Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Icarus Kirk Jul 2013
windy
and a long way down
the people pulsing through the streets
unrestrained

there's traffic
and cars honking
and all i can see
is life
movement

there's people
below these skyscrapers
that are alive
and have things to hope for
and i am not one of them

windy
and it's getting dark now
and i'm almost out of whiskey
so it's now or never
before i loose my nerve
before the reckless abandon stops coursing through my veins
before i forget why the hell it is
that i'm up here in the first place

the bottle clunks on the ground
hollow
completely empty
and i knew i should have brought another with me
or maybe picked a taller building
but as it is
there is nothing above me
all else
is below skyscrapers
all else
is tiny
and insignificant
and selfish
and **** it
why not
just
jump

windy
fast
unbreathable
cold
sharp

below skyscrapers
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
Amitav Radiance Aug 2014
Confined to the skyscrapers
Elevated mechanically
To the secluded corners
Flights of stairs are daunting
The bustling crowd is distant
Parks and kids nonchalant
About the lonely resident
Prisoner between cozy walls
Blocked in the secluded world
Heart yearns to join the bustle
From the rooms of skyscrapers
Kam Jul 2018
Clothes have outgrown me many times over,
but this sadness never does.
One size.
fits all.
There should have been an obituary for cancer,  not you.
Wishing these slits within my skin could have been
replaced by a reality check from you, “You chose to exist.”

My name causes a sigh to escape from lips,
that do not feel like they belong to me,
the girl,
whose words always had to be special.

The schematics of hospitals like a birthmark in my brain,
born into sadness, a gut feeling as a child.
Never trusting time
due to what it delivers.

Death, being the only thing I desired.
But you, 
who I love,
endlessly-
robbed by it.
Whose ebb for life glowed so feverishly.
Stopped comparing depression to lace,
restricted the belief that suicide is poetic,
seeing things as they were.
More often than not, applauded for feeling emotions deeply.
Every second that dies, the shift of my heart quakes.

This world is not tender.

II. Sad.
I have known the flowers I wanted at my own premature funeral,
knowing how many bouquets honored you that day.

split open my veins like a dimension
reminiscent of days where I anticipated deathbeds.


My family wondered,
can we make it through another day?
Death scares me for what it has taken,
yet, I’m not afraid to die-
it’s all I deserve.
So I await the day pain erupts
from my throat,
acknowledging the days a soul
lived inside of my body-
footprints that walked,
belonging to me.

But I learned so well.
How to suffer with a smile,
dreading the beating of my heart
how unfair—
I don’t want to take these deep breaths
You deserved,while I masquerade as a member of the undead
Never outgrowing the desire to rot with the phantoms residing under my bed.


III. Jokes played by the universe.
punchlines delivered,
how could anyone to stand to be in the same room as myself?
How could anyone look over skyscrapers and sunsets,
and not be infatuated with concrete consuming them?
How I shared a sigh of relief during the thought-
of knowing people would thrive without me,
or the power of a belly laugh,
resembling a laugh track audience
drowning out 3 AM suicidal thoughts.
I wrote this in pink gel pen, maybe, that’s another joke.
Danielle Jones Sep 2011
i saw a glimpse of you in that landscape.
it was painted with the colors of your time management
but sometimes you were too impatient.
i swore on biblical verses and too many shots that
you had skyscrapers for fingers and you knew
how to take the best out of me.
we shaped play doh into giants that would walk,
just to renovate and play god for a day since
sometimes we felt too little to even be alive.
we heard the top of buildings laugh,
golden cities never found a place in my heart,
but what do i know?
maybe we just tried to direct, reflect, dissect.
i can't pinpoint my points on your cork board
because there are too many ads telling me about
the things we lost, the moments
we left on the grounds, like low light second levels
and fish bowl blemishes on saturday afternoons.
your catholic boy demeanor, or lack thereof,
was nothing short of a misunderstanding and those who
had the time wanted the resources but those who mattered
didn't have the watch to tell them when to listen.
heart listeners don't show up and god only talks to
skyscrapers,
building off of what is closer when we all need
something to reach out to touch.
heart listeners negotiate by linguistics and wooden
tables,
mapping out the streets and yet
some of us just recycle the paper so we can start
all over again.
some of us just want to be a city,
beating hearts leading giants
to maybe someday talk to time.
© Danielle Jones 2011
Glenn McCrary Sep 2012
We mourn atop skyscrapers
As our forefathers
Mourned amongst baobab trees in Uganda
Because we have been forsaken,
It is judgment day,
And we’re fearful.
“The Silicon Tower of Babel”
The over utilization of technology, its abuse, is unweaving humanity at the seams. Human health, sanity, and spirituality are under attack. The boom of accessibility over technology has increasingly subtracted from the frequency of face to face human interaction as well as human interaction with nature. The result is a declining emotional and psychological health and a ******* of spiritual values. Each individual who values holistic health should limit the time he or she spends using technology that isolates them to less than twenty-four hours in a week. They should make more purposeful efforts toward interacting with nature daily and for periods of at least an hour at a time. Lastly, these individuals should labor to replace reclusive technologies with modes of technology that encourage face to face and group social interaction such as movies, Skype, etc.
Self-limitation of the use of isolating technology will begin to correct the twisting of our spiritual values and the social and physiological damage that has been caused by the overuse and abuse of technology. In James T. Bradley’s review of Joel Garreau’s book discussion of radical evolution, called “Odysseans of the twenty first century”, Bradley quotes Garreau when he says that technology will result in human transcendence. In “Odysseans” it is said that “The nature of transcendence will depend upon the character of that which is being transcended—that is, human nature.”  James. T Bradley, scholar and author of this peer reviewed journal says that “When we’re talking about transhumanism, we’re talking about transcending human nature. . .  One notion of transcendence is that you touch the face of God. Another version of transcendence is that you become God.”  This is a very blatant ******* of the roles of God and man. When the created believes it can attain the greatness of its creator, and reach excellence and greatness on par with its God, it has completely reversed the essence of spirituality. This results in the ability to justify the “moral evolution of humankind” according to Odysseans. And this “moral evolution” often results in “holy wars”. In “Man in the age of technology” by Umberto Galimberti of Milan, Italy, written for the Journal of Analytical Psychology in 2009, technology is revealed to be “no longer merely a tool for man’s use but the environment in which man undergoes modifications.” Man is no longer using technology. Man is no longer affecting and manipulating technology to subdue our environments. Technology is using, affecting, and manipulating the populace; it is subduing humankind into an altered psychological and spiritual state.
Technology, in a sense, becomes the spirituality or the populace. It replaces nature and the pure, technologically undefiled creation as the medium by which the common man attempts to reach the creator. The common man begins to believe in himself as the effector of his Godliness. Here there is logical disconnect. People come to believe that what they create can connect them to the being that created nature. They put aside nature and forget that it is an extension of the artist that created it. Technology removes man from nature (which would otherwise force an undeniable belief in a creator) and becomes a spiritual bypass. “According to “The Only Way Out Is Through: The Peril of Spiritual Bypass” by Cashwell, Bentley, and Yarborough, in a January 2007 issue of Counseling and Values, a scholarly and peer reviewed psychology journal, “Spiritual bypass occurs when a person attempts to heal psychological wounds at the spiritual level only and avoids the important (albeit often difficult and painful) work at the other levels, including the cognitive, physical, emotional, and interpersonal. When this occurs, spiritual practice is not integrated into the practical realm of the psyche and, as a result, personal development is less sophisticated than the spiritual practice (Welwood, 2000). Although researchers have not yet determined the prevalence of spiritual bypass, it is considered to be a common problem among those pursuing a spiritual path (Cashwell, Myers, & Shurts, 2004; Welwood, 1983). Common problems emerging from spiritual bypass include compulsive goodness, repression of undesirable or painful emotions, spiritual narcissism, extreme external locus of control, spiritual obsession or addiction, blind faith in charismatic leaders, abdication of personal responsibility, and social isolation.”  Reverting back to frequent indulgence in nature can begin to remedy these detrimental spiritual, social, and physiological effects.  If people as individuals would choose to daily spend at least an hour alone in nature, they would be healthier individuals overall.
  Technology is often viewed as social because of its informative qualities, but this is not the case when technologies make the message itself, and not the person behind the message, the focus.  To be information oriented is to forsake or inhibit social interaction.  Overuse of technology is less of an issue to human health if it is being overused in its truly social forms. Truly social forms of technology such as Skype and movies viewed in public and group settings are beneficial to societal and personal health. According to a peer-reviewed study conducted by John B. Nezlek, the amount and quality of one’s social interactions has a direct relationship to how positively one feels about one’s self. Individual happiness is supported by social activity.
Abuse of technology is a problem because it results in spiritual *******.  It points humanity toward believing that it can, by its own power, become like God.  Abuse of technology inclines humanity to believe that human thoughts are just as high as the thoughts of God. It is the silicon equivalent of the Tower of Babel.  It builds humanity up unto itself to become idols. In extreme cases overuse of technology may lead to such megalomania that some of humanity may come to believe that humanity is God.  Technology is a spiritual bypass, a cop-out to dealing with human inability and depravity. The misuse of technology results in emotional and psychological damage. It desensitizes and untethers the mind from the self. It causes identity crises. Corruption of technology from its innately neutral state into something that negatively affects the human race results in hollow social interactions, reclusion, inappropriate social responses, and inability to understand social dynamics efficiently.
It may appear to some that technology cannot be the cause of a large-scale social interrupt because technology is largely social. However, the nature of technology as a whole is primarily two things: It is informational; it is for use of entertainment. Informational technology changes the focus of interaction from the messenger to the message. Entertainment technology is, as a majority, of a reclusive nature.
Readers may be inclined to believe that nature is not foundational to spirituality and has little effect on one’s spiritual journey, it is best to look through history. Religions since the beginning of time have either focused on nature or incorporated nature into their beliefs. Animists believe that everything in nature has a spirit. Native American Indians like the Cherokee believe that nature is to be used but respected. They believe that nature is a gift from the Great Spirit; that earth is the source of life and all life owes respect to the earth. Christians believe that it is the handiwork of God, and a gift, to be subdued and used to support the growth and multiplication, the prosperity and abundance of the human race.
In a society that has lost touch with its natural surroundings it is sure that some believe that nature has little effect on health, as plenty of people live lives surrounded by cities and skyscrapers, never to set foot in a forest or on red clay and claim perfect health. However, even in the states of the least contact possible with nature, nature has an effect on human health. The amount of sunlight one is exposed to is a direct factor in the production of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency has been determined to be linked to an increased likelihood of contracting heart disease, and is a dominant factor in the onset of clinical depression. Nature has such a drastic effect on human health that the lack of changing season and sunlight can drive individuals to not only depression, but also suicide. This is demonstrated clearly when Alaska residents, who spend half a year at a time with little to no sunlight demonstrate a rate of suicide and clinical depression diagnoses remarkably higher than the national average.
Dependence on technology is engrained in our society, and to some the proposed solution may not seem feasible. They find the idea of so drastically limiting technology use imposing. They do not feel that they can occupy their time instead with a daily hour of indulgence in nature. For these individuals, try limiting isolating technology use to 72 hours a week, and indulging in nature only three times a week for thirty minutes. Feel free to choose reclusive technology over social technologies sometimes, but do not let technology dominate your life. Make conscious efforts to engage in regular social interactions for extended periods of time instead of playing Skyrim or Minecraft. Watch a movie with your family or Skype your friends. Use technology responsibly.
To remedy the effects of the abuse of technology and the isolations of humanity from nature, individuals should limit their reclusive technology use to 24 hours in a week’s time, indulge in nature for an hour daily, and choose to prefer truly social technologies over reclusive technologies as often as possible. In doing so, individuals will foster their own holistic health. They will build and strengthen face-to-face relationships. They will, untwist, reconstruct and rejuvenate their spirituality. They will be less likely to contract emotional or social disorders and will treat those they may already struggle with.  So seek your own health and wellbeing. Live long and prosper.
Celeste C Jul 2012
The wind blows harder up here,
As though it is trying to push
these skyscrapers toppling over.

