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Rebecca Gismondi Apr 2014
"you taste it"
I feel it with you
as I am enveloped in this sweater that
like you
comforting and warm, like you
woven and fragile, like you
itchy and scratchy, like you
if I could wear this sweater forever I would
to be held by the very fabric that has hugged your person that has hugged me
that I long for
that I think of as I remember that this is the first thing I put on after you felt me
all of me, with you
that this was the first thing you let me have, and take
that this was what you trusted me with
your Christmas sweater
what I put on for reassurance
that you want me and need me
what I put on for safety
when I feel like I'm losing it
I'm falling now though
in this sweater
backwards into that ocean
and I'm scared, sweater
that as days pass he loses me
that his image of me fades and drifts away
that he forgets the sound of my voice
that my touch on his body has evaporated
sweater, I want to hold him as he does me
this image in my mind of his smirk
his lanky but grand stature
his sturdy hands and brittle nails
his smell of Old Spice
his blonde bed head
I want to hold it all
and I want to hear it all, sweater
how he used to light everything in his path on fire as a child
how he owns a mug with his face on it as a little boy
how he lost it all to one person, like me
sweater I can feel myself falling
I'm losing my balance
I can't stand
I'm trying to protect my heart because I'm afraid to let it go
but a part of me fears I already have
and it's lost
in his arms
bare and bleeding
and yet here I am
wearing his sweater
alone and yearning.
ace Nov 2014
my sweater keeps me warm
when i am cold in study hall
and when the art room is 43 degrees

my sweater keeps me warm
when it is raining outside
and within my body
because i am soaked to the bone

my sweater keeps me warm
even though it's the only thing
i'm wearing in the winter
and my breath forms clouds in the night sky

my sweater keeps me warm
because it has flowers in the fall
and reminds me who i am
that i am who i want to be
that there is only one of me

my sweater keeps in the heat
and hides invisible bruises in the summer
but only when i want it to
i can to show myself if i want to
i can take off my sweater
when i want to, you see
my sweater keeps me warm
when their fingers are like ice
just because you can feel
doesn't mean that something's there

my sweater stops cold hands
from groping my chest
as if they're trying to find a treasure

my sweater
is the oil when we have no heat
igniting a new warmth to cradle others
but only if i want it to

my sweater is mine,
no one else's
and I get to decide what to do with it

i don't need
i'm okay with my warm bit of symbolism
that fuels my independence
and kindles my soul
no one can save me in this matter
only i can help myself

my sweater keeps me warm
when i have a lack of faith
and no God to believe in
because i am my own savior.
Lauren Marie Dec 2013
I own an ugly sweater
It has tatters and tears
Misshapen patterns
And holes everywhere

From the missing tag
That’s been savagely clawed and cut out
Why companies make them so scratchy
I have yet to find out.

Cheese grader sized holes
From where hungry moths attacked
For their personal enjoyment
Or a midnight snack.

A perfectly good sweater
And being prone to sharp corners
Don’t pair well together
Just ask my unraveling thread
That’s been caught onto edges
And hideously snagged.

It’s humorously sad
Go ahead, you can laugh
Your sweater is next
The moths are coming
I promise you that.

The bottom frays like a hippy
I would say it looks cool
But that style died in the seventies
Just wait, that that trend will recycle
I’m not in denial.

The fabric and material
What’s left of it
Is a delicate cashmere…

Alright fine, it’s a scratchy wool
Ancient, archaic, and feels like Velcro.

Sometimes leaves cling
So I look like a tree
The optimistic side of me
Just says nature loves me.

But I could do without the bees
Ohh so many stings…

The insides are bumpy
From being cleaned on high heat
Now my sweater suffers from dwarfism
It’s challenged vertically.

The wrists are stretched out
From being rolled up and down
Permanently smells like dirt or meat
Depending on my activity
Or what I had to eat.

Blackened mascara speckles the sleeve
From dramatic tears
Or being too lazy to grab a tissue
As if my sweater doesn’t have enough issues
I drag in my problems
My pendulum swinging emotions
If my sweater were human
I swear, it would leave me.

It’s been thrown on the floor
Tossed in the back of my car
Tied around my waist
And forgotten in stores
I always say sorry
I hope it forgives me.

From the sleeves that cradles sneezes
Hugs are completed
Sharing germs or sharing love
All becomes one experience.
You’re welcome.

The front like a canvas
A Jackson ******* painting
Ubiquitous splatters of coffee stains.

Missing sips that dripped off my lips
From being scolding hot
Or scarce concentration
But nine times out of ten
It’s my deficient attention.

Looking like it’s been through hell
And no denying it has.
Sure, I could donate this human sized rag
But they wouldn’t know the story behind
Each stain and frayed thread.

They would see the sweater as just ugly
Dismiss there was even a journey
They wouldn’t ask
The why’s or how’s it came to be.

This sweater is not just fabric
It’s a memory
An extension of me.

But seriously,
I should get this dry-cleaned
It’s disgusting.

But I love it.
Angella Joves Jul 2015
Bom Bom
Bom Bom
Bom Bom
Do you hear that?

That's the sound of my heart beating.

Bom Bom
Bom Bom
Bom Bom
Do you hear that?
That's the sound of your heart beating.

