide
Your bright red entourage.

Orange
Bright Orange.
Your sharp pointy beak.

Gathers the worms and the seeds
All the meals that you seek.

Feed
Feed her.
This mate that you court.

Such a noble young man
You dance and cavort.

Sing
Sing sweet
You and your friends

I'll love your songs every morning
'Til winter comes 'round again.

Babies
Your babies
I'll meet them come next year.

When in the Fall, they'll alight on my porch
And bring my morning's cheer.

Cardinal
Oh, Cardinal
I'm so glad you're here, you see.

I knew your parents and now you have come
Singing just for me.
I live pretty far out in the country. The birds here are really awesome. I love to go out late at night and listen to the Barred Owl or spend an afternoon sitting in our back meadow to watch the breeding pair of Peregrine Falcons that have a nest in one of our Methuselah oaks.

But every morning as the sun rises and I have my coffee on the back porch ... the Cardinals always seem to be the early risers. Their songs begin with the very first crack of light. They seem to have gotten used to me, as they now land on my porch rail, pretty close to me.

They sing and court mates and sometimes, I swear, they just kinda bop around on the railing and watch ME!

They are simply beautiful and I LOVE having my coffee with them each morning!
patty m May 2014
The train chugs into town, its smoke
rising over trees, black
against the setting sun's spread of
blue and tangerine.
And still the pale and exhausted clamor
aboard dust and soot covered,
until the train slides forward exhaling.



Golden hawk your broad circles stretch the moments
until your talons touch down,
while the train recedes into mountain's
violet haze.



Old Simon, a fisherman
from a neighboring town
rolls a cigarette and looks around
then proceeds to tell
one of his stories.

He tells them in segments,
holding each of us enthralled
as he puffs and blows smoke
in the eyes of gullible youngsters.

*

Smoky mountain sunset
the train of thought
comes rolling in,
no arrivals or departures
just miles of rail going nowhere,
clickety-clack clickety-clack.
v V v Jul 2012
If I were only me I would drive to San Francisco
and jump off the big orange bridge.

I might do it if I knew it
wouldn’t hurt them,
but I can't because it would
so I keep fighting all
this **** that haunts me.

I have eleven reasons not to do it,
eleven people I will not name,
eleven reasons

not to hit the water at 86 mph,
eleven reasons to avoid massive internal bleeding,
to avoid broken ribs and punctured lungs,
to avoid …telescoping fractures……
asphyxiation by blood and……
….telescoping fractures……..
Eleven reasons to avoid 4 seconds
of second guessing.....and telescoping fractures…..
 
Eleven reasons…… …....................OK twelve.
 
Eleven people in my life I couldn’t do it to.
Twelve including me because I know I won’t like
the sound of what it might sound like,
the difference in my mind between the sound
of fractures and the sound of telescoping fractures,
a terrifying sound, enough to keep me away from
San Francisco, not to mention the big orange bridge.

I lie awake at night with numbers racing around inside
my head, 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour,
4 seconds from rail to water, 220 feet to fall,
24 hours in a day, 86 miles per hour at impact.

I keep counting and sleeping fitful frightening sleep,
endure nightmares of falling, flying off the big orange bridge,
reaching upward, the bridge getting smaller and smaller,

and every morning I wake before impact still a martyr

for all of us.
Tommy Randell Nov 2016
A dove sat beside me
As I supped my Pint,
Looking away from me
Not meeting my eyes.
The cold in the day
Raising her down,
Puffing her up
To a serious frown.

"Are you happy there,
Thomas, yourself?" says she.
"Sitting there supping
On that warm balcony?
While I take my ease
On this cold metal rail,
Rounded and bested
By the wind at my tail."

"Have you no bit of bread,
Or a crumb of sweet cake?
Have you a drop of the clear
I might care to partake?
No? Well no matter,
It is for the best
As I've much left to do
Before I'm back at my nest."

"The squabs are all waiting
The milk from my crop,
So I'm back up the harbour
With the wind in a strop.
Sit as you are, Master
Take in the dew,
Enjoy it, this Peace,
In this moment, this Truth."

And meeting my eye
With a glint glassy but soft,
She sprang from the rail
And was battled aloft.
I looked on the town
And the harbour-side trade,
Supping my pint,
Mindful and weighed.