The air is purer,
easier on the nose.
The normal gas fumes from the city buses
and the polluted, busy streets don't threaten to strangle you
when you're too high for them to reach.

The people are tiny.
Like ants in chaos,
scrambling
because you accidentally set a foot
on their grainy mound.

The sounds are distant.
Taxi horns' blow sounds like squeaks of mice
while construction workers' jack hammers mimic wood peckers.

Clouds suffocate the sky,
smothering the sunlight,
refusing to let it shine as it should.

Temptation sneaks up on me,
beckoning me
over the edge of the building.

Would it be such a bad idea?
Just one move, that's all it would take.
No effort required at all.

I picture myself jumping,
as I have multiple times before.

The wind in my hair,
gravity pulling me in,
the free falling feeling in my stomach.

And at this point,
Temptation almost makes me do it,
End it all.
But I decide against it.
And even though I have won
once again,
I still feel
defeated.
Gray mountain concrete
       elephant underpass
groans on six foot wide
legs
      
       bones of steel
       re-bar bend and break

As it all begins to crumble
in the cold November sun

Leviathan highways
   strangle the hills
      with cold grip- They
            spill steel and smoke
       blood on the city streets

Delivering poison
     to your door

Robot brain control center
Oversees the operation
from tall towers
        geometric shapes
          
        Obelisks & Skyscrapers

Father Culture thinks with
                                   his ****
Drifting Jul 2013
She spoke softly
His words were harsh
She trembled under his words
He towered over her like the skyscrapers
The ones that climb high up above in the big cities
Blocking those below from sunlight
Leaving an ever present shadow
Down below

She
Was in that shadow

It never left her

                            a. d.
Sy Lilang May 2014
You gave me the resolve that I needed
And the strength
To believe I was worth it.

Now my foundation is crumbling in the spot –
The one you once occupied.

Slowly
My rock has turned to dust
And i’m falling down
To the ground,
Back to the place where you found me.

Before you built me up,
Made me taller
Than other skyscrapers
Surrounding me.

I don’t think anyone else
Has the right tools
To make me solid again,
To rebrand me
But my belief was firm
That one day,
The Great One shall restore me.

(22/19/13 @xirlleelang)
jee Nov 2018
sienna cities
sparkling saturn sunrises
sangria skyscrapers
sublime.

you are kaleidoscoped
through and through
with window blinds, bed sheets,
and street signs.

they call you modern art
and hang you on a wall
of white
and beige.

your color bleeds.

you boil
and no *** can hold you.

you speak and
wind chimes cry,
ringing into the empty night,
saturnine.

a ballerina can only hope
to move as gracefully
as you do.

your eyes light up
like tuscan sun cities
sizzling sirius sunsets
school bus skyscrapers
salient.

i’m hooked on your city glow
brighter than tokyo.
andromeda’s got nothing on you
niamh May 2015
We set out building blocks
Of trust
Love
Honour
Faith
On top of each other
Until they rose into the sky,

But we set them on shaky foundations.

Even the most beautiful of skyscrapers can fall
Sarah Meow Apr 2012
Warning:
The seagull flying over the Appalachians
could not possibly be amused by the
puzzles of an illegitimate composer
and the skyscrapers climbed.

1.
The skyscrapers were played by tall
rocks a girl climbed when she couldn't
remember if the cape she wore was
made from steel or newspaper.

11.
The newspaper they all read together
that morning (girl, boy, king, etc)
promised nothing but a fifty percent
chance of dandelions terrorizing the bus stop.

2.
The bus stop had since become a
dealer corner and the sunset behind
the mountains was blocked by the
flipping hair of a lost boy.

7.
The boy bought a toy for cheap -- it had
a built-in laser, so she stole it to blast a
whole hole in that guilt-ridden quilt hung
over the four dollar love seat.

6.
The love seat, she bought the day he went
to maple -- the soap dispenser was broken,
but she couldn't find anything new (that she
knew) to wash her hands with.

5.
The hands that handed her a hammer were covered
in promotions, so she stole the motorcycle when
they were watching the scarecrow going
through electric-shock, disco therapy.

8.
The therapy that she received from the
parrot-king and his troupe of square roots
was enough to make her not forget not regret
the boy with feathers in his ears.

10.
The ears she woke up with one morning
were different in shape than before
and the black fur she knew
was growing before her eyes.

3.
The eyes of the boy were wider than
the nightly news station promised, and
there wasn't really a difference
between caves and boxes in a town that small.

4.  
The town she arrived in didn't have
a carpool lane or derby, so
she had to take her pet goldfish
to the river for his depressive state.

9.
The river wasn't as flooded after a couple
weeks of changing the tune on the jukebox
she found way before the departure
of her white gold pearls.

12.
The pearls she wore for her
coming-of-age were buried beneath
a dirt mound when she promised herself
to always insist on herself.
Marion Oct 2017
i stand, rotting
a small wooden structure in a large city
barren and empty
one window, a single pane of glass

surrounded by skyscrapers
tall and terrifying
yet they too,
they too are rotting
windows smashed,
cavernous corridors tainted by crude slogans,
abused.

my small frame is fragile,
a foundation that is questionable,
my walls are depending on these skyscrapers
willing them to stay tall and terrifying
yet they are crumbling at the edges,
the debris beginning to become almost too heavy on my roof.
an ode to my friends and the people surrounding me. everyone is not always as they seem
Eros Oct 2014
Mind in transit,
Wandering the city with a subway heart.
I WAS born on the prairie and the milk of its wheat, the red of its clover, the eyes of its women, gave me a song and a slogan.

