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Keith Collard Jun 2013
Centipede Valley (A tale of infantrymen in Hawaiian--Twain Style)


'Welcome to the 25th Infantry Schofield Barracks Hawaii' the sign read as the taxi van rode past. The only thing in the boy's mind was of guns, tanks, soldiers, and grenades. He accompanied his father who had used his veteran credentials with the Coastguard to gain admittance to the base; and thus able to reserve a round on the famous 'Schofield golf course." They were on vacation, and left the women at home.

    The boy, expecting to see an army division rappelling down the buildings that the van was streaming past, was scrutinizing every person, vehicle and store. He thought he saw a humphvee, but it was just a hillbilly driving his spray painted doorless Ford Bronco with his flip flop clad foot hangin over the side. The boy spied a soldier in camoflage uniform with what looked like a rifle,"wooweee ,a rifle." But as the van closed on the pedestrian soldier,it was revealed that he was carrying only a loaf of french bread. Then another soldier,"wowee,a bazooka," but only a folded up beach chair.
Then a helicopter screamed overhead, the boy scrambling to position his head to see the still-hidden helicopter was ready to tear the roof panel off, "Hey easy Ben," said his father at the other window. The helicopter came into view,"must be an Apachee," he thought as his eyes came to discern a sign trailing from the helicopter ..."60% off flip flops at Kemoho's market."  The boy sank down in disapointment.

           He begged his father in order to come with him. The father agreed but with the surrender conditions being "Im playing golf, your going to watch me and be a good boy then we are leaving."

              They were on a tough schedule and had engagements with the rest of the family.The father promised him that they would visit Pearl Harbor and the Coast Guard base.  Ben would enjoy the battleships at Pearl Harbor, but he had heard from his friends that the rockstars were the "infantry." They were the 'Billy the Kids' of the miliitary; guns and mischief, and most of all....glory. But he would only see them and their toys from a van--and then a golf course.  That was straight 'malarkey'to him, and that was what his mind kept repeating.

           The van pulled up parallel with the side walk that was lined with a chain link fence. Palm trees rowed the inside of the fence, and the boy could see the lime green grass of fairways-he sighed. His father tipped the taxi driver, and grabbed out his club bag; they procceded down the sidewalk in direction of a shadow, which was the 'Scholfield Golf' club buiilding. The boy looked across the streeet at a  barracks, tiered with balconies, he could see men in fatigues moving about on them,"wowweee,grunts." But they were only brandishing mops and brooms. "Malarkey."

              They entered the air conditioned building, the boy became sleepy as he waited by his father's side who was checking his reservation in the golf store. "Alright sir, if you want you can sit out there on the verandah with complimentary drinks untill we bring your cart up to you."

         Re-entering the stone paved fenceless verandah, they took a seat at a round table with an umbrella. The humid heat woke the boy back up. A vantage of bright green grass, palm trees,and men hustling back in forth in white docker pants opened up before them.

     There was a grey haired man sweeping up the tile of the verandah within earshot of the father and son. The boy watched the old man sweep up something in his dustpan, then bend down and put it in a zip lock bag that he produced from his pocket.  The boy's curiosity was ignited, he had to know what it was, maybe a spent shell casing, or a tripwire; he jumped down from his stool and approached the old man.

          "Excuse me sir," what was it you picked up, a shell casing?"..... the old man just looked at the boy and smiled, and continued sweeping. "Ben, don't bother that man please," admonished his father.
               Ben walked back to his chair,and picked up his coca-cola,and pretended as if his curiosity was quenched. He watched the old man, sweeping and sweeping, untill he bent down to pick another object up. The boy flew from his seat and closed on the old man.
"Ohhh man mister, what is that thing , a dragon?" At the old man's feet was a coil of something, corrugated, black with a red neon tinge, incisers and mandibles the size of paper cutters. It was dead whatever it was, but its shell was still intact; and so was everyone of it's hundred legs, its fearsome face was preserved amid a deathly stare with blackened eyes.

"Don't worry, it's nothing, just a bug sonny," said the old man who packed it away in a zip lock bag.
"Then why are you collecting them in ziplock bags?"
The old man hesitated, then he sighed knowing it was futile.
"If I tell you, you cannot freak out.  Im supposed to rid these creatures from the guests sight."
" I won't freak out--that thing looks like one of those chinese new year dragons they parade in the streets."
"It ain't no dragon son--it is a Centipede."  But to the boy, it reminded him of those Chinese dragon parades.  It was massive.
The boy was hailed back to where his father was sitting. " Ben leave that man alone, he has a job to do."
The boy thought the old man and his centipede to be a riddle of the highest importance. He sensed a story, before he knew what a story was. He looked at this man inquisitively; he looked to be Hawaiin ,maybe South American, but he also had a martial stare.

       The old man looked at his watch and sat down at table at the corner of the stone paved verandah, bordered by bright green grass.  Ben saw centipedes now in the design of the old man's hawaiin shirt.
          Producing a mango from his pocket, the old man proceded to strip the tough skin and spit out the peelings onto the grass as Ben's attention was broken by an employee. "Excuse me sir, there seem's to be a slight problem ya, there's only one golf cart available, and we have to fit you and someone else on there, but there is your son?"

The father's face froze.  "oh, my son, oh yeah" he mumbled as he watched the beautiful tropical neon course ahead of him."  The groundsworker who was finishing his mango was paying attention to the whole interaction.  He watched the boy scanning the greens, it made the old man smile.

" Excuse me sir, I think I can help out, I can babysit the lad right here, and tour the golf grounds with him, I finished my duties....."

The father looked at the old harmless man.  The hawaiin accent on him, and hawaiin shirt on him, rendered him as harmless as puff the dragon.  No one has ever commited a misdeed in a hawaiin shirt, and that resonates in the subconscience of visitors to the Hawaiin chains.  For Captain Cooke(the first anglo visitor to Hawaii) was boiled in a *** by shirtless Hawaiins.

" Sir, I can vouche for my employee....."  It was in agreement, the father sped off.
They had two hours to ****.  Just enough time for a story.
" So Ben, Im Edison, would you like to hear a story--" the boy interrupted him, " About the infantry?"