Tommy Randell 20th Feb 2016
L B Jun 2018
Drifting off in mid-day
She is there in my parent's house
Where she should not be
She's never met them
been inside their home

...and besides
She's dead...

Don't know where I drop my brains off
or my heart
when sleeping
I so clearly know this
but I dismiss it
for the moment--
go along with joy
to have her with me once again

She looks so well!
Her pale skin flushed
below her ragged, reddish hair
Wearing peacock blue sateen
as always
dressed to ****
to go somewhere
anywhere
away
from loneliness
from cancer

...and she had included me
on her glorious outing
without title
without honor
I had been her teacher-friend
like an elder wedding guest
she had grown
beyond ...

She helps me dump my canvas bag of poems
on my parent's bed
Where I conceived them
or they conceived me

“What about this one?
Or this is a good one too!
I know you can do this!
You read so well!”
she says
I'm thinking, “This is not like Jenn,
so reversed
for her to give a thought...
and besides, it is not even my event!"

Now she's in my mother's place
in her 1950's closet
pushing hangers across the rail
She would find it--
something
I could wear

I am so transported by the smell
of memories
that I don't care
mothballs, lavender, perfume
I get distracted deep within
almost losing track in the euphoria
to have found my friend again
I lose a moment in the soft fur of mom's mink
clipped together mouth to tail
to form the stole
an ouroboros
With its beady eyes
on me
like death
would drape across my shoulders
given half a chance

When from its mouth of glamorous lies....
Jenn shoves me through life's opened door
She has found that dress!
I wore...

the one with hope, and future's
purple flowers
dropped waist and scalloped neck
Yes, It would do, “Yes!"

But now,
she makes excuse to leave
...of meeting Joe
...of going on ahead...

I know
she must

as this is all some clabbered past
a gift of dreams
Still, I want to hug her
just one last....

but she feels empty...

In embrace
she turns to ash
Jennifer was my friend of fifteen years and a fellow poet.  Dreamt of her yesterday-- like she was actually here.
Brent Kincaid Sep 2018
Nobody marching toward us
Their guns making us die.
No tanks are come clanking
No bombers in the sky.
But our Congress and generals
When oil or bases seem needed;
We appear armed and threatening
Peace and love talk not heeded.

No country has attacked us
With troops and lethal artillery.
But our leaders expect us to
Go open up their arteries
And **** their women and children
And laugh while they all die
And we are expected to do this
And never think to ask why.

It’s almost like big companies
Were sad when WW2 ended
So they started attacking countries
We really should have befriended.
We let Russia have free reign
To **** and ****** and steal
Almost as if their aggression
Wasn’t really true or even real.

We looked around and made them,
Those evil old warlike excuses,
That some country threatened freedom
And we pretended they weren’t ruses.
We attacked Korea and Vietnam
We were just supposed to observe
That they were yellow people there
And think they got what they deserved.

We didn’t stop there, as Reagan took
A duly elected leader and put him in jail.
If any country did that to our country
The conservatives would howl and rail.
Then the Bushes tried their best to take
Iraq to steal their oil and punish them
And created an era of stronger hatred
And anti-American outrage and mayhem.

No foreign country has attacked America;
So, the point bears repeating once again.
We need to stop acting like bullies here
And start acting like decent statesmen
And women who have the bigger picture;
The growth of peace in our battered world
So, other countries will not take their guns
And shoot our flag when it’s unfurled.
Sam Hawkins Jul 2013
This hand which moves and rides some voice is not mine.
I have given it over to you, young boy.

This is what makes it fly so, traveling out,
tripping along in dance of shape and sound.

I acknowledge your presence in this fashion.

You tell me by messages,
beaming out the back of your head,
you are the very boy who has waited an eternity
at some upper railing.

You sit and peer through the spaces,
down the twisted stair.

Your hands, they grip the vertical rail.
Silent. Silent. Waiting you.

Let this right hand of mine be your secret voice.
Let this scrawl and scratch be your gravelly tongue—
ick-nicking, ga-chooing, click and stutter.

What language may I shape for our sake?
With you, may I follow, setting trail markers just so.

Will others come mistaking their ways for yours?