Here the water went down, the icebergs slid with gravel, the gaps and the valleys hissed, and the black loam came, and the yellow sandy loam.
Here between the sheds of the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachians, here now a morning star fixes a fire sign over the timber claims and cow pastures, the corn belt, the cotton belt, the cattle ranches.
Here the gray geese go five hundred miles and back with a wind under their wings honking the cry for a new home.
Here I know I will hanker after nothing so much as one more sunrise or a sky moon of fire doubled to a river moon of water.

The prairie sings to me in the forenoon and I know in the night I rest easy in the prairie arms, on the prairie heart..    .    .
        After the sunburn of the day
        handling a pitchfork at a hayrack,
        after the eggs and biscuit and coffee,
        the pearl-gray haystacks
        in the gloaming
        are cool prayers
        to the harvest hands.

In the city among the walls the overland passenger train is choked and the pistons hiss and the wheels curse.
On the prairie the overland flits on phantom wheels and the sky and the soil between them muffle the pistons and cheer the wheels..    .    .
I am here when the cities are gone.
I am here before the cities come.
I nourished the lonely men on horses.
I will keep the laughing men who ride iron.
I am dust of men.

The running water babbled to the deer, the cottontail, the gopher.
You came in wagons, making streets and schools,
Kin of the ax and rifle, kin of the plow and horse,
Singing Yankee Doodle, Old Dan Tucker, Turkey in the Straw,
You in the coonskin cap at a log house door hearing a lone wolf howl,
You at a sod house door reading the blizzards and chinooks let loose from Medicine Hat,
I am dust of your dust, as I am brother and mother
To the copper faces, the worker in flint and clay,
The singing women and their sons a thousand years ago
Marching single file the timber and the plain.

I hold the dust of these amid changing stars.
I last while old wars are fought, while peace broods mother-like,
While new wars arise and the fresh killings of young men.
I fed the boys who went to France in great dark days.
Appomattox is a beautiful word to me and so is Valley Forge and the Marne and Verdun,
I who have seen the red births and the red deaths
Of sons and daughters, I take peace or war, I say nothing and wait.

Have you seen a red sunset drip over one of my cornfields, the shore of night stars, the wave lines of dawn up a wheat valley?
Have you heard my threshing crews yelling in the chaff of a strawpile and the running wheat of the wagonboards, my cornhuskers, my harvest hands hauling crops, singing dreams of women, worlds, horizons?.    .    .
        Rivers cut a path on flat lands.
        The mountains stand up.
        The salt oceans press in
        And push on the coast lines.
        The sun, the wind, bring rain
        And I know what the rainbow writes across the east or west in a half-circle:
        A love-letter pledge to come again..    .    .
      Towns on the Soo Line,
      Towns on the Big Muddy,
      Laugh at each other for cubs
      And tease as children.

Omaha and Kansas City, Minneapolis and St. Paul, sisters in a house together, throwing slang, growing up.
Towns in the Ozarks, Dakota wheat towns, Wichita, Peoria, Buffalo, sisters throwing slang, growing up..    .    .
Out of prairie-brown grass crossed with a streamer of wigwam smoke-out of a smoke pillar, a blue promise-out of wild ducks woven in greens and purples-
Here I saw a city rise and say to the peoples round world: Listen, I am strong, I know what I want.
Out of log houses and stumps-canoes stripped from tree-sides-flatboats coaxed with an ax from the timber claims-in the years when the red and the white men met-the houses and streets rose.

A thousand red men cried and went away to new places for corn and women: a million white men came and put up skyscrapers, threw out rails and wires, feelers to the salt sea: now the smokestacks bite the skyline with stub teeth.

In an early year the call of a wild duck woven in greens and purples: now the riveter's chatter, the police patrol, the song-whistle of the steamboat.

To a man across a thousand years I offer a handshake.
I say to him: Brother, make the story short, for the stretch of a thousand years is short..    .    .
What brothers these in the dark?
What eaves of skyscrapers against a smoke moon?
These chimneys shaking on the lumber shanties
When the coal boats plow by on the river-
The hunched shoulders of the grain elevators-
The flame sprockets of the sheet steel mills
And the men in the rolling mills with their shirts off
Playing their flesh arms against the twisting wrists of steel:
        what brothers these
        in the dark
        of a thousand years?.    .    .
A headlight searches a snowstorm.
A funnel of white light shoots from over the pilot of the Pioneer Limited crossing Wisconsin.

In the morning hours, in the dawn,
The sun puts out the stars of the sky
And the headlight of the Limited train.

The fireman waves his hand to a country school teacher on a bobsled.
A boy, yellow hair, red scarf and mittens, on the bobsled, in his lunch box a pork chop sandwich and a V of gooseberry pie.

The horses fathom a snow to their knees.
Snow hats are on the rolling prairie hills.
The Mississippi bluffs wear snow hats..    .    .
Keep your hogs on changing corn and mashes of grain,
    O farmerman.
    Cram their insides till they waddle on short legs
    Under the drums of bellies, hams of fat.
    **** your hogs with a knife slit under the ear.
    Hack them with cleavers.
    Hang them with hooks in the hind legs..    .    .
A wagonload of radishes on a summer morning.
Sprinkles of dew on the crimson-purple *****.
The farmer on the seat dangles the reins on the rumps of dapple-gray horses.
The farmer's daughter with a basket of eggs dreams of a new hat to wear to the county fair..    .    .
On the left-and right-hand side of the road,
        Marching corn-
I saw it knee high weeks ago-now it is head high-tassels of red silk creep at the ends of the ears..    .    .
I am the prairie, mother of men, waiting.
They are mine, the threshing crews eating beefsteak, the farmboys driving steers to the railroad cattle pens.
They are mine, the crowds of people at a Fourth of July basket picnic, listening to a lawyer read the Declaration of Independence, watching the pinwheels and Roman candles at night, the young men and women two by two hunting the bypaths and kissing bridges.
They are mine, the horses looking over a fence in the frost of late October saying good-morning to the horses hauling wagons of rutabaga to market.
They are mine, the old zigzag rail fences, the new barb wire..    .    .
The cornhuskers wear leather on their hands.
There is no let-up to the wind.
Blue bandannas are knotted at the ruddy chins.

Falltime and winter apples take on the smolder of the five-o'clock November sunset: falltime, leaves, bonfires, stubble, the old things go, and the earth is grizzled.
The land and the people hold memories, even among the anthills and the angleworms, among the toads and woodroaches-among gravestone writings rubbed out by the rain-they keep old things that never grow old.

The frost loosens corn husks.
The Sun, the rain, the wind
        loosen corn husks.
The men and women are helpers.
They are all cornhuskers together.
I see them late in the western evening
        in a smoke-red dust..    .    .
The phantom of a yellow rooster flaunting a scarlet comb, on top of a dung pile crying hallelujah to the streaks of daylight,
The phantom of an old hunting dog nosing in the underbrush for muskrats, barking at a **** in a treetop at midnight, chewing a bone, chasing his tail round a corncrib,
The phantom of an old workhorse taking the steel point of a plow across a forty-acre field in spring, hitched to a harrow in summer, hitched to a wagon among cornshocks in fall,
These phantoms come into the talk and wonder of people on the front porch of a farmhouse late summer nights.
"The shapes that are gone are here," said an old man with a cob pipe in his teeth one night in Kansas with a hot wind on the alfalfa..    .    .
Look at six eggs
In a mockingbird's nest.

Listen to six mockingbirds
Flinging follies of O-be-joyful
Over the marshes and uplands.

Look at songs
Hidden in eggs..    .    .
When the morning sun is on the trumpet-vine blossoms, sing at the kitchen pans: Shout All Over God's Heaven.
When the rain slants on the potato hills and the sun plays a silver shaft on the last shower, sing to the bush at the backyard fence: Mighty Lak a Rose.
When the icy sleet pounds on the storm windows and the house lifts to a great breath, sing for the outside hills: The Ole Sheep Done Know the Road, the Young Lambs Must Find the Way..    .    .
Spring slips back with a girl face calling always: "Any new songs for me? Any new songs?"

O prairie girl, be lonely, singing, dreaming, waiting-your lover comes-your child comes-the years creep with toes of April rain on new-turned sod.
O prairie girl, whoever leaves you only crimson poppies to talk with, whoever puts a good-by kiss on your lips and never comes back-
There is a song deep as the falltime redhaws, long as the layer of black loam we go to, the shine of the morning star over the corn belt, the wave line of dawn up a wheat valley..    .    .
O prairie mother, I am one of your boys.
I have loved the prairie as a man with a heart shot full of pain over love.
Here I know I will hanker after nothing so much as one more sunrise or a sky moon of fire doubled to a river moon of water..    .    .
I speak of new cities and new people.
I tell you the past is a bucket of ashes.
I tell you yesterday is a wind gone down,
  a sun dropped in the west.
I tell you there is nothing in the world
  only an ocean of to-morrows,
  a sky of to-morrows.