It was first day of October. I was wearing my blue sweater,
You know the one I bought at Dillard's? The one with a
double-knitted hem and holes in the ends of the sleeves
that I could poke my thumbs through
when it was cold but I didn't feel like wearing gloves?
It was the same sweater you said made my eyes look
like reflections of the stars on the ocean.
You promised to love me forever that night. . .
and boy
did you

It was the first day of December this time. I was wearing
my blue sweater, you know the one I bought at Dillard's?
The one with a double-knitted hem and holes in the ends of the sleeves that I could poke my thumbs through when it was cold I
didn't feel like wearing gloves?
It was the same sweater you said made my eyes look like
reflections of the stars on the ocean.
I told you I was three weeks late.
You told me it was fate.
You promised to love me forever that night. . .
and boy
did you

It was the first day of May. I was wearing my blue sweater,
although this time the double-stitched hem was worn
and the strength of each thread tested as they were pulled
tight against my growing belly. You know one.
The same one I bought at Dillard's?
The one with holes in the ends of the sleeves that I
could poke my thumbs through when it was cold but
I didn't feel like wearing gloves?
It was the same sweater you said made my eyes look like
reflections of the stars on the ocean.

The SAME sweater you RIPPED off my body
as you shoved me to the floor,
calling me a *****,
telling me
you didn't love me

Bom Bom
Bom Bom
Bom Bom
Do you hear that? That's the sound of my heart beating.

Bom Bom
Bom Bom
Bom Bom
Do you hear that? That's the sound of your heart beating.

Do you hear that? Of course you don't.
That's the silence of my womb because you
A beautiful poem from the book I slammed by Colleen Hoover. god, it was achingly beautiful.
Jolijn Sep 2018
The smell of your sweater makes me think about the times we had together.
About the first time, I smelled your scent and thought to myself: ‘This is the smell of the person I am falling for.’ I saved your smell in my memories, so I would not forget.
The smell of your sweater makes me think about the first time I woke up next to you and crawled my body against yours. The way you sniffed my hair and told me I smelled nice. The way I kissed your chest and held on tight.
The smell of your sweater makes me think about how you looked at me. Like I was the most precious thing in the world and the way that look made me feel so beautiful.
The smell of your sweater makes me want to look at you like I used to look at you.
The smell of your sweater gives me butterflies imagining your arms around me, your kisses on my cheeks, my lips, my neck, my breast.

The smell of your sweater makes me cry because all those things are out of reach for me now. The smell makes me want to scream because I don’t know how to fix this and make it better. It makes me want to punch the walls until my knuckles bleed, but I won’t feel it compared to the way I feel about losing you.
The smell reminds me of the way you loved me and how I don't want you to stop loving me just because you can’t reach me and I can’t reach you...
It makes me think of the thousands of miles between us.

The smell of your sweater makes me think of love and the heartbreak that comes with it.
Emelia Ruth Oct 2012
Blue eyes,
not like the ocean tides
or a pretty sky
but blue,
with strands of white
and miscilaneous colors
weaved into the fibers.
like my sweater.

Blonde hair,
***** and smooth.
Not like the sandy beach
or the dry grass in the field.
But blonde,
and you scratch your head a lot.
like my sweater.

Pink Lips.
Not like any flower
or beautiful sunset.
But pink,
with blinding white stars
hidden behind them.
like my sweater.

across your face.
Not like splatter paint
or migrating birds.
But freckled,
little dots dancing
on your cheeks.
like my sweater.

Pale skin.
Not like fresh snow
or the paper these words are on.
But pale,
and warm as you hold my hand.
like my sweater.

And with every
stitch and knot of this sweater,
I embrace your love
and how every morning you'll
walk that extra distance
just to give me a hug.
And I always wear our sweater.
PMc Oct 2018

Sitting board-room style for hours on end, her sweater on – sweater off
at times too cool to concentrate,
        other times not wanting to perspire
they both thought it a shame to waste such a lovely day indoors
at times staring out the window trash blustered along the street,
at times watching her, sweater on – sweater off

He was happy to buy lunch hoping they could leave office confines
      even for an hour
the sun and the brisk walk for sandwiches and tea
       would warm them sufficiently
to inevitably leave off, the sweater off that afternoon

He admired her – not just to look at - but appreciate
the nape of her neck, soft smooth shoulders giving way
        to the work-out bicepts
it was inconceivable that a man in his right mind
would cast such treasures aside
smallish ******* still-firm protruding from the blouse
        beneath the off-sweater
breathing in – breathing out

He knew so very little about female biology,
        being a man was difficult enough
curious to learn more about her “change of life”
almost apologetic about her wrestling with
         sweater on – sweater off
yet wise enough to steer clear, leaving such questions unasked.

The distraction for him was much more approval, than gawk
wondering whether she would quietly smile
during the occasional too long glare
or would she alley-slap him silly for being so brutishly insensitive
ogling while she struggled with sweater on – sweater off

Pen in hand, head down, back-to-work, such questions left unasked
                              although the appreciation continues.......
Based on a true story.  It was hard to concentrate - and not only because the woman was a lovely character.  For some reason I took notice of her struggle.  I've seen it before but never to the extent I did that day.  Lovely moments.
Bunhead17 Nov 2013
All I am is a man
I want the world in my hands
I hate the beach
But I stand in California
With my toes in the sand

Use the sleeves of my sweater
Let's have an adventure
Head in the clouds but my gravity's centered
Touch my neck and I'll touch yours
You in those little high waisted shorts, oh

She knows what I think about
And what I think about
One love, two mouths
One love, one house
No shirt, no blouse
Just us, you find out
Nothing that we don't wanna tell you about, no

'Cause it's too cold
For you here right now
So let me hold
Both your hands in the holes of my sweater

And if I may just take your breath away
I don't mind if it's not much to say
Sometimes the silence guides our minds to
Move to a place so far away

The goose bumps start to raise
The minute that my left hand meets your waist
And then I watch your face
Put my finger on your tongue
'Cause you love the taste yeah

These hearts adore
Everyone the other beats hardest for
Inside this place is warm
Outside it starts to pour

Coming down
One love, two mouths
One love, one house
No shirt, no blouse
Just us, you find out
Nothing that I wouldn't wanna tell you about, no, no, no

'Cause it's too cold
For you here right now
So let me hold
Both your hands in the holes of my sweater

'Cause it's too cold
For you here and now
So let me hold
Both your hands in the holes of my sweater

Whoa, whoa...