My hand is opening and opens wide.
I remember you. I am returning.
Let it be.
KiraLili Aug 2016
Winery patio on an August afternoon
The air is motionless and heat thick
The grapes on the vine over the rail bulge
You can smell the musk of pungent soil
The floral bouquet of chilled white hangs on my pallete
Sipping last years Chardonay as she walks in
Her raven hair shines against her tan
Looking through my wine glass I see her
The only sound over the murmur is her black heels
As the glass fills wine legs cling longingly to the side
Her dark skin criss crossed by tan line straps glistens in the sun
My glass at the same moment as she approaches is topped up
She is poured through my glass into a little blue dress
Afternoon at a Winery
v V v Aug 2014
These are the days
when my heart can’t speak
and my days pass by in a fog.

At night I look to the sky for her flame
and she shows me, up through the pines,
she’s the burning harvest moon tonight.

Do you see how she shines like the sun?
She shines in the night just for me.
              
She leads me to the edge and
whispers like a lover in the dark,
she wants me to burn just for her.

My harvest moon she seems so close
I reach up to touch her but she’s
too far away,  she’s so far away but

Oh, how she burns so bright!

          Naivety’s gotten the better of me
          she’s not the burner she’s the “burnee”

          and if we met we’d burn white hot
          we’d melt like a ******* supernova

          but then we’d die

          My beautiful white harvest moon
          and I, we know what to do to get by

          We know what needs to be done

          Shall we close the buckle in the door?

          Shall we swallow the white gold and pearls?

          No, not likely, instead
          run to her at midnight
          in the bright white light,
          climb upon the rail between
          ocher beams on Golden Gate
          and look up.

          She seems so close.
          Look up!
          I reach for her slowly
          Look up!
          I reach for her softly
          Look up!

          slowly

          softly

          I step to the edge and fly home.
CK Baker Jun 2017
pale clouds at the summit
water color sky
cattle guard at wood bridge
creek bed running dry

split log fence downtrodden
razor back in wire
sinkhole on the wild plain
grouse fields under fire

pine bug and a lone wolf
clear cut on the trail
stump lake on the open range
kettle valley rail

raven on the hatheume
slash and burn and scar
blasted church in a tired sun
wild rose under char

thistle in the hollow
quails nest sitting high
carriage house at lone rock
curtains of july

smoke jaw in the canyon
percolator dream
silver sage in chapel
schneider's requiem

stockmen on the wrangle
big horn antler chase
table top at sunset
deacon creek in grace

quarry in a furry
lines of tinted red
spurs and blades and columns
patchwork of the dead

past the bow hill junction
cattle ropes are black
indian amphitheater
saddle on the rack

sun is at a high bake
sedimentary stone
three days on the morphine
skeleton and bone

cold water road is lonely
corrals are cut and paste
gone but not forgotten
the dust filled aftertaste
Lone Luna Mar 2016
Poems, you will never know when it will come to you
It will hit you right then and there
Like thunders and flashes of lightning
You got to be prepared
But you can never be prepared
It will be as if time halted and all you can ever do is stand still
As the words pour out of your mind
Helplessly you are struggling to put them back
So you can remember everything when you write them down
Poems, it is a long train of thought on a winding rail
It will be impossible to jump out of it
And you will never jump out of it
Because it's a quicksand, all you can do is sink, sink, sink
But what you will realize
Is that, after all the empty drafts and coffee mugs
You've just created something that might change the world
Then you should know it's all worth it
Luna
Left Foot Poet Aug 2017
<•>

the freight of fright (one by one)

you don't see them often
out east,
the coupled cars of trains,
so long, one single train, touching,
two borders of one middle-of-the-country-state,
simultaneous

that said,
rode those couplers once or twice,
even now, sitting free fared on uncut lengths of rebar,
quiet humming on my knees, Clapton's Layla,
heading to a city that claims need for another skyscraper

but the freight train I ride and rode a million passenger miles,
so many miles, I ride now gold free for life,
that of course,
a curse,
an ironic joke
on me

the freight of fright,
of waking up tired,
after just having falling asleep
worthy of only short story nightmares,
alligator eaten dreams,
running from and to
the silver bullet band's lullaby;

"running against the wind,
a young man,
running against the wind"


this train, all mind mine,
don't carry no commodities,
no cars or washing machines,
its load is men, mostly me,
carrying grades of fright,
adding on and up a few more rail cars,
in strange cities,
different chemical formulas
but all prime fright, fear,
of waking up, still breathing

guess I can quit here,
no excuse making time to make a tome,
fright comes in small measures,
coupled together, this train,
this tracked, cracked dry riverbed
of a train,
and it goes on bye,
one by one


