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Michael Sep 2018
In a crowded room filled with high society, and
In the facade of decadence, plays the Back Street Symphony
Winos falling asleep covered in yesterdays news
A lone saxaphone player, playing the blues
Neon signs and desinger lines are giving him his cues
He says "I've paid my dues"
I've got front row tickets to mainstreet
Walkin' by, don't know who you'll meet
A freak show on every corner
A broken heart walks on as a mourner
In a darkened alley you can hear him pray
Searching for a Savior with some words and a brown bag
Can anyone spare some change for me?
There goes the prom queen, is it a dream?
Hell is open twenty-four hours a day
I have front row tickets to main street
Watching the devils' choir earn their keep
There tearing down the walls in LA
There's a ****** on display, on main street
This poem in an excerpt from my book "One of the Guise" Written back in the 90's. I remember sitting on a window ledge watching this person sitting on a bench watching the activities going on on mainstreet. That was the inspiration. Copyright 1998
Nat Lipstadt Jun 2018
why I love certain men


it’s a raining and writing Saturday,
a washout for the beach visitors who chose their
calendar lottery tickets poorly

but hurrah and huzzah for the poet
in the no-sun-today-room with
steam collecting on his face from his 20 oz. Canadian mug,
the rest of him cozied neath a
wooly mohair knitted and tasseled blanket,
from a now naked and shivering alpaca goat in Turkey or Tibet

perhaps we’ll make a tiny dent
in the 1319 poems,
in the ‘sorta started to do’ list

****.
new one sneaks in demanding immediate satisfaction
and threatening my mind’s incarceration unless,
serviced and unleashed as the Frenchies say

Frites, immédiatement!: (french fries, now!)

I love most men; certain men more than others,
not because they are soft to the touch,
look great in thigh highs, can fix a backhoe,
lay hands on animals, just as they do upon their grandchildren,
or write better poetry than me,
because
they make me weep from zealous delight at
their capricious unprecedented constancy of their
honorable actions

they are soft to the core, which is itself
wrapped in a leather soldered steel,
which defines them by their self-questing constant,
asking themselves preface and postface,
doing it well, in between,

what is the honorable thing?

this honor idea of which writ previous
doesn’t dissolve - indeed grows crescendo stronger,
like the miracle of the Yom Kippurs rams horn
crying out to heavens at the concluding end  
on the holiest judgement day,
a shofar miracle for it inhumanly grows ever louder,
ceasing only when nightfall marks a new day begun,
reminding both sinners and saviour each,
to inquire of their colluding selves on this forgiveness-giving day,

what is the honorable thing?

some are borrowers and some lenders,
of anything, the substance or the whom matters not,
but the bonding bonfire from which the deal is done,
is of a uncharted organic chemical matter unrecognized
but millennium ancient


here I stop

the call to breakfast must be obeyed,
for it’s with lovely made, menu man-poet requested,
this is too an honorable thing to do,
and the 1319 half blood~half writs poking my eyes,
can be faced with new courage afterwards
on a perfect raining and writing Summer Saturday
for the next one hopefully and woefully

may not come till the September (Rosh Hashanah/Jewish New Year) when acorns fall

certain men will greet that fall Sabbath/ New Years Day,  
when Atonement begins, a ten day process to the final conclusion,
by asking of everything living and of every act human performed,
for the forgiveness requested inherent in the absolute bar setting of

what is the honorable thing?

which by the by,

is why I love certain women too...

and all who are honorable
will read this honorific and remain
clueless as to whom it is addressed...

oh god, I do so love that best!