I am a brother of the cornhuskers who say
  at sundown:
        To-morrow is a day.
Rob Urban Jun 2012
Lost in the dim
streets of the
Marunouchi district
I describe
this wounded city in an
  unending internal
monologue as I follow
the signs to Tokyo Station and
descend into the
underground passages
  of the metro,
seeking life and anything bright
in this half-lit, humid midnight.

I find the train finally
to Shibuya, the Piccadilly
and Times Square of Japan,
and even there the lights
are dimmer and the neon
  that does remain
  is all the more garish by
contrast.
I cross the street
near a sign that says
  "Baby Dolls" in English
over a business that turns
out to be a pet
  shop, of all things.

Like
the Japanese, I sometimes feel I live
in reduced circumstances, forced to proceed with caution:
A poorly chosen
adjective, a
mangled metaphor
could so easily trigger the
tsunami that
    sweeps away the containment
             facilities that
                   protect us
                        from ourselves
                                                            and others.
  
The next night at dinner, the sweltering room
     suddenly rocks and
        conversation stops
                  as the building sways and the
candles flicker.

'Felt like a 4, maybe a 5,'
says one of my tablemates,
a friend from years ago
in the States.

'At least a five-and-a-half,'
says another, gesturing
at the still-moving shadows
on the wall. And I think
     of other sweaty, dimly lit rooms,
      bodies in slow, restrained motion,       all
          in a moment that falls
                         between
                                     tremors.

         Then the swaying stops and we return
to our dinner. The shock, or aftershock,
isn't mentioned again,
though we do return, repeatedly, to the
big one,
         and the tidal wave that
                           swept so much away.

En route to the monsoon
I go east to come west,
   clouds gathering slowly
     in the vicinity of my chest.

Next day in Shanghai, the sun's glare reflects
  off skyscrapers,
and the streets teem
with determined shoppers
and sightseers
wielding credit cards and iPhone cameras, clad
in T-shirts with English words and phrases.
I fall
          in step
             beside a young woman on
                 the outdoor escalator whose
shirt, white on black,
reads, 'I am very, very happy.' I smile
and then notice, coming
down the other side,
another woman
wearing
        exactly the same
       message, only
                        in neon pink. So many
                                  very,
                                          very
                                                 happy people!
Yet the ATMs sometimes dispense
counterfeit 100 yuan notes and
elsewhere in the realm
      police fire on
      protestors seeking
                more than consumer goods,
while officials fret
about American credit
and the security of their investments, and
     the government executes mayors for taking
                       bribes from real estate developers.
    
    A drizzle greets me in Hong Kong,
a tablecloth of fog draped over the peaks
   that turns into a rain shower.
I find my way to work after many twists and turns
through shopping malls and building lobbies and endless
turning halls of luxury retail.
               At dinner I have a century egg and think
of Chinese mothers
urging their children,
'Eat! Eat your green, gooey treat.
On the street afterwards, a
near-naked girl grabs my arm,
pulls me toward a doorway marked by a 'Live Girls’
sign. 'No kidding,’ I think as I pull myself carefully
free, and cross the street.

On the flight to Bombay, I doze
   under a sweaty airline blanket, and
       dream that I am already there and the rains
         have come in earnest as I sit with the presumably
           semi-fictional Didier of Shantaram in the real but as-yet-unseen
            Leopold's Café, drinking Kingfishers,
              and he is telling me,  confidentially,
                     exactly where to find what I’ve lost as I wake
with the screech and grip of wheels on runway.
            

     Next day on the street outside the real Leopold's,
bullet holes preserved in the walls from the last terrorist attack,
I am trailed through the Colaba district
by a mother and children,  'Please sir, buy us milk, sir, buy us some rice,
I will show you the store.'
    A man approaches, offering a drum,
                        another a large balloon (What would I do with that?)
A shoeshine guy offers
                                           to shine my sneakers, then shares
the story of his arrival and struggle in Bombay.
     And I buy
             the milk and the rice and some
                      small cakes and in a second
                          the crowd of children swells
                               into the street
               and I sense
                     the danger of the crazy traffic to the crowd
                         that I have created, and I
think, what do I do?
           I flee, get into a taxi and head
                             to the Gateway of India, feeling
                                                                                  that I have failed a test.

                                       My last night in Mumbai, the rains come, flooding
     streets and drenching pavement dwellers and washing
the humid filth from the air. When it ends
           after two hours, the air is cool and fresh
                                  and I take a stroll at midnight
          in the street outside my hotel and enter the slum
   from which each morning I have watched
the residents emerge,  perfectly coiffed. I buy
some trinkets at a tiny stand and talk briefly
      with a boy who approaches, curious about a foreigner out for a walk.

A couple of days after that, in
the foothills of the Himalayas,  monks' robes flutter
on a clothesline like scarlet prayer flags behind the
Dalai Lama's temple.
I trek to 11,000 feet along a
narrow rocky path through thick
monsoon mist,
   stopping every 10 steps
to
   catch
        my  breath,
              testing each rock before placing my weight.
Sometimes
    the surface is slick and I nearly fall,
sometimes
    the stones
        themselves shift. I learn slowly, like some
             newborn foal, or just another
                clumsy city boy,
                   that in certain terrains the
       smallest misstep
                            can end with a slide
                                             into the abyss.
                  At the peak there's a chai shop that sells drinks and cigarettes
                                of all things and I order a coffee and noodles for lunch.
While I eat,
      perched on a rock in a silence that is both ex- and
      in-ternal,
the clouds in front of me slowly part to reveal
a glacier that takes up three-quarters of the sky, craggy and white and
beautiful. I snap a few shots,
quickly,
before the cloud curtain closes
again,
obscuring the mountain.
                                                
                                     --Rob Urban: Tokyo, Shanghai, Mumbai, Delhi, Dharamshala
                                        7/13/11-7/30/11
Collily Sep 2014
The world watched as Hope entangled itself around the minds of the willing.

They watched as Justice took its first breath as the seed that sprung from Freedom's *****.

An illegitimate child of chaos,born a burden to a crutched nation.

The world looked away as dozens of corpses piled up into skyscrapers.

Skyscrapers,for eagles to perch and nest their wealth over spilt blood.

Forgiveness was wrapped around the mouths of the unsatisfied.

Muted screams of those whose hearts were set ablaze with vengeance.

Hushed down by Nelson Mandela's words of healing over wounds of discrimination.

Now up and about,a nation on its feet,embarking on this journey of union and peace.
i was born free but nevertheless history scars my thoughts.....really emotional about this one
Jenny Jul 2018
the electricity runs through our veins
and past the street signs we rumble by
in the car you stole, we go fifty above the speed limit,
the roof of the car is the noir sky above
and the midnight rain pelts our upturned faces
the dancing drops of water drip onto our smiling lips
the sound of the sky collapsing
echoes the flashes that streak the sky,
the flickering light casts paved roads with a brief brightness
(as if god were wearing light up sketchers)
the lacy brallette that wears me
gives me the bravery to stand up in the speeding car
the velvet pants that ripple with the wind
drink up the nighttime rain
and the rare headlights race past us,
heading into homes and hearts
the mellow playlist that connects the aux cord to our ears blasts
so loud, we can no longer hear our insecurity
the mascara that once clung to my eyelashes
now streams down my face.
on a two way street,
we drive down the middle
unafraid in the face of direct dangers
so unaware of the towering empty skyscrapers
and instead highly exhilarated
from the street signs we drive by
too fast to read the blocky lettering
the road signs glint, smiling as we wave and reach towards them
the cigarettes you smoked are thrown through the open window,
still smothering slightly.
i can still taste the smoke on your lips
and your hand tucks my hair behind my ear
and as the wind objects and inhales
unreal in the hazy a.m. car trip
the tunnel rushes towards us,
and we both hold our breaths,
as if breathing would contaminate us.
the lights that glint, cast a yellow-white glow
and for once, i see you for who you are
a boy too buzzed to feel
a kid who only felt "sort of"
a person who couldn't heal
and a lover who could never give love
about a boy who was my living teenage dream // nothing scarier than finding a broken loveless boy who makes you the same
Sam Conrad Nov 2013
Dear Girl,
I really really love you, yes I do.
Not like it used to be, I'm no longer "in love",
It's something different, that I'd never felt before,
But I really really love you,
Dear Girl.

Dear Girl,
I really really mean it, yes I do.
Not "in love" like I used to be, I'm something else,
It's so strange, and I've never felt it before,
But I really really love you,
Dear Girl.