12:57am
could be Monday, maybe, or Tuesday, too.
Juhlhaus Sep 24
Animated by twitch of muscle,
Electric spark through live wire,
Humming rail and synapse,
Wheels spin at the fingertips of maybe
An ineffable humorist,
The mastermind of this beautiful prank
Pocketwatch of silver and gold
That explodes in the hand
And leaves you stranded on the platform
The second you go to check the time.
Bobby Copeland Dec 2018
As pictured from behind, she looks
Across the water into trees,
Gripping balcony rail waist high.
She's put down bow and violin,
White table just below the rail.
French doors half open frame her back,
Her braided hair, her ankles crossed.
Her weight has shifted slightly left.
After a painting by S. Sadan
Universal Thrum Jul 2018
I'm leaving Carly's place after an all day ****** that had me convinced that paradise lay in the legs of Nate's sister wearing a unicorn onesie, and as they put on Sgt. Peppers and lay there the ****** freudian passion play overcame my capacity for archetype observation and I proceeded to walk around the room thanking everybody in that space and time for the gift of starting the **** with Nate's sister, the beat changed and they turned on me and said I needed to give her space, they all became timeless aliens traveling through time to **** and I was one of them coming online in a loop, and as long as I stayed awake I would remember and not be *****. I sat cross legged holding my friend sams hands, looking into his eyes, saying aloud we're creating the universe constructing all as the three smartest people of all time, forever throughout we died but never died, as long as we could stay awake, they all wore red and I couldn't trust any of them, I fired off mad questions and demanded to know the secrets of the universe and why woman wasn't the answer, I called up to nate to bring her down to me, and generally became a raving lunatic
      after some time of sam being soulmate and accepting him forever as my lover self same image, and also calling him ugly as im ugly, then channeling Brittany through him and countless other regressive exercises, we started inhaling nitrous gas, and the world became one stretched out moment
       and I kept calling out before, all the way up, as it were the secret spell with a handshake to fool the devil
         I thought Nate a mad spirit habituating this plane as a long gone failed hero plagued by the madness of wanting to **** his sister and forced to watch all his friends be aware of their own lust, so that pushed him into clowning, which he is an expert, that primal lust took me up and id taken a holy mandate to **** this beautiful creature and ascend to paradise,
when they slipped her upstairs they left her rainbow onesie, i felt heaven become another step remote and my faith tested, I resolved to be the last awake and never die, I walked up to the attic, and saw the light beaming from the window


            Sam dropped me off at the press grill so I could eat some grub,
then I met up with Tyler for a drink somewhere while he told me his story of meeting a guy in a skyline chilis bathroom drunk at 3 am, he said the guy was standing at the ****** but wasn't *******. Ty asked him if he was done and the guy put Ty in a chokehold with his pants down, according to Ty the cops came in and he was putting clean shots into the guys mug, he is contemplating leaving town before they can indict him for felonious assault, I told him Canadas nice but Venezuela doesn't have an extradition treaty, come to think of it neither does Cuba, but Ty is too proud for that probably
   anyways we meet Carly being a dancing beauty in a high falootin joint with string lights called Julep, the only reason to mention it is because as we were leaving a guy was bent over the rail vomiting and looking wretched he noticed us watching him as we smoked our cigarettes off to the side and immediately decided that he wasn't some kind of side show freak to be gawked at, he became threatening in the most base and pathetic way a human can, and his bride came to tell us to ******* with her father, father of the bride shaking my hand, we eventually left that scene and walked to Oddfellows where I saw Sam Cohan and he bought me a beer, good chap, we talked until I stepped toward Carly, Tyler and a fine looking strange *****
I touched Carly and received an awkward unmemorable introduction to the strange *****. She walked away but lurked and locked eyes with me as the evening rolled on
later Carly told me that the girl demanded to meet the guy who looks like Heath Ledger, a sure fire ****, so Carly is grinding on my **** and my backs to the bar and Tyler already got me a beer, and there I was, a pirate king
I took Carly out after the lights came on, and was going to give Tyler the run of my place, he disappeared into the night and I showed Carly my favorite smelling tree, still in bloom late July, we almost ****** on my car, until I went back to her place and we ****** until $430, rising at noon, I left telling her we had an hour to get ready to journey to Findlay for Jim's wedding
I showered and brushed my teeth and collected my suit and put it on without a tie
I picked up Carly and set out upon the road, but made a quick stop for a bite
two deaf guys ordered in front of me and the kid working the register said my glasses were cool, along the way I was telling Carly the story of how I wore make up for the first time to a middle school dance, and she said she had to *****, I didn't believe her at first until she tried to stick her head out the window half way rolled down, I managed to get it down all the way and wet streaks of human gut waste caught the wind and splattered my window
we pulled over and I went to get her some napkins to clean herself off as I squeeged the car, she tried to wipe the window with the napkins, sweet girl. The wedding started at 3:30 and we didn't have more than five minutes to spare, she found her vape pen 20 minute out as Heather started to send me worried messages, as I was set to read a passage, little did I know that I was leading off the whole affair, I arrived and was quickly rushed to meet the mothers and have a boutonnière pinned to my lapel , the women all looked stunning and I congratulated each in turn as they shoved a program in my hand, Tiffany took me through the drill, we walked up to the stage and took our places on the bench, looking out at the beautiful shining faces,