what could signal honor even more...
The Second Daniel, thought to overcome
Four more Visions conjured out of his Wand
Without reply does he renounce his Sum,
Later added Better Digits on hand
Mindly notice how this Social Train plays
Slowly taking Commuters off the Tracks
Which this Conductor sadly he displays
And the Tickets he hoped he would get back
You were not the First. This I can assure
But Sincerity a Note only you choose
This Soul, called Will, independent from cure
Balanced on Scales gives your Career a Boost.
If Reason be Creed, then Failure is Heart
Sir, not all Jewels you can just Compart.
#tomdaleytv #tomdaley1994
onlylovepoetry Mar 2018
Friday night immodesty

theater on East 4th street @ 8:00pm,
so the girlie stuff commences on schedule
90 minuets a-priori and the medley music
(adele+amy+alicia+ pink bach for some zing)
a harbinger, a pioneer Greek heralding of
Friday night immodesty

the clothes laid out upon the bed, the shoes,
pumps selected and already on,
(always a puzzler to me,)
the subdued lower east side jewelry possibilities,
on the dresser drawer,
indifferently hoping for selection, but
casually beaming quietly,
like those kids waiting for interviews in the waiting room
of the college Admissions Dean’s office,
all with serious smiles
and tiny tearing eyes

aside:
helloooooo, I am in a poetry polo with my best jeans ready to go
2 hours before the curtain calls out,
hellooooooo

she sits at the makeup mirrored desk,
clad in only her underneath garments of varying utility,
when I sweep in imperially
and with one hand twist gentle her hair upwards,
betraying
her neck nape which is again
the sujet of a poem aborning

lips,
like a Greek lyre strings, pluck, the tiny hid hairs never seen,
her instant moans at the never fully expected motion poem,
beg more mercy but no quarter given despite repeated cries
of you’ll mess my makeup,
the best defense known to a lady!

god gave men two thumbs to lift up,
simultaneously stimulating,
slide down each of the thin black brasserie strap invitations,
upon each, a writ,
upon her flesh colored shoulders,
stating
“what was she thinking!”

my lips,
now polar explorers, those power (filled) poles side by side,
(east/west for the designer was a smart
bipolar guy-person);
the lips play silent night progressive jazz,
tinkling with higher noted keys,
nape to shoulders moving down to the back’s prefrontal lobe,
the small of her back, the body’s quivering,
a con-federate flag of surrender

her last defense swept aside, we drink honey and milk,
celebrate the week’s mellifluous finish with immodest touching,
the lower east side will belong tonite
to only the hipsters, the millennials,
as our hips are milling and  otherwise
pre-theater and post, occupado

some hours later, watching TV and eating delivered Chinese,
she laterally and literally arm punches my arm
intensely to mark her discontent,
still annoyed,
for I

1) messed up her makeup,
2) best blouse to the dry cleaner and
3) the tickets wasted, and worse,
hits me again!

after I laugh and giggle upon proffering
most modestly, most assuredly,
seconds of
onlylovepoetry

9.21am Saturday
thank you all who liked this tale of
the poetry in the details
of our lives.
olp
Jordan Rowan Jan 2016
I slept a little last night
But I don't think I closed my eyes
I'll tell you I'm alright
You should know I'm good at lies

I'm tired and terrified
And I'm sick of being scared
My brain is kinda fried
Maybe I'm just unprepared

Maybe a change of scenery
Will cure my misery
I'd like plane tickets but I can't afford 'em
So I'm going to Portland

I had a drink last night
And I was nowhere to be found
I'd like to think it was one drink
Only if the whole bottle counts

I'm a servant to the rush
And I believe in laying low
But when someone says to hush
I like to give it to them slow

Maybe I need to leave
So my mind can finally breathe
I don't need no beach of sand
I'm going to Portland
Manic Tendencies Mar 2018
Me and my doll
Are going away
To the great beyond
I'm dropping my wand
I'm going to hell
And nobody is stopping me
I want a special front row seat
For the devil's hot feast
Hey Mister
Where do you buy a ticket
I long for the heat
Two tickets to hell please
I am not depressed
I am in no need of help
I am not even stressed
I am not going to make a yelp
My black hair and makeup
My doll and me will ever break up
Bring yourself and your feelings
No need for possessions
The devil will always hook you up
The devil and me
Are getting along so greatly
Me and my doll
Are happy on the magma beach
I am happy to be here
The devil's grip has set me free
lmnsinner Nov 2017
she just shakes her head

she meets me on the street-corner, me from work, she from dance,
in the grayling dusk of a thank god it’s a freedom Friday night,
I greet her with words semi-adventurous -

“come with me, few errands to run, keep me in good company”

to the candy store we go for to purchase my weekend eve
lottery tickets and blow-pop lollipops, just in case some
kids appear, a surprise omen as they come
trick-or-treating just before Thanksgiving


the Bangladeshi candyman calls out a long prayer
in his native Bangla

she asks “what’s that he’s saying?”