Dear Girl,
I really really mean it, yes I do.
Not like I used to be, I've changed a whole lot,
It's different, my heart doesn't want "in love",
But I really really love you,
Dear Girl.

Dear Girl,
This poem was a long time coming,
But I wrote the story when I didn't know how to be me,
Now wrote the poem when I grew some brains,
But I always really loved you,
Dear.

Sweet Girl,
You didn't deserve those late nights,
Where I killed your insides, when I made you cry and cry and cry,
They made you love me less, they made you numb, and you fell out of love,
But I really really loved you,
Sweet Girl.

Sweet Girl,
I've never been anything you deserve,
You had to pick me up off the floor, and it was more than you needed,
You pieced me together, but the person before you, she sabotaged me,
I had a destruct button you couldn't see,
Sweet Girl.

Sweet Girl,
Neither of us saw it,
We both thought I'd healed, from the awful things that happened to me,
You didn't get to see, but the person you were, you stayed with me,
When I became a nuclear disaster,
Sweet Girl.

Sweet Girl,
I try not to blame,
But you'll never understand how your mother was the Tsunami and Earthquake, and I was Fukushima,
We both didn't see it, but I was a nuclear plant, and meltdown waiting to happen,
The damage was too great, that June,
Sweet Girl.

Sweet Girl,
I never understood,
Even my own actions, because I loved you from the start, and I don't know what happened to me,
But in times before you, people built me, and you just became the new plant operator,
You didn't know I was so unsafe,
Sweet Girl.

Sweet Girl,
Nuclear plants are rather safe,
They just can't handle Tsunamis and Earthquakes, because they're made of materials that crack,
Under that kind of stress, I didn't just crack, I crumbled, I began melting down,
But you didn't know and I'm sorry,
Sweet Girl.

Sweet Girl,
You've been through a lot,
The Tsunami was hard, but you didn't know about the radiation, that it would destroy you,
You were mutated by the horrible conditions you had to live through,
But you didn't know and I'm so very sorry,
Sweet Girl.

My love,
You didn't know it,
But we were both reactors waiting to blow, disasters waiting to happen, to cause destruction,
We mutated each other until we didn't even know who we were,
I'm so very sorry, so so sorry,
My love.

Poor Girl,
I really really try today, yes I do.
Not like I used to try, but now I try to be strong, and not a nuclear reactor but more like carbon fiber,
But carbon fiber is brittle, since you killed me inside,
But I forever love you,
Poor Girl.

Poor Girl,
You've cleared your rubble,
Growing to be the most amazing and beautiful of skyscrapers, you're an inspiration for the world, you know,
You're so much different, standing taller than you'll ever know,
But skyscrapers can fall too,
Poor Girl.

Poor Girl,
You make yourself content,
Being alone, you tell yourself that alone doesn't mean lonely,
That you find peace in the solitude,
But solitude is an empty thing,
Poor Girl.

Poor Girl,
We can pick each other up,
You don't even know, it's not the same kind of picking up that we tried before,
This picking up can only go up,
Because we don't even care to feel sad anymore,
Poor Girl.

Poor Girl,
You don't even know, how much I want to kiss you,
But it's different than before, it's more like the kisses mothers give to children,
When their children are crying, the kind of kisses that make great statements and tell stories,
The stories only kisses can give,
My girl.
katie Jul 2015
When I was small
I walked on fairy dust and
my dreams were as tall
as skyscrapers towering
above the universe
inside of me, was the galaxy.
I was born of the cosmos,
full of light and love
passionate in my quest to
give this to others.
But as I grew my star began to fade,
stars need love and light to survive
and deprived of both my blazing fire
transformed into weak candlelight.
At school I had learnt it was easier
to hide your light
than to stand out as different
and be extinguished in an instant.
So I kept myself to myself
at the back of the class,
knowing the answers but not
shouting them out.
I daydreamed, and doodled
stars on the corners
of my books, all the while
I could hear the universe
calling out to me to trust,
that we are all born of this
cosmic stardust.
Another plain ole average day. Facing the treacherous walk through the bustling streets. Swimming against the fish who never look up. Distracted constantly. Faces you'd never know, were people too.
Forecast predicted some winds. Advisory to stay at home. We all know there is no such thing when it comes to work. Grabbed the rain coat and on I went. Barely made it a single block. Couldn't see two street lights ahead. The fish were scarred. Slamming off one another. This was no average storm.
A splash. A wave. Puddle ruined my pants. Passing car coated me with only god knows what. These were ***** waters. Soon rivers, took over the concrete. A rainforest of a jungle now. My tie chocked up my neck. Briefcase forced me to sink.
My eyes soon were teased. I was stranded out at sea, or so it seemed. Until I crashed into an island. I soon found as a haven. Standing beneath the city clock. I waited patiently. Knowing I would never survive out there. Until, a beacon shined through all the grey.
My skin froze. No, not from the rain. From the way this women looked at me. Hesitant yet amazed. Awe filled up inside her faster than it did in me. I blinked. Thought maybe I have finally gone insane. But no, this was happening. We both stood in place as if the hands of time broke down. Something kept the gears idle within the clock tower.
We were drenched from the passing storm. Standing under this monument. We paused accepting the falling waters of the sky. Cowardly so, we never even spoke. Just admired. Simply and silently. Two statues stuck in a daze. Standing as skyscrapers amongst umbrellas.
Looking into each other for a moment that lasted long beyond both our years. The water washed away our wear and tears. The city vanished. The storm ceased to be a bother. The fish faded into the ocean. It was just me and her. Shipwrecked. Stranded. Alone. Or so we thought before. Soon learned, our destinations were never meant to be. We fell in love. Swiftly and unexpectedly. The way the heavens intended. Grey clouds blew through us both and out came the sun. If not for this treacherous storm, I would have never met... her.

- Nicholas A. McNutt
abcdefg1 Sep 2012
I’m built up with all the tension
Will I go into another dimension?
I’ve packed my favorite snacks
Including my only pair of slacks
I said goodbye to all my friends
I hope this wouldn’t be the end
I wish there was no rush
And I would totally love a slush
I remember to bring a weapon
It’s obviously only for protection
And a camera for my memories
My bathing suit for the sea
And my favorite winter jacket when there is a breeze
This trip better be for free
I’ll miss everyone I know
Even all my foe
I’m ready for this journey
Oh, there better be a gurney...

I hear the noise of the ship
It’s time to get on
I hear people singing a song
There is entertainment along the way
I didn’t even have to pay
Someone threw a block
I can’t believe I forgot my sunblock
I ate from a 5 star cuisine
It tastes so serene
5 hours have passed
Time went by so fast
I wonder how long this will last
The day is getting darker
And not too far away
I see some colorful lights
It was a splendid sight.

I was blinded by the lights
As I walk through the cave
There were millions of crystals
Some small some big
I might have seen some pigs
Then what amazed me the most were the people
They were taller than skyscrapers
And always smiled with glee
They ate strange exotic fruits
Then turned into brutes
There was nothing this place lacked
These apples would’ve killed Isaac
Then they led me to a hut
And brought me what looked like macadamia nuts
The place was so beautiful
I ate until I was full
Like a fat baby I slept the night away
And woke up by the bay
Wow wasn’t that a day
What else should I say?

I see a little girl
Cute as a pearl
She came from the tides
Looking for a ride
She gleams at everything I say
She even ate some hay
She imitates what I do
It’s hard to tell who’s who
I wonder why I’m here
Was I meant to have a beer?
Then it literally hit me
The little girl that I see
Was what I meant to be
I learned to have fun
Relax and say puns
Forget about all the taxes
Put away all my axes
This is why I’m here
It’s not for me to fear.

The little girl and I
Baked some pie
With maybe a few flies
Then we swam under the waterfall
And went to the mall
This lasted until fall
Now I must return
I’ll miss those exciting days
And all those scorching rays
But now I must go home
My family is there
I don’t know what to wear
They bought a big cake
All for ME and not to share
How I missed them so much
I began to lose all touch
I lived the night away
And I didn’t even have to pay
Now it is May
And I lay.
Julie Grenness Jul 2015
Skyscrapers in every nation,
Signs of mankind's aspiration,
Millions of plebs face starvation,
No dwellings for them, deprivation,
No, skyscrapers they keep building,
How many lilies are they gilding?
What else could they  be doing?
Inspired by the news. Feedback welcome.
WJ Niemand Apr 2015
There are those who
despise tight spaces
who hate confinement
at least in their own basement

There's some truth
I concur
I need room
not some gloomy tomb

still there are some
who are confined
by the dust below
and the clouds above

they desire
the width of the equator
and claim
the height to the stars

but in the end
with all man as a subject
with majestic skyscrapers
and treasuries filled to the brim

their death creates borders
implodes skyscrapers
and loots the coffers

alas, as they started
in incubators
they remain claustrophobic
in coffins

the world is not enough
because we are not enough
Ugo Nov 2012
Skyscrapers and mango trees wearing boxer briefs.