I was the only one not wearing a tie, but thats not important, I saw Jim and embraced him with all the love I could muster, he looked at me and said that he knew I would make it, that he knew that he just had to trust the flow, and I would appear in the nick of time, the pastor threw his hands in the air and welcomed the families, the mothers lit candles, and then Tiffany looked at me and said that it was my turn, I stepped up to the Beema and gazed out over the crowd, trying to summon something clever, nothing good came to mind and so I opened my mouth and said, "a reading from Genesis" and then put every fiber of my being into reminding the room that it is Gods will that we be fruitful and multiply. I'm told I slammed my hands down for emphasis and let out a hearty amen, a man's man's amen, and turned and took one giant step off the podium with two baby stairs, I gracefully flowed into the bench having averted a complete embarrassment, and then tactfully left the stage with Tiffany after her read.   Jim looked at me after mine with a nod, and I said the word strong, that read cemented my status as a star of the party, and the mojo flowed, I was called the cash guy by the hotel, for checking in as Atlantis Grosshammer, $200 depost, we drank and danced and an old lady came to me to say that I have a beautiful soul
I thanked Jim's father for helping to create my friend, and danced around bottles
the cake was good
I told Carly I always catch the brides garter, at every wedding I've ever been. I saw Jim's men assemble for his toss, I let the men come and put myself in the mix, Jim turned his back and had a misfire,
the temptation to collect it passed all of us by thankfully, and he was set to fire again, it came to me and I snatched it out of the air, cold as ice I walked off the floor only with eyes for Carly not even saying a word to Jim, I put that thing on my head and went back to Jim threw him on my shoulders and swung him around like we were in a broadway musical
two kids playing in the street,
he said its the best moment, and so it goes
Sam Hawkins Jul 2017
leaning from apartment rail
out from dry haven of a slant roof run
my fingers palms cups overflow

and i imagine
tiny fractal mouths all
in a pine tree nearest me

bundles of green frond tips
opening to first arizona rain

later, at my returning
the afternoon sun appears
shadowed in a cloud break

every water slick
green of pine
casts ornamental silver

and one hummingbird
dodging drops
edges my head

all wonderments
gracing a fresh summer's day
RJP May 7
Dawn a constant drunk, waves modernity on,
Nights in purple doze, while head in rags’ sat,
Mind pats window pane, sky occupied, flat
Hangs the figures that push plague, condensation
Outside is hugged in damaged and breathless car park clots.

Close the arriving scenes depress, far and close by,
Screaming seagulls sing dreams scattered wide,
Cuts the closing of now yesterday’s hope
Soul-bruise rates sit low tonight.

Danger plays path fields bedsheets house
Graceful clock plays dropped fate in loft
Echos hand by hand  between beams
Downstairs door lock snapped atoms ring
Floorboards creak quake trepidatious
Eyelids meet strange death amusements
Waiting gun hyped howls air tight
Rail, tracks, interrupted delight.
Metrical rework of earlier poem
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
Krison Jun 2018
We may Sink.
We may choose
To walk on muddy works

Of choice of our design
Of foot step then upon to us
The foolish path to be

To find us fall in line
With inch and huberis

The easy road
On bridge of backs


And dance to others chimes

But fear can never dictate all
It has no power so

So find us left to no regard
For hate it does burn slow

To self and all that do surround.
And you the least of all so mad

I would so let it go


So laugh at him the emperor
The fool of many skins
The one who owns so much
But never of his sins