“Oh, just wishing us a pleasant Sabbath and
may his gods smile upon our good lottery fortune”

she just shakes her head, from side to side

emerging from the store, walking home in the
now doubly ***** darkly dusk,
a set of white teeth from a passing shadow-man says to me
“you’re home late and have a great weekend,”

she asks, “who is that?”

“why,” I reply, “that is our very own personal postal carrier’

she says:
“he delivers mail to ten thousand people all in tall buildings,
yet knows your name, your face,
where u buy your lottery tickets,
your coming and going hours,
how came that to be”

but waits not for an answer
she just shakes her head, from side to side

I show her my secret entrance to our apartment house,
the fast route to collect our mail, dry cleaning in one fell swoop
a secret door, secret elevator taking us directly to our apartment

a secret elevator which is under the direction of
Bimal from Nepal,
who I greet in Nepalese, (my tutor)
asking after Brian and Bryce, his 100% American boys

now she says nothing, but before our door, as I go key digging,
she just shakes her head, from side to side

later she says:

“let’s order in, apprise me of  your expertise,
some exotic fare from Manhattans First Avenue,
known for its aphrodisiacal powers
afterwards,
you must tell me each dishes name,
in its tongue’s nativity,
but much, much later,”

and as she speaks,
she sticks out her tongue,
while she just shakes her head,
but this time,
up and down!
11/17/18 ~ 11/18/17
B Mar 2016
Find me

Lost among eyes of otherworldly colors
Among streets signs of gibberish letters
Among myriads of towering strangers
Among exhaled smoke and borrowed lighters

Find me

Lost among boats heading for shore
Among waves, uncertain as before
Among horizons that are never closer
Among regretful glances on rear view mirrors

Find me

Lost among train tickets and maps
Among muddy sandals and undone bootstraps
Among misadventures and mishaps
Lost among these, I'll find myself perhaps
For the love of traveling and how it saved me in so many ways
everly Nov 5
we loop together
like ivy over broken down cars
full circle once again
we fall out
miss each other and
we sync back into
infatuation
it’s lovely
vain and
impermanent
like the planet
and us within it

man’s garden
of garbage
valueless lottery tickets and
soiled coffee cups
watered with soda and fragments of
Modelo bottle glass shards
we prop up our feet on lawn chairs
and watch it grow
it's real easy to feel like
we've done it all
wrong

phenomenal fuckyes then
phantasmagoric fear ragers
perpetual pity *******
blood middle knuckle crush
regretful bets hedged
hunched frozen tongues
and pointy unsaids

but sometimes
with mind wide-eyed
and heart roots writhing

I've seen it
way differently

a vantage point
where pushpull face-plants
are winning lotto tickets

because maybe
we were kindling of yes
unable to keep it burning yet
and we would have fumbled it
far beyond repair

I'm fairly certain
our heartfelt invites
to instant cohabitation
would have ended
painfully
badly

traumas tripping
over hair triggers
in a 3-legged race
two smoking pistols
and four red feet

even Hello
seems too intense
to mouth

and from this
particular perspective
I can see how
every decision made in fear
led to whinging karmarang
tied with two strings