The tantalizing wind blows caressing paperclips and mortuary signs—
turning them indigo red for we all know that dead bodies are nothing but dead.

Hymns of love and soliloquies of the unconscious ego—
Id of our time but men of the past be our hero.
Leaving to wonder, if king Nebuchadnezzar was a crack-feign
would Coca Cola still educate penguins on the importance of Lesbian Existence?

For in this war of life, cockroaches are the real winners,
and the taste of excellence is only reserved for fire extinguishers —

so if nuclear clouds persist,
let the fire burn with love and you lay on the bed of oblivion
cuddling the moral that capitalism leads to schizophrenia.

So insure your sanity for free 99, this, with warm regards from yours truly,

                                                               ­              Rhizome of Golgotha.
sun stars moons Apr 2014
Her presence stole rooms,
and she knew it.
She walked the streets
with the moon in her pocket
and the stars in her eyes.
She had everyone on their knees
before her,
and she owned it.
She loved her lovers and she loved her haters.
Heels higher than New York skyscrapers
and standards to match.
She was no good,
but my god,
she was beautiful.
Waverly Apr 2012
Making love
is the city of ruin.

The worst kind of fog
captures it,
a fog where the streetlights
are not pushing out
light
into the right places.

Light falls only on the glossy mercedes
and it's rims
full of hope and wealth.

The skyscrapers
reach the sky
and finger the underbelly
of an afterlife,
as if there is something to look
forward
to.

The buses
transport
souls
and
promise,
or seem too.

But this is all a lie,
the lights only create light,
darkness grows,
the skyscrapers touch the sky,
yes,
but they don't know a thing
about goodness,
and the buses are full
of
hopelessness.

But when we make love,
it is like
we are only looking for the good things
in the city
as we get robbed blind.

When I touch your belly button,
I can feel your heart in your stomach,
so low and so unwanting
that it dropped
to a place of digestion,
of eating what we had
and ******* it out.

It is ok to realize
this untruth
late in the game,
it is wrong to continue
when we know of the untruth,
and that is what we are doing,
that's why I hate
you
and still *******.

I love the city,
in its ruinous returns
I keep fooling myself
into thinking
this is the best thing that's ever happened
to me.

Your ***** must be the greatest,
because I'll never leave
even when we call making love
a city of hope
when we ****
and it's a dystopia
of
destruction.
Ari Feb 2010
there are so many places to hide,

in my home at 17th and South screaming death threats at my roommates laughing diabolically playing  videogames and Jeopardy cooking quinoa stretching canvas the dog going mad frothing lunging  spastic to get the monkeys or the wookies or whatever random commandments we issue forth  drunken while Schlock rampages the backdrop,

at my uncle's row house on 22nd and Wallace with my shoes off freezing skipping class to watch March  Madness unwrapping waxpaper hoagies grimacing with each sip of Cherrywine or creamsicle  soda reading chapters at my leisure,

in the stacks among fiberglass and eternal florescent lima-tiled and echo-prone red-eyed and white-faced  caked with asbestos and headphones exhuming ossified pages from layers of cosmic dust  presiding benevolent,

in University City disguised in nothing but a name infiltrating Penn club soccer getting caught after  scoring yet still invited to the pure ***** joy of hell and heaven house parties of ice luge jungle  juice kegstand coke politic networking,

at Drexel's nightlit astroturf with the Jamaicans rolling blunts on the sidelines playing soccer floating in  slo-mo through billows of purple till the early morning or basketball at Penn against goggle- eyed professors in kneepads and copious sweat,

in the shadow tunnels behind Franklin Field always late night loner overlooking rust belt rails abandoned  to an absent tempo till tomorrow never looking behind me in the fear that someone is there,

at Phillies Stadium on glorious summer Tuesdays for dollar dog night laden with algebra geometry and  physics purposely forgetting to apply ballistics to the majestic arc of a home run or in the frozen  subway steam selling F.U. T.O. t-shirts to Eagles fans gnashing when the Cowboys come to town,

at 17th and Sansom in the morning bounding from Little Pete's scrambled eggs toast and black coffee  studying in the Spring thinking All is Full of Love in my ears leaving fog pollen footprints on the  smoking cement blooming,

at the Shambhala Center with dharma lotus dripping from heels soaking rosewater insides thrumming to the  groan of meditation,

at the Art Museum Greco-fleshed and ponderous counting tourists running the Rocky steps staring into shoji screen tatame teahouses,

at the Lebanese place plunked boldly in Reading Terminal Market buying hummus bumping past the Polish  and Irish on my way to the Amish with their wheelwagons packed with pretzels and honey and  chocolate and tea,

at the motheaten thrift store on North Broad buried under sad accumulations of ramshackle clothing  clowning ridiculous in the dim squinting at coathangers through magnifying glasses and mudflat  leather hoping to salvage something insane,

in the brown catacombed warrens of gutted Subterranea trying unsuccessfully to ignore bearded medicine

men adorned with shaman shell necklaces hawking incense bootlegs and broken Zippos halting conversation to listen pensive to the displacement of air after each train hurtles by,

at 30th Street Station cathedral sitting dwarfed by columns Herculean in their ascent and golden light  thunderclap whirligig wings on high circling the luminous waiting sprawled nascent on stringwood pews,

at the Masonic Temple next to City Hall, pretending to be a tourist all the while hoping scouring for clues in the cryptic grand architect apocrypha to expose global conspiracies,

at the Trocadero Electric Factory TLA Khyber Unitarian Church dungeon breaking my neck to basso  perfecto glitch kick drums with a giant's foot stampeding breakbeat holographic mind-boggled  hole-in-the-skull intonations,

at the Medusa Lounge Tritone Bob and Barbara's Silk City et cetera with a pitcher a pounder of Pabst and a  shot of Jim Beam glowing in the dark at the foosball table disco ball bopstepping to hip hop and  jazz and accordions and piano and vinyl,

in gray Fishtown at Gino's recording rap holding pizza debates on the ethics of sampling anything by  David Axelrod rattling tambourines and smiles at the Russian shopgirl downstairs still chained to  soul record crackles of antiquity spiraling from windows above,

at Sam Doom's on 12th and Spring Garden crafting friendship in greenhouse egg crate foam closets  breaking to scrutinize cinema and celebrate Thanksgiving blessed by holy chef Kronick,

in the company of Emily all over or in Kohn's Antiques salvaging for consanguinity and quirky heirlooms  discussing mortality and cancer and celestial funk chord blues as a cosmological constant and  communism and Cuba over mango brown rice plantains baking oatmeal chocolate chip cookies,

in a Coca Cola truck riding shotgun hot as hell hungover below the raging Kensington El at 6 AM nodding soft to the teamsters' curses the snagglesouled destitute crawling forth poisoned from sheet-metal shanty cardboard box projects this is not desolate,

at the impound lot yet again accusing tow trucks of false pretext paying up sheepish swearing I'll have my  revenge,

in the afterhour streets practicing trashcan kung fu and cinder block shotput shouting sauvage operatic at  tattooed bike messenger tribesmen pitstopped at the food trucks,

in the embrace of those I don't love the names sometimes rush at me drowned and I pray to myself for  asylum,

in the ciphers I host always at least 8 emcee lyric clerics summoning elemental until every pore ruptures  and their eyes erupt furious forever the profound voice of dreadlocked Will still haunting stray  bullet shuffles six years later,

in the caldera of Center City with everyone craning our skulls skyward past the stepped skyscrapers  beaming ear-to-ear welcoming acid sun rain melting maddeningly to reconstitute as concrete  rubber steel glass glowing nymphs,

in Philadelphia where every angle is accounted for and every megawatt careers into every throbbing wall where  Art is a mirror universe for every event ever volleyed through the neurons of History,

in Philadelphia of so many places to hide I am altogether as a funnel cloud frenetic roiling imbuing every corner sanctum sanctorum with jackhammer electromagnetism quivering current realizing stupefied I have failed so utterly wonderful human for in seeking to hide I have found

in Philadelphia
My best Ginsberg impression.
ANANDO SEN Dec 2009
Thirty feet tall Madonna, is one of the things-

My ultra-stylish city that grew up,

Rave, raunchy catwalks beneath those chandeliers-

The Toyota drives by the Manhattan Beach, amidst bikini wardrobe.

When I read those Taxi-dance barbettes-

I wish I could lost in their growling gowns,

All my wishes fulfilled one day and flew me down there-

My boasting finance job and some pals were African browns!

It was that ultimate visa down the Fashion Avenue-

Most of their lipstick glosses were supported by Chelsea revenue.