And do not sink, no more my friend
The earth will have it's end

Owning of its steedy legs,
Reliable and sure
with length
And breth and gait
It's cleansing fire pure


So malleable are we
And reslient is the cause to wail
At all of misery

Us the fraught and faulty free
The ones who rail against
The lies
We nought to ever be
My knuckles might be a little less flat.
Nat Lipstadt Apr 2014
for Ali, Ali, Ali, a daughter by any other name
                                                        (April 2014)
Dear Nat,

your letter caught me up,
at the Village Vanguard bar,
so addressed and there saved,
knowing, believing it's a sign,
time to meet fleshed again,
my sometimes sub-let
neighborhood friend

doing a gig there
this weekend
finishing up the tour
where it all began,
nothing gonna change my mind,
in the city that's where I'm staying.

the road is calling out my name,
but I ain't walking out the door anytime soon,
they want too much body and soul,
but don't worry once or even twice,
got some cash, it's all right

early afternoon, bar empty,
got a few rainy minutes,
got me paper n' pen
and a beer, from the
bar man who also gets
me whatever else I need (haha)

sorry I missed you in Cleveland,
you, back in New York when
I'm finally out your way,
ain't just like fate,
to make us ache so all alone

read your lyrics,
made making some suggestions,
like a baby's new clothes,
lots of bows, a few lines fell
down onto the floor
can't be found
like broken pearls on a dance floor

J. sends regards,
told her what you wrote about
A Long Black Veil, she laughed,
promises she will wear one
when next we all three meet

touring was good and hard,
traveling time is writing time,
but sitting here thinking
how many years have passed and gone
since we first met,
so many roads different taken
by many a first friend,
each one I've never seen against,
let's not that happen to us

rail riding done for awhile,
see ya back on Bleecker Street,
if we're still "cool"
we'll have that fire burning!
Ok, we'll swap some  lines, fine,
but I want, claiming dibs
on that ole easy chair

P.S. got the rent money covered till your return in the summer

Bobby
April 1968
~~~~~~~~~
Between 1968 and 1973,
split my time tween Cleveland and NYC,
before returning to ny full time in the summer of '71.

I lived at 352 Bleecker,
above the long gone
but now moved to Brooklyn,
Pink Teacup restaurant. The eyetalian bakery on the corner of Bleecker and Seventh Ave., long time gone...almost fifty freaking years ago...anyway...I think the stain glass window is still there, gonna have to check it out...shoot forgot about Google Earth!
The 352 Blues

this city treats the poor
with swift unkindness,
but if you peel your eyes,
you don't necessarily have to always
sing the ole 352 Bleecker Blues

the eyetalian storekeeper,
gives us morning java,
when we sing for him on the guitar,
The Star-Spangled Banner,
refills, if we add America the Beautiful

they say that heat rises,
but that don't seem true
in our third floor walk up
on rue 352 Bleecker Street,
the cold companion enters
thru the busted stain glass window

no matter, no cares,
we light the fireplace,
with wood and anything that'll burn,
we scavenged from the street,
pallets and newspapers,
yesterday's 352 truths

at two AM, the cops, in their cars
cooping, fast asleep, only just us,
the johns, the ****** and troubadours,
walking the streets looking for
free stuff to burn

pass the hat for tips
next to the arch,
enough for daily bread
but we get our ***** and ****
for free, just for singing the 352 blues

even when down and out
on the village streets,
bleak on Bleecker street,
you gotta sing the 352 blues,
especially when you're
riding high and living cool,
down on easy Bleecker Street
~~~~~~~
Before you ask me if this true,
save your breath,
the answer is
Which part?
Marla Mar 14
Why grimace
Like life is leaving you
When the good parts
Have only
Just-

I lost my train of thought,
You
Should de-
rail yours.
Patricia LeDuc Mar 2018
Commuters on a train
Going to work every day

Too fast the tracks say
They cause the train to sway
As they wobble and stray

Too fast the tracks say
As the brakes start to fail
As they scream out and pray

Too fast the tracks say
As the train goes off the rail
As the trains bursts into flame

Too fast the tracks say
As the train fills with smoke
As they all start to choke

Too fast the tracks say
As the conductor wakes up
A little too late

Too fast the tracks say
Commuters all dead
I warned you I said

Too Fast...
2/3/18
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