    " Yes, the infantry, Hawaii, and dragons."  The scene was too unreal.  The tropical tableau panorama behind the old man--that made the old man's hawaiin shirt seem to disappear and make his head float--was pastel portraiture with palm outlines bursting with their leaves amid a light blue sky.  The old man mumbled his lips every other second, possibly from denchers.  The boy watched the floating head mumble, mumbling faster and faster readying for a story, captivating the boy.  He came to see the infantry, and he would see them in words.  No illusion this time.

                                                         Centipede Valley


" The story of Hawaii, is a story of short dynasties.  The first known dynasty was the Rat dynasties.  Like Attilla The ***'s followers, the rat's followed their king; down the ropes and piers from the ships and overwhelmed the populace.  The set up Rat colonies, fishing centers, and cheese vendors."  The boy interupted the old man, " How can rat's set up cheese vendors?"

        " They just did, ' Cheese for Sale' was screeched on every block, now if I can continue my story lad." The boy nodded, sorry for slowing down the story.

        " The Hawaiians tried to battle back, arming themselves with brass knuckles of sea conches, and throwing jellyfish at them, but it was of no use—there  were to many.  Then the other dynasty came, the Python Dynasty.  Instead of scurrying down the ropes, they spiraled down at night.  They were a clever bunch.  They would play dead, and wait for birds who were hungry for a meal, then  ' crunch'  and the bird would be a knot in the snake's ropey body.  The pythons also ate all the Hawaiians roosters.  At the height of the island’s empire, every Hawaiian had a at least five roosters per household.  Every sac and backpack was alive and moving as the roosters were carried about on the street. But the Python's ate them making only one rooster per household.  The next dynasty was even more clever than the Python--the Mongoose Dynasty.  They ate all pythons with lightning speed.  They didn't scurry nor spiral down the ropes--they lolly gagged down them.  Stopping to stare in the water, for a clam or fish they could eat, they were cocky sons of....
"By the time the Hawaiins raised their jelly fish at them sitting on the ropes, they already ate the belly button lint out of your belly button.  They were crafty.  But their downfall was that they were not unified.  Their kingdom fractured, but they remained on the island.

"The last known dynasty, did not take the rope, but the plank.  Drooling, huffing, and snorkeling--snorting up every barnacle on the pier in the two minutes they arrived on the island--the pig.  They quickly broke their bonds and took to the mountains and jungles.  But something came during the pig dynasty, that was the real scourge of the isles.  And it is this dynasty, that my story starts, with two infantry members, from opposite ends of the empire--Seattle and Boston, who arrived to the island not knowing their position on the Hawaiian food chain.

" When Boston first walked into his barracks latrine(bathroom) he was overwhelmed with how humid it was, like he just entered an iguana tank.  The ceilings were painted green with mold, the floor kept a semblance to checkered tile due to the heavy mopping of soldiers armed with ammonia. He noticed he was not alone.  There were geckos on the ceiling, running around eating giant flying things.  The geckos did not bother him, he has seen them in Florida, and perhaps that was there these fellas had come from.  He walked over to the sink, for he needed a shave for the first formation.  The barracks was old, and used as an overflow for departing service members, or newly arriving ones.  It is rumored to still have 50 caliber holes in its foundation from Japanese Zero's.  

"He looked down into the sink, there was a Gecko's tail, writhing in the sink--not attached t anything.  The drain was open, it looked like the cave to a malevolent beast.  And it was, a black tendril, or serpent, quickly emitted from the dark drain and grasped the writhing Gecko tail in its mandibles and retreated back into the drain.  ' What in holy .......' Boston whispered as he stepped away from the sink.

"Meanwhile, Seattle walked up to his new room, and used his card key to open his barracks room.  The door swung open, and on the floor in front of him, was a large cockroache on its back, apparently dying of over-eating.  It bicycle kicked the air, and doggy paddled.  It's belly was huge, and it's face said ' I lived a good life.'  Seattle could only muster the words, ' well that ain't a good sign.'

"Seattle and Boston were roomates for only a month before they became bickering enemies, likened to England and France--coming only together under rules and regulations and enforced peace treaty.  It started with a bag of potatoe chips.  'Seattle, you can't come home drunk and leave potatoe chips all over the room.  This ain't the mainland, we are gunna get eaten in our sleep by cockroaches.  Every night you explode a bag of potatoe chips all over the couch.'  It was true, they had a black pleather couch given to them be an eager barracks member, and if you sat down on it, you would always hear a crunch.

" ' Whatever Boston, you keep leaving your cherry dip around attracting ants.  You fell asleep with a dip in your mouth and you woke up with goat-tee of ants. ' And so it went, it was two male humans in a barracks cage.  One, a North Eastern Humano, the other a North Western Humano, both ill-disposed to each other.  One more afraid of ants, the other cockroaches.  

" But then in a sign of peace offering, Boston introduced Seattle to his Fillipino girlfriend's sister.  They went on a double date, and then Seattle went on two other dates after, with just him and her.  But then Boston was getting pestered by his girlfriend to 'have Seattle call her sister," or he was getting pestered by " What , Seattle don't like my sister no more ya?"   Boston always dodged the question, knowing the rules.  Then one day, Boston had to go up to his room with the two sisters in his car.  But they followed him up at the last second, and ambushed Seattle, who was really upset by this and left the room and barracks.  That incident could have been water under the bridge, except for what happened.

"When Seattle returned to his now empty room, he opened a draw and removed his sneakers from them, for he still had on his flip flops.  He put on his sneakers without socks and was walking down the barracks stairs when he felt it.  It was like a nail just went through his foot.  A medic in civy's (civilian clothes) was behind him watching him.  " You alright buddy," he said.

" I just stepped on a nail or sumthin," said Seattle.

He shook his sneaker, nothing.  Looking at his foot, he saw two fang  puncture marks in between his big toes.  His vein near the bite was surfacing like a snake all the way up his leg even up to his forehead, he felt dizzy.  He shook the sneaker one more time, harder.  Inside, now, was a coil, or a nest of black cobras, but it was not many cobras, but one centipede.  " what the f...."

The medic looked in, " That’s a centipede, highly toxic, if you get really ill come to the Aid Station," he said then left.