I could not breathe the invisible virus against my immunity,

The enigmatic pleasures that lived inside the skyscraper community-

I had no qualms while cherishing the barbeque restaurants poisoning,

My fascinations without imaginations had no logical reasoning-

Many of us at Saint Clair’s ward#3, NYC, were at once there fugitive-

Now moaning like chickens to be butchered, we are all *** positive!


Did you know that…

Pop diva Madonna is a gay icon and the gay community has embraced her as a pop culture icon. She was introduced to the gay community while still a teenager. It was her ballet teacher, Christopher Flynn, a gay man, who first told Madonna that she was beautiful. He introduced her to the local gay community of Detroit, Michigan, often taking her to the local gay bars. Flynn encouraged Madonna to walk away from her full scholarship to the University of Michigan and to move to Manhattan.



The disease of AIDS…
Was first uncovered in homosexual men
From Manhattan


Synopsis

What happens when your dreams turn into reality? It’s a paradigm that you celebrate, live life to the fullest. There is however, life that exists beyond this celebration, sometimes good and sometimes not so good like you expected. And when it becomes not so good like you expected, you spat with bitterness and associate the term bad. Anything against your wish and will is then bad and one day you might fall into live with this bad. All I can say is that they are individual retrospection.

This is what Manhattan Dreams exactly captures. The first half can successfully open the door of fascinations that a college teenager in search of a lucrative career and living might jump into- “Style, fashion, exuberance, beaches, skyscrapers, stardom and what not!” Everything is colorful about Manhattan, even the way it is spelt and pronounced. A financial job inside a long cherished skyscraper, international friends, restaurants, pubs, smoking, the kind of gay evenings are not only meant for Hollywood films but can happen to someone like you. And then one day, the world economy complains your presence there as a fugitive, you are fired from your job and your world crashes to a clinic or a hospital confirming you *** positive. What will you do then?

That is what you are getting from the second half of the poem. As if the drama has reached a ****** like after the interval in a film. There seems a sudden pause in life from where there leads the road to uncertainty, disappointment and delusion. This is where the poem ends, because this is where the human mind stops thinking often. A never before kind of bitterness cataracts the dreamy visions and the object of your dream becomes an excuse of your current defeat.

Manhattan Dreams is not a criticism of the gay culture. Neither it attempts to de-criminalize the society nor does it pollute the appeal of Manhattan at all. It is the victim’s individual retrospection in the other side of his celebrated life which is no more a celebration now. The stylish Manhattan is both a dream and a reality. It has nothing to do with your personal glory or agony. Depending upon the situation in your life it might serve as your forefront or background.
Alexander K Opicho
(Eldoret, Kenya;aopicho@yahoo.com)

It is not a half a yellow sun
Nor a full purple hibiscus
Neither a question of Americana
But the political tidbits of Africana
They are indeed a half a government
Neither a coalition nor coalescence
But a journey which starts with one
Very African mile in the sunny city of Nairobi
In the country Kenya where there is hakuna matata
Where gorgeous skyscrapers hang loosely
Like Towers of Singapore in a babellian ego
Swam of humanity in full pomp and glory
Money, property and cityish aura
Moving up and down in bluish collar task
Flock and throng like the north bound mating fish
In the waters of river Nile; O Nile!........,

Moving you down then the countries
Passing the geographical enigma
Of the Great Rift Valley view point
Putting a wonder working escapement before
Your eyes in which once the daughter of primitive
Political bourgeoisie rolled in a Germany Volkswagen
And gasped the last ****** breath
A beautiful Maasai breathe echoing
In the ***** of masculine bowels
The waves of erotically charged ions,

You then passing down to Nakuru minus
Your meat eating halt at carnivorous kikobey
Strait to Kiamba  area where you easily
Meet the Kalenjin militia in a tribal cleansement
Ruthlessly roasting the human steak of kikuyu merchants
In the church but not a mosque due to scarcity
Both young and old kikuyus being roasted
As they forlorn groan and wail;
Atherere ! atherere ! atherere ! niki kioru muntu wa lumbwa !,

Down you go again to a chilly town of  Eldoret
Where you get a ****** *******
Pursuing a bachelors course at the dumb
Moi university where low temperatures
Curtail lively learning in the pedagogy
Or pedagogy of the kipsigis ******,

Down you go a fresh to the town of Kitale
You meet with  maize and corn in the
Full regalia of colonial economy
In its ostensible memento  
Of the palimpsestish British Empire
In the brutish colonial history
Of man eat man civilization,

Then up you go, you beautiful nincompoop
To the slopes of pokotish kapenguria and
Again down slopes to Ortum valleys then whoopsy!
A half a government starts in full swing
The bush pokot youths utterly naked
Like the chimpanzees in Kakamega forest
Shoals of them and throngs of them
Each having a modern gun,a short gun
A Sten gun,a  machine gun,a slave raiding long gun,
Revolvers, the lethal AK 47,
Them pokot youths; extremely illiterate
Put extremely armed with extremely
Modern weapons like the last wonder of the world,

Up you go into the desert of Dr. Richard Leakey’s first home of man
In the land of the Turkana, to a toast of human misery
Where people are sick, people are naked
People are hungry, people die of starvations
After thorough hunger based emaciation
Redolent of purely   a half a government.
Begins foot tall grip-

mountain brain to it
       of and tall his shapes
crumble in poison operation
        from bend and strangle
mountain to bones

strangle and operation
                        from **** foot underpass groans

                         begins

They smoke wide legs city and tall the streets
Delivering the cold grip-
                                             and bend
                               crumble in of his tall bones
                               the foot with on blood

blood highways and
all of concrete smoke

They with on center
Oversees poison
SMOKE of the fields in spring is one,
Smoke of the leaves in autumn another.
Smoke of a steel-mill roof or a battleship funnel,
They all go up in a line with a smokestack,
Or they twist ... in the slow twist ... of the wind.
  
If the north wind comes they run to the south.
If the west wind comes they run to the east.
  By this sign
  all smokes
  know each other.
Smoke of the fields in spring and leaves in autumn,
Smoke of the finished steel, chilled and blue,
By the oath of work they swear: "I know you."
  
Hunted and hissed from the center
Deep down long ago when God made us over,
Deep down are the cinders we came from-
You and I and our heads of smoke.
  
Some of the smokes God dropped on the job
Cross on the sky and count our years
And sing in the secrets of our numbers;
Sing their dawns and sing their evenings,
Sing an old log-fire song:
  
You may put the damper up,
You may put the damper down,
The smoke goes up the chimney just the same.
  
Smoke of a city sunset skyline,
Smoke of a country dusk horizon-
  They cross on the sky and count our years.
  
Smoke of a brick-red dust
  Winds on a spiral
  Out of the stacks
For a hidden and glimpsing moon.
This, said the bar-iron shed to the blooming mill,
This is the slang of coal and steel.
The day-gang hands it to the night-gang,
The night-gang hands it back.
  
Stammer at the slang of this-
Let us understand half of it.
  In the rolling mills and sheet mills,
  In the harr and boom of the blast fires,
  The smoke changes its shadow
  And men change their shadow;
  A ******, a ***, a bohunk changes.
  
  A bar of steel-it is only
Smoke at the heart of it, smoke and the blood of a man.
A runner of fire ran in it, ran out, ran somewhere else,
And left-smoke and the blood of a man
And the finished steel, chilled and blue.
  
So fire runs in, runs out, runs somewhere else again,
And the bar of steel is a gun, a wheel, a nail, a shovel,
A rudder under the sea, a steering-gear in the sky;
And always dark in the heart and through it,
  Smoke and the blood of a man.
Pittsburg, Youngstown, Gary-they make their steel with men.
  
In the blood of men and the ink of chimneys
The smoke nights write their oaths:
Smoke into steel and blood into steel;
Homestead, Braddock, Birmingham, they make their steel with men.
Smoke and blood is the mix of steel.
  
  The birdmen drone
  in the blue; it is steel
  a motor sings and zooms.
  
Steel barb-wire around The Works.
Steel guns in the holsters of the guards at the gates of The Works.
Steel ore-boats bring the loads clawed from the earth by steel, lifted and lugged by arms of steel, sung on its way by the clanking clam-shells.
The runners now, the handlers now, are steel; they dig and clutch and haul; they hoist their automatic knuckles from job to job; they are steel making steel.
Fire and dust and air fight in the furnaces; the pour is timed, the billets wriggle; the clinkers are dumped:
Liners on the sea, skyscrapers on the land; diving steel in the sea, climbing steel in the sky.
  
Finders in the dark, you Steve with a dinner bucket, you Steve clumping in the dusk on the sidewalks with an evening paper for the woman and kids, you Steve with your head wondering where we all end up-
Finders in the dark, Steve: I hook my arm in cinder sleeves; we go down the street together; it is all the same to us; you Steve and the rest of us end on the same stars; we all wear a hat in hell together, in hell or heaven.
  