Whoa, whoa, whoa...

Whoa, whoa, whoa...

Whoa, whoa, whoa...

Whoa, whoa, whoa...

Whoa, whoa...

'Cause it's too cold
For you here right now
So let me hold
Both your hands in the holes of my sweater

It's too cold
For you here right now
Let me hold
Both your hands in the holes of my sweater

And it's too cold,
It's too cold,
The holes of my sweater...
This song is so beautiful..."Sweater Weather" by The Neighbourhood. ♫
AJ Feb 2014
behind the creaky old door,
in the middle of the hall
lay a shelf of forgotten things
the old board games,
a box full of mittens,
nana's yellow coat,
and that bright red sweater.

i had never seen that sweater,
i'd remember if i had
the threads are burning scarlet
and it fit me like a charm.

the moment i laid eyes on it
i knew that it was mine
its coarse wool clung to my body
like a kid clings to its mom
i wrapped the cloth around me
and knew that i was home.

i ran into grandma's bedroom
to show her my new find
only to see a weary look
and hear the catch in her worn voice
she said that the sweater was her father's
he wore it like a champ
his muscled limbs and
his pale skin
left it tight around his arms
and she looked at me once over
and then nodded her head
she said, that it fit me almost perfectly
and that it should be mine, instead.

so i walk these halls
in my bright red sweater
carrying my family history
and the smell of his cologne
to them it's just a fashion statement
but i know it's so much more
this sweater is the link
across generations,
across time,
to my long gone grandfather
who i never got to know.

the sweater is no longer
on the shelf of forgotten things
because my grandfather is gone
but this sweater proves
that he will never be forgotten.
furies Sep 2014
I've been lounging in the sweater
I wear it even when I know I'll be with
People that would provide their own sweaters.
But nothing can warm me like the sweater.
I wear it year round, despite the weather.
I once let another's fingers unzip the sweater
and the next moment I was across the room.
I apologized of course, but those fingers
Never did touch me again..

I know why people are tied to objects
I know why sweaters are so sentimental
The person whose comfort I seek
Could not have picked better torture
Than the torture of leaving me the sweater.
I broke the sweater wearer,
But now the sweater will break me.
Chester might need a sweater
A sweater a sweater
Chester needs a sweater
Because it is too cold
You see it is at the start of winter
So Chester needs a sweater
To keep himself warm
You see there are many floats
To spring out community
Time to say duddity
Chester needs a sweater
To keep
To keep
To keep himself warm
On Christmas he drinks eggnog
Just like a cold Freddo frog
Chester needs a sweater
Just to keep warm
Just to keep warm
Anna Wood Jun 2012
Beneath my bed covered in layers of dust
Lies an old and worn out photograph
It's Christmas time and children huddle together
Wearing holiday sweaters in red or green
But one child seems to have a personality all his own
The boy in the bright blue sweater

Time passes, I see him once or twice a year
Always so different, his personality intrigued me
We were the best of friends when we were together
His unique charm always making me smile
Then once he confessed his feelings were stronger
The boy in the bright blue sweater

We dated then, that boy and me
We shared every feeling, every secret, every story
I felt like a princess with him as my prince
Whenever I broke down, he'd dry my tears
It didn't take long before I fell in love
With the boy in the bright blue sweater

Then one day, my life can to a sudden halt
When that boy said he didn't love me
Tears fell like pouring rain drops in a fearful storm
My heart shattered like glass into tiny pieces
He wanted to feel popular, be like everyone else
Anyone but the boy in the bright blue sweater

I don't see him now, we never talk
To him it's like I never even existed
But me, I don't know what to think anymore
Bestfriend to boyfriend to enemy to stranger
But I am sure of this, to me he will always be
The boy in the bright blue sweater
Emperor Icecream Jun 2013
A coin in a sweater.
more like a change from
a more important
transaction in a grocery store
kept, just kept away from the sun

Still a coin in a sweater
used in winter
as the weather gets colder

he puts his hand in his sweater

still a coin in a sweater.

"He'll probably need me when he needs a coin
to buy an ice cream on summer"

but no one wears a sweater
in the middle of summer.
I Don't Care Aug 2013
You're like an old sweater.
I only see you when it's cold.
Each stitch, braid, and knit,
Delicately weave our memories,
Into a string of warmth and comfort.

But it's an old sweater.
Meaning that there are holes,
And places where the stitches become undone,
Like the relationship that we once shared.

So yes,
You're an old sweater.
Maybe one that I bought at a thrift shop,
Because even though I wore you,
You were never really mine.
Ingrid Ohls Oct 2017
Something as simple as refolding your sweater.
Pulling the grey fabric close to my chin.
When I put my cheek right up to that sweater,
I can feel it all.
Every single hug you ever gave me.
It breaks me down,
I have to take a break from reality
Escaping to a quiet, private room.
I sit down and I can feel.
You in this moment are here, so incredibly close to me,
In this moment I want to give you a million missed hugs.
There is so much I want to talk to you about.
So many things I want to ask you.
So many memories that you would have loved to be there for dad.
I wish I could have seen the look on your face,
At the end of Azlyn’s first dance recital?
She was our perfect little show stealer.
I would love to sit with you again.
Coffee in one hand, and a smoke in the other.
We could look at each other, with the feeling of succeeding.
While we smile the most genuine smiles
While we are filled with pride.
Staring at that amazing work of art,
That I can’t believe is my first baby girl.
She was your everything,
Please know Dad, you loved her well.
I am glad she saw papa, that she had you in her life.
The dad I remember, the amazing one with MS
That wasn’t quite so sick, wasn’t losing his strength.
That I didn’t have to help you with things.
Things you wanted to do, but you couldn’t anymore.
I am glad to know you trusted me more than anybody else,
After yourself.