I daresay
one day we might
look back with a smile
that it went down this way

because the initial who
were not strong enough
to shoulder the immensity
nor surrendered enough
to float the fragility
of newborn carbon
gossamer whorl

in fact
I push all my chips
toward that

maybe there is
fortune in false starts
we make plans
but I bet The One
has better ones

so I'm pretty sure
we should sit down
and listen

for that breeze
to whisper
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
I'd heard about problems with police
hard to hear harder to believe
personally I never had a problem
oh a few well deserved speeding tickets
probably cut a break no definitely
I drove very fast especially in the turns
roll-the-tires fast in the turns
that was me

and the more I heard the faster I turned

as a young kid I applied and was accepted
to six colleges six for six piece of cake
why the stress my SAT score equated
to an I.Q. of 1 above plant life
accepted open arms those WASPs loved me
graduate school one for one
      best in the country
bar none MBA with honors that was easy
they called it the golden passport yes

passports are even faster

I never had problems
   with band-aids
       the bank
the insurance company
      the healthcare system
never turned down
      for a credit card car loan
life insurance policy
      or request for a specialist
experience is the best teacher
      and the more I learned
the less I wanted to know
      and the faster I turned

then I learned
   about certain specifics
      certain policies

with regard to traffic stops
bank loans rental property
heath care voting rights marriage
read the color purple
and then that invaluable government  
       syphilis experiment
that would have been inconceivable
       even to doctor mengele
that the star spangled banner
       has more than one stanza?  
really there were four stanzas?

MY country ‘tis of ME
      and it was making me feel *****

learned that no one
      voluntarily held that flag up
that hellish night
      o’er the ramparts WE watched
as slave and freedmen
              were ordered
      to their near certain death
with the threat of absolute
      certain death

then I watched a cop
       shoot a kid in the back
              in cold blood
near a merry-go-round
on a playground
in baltimore maryland
I liked baltimore
fast very fast he emptied the 10 round clip
of a semi-automatic 9mm Glock 27
into THAT kid's back no hesitation ******

baltimore baltimore baltimore baltimore

I hit the brakes hard
      on those fast decades and decades
generations generations generations
      of turning
I slowed down way way way down
      stopped
took a deep deep deeper breath
then did what I always did and do best
I turned turned turned I turned around
and as I turned I woke
to kneel
be more than words

> As published in North/South Literary Canon
JR Falk Dec 2016
One.
When my mom found us asleep in my bed at 4am and screamed at you to 'Get the **** OUT of her house,' you texted me the very next morning and asked to see me as though it never even happened.

Two.
When my family went out of town without me for Thanksgiving, we stayed the whole day at your place and watched foreign movies and ate pasta.

Three.
On our first date, we sat in your car until 3am just... talking.

Four.
When my sister really wanted that new Pokemon game and my local Walmart sold out, you voluntarily drove almost 5 towns over just so she could get it because you knew I couldn't for her.

Five.
The first time we had ***, I cried. I still don't know why. You held me the whole time.

Six.
You woke me up with tickets to one of my favorite musicians of all time, for a tour I didn't even know about.

Seven.
When my dogs died, you stayed up with my the whole night as I cried. Both times.

Eight.
The first time you kissed me was at a gas pump at 10pm after I changed out of my blouse and into my hoodie.

Nine.
You took me to Buffalo Wild Wings even though you're a vegetarian. You even put up with my singing each 2008 Billboard Top 100 song as it played. I could tell you were embarrassed for me, but you laughed and kissed me anyway.

Ten.
When I told you I hadn't been to the art museum, you took me. When I told you I'd never been to Chipotle, you took me. When I told you I hadn't felt safe in years, you made me feel the safest I ever have.

Eleven.
After you kissed me the first time, you admitted the thing that "made" you kiss me was my purple-stained lips after I ate Superman ice cream while belting out songs terribly and sitting in the passenger seat of your car.

Twelve.
When I told you that you were a terrible tipper and I was a waitress, you immediately stopped tipping terribly.

Thirteen.
You left me a voicemail telling me you appreciated me, that you felt lucky to have me, and you claimed you didn't deserve me. While I disagree, I felt it. That was the first time I heard you say "I love you" before you had actually said the words "I love you."
CJT.
I love you.