"Seattle burned in a fever that night, having dreams of the scorned Fillipino girl haunting him, holding centipedes over him, doing a witch-like curse on him.  Seattle was lucky, most react alot worse from the bites.  He blamed the scorned girl for putting it there, and most of all--he blamed Boston.

"And that is only one side of the story, for soon after, it was Boston who would become livid with Seattle.  One night, Boston was sitting on the pleather couch, with his girlfriend, when they fell asleep on it watching TV--they had the room to themselves.  When they awoke they were covered in cockroaches.  The girl ran out of the room and Boston's life forever.  Upon lifting up the couch cushions, there spied, was a massive moving cockroach galaxy.  " Seattle," Boston gritted through his teeth.
" Mister when are we going to get to infantry stuff--" whined the boy.
" Very shortly my lad," said the old man, producing another mango from his pocket and resuming his story.

" Seattle and Boston quickly rose through the ranks, and commanded  teams in the same squad.  At that time, they got their own rooms, and one would think that would make them get along better, but that was not so.  The only thing that assuaged the wise remarks of Boston, and Seattle's feverish temper, was that they had to get along if they lived together, and now they don't.  And now they both have a four man team competing against each other, when they are in the same squad.

" Boston's number one on the team was a kid named Mango.  He was the go-to guy for Boston, and made his team look good.  Seattle's number one guy was a soldier named Biggin who made Seattle's team look good.  
" Well, one night, their whole platoon were siting under double canopy in the complete dark.  They were in full battle rattle( ammo and body armour) readying their equipment and eating some rations in anti
JJ Hutton Nov 2012
skyscraper man on seattle time
looms in the corner of swan lake and fry
untouchable denim untouchable blueblack plaid jacket
     he's put together with clothespins
     he's put together with stipends
     he's crammed between taxi cab book ends
skyscraper man on seattle time
stoic as the jet engines roar by
all his friends are magazines all his friends currentbrief
     he's got a little future
     he's got a few dimes
     he's got no father to call out the lies
skyscraper man on seattle time
watches smog children kick ***** on concrete
vulnerable under trees writes his novels in purpleink
     he's married once before
     he's read crucifixion lore
     he's returned his money to the store
skyscraper man on seattle time
looking through spectacles of ***** and brine
the rain falls hard the breeze sweet on the leaves
     he's emptying the soul of modern rock n' roll
     he's emptying the tray of ashed thought
     he's emptying the bank account cold
skyscraper man on seattle time
sheds crinkled skinmemory like the cicada
a twin-sized deathbed deathbed in apt. 203
     he's nothing.
     he's ever.
     he's happened.
skyscraper man on seattle time
carbon copied and eternal as saltwater as rust
invisible and tapping at the runrain window
     he's nothing.
     he's ever.
     he's happened.
skyscraper man on seattle time
climbs himself to the cosmos lightheaded perfection
ethereal visions of fullbloom love and legacy with measure
     he's nothing.
     he's ever.
     he's happened.
Dear Seattle,
I hate you
You and your tall buildings made of steel and glass
Your *** ridden streets
And alleyways that smell of **** and *****

You, Seattle, the melting *** of Washington State
With your ****** foreign old men
Who reek of beer and cigarettes
Who think they’ve still got it “going on”

*******, Seattle
And your passive aggressive ways
******* and your parks littered with alcoholics and ******-addicts
Forget your clubs and pubs
Your romantic cowboys
Enlightened hippies
And your dreamy emo kids

Dear Seattle,
I will not miss you
From: Talk *****/Breathe Easy
© Khrystina-Lee 2010
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
Katlyn Dion May 2014
I can't believe, I'm finally here..
The place I always dreamed of,
And one day knew I would be.
The beauty of Seattle is all I see.

This place is now my home,
The city if Seattle,
Welcomes me into its arms.
Where I am free to roam.

When the city darkens,
And the sky begins to cry.
I admire the beauty of it all,
Watching as the rain falls.

It was my dream,
To move to Seattle.
And now my dream has come true.
There's no other person,
I'd rather share it with,
Than you..
I imagined our last goodbye
would be something for the screens-
you would be about to board a train
(you were always the one to say goodbye)
I would make my way through the bustling crowd
and find you through the smoke
as you'd turn around,
the wind from a moving train would brush my hair ever so slightly
that at that exact moment,
you'd fancy me the prettiest girl to cross paths with
as a tear would escape from the corner of my eye,
i'd whisper from across the station;
"please don't leave me"

you are moving to Seattle-
out west to a city that never shows sun
it was meant for you.
you want to be a Bio major,
and you want to spend the rest of your days in the mountains.
Seattle is far away from the sub(urban) town you leave behind
and you never gave me the chance to see you through.
I will never forgive myself for the things I said,
but mistaking every stranger with long brown hair
and caramel-apple eyes
for you,
is punishment enough.

you are moving to Seattle,
and although I feel a bittersweet sensation
of being happy that you finally are getting your wish
(to, quote, "be away from you and this stupid ******* sleepy suburbia that offers me nothing but painful memories)
I can't help but torture myself
as I visualize you pursuing your dreams,
meeting beautiful, pale strangers that become your new friends
or finally gathering the courage to turn behind your chair and ask the
quiet redhead sitting behind you in your American Lit. class
if she'd like to grab coffee after lecture.
how can I sit back at home,
watching your through a blank, glass screen
seeing you move into the future
while i'm still stuck in the past,
heartbroken over losing the boy who left me in this do nothing town
as he moved on
to Seattle.
it's always been too hard for me to say goodbye
Hamda Yusuf Mar 2014
The other day I had a conversation about gentrification
With a gentrifier. We talked about its evils,  how
Entire cultures are at risk of erasure, how black
Communities are only worth protecting when white
People move in.
She did not see the irony.

This city is a strange place, we travel in 10 foot
Bubbles living in constant fear of someone
Sitting next to us on the bus. We talk about
The varying degrees of authenticity of our
Pho restaurants, Pho 49, Pho Than Brothers,
No one mentions the country of Vietnam.

I once told someone I didn't want to settle here
And they gasped. I said nothing.
I didn't want to say because
It's too white. Because Seattlites have found
A way to be smug about not being racist,
While continuing to be racist.
Because Seattle has found many ways to give me
This message: You do not belong here,
You reek of loneliness,
You've got another cities sand under your fingernails,
You are never here, you are always pretending
You are home, this is your home now.