I hold the sweater to my cheek and I close my eyes again.
I see my dad’s shoulders shaking, holding in a laugh.
When he knows the hilarious ending to a joke and no one else does.
I can see him once again ordering 56 pies individually delivered to his truck.  
On Saturday afternoons, while we sit out back.
Playing in the water,
Then I make you play market with me.
We **** some snails, as you laugh at me
I am in a flower girl dress from my cousins wedding.
I see us on saturday mornings at 5 am,
Watching rockin rhymes fairytales.
It was the only time the show was on.
I watched a taped one once, instantly hooked.
Then you spent the week reviewing the entire week
using the tv guide.
You found it for me.
You were so excited to tell me,
That I could watch my favourite show,
I loved our Saturdays together Dad.
We would watch the show,
Then listen to the radio show.
That would have the cartoon trivia call in contest.
Dad, you always knew the answer and we won
So many things, one sticks out the most.

We won tickets to Canada’s Wonderland.
I wanted to go so bad, I had never been anywhere like that.
Rides, actual roller coasters, a water park.
In places like that though, you would be stuck.
You would be left out just because of something as simple as a door frame.
But you were there, watching me
Maybe not the best view,
Probably not the way either of us wanted it.
But you were there dad watching me.

So when I held your sweater tonight I knew.
You are still watching me Dad,
With love and care in your heart.
It may not be the seat you wanted to have.
I know I wish that it wasn’t this way.
4 years after you died.
Folding a large grey woolen sweater tonight.
I felt you there with me, I got a hug from you.
I cried and you were there with me.
For the first time in four years I felt whole again.
Like I had a family again.
Someone believed in me,
Appreciated who I was just the way I am.
I love you Dad, and thank you for being in my life.
It was great seeing you again Dad,
Seeing your face again,
Hearing your voice,
Comforting my anxiety.
I was reminded that you are always watching me.
Just not from the ideal seat.
But then again it never was.
Alexis Martin Aug 2015
summer was my favorite yellow sweater
a poly blend of cotton, mental stability, and personal triumphs from the previous months
my summer sweater was the best I ever had
smelling of campfires and kisses and travels and euphoria
but, it had one fatal flaw
the loose thread
the loose thread that I chose to ignore until it got snagged on his car door handle the night he kissed me
the loose thread that then began to unravel the sweater
for a little while, it was still wearable
I could keep it together with the assistance of safety pins and wishful thinking
but now I sit here, naked on the hard wood floor
clinging to the big bright yellow mess that was once my favorite summer sweater
wishing I could go back to the beginning and just tie that ******* loose thread a little tighter
so that I would never have to let go of my favorite summer sweater
Tim Isabella Nov 2015
Depression is an ugly Christmas sweater your mother bought you, but you never want to wear, but never want to get rid of, either.  It's not her fault, as much as you tend to blame her for it. It's not anyone's fault, really, but *******, that thing is just ******* atrocious and not very-well humored. You do your best to keep it buried and hidden, no one can know that you have it, it's an embarrassment and now, because of it, so are you. It'll be in the back of your mind, in the back of your drawers, the whole time. Any time someone mentions Christmas, you'll rub the back of your head 'cause it'll come to mind, and flood with it hundreds of other terrible memories. Almost everyone has one. Those that do, understand the importance and the significance of it, but those that don't, will always look at you funny. Wonder what the hell you're doing. Set that Christmas sweater on fire while you're still wearing it. Act casual. This is normal. Everyone stops and stares, but no one offers or tries to help you. Soon you realize that it's no one's job to. The only person in the room with a fire extinguisher is you. Are you gonna put it out? Or are you gonna let the whole house burn down? Suddenly the flames are out, and no one noticed them but you. Funny, the sweater is just fine. You can burn it, stain it, cut it, slash it, destroy it in any way you can think of, but it will still be just fine. Everything will be just fine. Tell yourself "everything will be just fine." Tell everyone around you "Everything will be just fine" This sweater will make you a liar, but even when, and especially when, you don't believe it, tell everyone that everything will be just fine, because it has to be. They can't worry about you. You want them to more than anything, but you can't let them know they should be worried. They should already know. They should already know. When they ask you "what's wrong" or "why the long face," you honest *******, you lie to them. You lie to their face. You look up and you tell them "Don't worry, everything's just fine. Can I have some more eggnog?"
We went to the movies and I didn't bring a sweater.
But the night was coldly filled with goosebump raising weather.
There were goosebumps on my skin but I didn't have my sweater.
I thought it would be better if we sat closer together.
You wrapped your arms around me and were my warmth spreader.
You made my heart melt and now I will forever be your debtor.

Who wanted me
to go to Chicago
on January 6th?
I did!

The night before,
20 below zero
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.

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,

Kansas City,
St. Louis,
New Orleans,
Mexico City
and Montreal
salute her.

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.

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 from where?
It’s north of Caracas and Los Angeles,
east of Fairbanks,
west of Dublin
and south of not much.

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.

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

A teacher named Heidi
gives all she has to her students.
She has great expectations for them all.
Heidi believes in the future.

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

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.

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.

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.
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.

an important fossil fuel
denominated in
good ole greenbacks.

not just hogwash
on the Wabash,
but bacon, eggs
and flapjacks
are on the menu
of every diner in Jersey
as the “All American.”

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'.

I think its hardy.

the new age substitute
for hamburger
goes great with tofu lasagna.

ADM creates ethanol,
they want us to drive cleaner cars.

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.

and Istanbul's
best traders
are only half as good
as the average trader in 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,
and estuaries
it’s tentacles reach.

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
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!