11.30.2016
11:02am
CK Baker Aug 2017
Manning up in Texas
Geldof overdose
needles at the bed stand
starlet comatose

California dreaming
killer meets demise
hurling in a taxi
puke fee on the rise

Fighting in the Gaza
Jordan's holy war
rebels on a mission
Jihad underscore

The North Korean riddle
pales in grand design
crisis on the border
planes fall from the sky

Cooking on a deadline
tempting tapenades
herbs are in the spotlight
wines that give a nod

Google maps the body
DOW at record highs
Uber comes to market
corn is on the rise

Apple on its earnings
Caterpillar dead
European sanctions
banks have **** the bed

Clippers threaten boycott
Longhorns follow purge
Lynch is out of training camp
James is on the verge

Leinart taking *** shots
coughing up a lung
lions take a licking
fans are throwing dung

Another day in Vegas
Primm from A-Z
rolling out an ankle
a flying SUV

Quiet tempting spaces
made better by design
multi color pea coat
silence fuels the mind

Stabbing in the subway
goat caught in a well
apes are selling tickets
(but leave behind a smell)

Puberty on trial
a man without a head
teachers feel alone
lets take them to the shed!

Jonah's tomb destroyed
wreckage in Mumbai
Sugar Daddy sites
Freedom 85

The immigrant debate
Russia's mounting toll
unions on a mission
heads are gonna roll

Beaches for the nudists
hotels on the cheap
the best generic brands
a list you have to keep!

Planning your estate
questions from the camp
a mansion up for sale
where once they filmed The Champ

Midwives threaten action
aboriginal act
truckers want concessions
that train has left the track

Sharks are found in Fundy
a prized but perilous catch
food we love to hate the most
an irrefutable batch

A family on the brink
I want my kids to fail!
politicians drains all hope
a ban on Israel

Follow out each headline
let the columns be your guide
all these things did happen
the day that Newhouse died
Nigdaw Aug 2
He gives her the butterfly as an act of beautification
Hoping nature can exemplify his feelings; A fragile life,
Balanced between death and existence in his fingers
Making sense of all the nonsense in his head.
He gives her the flowers in an act of affection
Even though they both know they are dead,
Only water prolonging the inevitable demise
Of colourful blooms returning to the earth
From where they once grew, like their love
Beautiful under the sun, natural and charming,
Until you told them that love is shown with silver
And gold, diamonds and pearls, chocolate and cards
High octane fast cars, exclusive meals in top restaurants
Theatre tickets and front row concerts, but the butterfly
***** it’s wings and somewhere in the world,
There is a hurricane.
Z Aug 2018
Too many thoughts, too many feelings, too many faces

Yea, what’s the feeling of success?
Achieved so many things, but all I feel is regret,
I feel alone inside my head what don’t you get?
Wake up every morning like it’s still my set,
Reminisce on where I come from so I don’t forget,
Been to rehab a dozen times, they called me a vet,
You thought you knew me, I haven’t opened the curtains yet

Alcohol destroyed all my relationships
Forgot most of my life - except for the video clips,
Poisoned my brain to forget the pain, on the daily I feel insane
I’m above the ground though I can’t complain, god relieve this pain
I feel like I drank the blood of Cain,

Every day is a surprise, my brain tells me I’m so wise,
But he’s a master in disguise, while I’m the one who cries,
He’s the one who lies,
To me in my own voice watching my demise,
When he’s in in control anything flies,
It scares me, I built a fortress to disguise,
This out of control mind, I want to cut the ties
A Broad perception, in a beautiful world, through these eyes,

Try to express my feelings, no one can understand
**** it no one can, this experience is mine god had it planned
Just hope I can grow up to be the man,
The one he created to do whatever he can,
Yea, whatever he wants, his drive his will he can make a stand,
A visionary, Socrates his thoughts are grand,

Who do I trust, who I am or who I want to be,
It’s confusing with a devil living inside of me,
Loving spouse, family man what I try to be,
This bipolar got a hold of me,
Blindfolding me I can’t see,
Please doctor doctor set my mind free,
I thought I knew everything with my degree,
The lessons I learned from the things I failed to see,