Do not light that match,
This is your home now,
where will you go?
to that place we saved you from?
That place where children ran into desert,
Women collapsed inward,
And men grew ten foot beards,
Where will you go?
They will not take you.
You are not one of them anymore,
They will smell the Seattle breeze on your breath,
You have our  tongue now, your cheeks
Move differently, your hips are not  your own  
Light that match, and no one will have you.
vinny Apr 2016
Long ****** winter and
Not over yet
Record rainfall-
Most since 99
By a little bit
But the suns been out
Ya old mistah screech
My former nemesis
Hangin round this
Week
So like a short stout spring
In a full on compression
For about like a year
Let loose
And blew the lid off baby!!

Today was the day
SEATTLE Bloomed!
What a glorious day furiosa
Mitch Nihilist Aug 2015
awakened by the
offsprings cry,
baby powdered
morning dew
showers the room,
coffee stained smiles
shine about
cheerio blanketed
kitchens,
so worrisome
for office tardiness,
the carseat won't lock
into place,
tire marks on
fresh paved driveways,
to daycare tears dry not
she's on time,
fatigued she plants
her seed to the office seat
to grow even less
awaiting to see the smile
of her child and say
her prayers before
falling asleep

                     -

awaked by the
offsprings cry,
gun powered
morning dew
showeres the village,
rotted teeth smile
amongst the
body-blanketed township,
so worrisome of finding
a slain mother
sister
brother
just like father,
the gun won't lock
into place,
they never will,
tattered couches
paved with the
***** of
slaughtered buildings,
mother's dead
tears dry not,
fatigued,
hands of
grungy drainpipes
plant beside,
holding stagnant
a somber sibling,
tremors ripple
crimson tides,
planted to
grow even less
awaiting to see
the smile of
his mother
his father
his sister
and say his prayers
with brother
before laying down
persp ective
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
authentic Nov 2016
It is the late afternoon
The sun is setting over the city of Seattle and shadows fall underneath buildings
One after the other, lying on their backs mimicking jealousy to the tall giants
She will be in her kitchen stirring lemon grass tea, humming a song she'd heard earlier that day
Perhaps on the radio, perhaps on television, perhaps on the train
She'd glide onto her balcony over-looking endless roofs of houses, buildings and cars
She will never jump, she will never lean
She will simply sit and read books, mystery books, love books, books about everything, books about nothing, she read it all and he loved that but he hated it too
Wondered how someone could detach themselves from the real world to live in one made of only words
Yet though he questioned her motives, she continued
It has been a year, 4 months, and 3 days since her eyes last met his
Time has moved slow, crutched along, eased forward, never taking steps back
The tape hardly ever rewinds and if it does, only for a brief moment
She will be on the train and suddenly he steps inside
He looks just like him from behind
The jacket, the hair, the shoes and then he turns, revealing nothing but a stranger on a train
She will be sitting in a café and suddenly, the sweet and distinct smell of him reigns over her
And she will look around frantically, perhaps he is here
But then reality reminds her that he is back home, swimming in the little city
Accustomed to every street name and curve in the road
She is in Seattle, a runaway, a dreamer
It is late afternoon
The sun is setting over the city of Seattle and shadows fall underneath buildings
She will be in her kitchen, stirring lemon grass tea, humming his favorite song
judy smith Jun 2015
Fashion Week - a way to look at the past, present, and future all in once place. Whenever I get to attend a fashion show, I try to be as present and in-the-moment as possible. With iPhones and Instagram, everyone tries to be the first person to post looks from the runway, and it's hard to sometimes not take a photo or video and just enjoy the beautiful creations in front of you. History repeats itself every few decades, so it's fun to see trends popping up in the designs. And obviously, it's hard not to get excited about the future season when attending a fashion show.

Seattle Fashion Week is back and better than ever - for the first time in 5 years, it came back to the 206 after much anticipation. While Seattle gets a bad rep for wearing leggings, goretex, and fleece all the time, everyone wore their most beautiful dresses on Saturday night. It was a night to remember, and I always feel so lucky that I get to attend these shows and support local designers, artists, and creators. Saturday was the finale of the 3 night event, and the night for custom couture. I spotted a few trends throughout the show that I'd like to share with you.

Neutrals

Of course black and white made an appearance, but we also saw a lot of gray, blush, ****, and tan.

Exquisite fabrics

Lace, tulle and sequins, oh my! Every piece was feminine, quirky, and oh so Seattle. Nothing felt too girly, too "done up", or too stuffy. Most of these pieces you could break up and wear day or night, or mix and match them with a leather jacket and some boots to add some edge.

Texture

Nothing down the runway was a plain silk dress. Whether it was hand-knit yarm, layering of fabrics, or covered in zippers, prints, or hints of leather, everything was appealing to the eye and put together in the most beautiful way. I love getting inspiration for how to put pieces together, or how to mix and match different fabrics and prints to make an outfit truly my own.

Unique

Each and every piece was like nothing I'd ever seen before. Each designer had their own individual take on their collection, and you could tell they put so much time, sweat, tears, and love into their designs.

A huge thank you to the designers for sharing their handwork and beautiful custom art with us - Karen Ashley Fashion, House of Halm by Maria Ham, Morifu, Julie Danforth Design, Erika Bond, Dream Dresses by P.M.N., Juleano, Justin Zachary Bartle, and Boulevard Magenta by Wendy Ohlendorf. I cannot wait for the next SFW event!Read more here:www.marieaustralia.com/yellow-formal-dresses | www.marieaustralia.com/black-formal-dresses
Erika Soerensen Jan 2015
As I lay here in the dark of this room
in a city that's broken my heart over and over and over again
(or is it the other way around?),
I wonder why I keep coming back?  

Am I trying to retrace history in order to
somehow rewrite it?  

This love affair has been
tumbling along to Nowheresville
since the late 90s,
before it was a dream.
(Except in Portland).

Every corner, every amusement, every mid-afternoon sun break
has a memory attached to it,
like a
leech.

The flashbacks twist and turn
and tickle and  
feel hot and sharp -  
laced with the bittersweet taste of
melancholy and remorse.  

Shame.
Embarrassment.
Self-Destruction.
face palm

It's almost like every breath I take here
is in sync with me
lashing myself
RAW -
because, for some reason,
I deserve it.