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
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
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,
long underwear,
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,
and more.

Always more.
Much much more
in Chicago.

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
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!

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
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
all layers,
on which
is built,
then dies.
To be
returned again
to the lower
where it can
take root
and grow
out onto
the great plains.

the nation,
its people
with its

A blessing,

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!

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,
row houses,
and you’ll hear the Blues
whispered like
a quiet prayer.

Tidewater Blues
from Virginia,
Delta Blues
from the lower
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,
for a new start.
Poor and
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

The family
begins to
like a snail
sprinkled with salt;
and a mother
and her children
just disappear
into the pavement
at the corner
of Dearborn,
in Chicago.


Robert Johnson
Sweet Home Chicago

Added today to commemorate the birthday of Carl Sandburg
Karen Browner May 2012
I got up this morning
and put on - that sweater you like.

Slipping it on, in my head
I heard your voice gentle and caressing
"I like that sweater on you".

From the tone in your voice
I believe if there had been another choice -
you would prefer my sweater off, not on.

Maybe today I will see you and
if I do, say - something nice about my sweater,
because I thought of you.
Tommy Johnson Dec 2013
You can hear the voices of our peers being silenced, ignored, shunned and distorted.
Staggering out of their bedroom doorways to the street corner to score a dime bag.
Bright, insightful millennials freezing in search of warmth from something to believe in that will encourage them to look forward to see another day.
Where our economy has made financial prudence clear when talking about education, yet price tags of university tuition's skyrocket.
The refused, the ones with hope but no money or scholarships; tread the streets with the echoes of electro house pulsing in their skulls.
Those who strip themselves down and shred their own morals to scraps just to find themselves and to see their own limitations.
Searching for answers to the unknown, to ascertain what they are, who they are and why.
Timid in high school, pushed along with nothing and no one to put their creative vigor into.
The squeakiest wheels that were never even considered to be given a good greasing.
Faculties giving them lethargic hellos on the first day of school, bestowing celebrated goodbyes to them on graduation day, diplomas in hand.
Now are the ones slumped over in a lackadaisical position contemplating how they can afford an education.
They work eight to ten at seven twenty five an hour Monday to Friday; and weekends staying in as not to blow their earnings.
Those who commute to university and balance a job with it, I applaud you.
The bewilderment of adulthood, the overabundance of pressure and responsibility.
Awakened from nightmares of lost opportunities, missed trains and lost contacts.
To step out of bed and splash water onto a severely distressed face and staring into a mirror with a despairing look.
Then hoping a bus to Garfield to bring back weight for all the embryonic smokers not yet at the point of make or break, just save up enough to pave my own way.
Gazing at the town on a roof top, chugging down the tenth…no…twelfth beer of the night wondering how this all happened.
Wild sensations of kissing an attractive stranger, the rush of touching on things never felt, tasting pleasures only the lucky have known.
The passionate, yet dissolute yearning for that ever eluding ******* adrenaline. Pounding, Pounding, Pounding until the culmination of energy has come.
Flip sided to those dizzying, tear jerking thoughts of suicide, annihilation of ones being, the contradictions of their faith in themselves and the people around them.
Unexplainable waves of anxiety crashing onto the shore of a diminutive island of optimism
Striving to look past the panic, the gloominess and fury that may or may not be present. But to remain composed and press forward to what awaits them.
Coffee keeps them going. Cup after cup, late night cramming every bit they can; into their caffeine driven psyches until the indisputable crash and failure.
Packs and packs of menthol cigarettes to calm their rattling nerves but at the same time killing them slowly. Their lives will seem shorter than the time it took to finish one bogey when death is near.
Marijuana induced ventures to run down burger shacks, laughing hysterical in the car ride, eyes heavy with a most ridiculous elastic grin extending from ear to ear. While inside millions of thoughts and realizations of consciously simple speculations and troubles become clear and unproblematic. So the joy is mirrored outside in.
LSD trips in Petruska dancing and singing in the rain! Making music, making love; playing pretend and creating art. Becoming a family while kicking back under the warmth of an illuminated tree on a cool fall night.
MDMA streaming through the body, everything is as it should be
Beautiful, lovely to touch, wondrous to stroke, marvelous to move.
To contact and connect, converse and converge with the dwelling desire to share what you feel with everyone for it would be selfish and unpleasant to keep it in.
Mushrooms oh the emotional overflow I need not say more but ****.
Then there are over the counter candies, Oxycontin, ******, Adderall and Xanax, painkillers and antidepressants. Ups, downs, side ways and backwards.
Selling addiction and dependency legally to kids. Making heroine, ******* and speed easily obtainable to them. Changing the names and giving out prescriptions so the parents can feel like they're actually helping their children but are subconsciously making it easier on themselves because they cannot handle the way their offsprings actually are. Some parents a feel it is the only way, I wish it wasn't so. Becoming zombies, mindless addicts before they even start to mature into puberty. I've seen it, firsthand front row.
Oh, the monotonous, mundane rituals and agendas of our lives. School, work, sleep eat, the sluggish schedules and repetitions of yesterday's conversations and redundancy of itineraries we had plotted months prior.
Same people, the constant faces of boredom that groan in apathy and hold the fear of complacency.
We talk about how hum drum out lives have become and what we could to put some color in our world but don’t.
We speak of how unfair the system is but ultimately confuse ourselves and everyone else due to lack or organization and dedication so nothing is changed.
We speak of breath taking women we want to share ****** fantasies with but can’t even muster enough courage to send a trivial friend request.
Texting away for hours trying to court those who now occupy our minds and possess our hearts hoping they may allow us to acquire their attention and affection. Calling them only to receive futile dial tones and know we are being evaded.
Weeping on and on for seemingly endless time frames of a dilapidated relationship that was so strained that a miniscule breeze could cause it to collapse but still clinging to every memory as if they were vital hieroglyphics depicting your very essence.
Brilliant theories blurted out in a drunken stupor.
Ingenious hypothesis shrouded in marijuana smoked out room.
Remembrance of friends long gone.
The marines, the navy.
The casualties of drug addiction.
The conquerors or their afflictions.
The scholars.
The insane locked away on the flight deck never to be seen again.
Teenage mothers unsure of themselves, abandoned by their families for they believe that they brought fictional shame upon the family’s name. The fate of the child is unclear but the mother’s everlasting love shines through any obscurities in its way.
Dear mother of the new born winter’s moon may the aura of life protect you and your baby.
The father gone without a trace.
He will never know his daughter.
And it will haunt him forever.
Parents bringing up their kids with values and morals, The Holy Bible, mantras and meditation, the Holy Quran, The Bhagavad Gita, and Upanishads. Islamic anecdotes and Jewish parables.
The names all different
The message the same
The stories unlike
Goals equivalent
Kabala, Scientology and Wicca
Amish and Mormons
All separate paths that intertwine and runoff each other then pool into the plateau of eternal life.
But do we have faith in our country, our government?
They do not have faith in us. Cameras on every street corner, FBI agents stalking social media, recordings of our personal lives and police brutality. 4th amendment where have you gone?