Mommy and daddy got divorced when I was a kid,
I think I was 8, I can’t remember, who am I to kid,
My first blackout in life, daddy’s about to lose his wife,
So much anger, “he’s” telling me to find the knife,
Take it to the artery just a little slice,
Life’s not as nice, as people make it seem,
No one hears me scream, from the pain,
Inside this brain, some days I feel insane,
110 on the freeway trying to stay in my lane,
Drunk driving no I’m not sane,
Getting high to alleviate the pain

One day I can be the man, goals, driven, and full of will,
The next be full of sadness, regret, life stands still,
I can remember anger that drove me to ****,
You don’t know how I feel,
People probably thought I made a deal,
With the devil to have all this skill,
I write all these thoughts, hoping there’s a heart to fill,

Hope someone can relate,
I hope my pain makes you elate,
My perceptions not up for debate,
Here is my life there’s no room to understate,
The reality of my life and the things on my plate,
Strive to be in a mentally stable state,
Sometimes life’s not so great,
My minds locked in a crate, and he is the key holder of my fate,

My life feels like an afterthought,
Stepdad thought love was something that could be bought,
Used to get in trouble every time I got caught,
Only if they knew the realism of what I did, or maybe they ought
Not to know, but for the sake of the flow, I’m going to let go,
Put on a show so they finally understand what they missed long ago,

Let’s start as a little boy, all the love you showed was a decoy,
For the truth that mommy and daddy were ready to destroy,
Split us up, brown moving boxes was it all momma’s ploy?
I still don’t know the truth, I don’t want to ask or annoy

They say they fell out of love, how can you fall out of love,
Unless you gave up? Don’t you realize who’s above,
Poor American white family, three kids and divorced, man the stereo type fits like a glove,
Never got physically, but always received a verbal shove,
Psychologically I wish I could dispose of,
This garbage that’s left behind, in this mind how am I supposed to give away free love,


One day at a time, one fight, I’m going to give it all my might,
Serenity prayer please give me the light,
To accept my life and guide me right,
Some days things are out of sight,
God comfort me so I feel alright,
I’m shrouded in darkness, call me the dark knight,
Noble I’m my cause, daily life’s a plight,

As a teenager I survived off my drive,
Then there was the day I didn’t want to be alive,
Locked those feelings deep in the archive,
Padlocked in the deep parts of the brain so they don’t thrive,
Questioning the purpose of life when I was five,
Asked about space and God, curiosity already took a dive,
Most people and me don’t really jive,
One instinct on my mind is to survive,
Mania kicking in putting me in overdrive,
Found out when I was twenty-five,
I’m mentally ill, my life took a nose dive,
Time to wake up and revive,
It’s time to deprive,
The addiction and the **** I do to connive,
God im going to work on my life until arrive,
To the kingdom, hopefully I live to see thirty-five,

Todays a new day, no telling what I might do,
Try to hold my family together, backbone and the glue,
Just accept my view, everything’s not about you,
Been self-reflecting, I’m having a break through,
This story is contagious, call it reality flu,
Knocked on deaths door, Alcohol blood volume .492,

What was I thinking? Pores stinking, breath wreaking,
Family and friends shrieking, at all my drinking,
Woke up surrounded by the medical team,
Asked me if I was suicidal, I said what do you mean?
I’m a genius, with a good job, had one since fourteen,
Worked hard my whole life, why am I here confused as hell - creating a scene,
Needle in my arm, threatening to restrain me,
God please set me free, right now you’re the only one that can help me,
Ready to fight the doctors and nurses, now they’re going to petition me,

When I opened up my eyes,
Seen my momma with tears in her eyes,
Most painful look I’ve ever seen on her face,
Now I feel like a huge disgrace, wish she knew gods grace,
My hearts racing at a fast pace, anxiety took over freaking out in this place,
The realest hug ive ever felt was from momma while I was in that room,
Time to clean up my life, time to clear my mind and get out of the back room,
Where my thoughts are locked, time to forgive and bury the in their own tomb,
Most think they know me, and its dangerous to assume,
Most my life you seen me in my costume, hiding behind the monster of doom,
Spent so many hours in my bedroom, drinking so much leaving behind an ethanol fume,
Days later it’s still hanging around, how the poison turns everything into a darkroom.