I want this city to love me as much as I love it.
I want this city to embrace me as much as I embrace it.

I want it to want me,
as much as I want
it.

Or, maybe I just need to
Get
A
Clue.

It could be that....
Seattle
Is
Just
Not
That
Into
You.
Joshua Haines Jul 2015
My foggy mouth tries to hide behind rain-smacked glass.
She says goodbye with complacent stares
and with the sudden flash of an umbrella.

The red of her dress doesn't belong in my life.
Each of her strides carry my resentment and weariness,
alongside the melting grey of the Seattle skyline.
So, I don't yell for her or imagine our lives,
as the windshield wipers sweep her image, out of sight, but not out of my head.

I return home, the half I was for decades.
The tread of my shoe mashing bluegrass,
digging up seeds and insect carcass, with every step.
Storm-soaked magazine subscriptions lay on the porch,
and her name is tattooed on every one.

The dog lays on the carpet, ears and eyes perking up at me.
And he knows he's truly alone, because I'll depend on him.

Eggshell kitchen cabinets are jammed with her:
Vermilion, saffron, and burgundy glasses hold
half-empty hangings of golden flat draft,
keeping her day-old, dried saliva smothered on the edges,
like transparent ocean waves dying on a glass coast
and buried in the bottom of the sun-pierced vortex.

What I couldn't realize is that the cup was me:
marked in so many ways,
letting decaying memories burrow and stay.
David Nelson Dec 2013
Sleeveless in Seattle

cruising through the pouring rain
night of the living dregs in my brain
thrown away dreams clogging up the drain

given away my slick jacket of satin
nothing left now but this picture of Patton
to stay awake keep repeating words of Latin

mea culpa I need a job something new
need something to take my mind off you
maybe the coffee house can give me something to do

Don McLean had his American Pie
so please explain to me why then can't I
keep off the sauce give the smoke a kiss goodbye

for lunch a giant box of Fiddle Faddle
broke as hell up the creek without a paddle
not even a decent shirt sleeveless in Seattle  

Gomer LePoet ....
kenny Feb 2015
keep me close
it’s been seattle in my head
and i can’t quite find my way
back to a sunny coast

i need you to hold my hand
and pretend i’m not crying
when you can feel my tears
soaking the sleeve of your sweater

i know i’m a writer
but i’m not always good
at translating the language of my head
into words you’ll understand

sometimes
i just need you to keep me close
and hold my hand
even when you don’t understand
Lucy Dec 2013
A picture of Seattle
Will forever linger inside my mind.
Its buildings and brights
its lights
will be ever showing
glowing on my map.
I would see him a few times over
after this very day
all its building
and sneering looks
its crooks.
But once more,
I will miss Seattle
like a withered friendship.
His haunting name'll keep calling
thought I will not be there to answer.
Lexi Oct 2013
Your hands have seen the inside
of a carborator. You took apart a
hard drive and called it procreation.
They've been blackened by grease and
bloodied in your desperate attempts
to clear the clouds out of your head.
Seattle is our ocean, water all around
to drown away bad memories and forget
the sunshine of our conception.
Rain can cover up scars, hurt, and spilled
ideas, take them far away to different oceans.
But never our own foreign lake, somewhere
close to Mount St. Helens, or so we thought.
Could our hands ever touch such a pure,
uncorrupted pool as holy as the depths
of your eyes? Would it wipe clean the
slate, dirtied over years of poor decisions?
Your cloudy eyes tell me different.
marriegegirl Jul 2014
vrai dire .celui-ci était difficile pour moi .Il m'a fallu un peu plus de temps pour mettre en place les conseils pour ce poste .Non pas parce que je n'étais pas complètement enamouré .fait tout le contraire .Je ne pouvais pas choisir entre toutes les images superbes de Corliss Photographie .Les fleurs de Paisley Petals Studio de fleur .cette grange incroyablement rustique .chaque détail a été en lice pour mon affection .donc j'ai fini par passer un peu de temps en leur disant tout combien je les aimais .C'est normal .non?\u003cp\u003e

ColorsSeasonsSummerSettingsBarnStylesRomantic­

du designer floral .Nous sommes tous pressés ce tournage en droit en plein milieu de la saison de mariage parce que dans le Nord-Ouest .notre fenêtre de temps décent pour un tournage en plein air est limitée .Les résultats ont été bien elle .nous vaut tous passé un super de travailler ensemble sur ce projet !

La grange rénovée sur cette ferme à seulement 35 miles au sud de Seattle fait un endroit parfait pour aa mariage de pays inspiré séance photo .Holcomb Mariages \u0026Evénements achetés ensemble une équipe de rêve pour exécuter le concept de l'élégance rustique et de romance douce .Les couleurs claires et des notes métalliques complété avec un peu d' étincelle supplémentaire à la grange ' histoire et de charme .Nous avons décidé de laisser la grange fournir l'élément rustique tout en gardant le décor sur le côté élégant .Lorsque tout s'est bien passé .les résultats ont été tout ce que nous espérions qu'ils seraient !

tables artisan magnifiques tableaux de Seattle agricoles étaient ornés d'élégants vases en verre transparent débordant d' une prime de local.fleurs de saison dans les arrangements luxuriants conçus par Paisley Petals Studio de fleur .Les tableaux ont été finis avec la chaude lueur de verre au mercure à partir des détails significatifs .plus de Paisley Petals créations dans de petits vases d'argent et place des cartes artisanale par Itsy Belle .Le cadre rustique de la grange et la ferme était la juxtaposition parfaite contre la romance douce du décor .La météo imprévisible qui fait de jour pour une belle lumière .et les portes de la grange ont été ouverts pour laisser illuminer le réglage.En dehors de la grange .des tables ont été placées dans le paysage pour créer une ambiance intime .Chaque table paysage est légèrement différent de l'autre tout en conservant le sentiment de romance rustique .

la robe de Notre modèle de mariée de Something Blue Bridal Boutique était douce et féminine et arrosé avec l'étincelle de son bijoux guillotine à son correspondant bandeau .Ses magnifiques yeux verts ont été portées à la vie par l'artiste de maquillage Korrine Claxon robe de mariée courte .Le bouquet de la mariée était un mélange frais de la ferme des dahlias .roses de jardin .astilbe .lismachia .scabieuse .dentelle de reine anne .des rosettes .origan .menthe ananas .l'achillée millefeuille .adiante et vignes finis robe de mariée courte avec un ruban ric rac de pêche de luxe .La boutonnière assortie utilisé principalement des herbes et des textures de prêter une ambiance plus masculine .