Smoke nights now, Steve.
Smoke, smoke, lost in the sieves of yesterday;
Dumped again to the scoops and hooks today.
Smoke like the clocks and whistles, always.
  Smoke nights now.
  To-morrow something else.
  
Luck moons come and go:
Five men swim in a *** of red steel.
Their bones are kneaded into the bread of steel:
Their bones are knocked into coils and anvils
And the ******* plungers of sea-fighting turbines.
Look for them in the woven frame of a wireless station.
So ghosts hide in steel like heavy-armed men in mirrors.
Peepers, skulkers-they shadow-dance in laughing tombs.
They are always there and they never answer.
  
One of them said: "I like my job, the company is good to me, America is a wonderful country."
One: "Jesus, my bones ache; the company is a liar; this is a free country, like hell."
One: "I got a girl, a peach; we save up and go on a farm and raise pigs and be the boss ourselves."
And the others were roughneck singers a long ways from home.
Look for them back of a steel vault door.
  
They laugh at the cost.
They lift the birdmen into the blue.
It is steel a motor sings and zooms.
  
In the subway plugs and drums,
In the slow hydraulic drills, in gumbo or gravel,
Under dynamo shafts in the webs of armature spiders,
They shadow-dance and laugh at the cost.
  
The ovens light a red dome.
Spools of fire wind and wind.
Quadrangles of crimson sputter.
The lashes of dying maroon let down.
Fire and wind wash out the ****.
Forever the **** gets washed in fire and wind.
The anthem learned by the steel is:
  Do this or go hungry.
Look for our rust on a plow.
Listen to us in a threshing-engine razz.
Look at our job in the running wagon wheat.
  
Fire and wind wash at the ****.
Box-cars, clocks, steam-shovels, churns, pistons, boilers, scissors-
Oh, the sleeping **** from the mountains, the ****-heavy pig-iron will go down many roads.
Men will stab and shoot with it, and make butter and tunnel rivers, and mow hay in swaths, and slit hogs and skin beeves, and steer airplanes across North America, Europe, Asia, round the world.
  
Hacked from a hard rock country, broken and baked in mills and smelters, the rusty dust waits
Till the clean hard weave of its atoms cripples and blunts the drills chewing a hole in it.
The steel of its plinths and flanges is reckoned, O God, in one-millionth of an inch.
  
Once when I saw the curves of fire, the rough scarf women dancing,
Dancing out of the flues and smoke-stacks-flying hair of fire, flying feet upside down;
Buckets and baskets of fire exploding and chortling, fire running wild out of the steady and fastened ovens;
Sparks cracking a harr-harr-huff from a solar-plexus of rock-ribs of the earth taking a laugh for themselves;
Ears and noses of fire, gibbering gorilla arms of fire, gold mud-pies, gold bird-wings, red jackets riding purple mules, scarlet autocrats tumbling from the humps of camels, assassinated czars straddling vermillion balloons;
I saw then the fires flash one by one: good-by: then smoke, smoke;
And in the screens the great sisters of night and cool stars, sitting women arranging their hair,
Waiting in the sky, waiting with slow easy eyes, waiting and half-murmuring:
  "Since you know all
  and I know nothing,
  tell me what I dreamed last night."
  
Pearl cobwebs in the windy rain,
in only a flicker of wind,
are caught and lost and never known again.
  
A pool of moonshine comes and waits,
but never waits long: the wind picks up
loose gold like this and is gone.
  
A bar of steel sleeps and looks slant-eyed
on the pearl cobwebs, the pools of moonshine;
sleeps slant-eyed a million years,
sleeps with a coat of rust, a vest of moths,
a shirt of gathering sod and loam.
  
The wind never bothers ... a bar of steel.
The wind picks only .. pearl cobwebs .. pools of moonshine.
Katelyn Knapp Jul 2013
Existential cruelty of a long abandoned Friday
Remembered once, twice
then forgotten by 8 pm.

The shots of Chiraq and memories of Hatshepsut linger effortlessly on his doorstep in the dark of sunlight,
but smiles in his lap disappear on the pavement beneath skyscrapers
before the dead of noon.

His mind travels to the curvy bodies of Monroe types.
A palm, a fist, a thumb
caress ******* and legs before he wakes
to find hair on his pillow and lips in his face
where only days before a yellow sky and bright green eyes waved and faded.

And all because interracial pride and prejudice leaked toils and tensions in the face of Basquiat
Where once African princes and white German queens
spent Tuesday afternoons charming their ways into each others' beds
and sighing at the disgust stamped on the faces of strangers.
Sarah Elizabeth Feb 2018
The sun
Is glad to see your face,
Your unseen grace,
Your Hidden space,
Your
Silhouette now covered in sun beams.
It seems
You've been
Packed away for a very long time
Its almost a crime how you've
Shielded yourself from his hydrogenity.
The sun
Is glad to see your smile
Your pearly whites
And colorless lips
Soft,
Too cold,
needing,
Craving,
warmth.
His
Golden fingers graze your cheek
And Bring life back to your pallor.
Who knew
Living as a recluse would make you so blue,
So unidentifiable?
He Brings you back from the dead
Pulling your soul back out
into your flesh.
Fresh
And healed,
At least Temporarily
But it
is enough,
His touch,
To liven your now tanning skin
To Make you akin to his own:
A sunflower
Trapped in the dark
3 inches tall instead of 3 feet
Now starting to grow beyond skyscrapers with his aid,
if his light is what's causing you to
Stand up straight
His heat is what is reviving your heartbeat
A Crescendo from silence to a slight pitter patter
Almost as soft as rain.
Almost as if crying.
If you listen hard enough,
You just might hear it wimpering, waking up from it's hibernation.
It
Wants to go back to sleep
But he
Refuses to give up his efforts of recesitation
For he knows it isn't for naught,
For he knows that it is working,
Your heart stirring
Beating
Louder as you step further out of the door frame
Let him
Cradle your soul with his firey hands
Let him
Bring you back from the dead.
You Look so much more alive when you let him work his magic on you.
The world
Has missed you.
Looking around,
Your mind starts whirring,
Analysing The outside world.
The Green of the grass and the
Blue of the sky,
All Graces of the solar angel shining over you,
Shining into you.
Giving you sight,
Giving you life,
Giving you the things you couldn't have before.
Let his
Golden happiness seep into your freezing bones,
And,
Turn them into torches
And burn brighter, in the daylight
Than you ever did in the darkness.
Unloading my notes onto hepo! This is a piece I never got to share in poetry club, so I'll share it with you guys (:
D Awanis Sep 2018
My mind is a busy street
its twinkling lights and noisy horns won't shut
whilst the walls are made out of skyscrapers,
only when the rain is pouring it began to quiet

My mind is a busy street
indefinite amount of strangers are crossing every now and then
leaving their footprints on every intersection,
little did they know it cost me bleeding wounds
or In One of the Bars in the City*

You remind me about the brightest
spots here in the city. The spots that used to be your
memory, lavishing into the thought of the moon,
how it chiseled itself for the night to claim
it as its smile. So, this night, perhaps,

is a freckled smiling face. Your face
to be exact. How the stars scatter
correctly to form your freckles because
of your genes. Beautiful, sparkling
on the clean sheet of your skin.

Yes, this is how you remind me
about the city that seen and told

our story. How each wall of each skyscraper is
a page to tell a chapter. The flashing headlights
of each vehicle, how they became our crayons.
We are merely children playing, drawing pictograms
on counter doors. I mentioned skyscrapers. I was wrong;

there were no skyscrapers in Manila. Only in Makati.

But that never changes the fact
of this city, an open book for all of those

muggy nights when you religiously
places your lips against mine and eventually
against my skin; when you first made friction
talk. And it spoke every language I knew so fluently

that even our moans are words fit
for a poem. Ridiculous, jaded, fading,

but still, this mug of beer sparkle against the spotlights
of this bar. And yes, you are

sparkling like a city so alive
at the dead of night.
ryn Aug 2014
Wish I had a special pair of lenses
A tool for me; just for my senses
That grant me binocular vision
Allow me to see with heightened perception.

Peer through mountain crags, over dunes of sand
Pierce skyscrapers in familiar foreign lands
A sight beyond nimbus clouds
Amazingly through temporal shrouds.

Past breathtaking ridges and quiet plateaus
Alongside a ****** of black-feathered crows
Tripping over singing brooks and moss-covered pebbles
Herds of quadrupeds as they frolic and gambol
Extraordinary views and candy for the eyes
Travelling linear between earth and skies.

But...

You're too far away for me to see
Even if bestowed upon me...

Still,

I wish my eyes binocular...
Because I need you so much closer...

— The End —