12 days locked in the psych ward, hopefully I can move my life forward,
Dr. says I had an episode of major depression, I forgot to tell them about my secret obsession,
These words are the closest thing I have to a confession,
When I die take my brain for a case study dissection,
Don’t let my evil said lead you to mis-direction,
When im aware I can make the correction,
What an elusive lie, chasing perfection,
Life is about love and a real connection,
God im tired, give me a symbol give me direction,

Therapy sessions for years, did nothing to help these tears,
Still react with impulsion and anger, watch out for the danger,
the biggest fear ive ever had was the fear of myself,
and the things I was capable of to destroy myself or secure the wealth.
So many secrets it’s a masquerade, im hidden behind my stealth,
The lies created to maintain this alter-ego destroying my mental health,

My biggest pains in life are when I had it all and left it all,
My depression after mania was the biggest fall,
I felt like I was the king of the world, king of the jungle; hear my call,
My ego inflated from my achievements, made me feel tall,
Daddys dream was his oldest boy would play college ball,
Just like the song boys of fall,

Daddys dream wasn’t mine to live,
But that wont stop me from giving all I can give,
Im sorry for the night I was drunk and we got combative,
I shut that night out its not something I want to relive,
Please daddy forgive, now you’re so corroborative.

Now momma I know we do not speak,
The real issue is we don’t want to feel weak,
Why are we so strong, the ones who cant take critique,
Maybe we are so unique, and live life with such technique,
The type of thoughts people think are antique,
Their arguments bleak, our common point is its our mind we speak,

Im ready for the conversation, a common destination,
Where we live in harmony, and actions don’t lead to causation,
I hope my dictation, and the acceptance of your creation,
Allows you to accept me and the ground I call my foundation,
Rebuild our family, together we can create a formation,
Our time and love the only donation, mix em together titration,
It’s a ruination of the family, its everything I wanted it to be,

Ive struggled with every relationship,
With anyone I let close I seem to lose myself and flip the script,
Those evil days I hide in my mind, security equipped and encrypt,
I feel like im writing a manuscript, a story of a man who slipped,
On the struggles of life, and opportunities that have been stripped,

Went to college on a full ride, paid for room and board seen the debt and just about cried,
350 a month to the government talk about a life hurdle that broke my stride,
Since graduation I noticed im the new dr. jekyl and mr hyde,
Success in my life was implied, mental health hit me on my broadside,
Missed my grad school opportunity, I should have applied,
Had love going for me, turned into a landslide,
All I want to do is have a good job and be able to provide,
Im not the only one suffering this epidemic is worldwide,
I just want to sit by the lake side, retire and reside,
Somewhere peaceful where a simple life is implied,
The only downside, is the demon inside me that takes me on the regular for a joyride.

Worked 80 hours a week, drinking a fifth a day,
Most people don’t even know what to say,
To me it was just another day,
Its about to get nasty watch out for the word play,
Life not black and white live in the grey,
Area, mass hysteria, my mind runs astray,
Enough liquor in my blood to make me sway,
One wrong move may be my doomsday,
I write about my life like a final exam essay,
Giving it my all no halfway,
Yea, im making headway, opening the doorway,
For all to enter; serve up my experience like a fine dining entrée,
Living check to check, cant wait for payday,
Maybe someday, ill be on the golden walkway,
To the kingdom of god then ill be okay,
Impulses so strong its hard not to obey,
The other side of me that’s so hard to portray,
When hes manic I get risqué,
Let me paint a picture, get your tickets to the screenplay.