Une cérémonie simple a été mis en place à l'aide de tables bancs agricoles Seattle .L'emplacement au sommet de la ferme a profité pleinement de la vue panoramique sur les champs ci-dessous.Notre

http://www.modedomicile.com

photographe a su capter les dernières images de plein air comme un orage a commencé à rouler à travers .ce qui a pour fin passionnante de notre journée ensemble !
Nous avons été ravis d'avoir Corliss Photographie à bord pour capter magnifiquement l'essence de ce que nous avions créé .C'est toujours inspirant de travailler avec des professionnels du mariage de talent .Nous étions tous ravis de faire partie de celui-ci !Dans notre petit coin du nord-ouest du pays .nous sommes entourés par nature .donner.professionnels de la collaboration dans tous les coins de l'industrie du mariage .Mettre sur pied un tournage comme celui-ci nous donne une chance de fléchir nos muscles créatifs .apprendre à connaître l'autre un robe courte devant longue derriere peu mieux .et de mettre nos talents à travailler pour créer quelque chose de beau juste pour le plaisir !

Photographie : Corliss Photographie | Planification de l'événement: Holcomb Mariages et Evénements | Floral Design : Paisley Petals Studio de fleur | Robe de mariée : Something Blue Bridal Boutique | maquilleur : Korrine Claxton | Place Cards : Itsy Belle | Locations : tableaux de Seattle ferme |Locations de vacances : AA Party | Location : Les détails significatifs | Lieu de mariage : La Ferme
Sylvia Weld Apr 2013
a winter visit is
blood to us,
collected in our thumbs, pressed together, always
distracted by
effectively knowing that which is true:
feral will never make do.
going to the space needle,
her mouth was a cowry shell that i saw in the water
in my fingers i heard the snapping of twigs
just that prickly little feeling saying
“kenna, watch the corners of her mouth”
lovely in the passenger seat
my hand quaking
ninety miles to go
oregon behind,
peppering the corridor with firs
quietly i sang watery songs
“run river run,”  “golden vanity,”
she slept with the stars sitting on her hair
then seattle waited
underneath her black dress
(velvet, from her mother)
wondering where will we stay-
she woke up. from the sky fell
zebra orchids, already dying
berry Dec 2014
i miss you so much it hurts my whole body.
do you remember when we talked about going to seattle?
you said you liked the rain
and the fact that no one there would know you,
i just wanted to be wherever you were.
i was never afraid of the dark
when you talked about yours.
i still don't have words for what i felt
when you told me the only other number
you had saved in your phone apart from your mother's was mine.
i keep telling myself you're not allowed
to just exit and re-enter my life as you please,
but i leave the door unlocked,
so what does that make me?
the last "i love you" from the last time we spoke,
is still stuck to the roof of my mouth.
other lovers have tried to pry it out of me,
but the memory of you is like lockjaw.
i miss you so much it hurts my whole body.
do you remember the lizard you caught last summer?
you let me name him forrest.
if life is a box of chocolates,
there are pieces missing,
and whatever is left has gone stale.
i can't smoke cigarettes in my backyard anymore
without wondering where you are
or if you're smoking too.
i hope you're not drinking,
i know you hate what it does to you.
your secrets are still tucked between my ribs,
i will hold them safe and repeat them back to you
if you ever lose your way home.
i miss you so much it hurts my whole body.
do you remember when you told me
about the person you were afraid of becoming,
i said i wasn't scared,
and i told you i was proud of you?
i'm still proud of you.
i hope you're in school or at least keeping busy.
i hope you still make yourself laugh.
i miss you so much it hurts my whole body.
do you remember what movie we were watching
the night you got arrested?
i still can't finish it.
i am holding the place.
can we pick up where we left off?
can we stand up and wipe the dust off?
i never got to tell you why i only write in pen,
or why i can't sleep with socks on,
or about the day i caught god with his hands in a public fountain
fishing for change.
i'm not mad at you for disappearing, but i'm lonely.
the only reason i haven't called
is because i'm afraid of being sent straight to voicemail,
but if i ever find myself in indiana again,
you'll be the first to know.

- m.f.
Arlo Disarray Apr 2015
I grab yet one more cold beer
And I don't feel an ounce of shame
I just wish that you were here
So you'd hear when I whisper your name

You don't hear my whispers at all
When they're lifted and carried, this day
They can't reach you before they fall
From 2,455 miles away

One day we'll meet up on Saturn
If Jupiter stays out of our way
The clouds in Seattle are better
Or we'll meet in the middle one day

I drink so that I can forget you
But it grows worse with every beer
You're all that I have in my view
And I'm glad that you're out there, my dear
Donald Guy Nov 2012
11:33pm @Boston_Police:
#occupyboston The BPD respects
your right to protest peacefully.
We ask for your ongoing cooperation.

@Occupy_Boston: 11:51
The BPD asks reporters to leave
the inside of the camp
they don't want them to record
and report on what they're about to do.

1:31
Cops give Occupy Boston
five minutes to vacate.
Nobody is leaving.

1:41 @OccupyBOS_Media:
The police are beating the Veterans for Peace

1:44 @Occupy_Boston:
Cops arresting everyone.
We are being beaten.
KEEP TAKING PHOTOS.

I walk there as my legs will cary me...

The Aftermath:
All quiet on the western curb
Over 100 arrested and spread amongst
more than five separate jails—none close by.
Camp two is gone and camp one intact. for now;
The ecstatic crowd, arms linked, chants
"Who do you protect? Who do you serve?""

Hyperbole all around.
Injustice or public safety?
...It hardly even matters.

The people are on the streets again
The military is overseas but
this time, the war is at home:

Men and women in blue,
likely just doing their jobs,
fighting people without them.
I fear the 99% fights itself

Rumors flit about. Crackdowns abound
Dallas, Atlanta, St.Louis, Seattle, &
San Francisco: from sea to writhing sea
The chickens have come home to roost and
The pigs are bringing home the bacon

The professionals were cleared out,
but the media wasn't. The talk is on
line by line, it is lively, ever-streaming:
blogs and tweets; statuses, state by state.