We say farewell to Oresko the last veteran of the last great war. And revisit the Arab spring, Al-Assad’s soldiers opening fire on innocent protesters, one hundred fifteen thousand lay dead. Bin laden dead, Hussein hanged, Gaddafi receiving every ounce of his comeuppance. War, terrorism, the fear of being attacked or is it an excuse to secure our nation's investments across the sea? Throwing trillions of dollars to keep the ****** machine cranking away, taxes, pensions, credit scores, insurance and annuities all cogs in the convoluted contraptions plight.
My dear friend contemplates this every night laying in bed, fetal position; the anxiety if having to be a part of this.
Falling apart on the inside but on the outside, an Adonis, *******, Casanova wanna be. Who worshiped the almighty dollar, gripping it so tightly until it made change, drank until he had his fill falling face first into the snow. The guy who lead on legions of clueless girls wearing their hearts on their sleeves not knowing he had a girlfriend the entire time. Arranging secret meetings in hidden gardens, streaking into the early morning. Driving to Ewing in his yellow Mustang to woo a sado masochistic girl. The chains and whips do nothing to him he is already numbed by the thrill. Then he comes home, lays in bed until one, with no job and having people pay for his meals.
He knows what he does and who he is wrong. He recites and regurgitates excuses endlessly. He cries because he knows he is weak, he knows he must fix himself. I sit on the edge of myself with my fingers crossed hoping maybe, maybe he will set himself straight.
My chum who can talk his way out of any confrontation and into a woman’s *******. Multitudes of amorous affairs in backrooms, backseats, front rows of movies theaters. Selfish, boastful and ignorant, yet woman fling themselves at him like catapulted boulders over a medieval battle field just to say hello. These girls blind to see what going on, for their eyes were taken by low self esteem. A need to be accepted, to feel wanted even only for fifteen minutes. Poor self image, daddy issues, anorexic razor blade slicing sirens screaming on about counted calories and social status. Their uncontrollable mental breakdowns and emotional collapse. Their uncles who ***** them, their parents who split up and confusing their definition of love and loyalty for the rest of their lives. Broken homes, domestic abuse and raised voices, sending jolts of fright into the young girl’s fragile minds. I send my sorrows to you ladies, to see such beautiful creatures suffer then be used and thrown away with the ****** that was just ****** deep into their *****.
Then I see women and men of marvelous stature, romantic in the streets holding everyone and everything in high regards. Finding beauty in anything and anyone. Enjoying every second as if the rapture was over head eating exotic foods from unheard of countries and cultures. Bouncing to the sound of whimsical , reverb ricochets and sense stimulating music. Huffing inspiration to create something out of thin air. Dancing to retired jazz and swing albums as if no time had past since their conception. Wearing bold colors and patterns, thrifty leather shoes or suede.
Dawning pre-owned blazers because why spend hundreds of dollars on new clothes just to look good but feel uncomfortable with a hole in your pocket. Dressing up but dressing down, so class yet urban I love it, chinos, pea coats and flannels so simple but chic.
At night they go to underground dens, sweaty bodies, loud music and freedom. Expressive manifestations glowing fueled with MDMA and other substances to further their enjoyment of the dark glorious occasion. Kandi kids sporting colorful bracelets, not watches for time is of no concern to them, they have all eternity they know that.
Going to book stores, coffee shops just to have some peace of mind and a moment of silence to themselves so that can weave the tapestry of imaginative innovation. Writing their own versions of the same story, endless doors of perception, reading news papers and taking it with a grain of salt. Watching the news on TV with a hand full of salt. Searching for the real story so they can know if the world they all live in is actually safe.
She who made her own way breaking hearts, rolling blunts and making deals. The flower child of the modern age, left the rainy days in search of radiant sunshine, idealistic. Reality was subjective, purple dyed hair, multicolored sweater with sandals on her feet. A ten inch bowl with bud from California packed in tightly. Coming from Dumont to Bergenfeild then on to Philly to Mount Vernon. Off to Astoria and the Heights. Now to Sweden laying in the grassy plains below the mountains. Good for you my friend whom I have loved, may fortunes of unsullied joy come to you and all you meet.
Since you’ve left I have encountered drunken burly firemen just trying to have a good time. Pounding down Pabst Blue Ribbon as if it were water; as if it were good tasting beer. But heroes none the less.
EMT's, young eighteen years old high school graduates, saving lives reviving people who are a mere inch close to death.
Sport stars getting scholarships thanks to their superior skills and strength.
Striking beauty school students who are into making the people of this world a little bit more beautiful on the outside.
All these people, successful, doing things. Departing to their desired destinations. I see inside them, they carry baggage, loneliness and insecurities. I can feel their guilt slowing them down. All have their loads but it’s the way they carry them that shows who they really are. And to me their all gems.
Not far in Paterson I watch the junkies limping across busy winding street, perusing a severely needed fix. “Diesel!” they shout beneath flickering streetlights, asking for spare change and if bold enough a ride to some shady sketchy place. I give them a dollar and politely decline. They’ll die without it. Vomiting up bile and blood, twitches and shivers are all you feel when it’s not in you. They cannot stop, they need help. Why not help them instead of “assisting” those who are homosexual? Cleansing so they can be granted entry to the kingdom of God. Looking down on people who have found love and understanding and a deep attraction to others who just so happen to share alike genitals.
Narrow minded uproars about the spread of AIDS, nonsense! The puritanical onslaught of those who want nothing more than the rest of us, love. "Gay", "****", "******", "queer", how about "kind", "funny", "genuine human being"? The right to be married and divorced should be an option for everyone to enjoy. The strains and hardships of matrimony are yours if you want them. If you don’t agree don’t hate or harm just allow them to be peacefully. Same goes for anything for that matter, Jehovah's going door to door, Mormons from Burbank. New ideas are never a bad thing, they’re not a waste of time. On average you have about eighty years to mull over your options.
Some people don’t live long enough to do so, cancer is rampant, blood diseases, ****** diseases, natural disasters coming right out of left field and blindsiding the innocent bystanders of both hemispheres. Some go through life handicapped, autism is apparent these days. Schizophrenia, Asperburgers, ADD and ADHD. Some lose their golden memories of their many valuable years walking down Alzheimer's Lane, not being able to remember whatever transpired only a few moments ago but revisiting gold nuggets from from fifty-some-odd years ago with ease. Some go through life delusional or bipolar. Some can't even sleep at night but they still carry on. And if assistance is needed it is our job as a race to help our brothers and sisters, no one deserves to be excluded from the gala of life. Or be denied by society and pumped with brightly colored pills from doctors promising a cure but prescribing a crutch.
Finding solace in sincerity.
The serendipity of it all hasn’t been uncovered and that keeps me going.
“Radiate boundless love towards the entire world above, below and across. Unhindered without ill will without enmity.” Oh Buddha the truth as it ever was.
Who is he who keeps these thoughts from the conscious minds of the population?
Who is it that distracts us from the humbling beauty and overwhelming devastation of this place of existence we’re in?
It’s they who do under the table parlor trick behind our backs.
Those who broadcast mind numbing so called reality TV shows without an underlying value or meaning.
Those who produce music, proclaiming extravagance to be the end all be all gluttonous goal we all should aim to achieve.
And those who turn noble causes into money making scams and defile pure ideas.
And of course those who give false promises of easily obtained  bright futures, those who don’t care, those who steal, ****, curse, bad mouth and lie. But still manage to get elected into positions that more or less decide out fates. Monsters, demons, banshees howling inconsequential worries and leaving us deaf to hear the real issues.
Muted Oct 2013
I've become used to chipped nail polish
Accustomed to tapping my feet and fingers
Never smiling
Biting my lip until I taste that
oh, so familiar,
morsel of blood