Rumors created. Rumors dispelled
Proof offered. Faith destroyed.
Anger engendered. Assumptions reinforced:
The people are connected
but the disconnect remains

Between rich and poor, yes, but maybe worse than that:
this movement is only as United as these states
The basic principles the same, the practice not so much
Peaceful, yet violent; Pro-capitalist, anti-corporate
"a laughable gang of disorganized, confused Nazis.  
an ill-disciplined, highly-trained, ****-smoking,
fascist organization."

First the Tea Party and now this,
Demonstrating the strength & flaws of Democracy
even as they protest the flaws of Republic
Still, they are not so different

They sit in parks by day and sleep at night
in dorms, apartments, houses, tents. Uncomfortable
Wrapped too tightly in sheets of red, white, and green.
Trying, desperately, to wake up from the American Dream

                                        ~D.B. Guy
                                         10.11.11
_Poems in Autumn_. #7 of 7 .
Nods to John Wieners' The Hotel Wently Poems & William Corbett's MIT course 21W.756 Writing and Reading Poems
Gracey Jane Aug 2012
You came to me like a star. Bold and bright and untouchable. And you gave me the night sky, like nothing I had ever known before. The crescent moon and the Milky Way, constellations innumerable, possibilities vast and limitless. You held my hand and showed me how to fly. My very own boy who would never grow up; you said “to live would be an awfully big adventure,” and I held your hand and never let you go.  

For every fight we ever had, for every letter you ever wrote, we were summer’s children, laughing and drinking in the dark. And when every rain came down, we ran to that pink house and waited out the storm.

And now every time it rains, I still remember every word. I still dream of every kiss. I still get butterflies. You and me down by the water. Close your eyes and kiss me.

I still believe in fairies and pirates and Indian braves. I still wait at my window for you to come and fly me away. I can’t erase the dreams we had, the words we said at dawn. For all the plans we laid, the promises we made and, in spite of everything, the price we had to pay.

And now every time it rains, every thunderstorm, every firework. Every shot of whiskey, every pool cue, every bar stool. You’re still here with me, the voice inside my head. So don’t waste your time on me. I won’t defeat these shadows.

I wish I could fly across the ocean, thousands of miles. Like a ghost, a shadow. Just to see that smile, just to tell you, I got Seattle on my horizon.

And now every time it rains, I still remember every word. I still dream of every kiss. I still get butterflies. You and me down by the water. Close your eyes and kiss me.
With grey, stormy, rainy skies
Tall vivid evergreen trees
A stunning contrast
Elena Ramos Jul 2014
By Elena Ramos©
1
Todays my last day of School before I graduate, go to the University and the most important thing summer vacations, I just hope to be accepted in a good University, and I am talking seriously. All my entire friends are going to travel or do something incredible as always before they start the University, but I cant. My vacations are boring, watch movies at home,I just visit  my grandparents house, or watch tennis games with my dad and brothers. I am the second son of four kids, Julian is the older, I am next, Ryan the third and Georgina the small one. My mother name is Lauren Parker but she was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) which is basically a sickness that do not **** you but makes your life harder, not only physically but mentally also. Mom started to feel fatigued, loss her concentration constantly and memory, extremely pain in her muscles, and a inexplicable headache. It is a little bit hard for all of us because even if mom is alive she cant do anything for us, she started feeling this way after Gerogina was born, that was sixteen years ago. My dad Julian is the one who suffers the most, they cant do any activity toguether, even watching Tennis Chanel is hard for her, she is more time sleeping than what she spend awake. Georginas sweet sixteen just passed and sadly mom couldn’t  help her to plan the party. All the boys of the house, we help her to plan it, but our ideas **** up that much that she almost cancel the party. Even so, she did it, and she had a good time, all her friends came and dance a lot, my brother Julian buy her some alcohol because he is more than twenty one, and brought some friends with him supposedly to supervise everything and have things calm. Dad was not in the party because  he trusted Julian that everything was going to be fine. All Julian friends were wasted but for my sisters friends they were cool, so at the end we all have fun. Right now is almost Lunch, that means school will end soon. Arnold my best friend of all my life, is sitting next to me making some jokes about Mrs. Frances horrible make up, like if she did it in the dark. I cant believe that during my entire life I did not talk to Mary the hottest girl in the entire school. Her hair so light brown, her beautiful smile, her blue eyes, and her incredible capacity of being the best student of Seattle’s High School make me fall in love of her, sadly I was never able to speak to her, not even a hello in the cafeteria line. Girls like her make boys feel stupid for even believe we have a chance with them. Even Arnold feel the same way with her, just that he is not able to admit it, because he thinks we can fight for her and end our friendship. Lunch is here, we are meeting Sarah a friend of us, but she is a junior, sadly we wont graduate with her. We had this little pact that the three us were going to the same University together and that Sarah was going to meet us the next year too. Seattle pacific University is our best option for now. They offer Arnold a half scholarship, something awesome that I wish could happen to me, thanks god my parents save money for school during their entire life. I live in Seattle the largest city of Washington, Sara mom reserve a table tonight for the three of us to celebrate were out of school in the space needle. Later we can got to a party or something alike, definitely tonight were having some fun. We just meet Sara in the hallway.
-Hey donkies!-said Sarah-
-Hello Sarah-I said in a sarcastic mood. She is an incredible person, probably with the only girl I being so close to. We have even sleep together, I mean the three of us, sometimes when its get to  late and we have a lot to study.
-Nerd, how you doing?-ask Arnold to Sarah.
-Great airhead, cool that your almost graduated!-.reply Sarah.
-Yeah, is pretty awesome that we make it until here, I am ready for the University, imagine how many pretty girls would be there waiting for a nerd to do their homeworks or a shoulder to cry after a break with her boyfriend-Arnold laugh.
-Yes, your still an ******* inmature, I cant believe you have a half scholarship-Sarah said.
-Its fine the two of you, let quick so we can make it to the cafeteria line, before all those ******* of the football team-I said.
The cafeteria was still empty, we made it before the athletes. I even said goodbye to the lady who served the food. She was nice to me, she serve me more green grapes or more French fries every Tuesday. This is one of the things I will miss the most from the school, too many memories, things that with the time I will forget, i wish to have more time here, I guess I love my school, or I am scared of growing up, and becoming an adult. We sat in the last table of the cafeteria, I wanted to observe all the room for the last time, full of people I used to know. It is funny how ironic the day gets, you desire this last day of school all your life, but when it comes, you want to fall back again to the first day of school where you start everything, where you meet your best friend of all your life, Arnold and Sarah in this case, your first breakup or your first party, or the day you kiss a girl for the first time, something it has not happened to me yet. I want it to be real and true, I know it sounds funny, but I am still a old school boy, when its related to how treats ladies. Even if I had the chance to be with one I will never do something, first of all because I respect them a lot, I always think of Georgina, I will treat girls the way I wish my sister be treated someday by a dude.
-In what your thinking Alex?-ask Sarah eating in a silly way her sandwich.
I reply-Well, to be honest I am sad-
Arnold laugh instantly after my answer-how you dare to say your sad, if you were always saying you wanted to graduated and getting the hell out of here-.
-I know I said it, but think in this, what will happen after we graduate, we wont see you often Sarah, you will have new friends, Arnold you will be busy meeting new girls and being a Casanova, and I probably will be in my dorm reading some Mangas, or listening music, or worst talking with my family.-I said.
-Don’t worry Alex it wont happen, I bet you wont do skype with your family only once every six months, I swear. Don’t take your mangas collection, you will seem yourself weird and nerd, not to offend you but its true, and yes I will be a Casanova, hope god listen you-.Arnold said in a inspirational mood.
-Thanks dude, you’re the best-I said to Arnold – and about my manga collection I don’t promess you nothing, I gues that instead of taking the all I will only take ten, and read the rest online-.
-I cant believe your sad Alex, I wish to be graduating now, I cant handle one year anymore-said Sarah.
-Well your day will come soon Sarah, your senior year will be awesome I promess-I said.
While everyone was getting ready for the last period of class I couldn’t take my eyes off Mary, beautiful face. She was wearing this beautiful white dress, with her pink Vans. All I can said she look like an angel,her breast was incredible good locking, all in her was just perfect. Sadly she was dating someone bigger than her, he picked up her always after school, all I can said is that a lady like her deserve something better, a men that respect her, take care, and treat her delicately; but that ****, dressed like a lazy men, his hair was awful, the loudness of his music was horrible, and he smoked in her face, I mean at 2 centimeters from her face. Sometimes I said to myself she deserves me, even if it was a crazy idiot idea I knew I could treat her as the lady she was and make her happy.

Bell just ring, last class period, maybe the teacher will said some last words and school stuff be decline today. I just want it to end now, I want it to be night, I want to go to any good party we were not invited but we enter anyway. Sara mom was too gentile in paying a dinner for the three of us. I guess that school will end but I feel its time to wake up a part of me I never knew it existed; the free man. ©

CHAPTER 2 SOON ...
Brandon Maples Nov 2012
Here we go, the phone rings
Won't you let me be?
You never get my rhetorical questions
                                                       ­              Anyway...
Away from you, my heart sings
Can't I be free?
I'll be on a fenceless pasture, a horse eating
                                                          ­            Hey,
My soul yearns for only her
Will not your own eyes see?
Our love lacked traction and spontaneity,
                                                    ­                   a  Seattle rainy day.
Lani Foronda Jul 2014
What if I never reach Seattle?
Or worse what if I reach Seattle (without you)?
July 14, 2014
I've found that when you love someone, his dreams start to become yours because you'll do anything to help him achieve them.
Tommy Jackson Oct 2015
I have to take a plane
Further out west. To Seattle, high city, mountain dressed.
I have to take a plane
Jam out the western peaks,
This southern guitar will reverberate the club's
Jam session 101.
E. Spruce street,
A cocked back string for me
Is going to be the Wests loaded gun.
Going away from this page for two week's going to be out in Seattle Washington for a jam show with me as an invited guest, not to mention to lead show a few well knowns, fleet foxes, band of horses, Hey Marseilles, as more unknown artists who are just starting to grow like me. Wife's going with me will be a long journey to northwestern united States.
Holly Weiser Mar 2013
if happiness was rain I'd live in Seattle
no matter how pale the days become
drenched in pollution and smog
the rain would wash it away and highlight the bright colors of my rain boots
splosh splosh splosh as I walk through the busy streets
and since its raining I'll be sheltered with an umbrella
it'll act as a shield, as if I was a knight in Renaissance days
maybe not a knight exactly, but the days and nights might get confused with the lack of sunshine
but I find I work best when I'm a little confused
because being confused gives me an excuse to sit down and think things out
and when things don't work out, I can go out and buy a new pair of rain boots
there are few things shopping can't fix
but when I don't have the money or energy to go shopping
I do have the rain
which sadly, is a reminder that nothing lasts forever
because on a random Tuesday the sun will peak out from behind the clouds and take place of my bright rain boots

click clack clack as I walk through the busy streets
no rain boots, no shield
just myself and the sun
and the slight sun burn from that day will remind me throughout the week when rain is falling that all things, good or bad, leave scars

the pink on my cheeks from the sun and my shriveled up fingers from the rain tell me that I can't shield myself from everything

some days I'll get caught in the rain without my umbrella
and other days the sun will catch me off guard, leaving my cheeks flushed for days;
letting me know that yes
if rain was happiness I'd live in Seattle
but Seattle rain isn't a constant

sometimes your cheeks need to feel burned to remember how nice it is to be drenched in happiness almost every day
Spencer Carlson Feb 2015
On my own
I venture out
On to the world of my own doubt
World of wonder
That I will know
When I figure it all out

I am what I am
I'll except that now
Playing with a broken hand
I'll make it work somehow

Clearing mountains
Waterfalls
I try to keep up my own pace
Running down
Seattle hills
Just to feel the wind on my face

I am what I am
I'll except that now
Playing with a broken hand
I'll make it work somehow

And don't you leave me alone,
I'm here
The vultures come in like crows
And disappear
They feed off my heart
And my fear
But I'll stay strong
I'll remain so strong
Work in progress

— The End —