I'm used to being nervous
am I good enough?
I'm used to rejection
I'm not good enough

But, he never rejected me

I hide myself under an ugly sweater
an itchy, ugly sweater
And what lies beneath the sweater,
makes me nervous

Everything makes me nervous.

But, he accepted me
and my ugly sweater

I expect to hurt
I'm used to putting a bandage
wherever it stings
Hoping it heals
Only to pick at the scabs
When I'm nervous

But, he never hurt me

I've become used to being abandoned
I accepted the fact that
no one can love me
And I'm too nervous to love others


When I met him,
I stopped chipping at my nail polish
I quit tapping my fingers and feet
I refrained from biting my lip
All of my scabs healed
I wasn't afraid to go outside
I was no longer afraid to take the elevator
He loved who I was
And I was able to love him in return
I smiled
Even under my ugly sweater
Rebecca McDade Jan 2012
the girl in the blue sweater laid ribbons on the sand
to count all the hours she’d been here
the girl in the blue sweater held out her hand
as a bowl to catch her tears
the girl in the blue sweater slept where sea became land
let the water swallow her fears
the girl in the blue sweater thought ‘oh how life is grand’
then slept for a thousand years
Morgan Percy Jul 2010
You've taken everything from me
the best years of my life
are now yours
but you just cast them aside like an ugly christmas sweater
you're awful to me
i wish it was anyone else but you
and  i can't even begin to fathom what i see in you
i hate you so much
so why does this hurt so much?
like the sweater you pulled a string
and everything comes apart
piece by piece
strand by strand
I've unraveled
© Morgan Percy 2010
The power of the mind
I have heard those words
Thought them to be nothing more
Than just a play on words
But not today, oh, not today
It was the yellow sweater I saw first
I know right!! YELLOW sweater
Let's just let that go
Then the face, your face
The one I have been trying so hard not to forget
Those eyes I could not stare into for more than a few seconds
For they always seem  to be staring back at my soul
Saying I know what you are thinking, I can see your heart beating
I could not contain myself, like an open book I let out a smile,
My ***-IT-IS-REALLY-YOU! smile
Hidden behind the HAPPY-NEW-YEAR, LONG-TIME-NO-SEE greetings
Oh I believe!!!! I am a believer!!! i believe in its power
The power of the mind, My mind,
The one you have been breezing in and out
Of like a ghost, the friendly one though
Whispering your name in calligraphic puffs of air
Once or twice for the past couple of weeks
Now you are here, standing in front of me
The 3rd time today, asking if you had changed in anyway
And I saying just saying "No"
When all I was screaming inside to say was
Your fine self is finer than the last time I laid eyes on you.

©Belema .S. Ekine
There is this guy I have a crush on
Kathryn Jan 2014
I found your sweater today
The last item I have of yours
It was hidden away under the bed
I must have missed it when I was packing your things
It was just a small box
I never came for my stuff do you still have it?
I held your sweater close
It still smells like you
It’s like you’re still here with me
But I can’t let myself think like that
It ended for a reason
Do you want the sweater back?
Maybe I won’t tell you I have it
Pull it out on the nights I miss you most
When the darkness seems too deep
No if you don't want it back
It’s going up in flames!
Just like our future
Nothing left but ashes
Nothing left but memories
I found your sweater today
And it’s.......
******* destroying me
Sierra Nov 2014
She's one of those girls
He said
One who wears a lot of beads
Beads that stretch to her elbow

And with one look
The look of guilt

He knew
He knew the look on my face
He knew I was like the girl with beads

Panic washed over his ghostly face
Hurt clouded his eyes
Pulling up my sweater sleeve
He saw nothing

A sigh of relief escaped his lips
But he did not realize
..He lifted the wrong sweater sleeve

Lexical Gap Jan 2015
I bought you this sweater for your birthday,
but you left before I could give it to you...
I guess you left before I could give you a lot of my gifts.
I planned your day,
wanted everything to be perfect;
I had notes and everything.
I wanted you to feel special and warm so I bought you this sweater
and wrote you something
I hoped would warm your insides
like wool can't.
As a fail safe
I even got you that tea
you always made with a smile on your face.
I planned our future too.
Well, mostly yours actually.
I had bookmarks and tabs
constantly open on my screens
to help you find where you wanted to go,
and I was going to follow you wherever that was.
I planned for rainy days
and sitting on the couch playing your favorite games
and sunny days at the park
and I had hoped you'd be wearing this sweater.
But I guess,
I guess I'm wearing it now.
I couldn't quite bring myself to return it,
and I never did keep receipts with you so I guess I couldn't have.
I knew you would have loved it.
It fits me pretty well,
and helps keep me warm and safe from how you left me out in the cold.
It doesn't itch at all,
and it goes with all of my clothes,
and I can't help but think
maybe I was supposed to have it.
I changed the tabs on my computer deleted the bookmarks,
and remembered
I didn't need to search
for what I wanted,
I only had to second guess for you.
I'm wearing this sweater,
and wondering
if it could have kept you as warm
as it keeps me after all.
Alicia R Apr 2013
i found a little
pull in the threads of
my favorite sweater
the day my father told me
my mother was
(is) clinically

the first time i saw
a tear in
my favorite sweater
was in fifth grade
and i learned
that the price to be
perfect was cheating
on a spelling test
and a finger
down the throat

i started realizing that
other people’s sweaters
had tears and pulls when i
was walking
to the park
and saw the teenage girl
who had carved ribbons
and ladders
up her forearms.

my sweater didn’t show it’s
i provoked my father and his
response was
mirrored to that of his
alcoholic, abusive father.
(in turn i smashed every cup
in the cupboard).

my shoulders began to curl
due to the weight
of that sweater.
and i explained to my therapist
that the meds weren’t working
and that i was tired but
i could only sleep after
an equal amount of lines
on each hip.

the scraps of ***** yarn,
hardly keeps me warm

for the longest time
i worried i was the only one
who wore a filthy sweater
until i had a best friend
who lifted up her sleeve to show me her

i don’t like to wear my sweater
but like most old belongings
i don’t have the
heart to throw
it away.
PJ May 2012
Scratchy Sweater I love you so
More than you will ever know

Holes in the middle so big and wide
With loose strings running down the side

Scratchy Sweater you're a mess
Sweater weather is the best
El Mar 2015
Its amazing what just an object can do
Depending on who it was from
And what it means to you
Given to me is a borrowed gift I treasure
It is not a car
A phone
But merely a

It may seem silly
It may seem odd
That a sweater can do so much
But along with the
The laughter
And the love
It brings
I would rather have your sweater
Then any of the other electronic things
Mercury Chap Jun 2016
Knit that sweater for me, please,
That sweet humming with its peaceful catch
Your hands and their darkening crease,
A mere cloth of your hardwork
To stay with me.

When it wraps around me
On a chilly day
I'll feel your love
Your warm embrace.

Under the sunlight
I'll dream of the rows,
Silly reasons to fight,
But even if for a day, I was your foe,
Your love would cook for me,
Knead the chapati dough

Make me that beautiful sweater
On my 90th Christmas when you're above
I'll wear your colours, my dear mother,
Which will remind me.of your undying love.
Claire Jun 2014
Treat me like your favorite sweater
Wear me until the end of days
Wrap me around you in the cold
Let me hug you as you cry
Love me and cherish me
Wear me until I fade
Once I fade hang me on the wall there
I'll keep you safe from a distance
One day you will replace me
Don't make that day now
As I see your new sweater
Younger and brighter than me
I'll wish you nothing but happy thoughts
I'll yearn from the wall
One day I'll turn to dust
My only wish is for that love
That once was mine
Never fade from your heart
As I float through the air
I hope you feel me there
The dust that landed on your shoulder
Embrace me like an old love.
Jennifer Jan 2013
Wrap me in love
Fill my nose with his scent
Sleeves as rough as the hair on his arms
And as light as his lingering presence
Dad doesn't know I stole his favorite sweater
But I would've missed him otherwise
His hugs are rare
Kind words: sparse
But his sweater consumes me
I'm enveloped in his love
By his oversized sweater
Thank you, Dad,
I'll give it back to you later

— The End —