They say its not what you go through, but what you became of it,
My lifes not a stereotype, those stipulations don’t fit,
I seem to get back up after every hit, I couldn’t write this skit,
Im trying to use my ****, my mind feels split, I cant take this ****,
I just want to quit, go to therapy to learn skills and what to omit,
From my life, its hard ill have to admit,
Elementary school I realized I was a misfit,
Dreams in the stars, illuminated and moonlit,
Building a legacy without a permit,
Try to live life so im not a hypocrite.

Shocked by the responses to voice and gods word,
You can say in high school I was a nerd,
Football MVP and valedictorian man that’s absurd,
Wanna know my secret, ask me the password,
Stand on my own, not a part of the heard,
Forgive me for all my problems and troubles that have occurred.

The darkest secret you don’t know,
Is that im not motivated by the dough,
It’s the times where Im feeling high and low,
Sometimes it feels like time is slow,
The biggest crush to my ego,
Was when I had a 20-gauge ready to pull the trigger and blow,
Racking the shells, playing with the ammo,
The rest of my life I was about to forego,
I wanted to let go, because I wanna know
I write to share my story of experience, strength and hope.
In Recovery mentally and Recovering from substance abuse
Bows N' Arrows Aug 2017
City lamps in clusters of concrete
On 18th and Sherman street
The cars pass by scanning me
Each unsound engine roaring
Darting pupils
I feel it on my externals
On my lips and phalanges
Intruding glances cascading over
my silhouette

Deja-vu-like resemblances,
strange
Sunken cheeks look bizarre
and blotchy as the socket drains
something toxic to the veins
that's permeated the future in an instant, like a comet,
encandescent and shimmering like a scale, the awareness fades

Like some dreary mirage
I remember those little band aids
Vintage carnival tickets
discarded on the scratchy ground..
Blue-violet bruises
The paradox of pleasure
A vague creature in
it's discomfort
sitting in defiance and
quivering my sentences

It reminded me of those
incandescent bugs that
smush into Chryslers
With a curled lip, bulging eyes
and ******* up tongue...
Antennaes intertwined like
Twizzlers
Making peace with all
that's stung as the
windshield wipers turn on
Some black tar-smack-oil-
******

My generation consists of
inheriting environmental
destruction and mal-parenting
Global warming. Animal extinction.
Polluting the oceans. Deforestation.
Biting shards off night-time to
suffice for the daily pangs
Shuffling the dregs of karma
to grow roots and vines all about the room

It's not Winter yet
Under this morning dew
I envision it in my mind
A crystal ball vision
contorting into smoke
I caught it in my breath
Catatonically hanging
A turtle with it's legs bending toward the sky
Searching for my tribe and a pulse
on this Earth in sentient souls
L B Oct 2018
Friend one:
Reads "Rotten Tomatoes"
Always early, parks in a handicap zone

Friend two:
quietly disapproves
knows Friend one walked her dog a mile earlier

Friend one:
moves her car
digs out two waters, chocolate
and back pillow
buys peace and tickets

Friend two:
catches sneeze with *** of tissue
aggravated exchange:
about walking too fast ahead.
“Are you not my friend?  Walk with me!”
Buys popcorn

Friend one: 
  wants seats on the end
for handy bathroom runs

Friend two:
does not want “the blow by blow” of reasons
just not in rafters
sneezes, and says so
trips
spills popcorn on the stairs

Friend one:
Sets up “camp”

Friend two:
holds crap

Friend one:  
Settles in, builds her "nest"
opens water bottles
arranges back pillow
half-a-million napkins
“Want your jacket?”

Friend two:
holds popcorn, helps Friend one with jacket

Friend one: 
  pushes button for her seat back
seat sounds like a ****.

Friend two:
says so, both laugh like fools  
Friend two sneezes loudly, rubs her eyes
loses self in movie

Friend one:
starts to snore quietly

Friend two:
nudges her

Friend one:
(Who is never really snoozing)
runs out to restroom
misses best part of movie
Comes back,
“What happened?”
What happened?”

Friend two:
aggravated
hushes her
takes allergy pill

Friend one:
weeping at the end, watches all the credits
starts her review
apologizing to the kids of theater-cleaning-crew
popcorn, napkins, tissues everywhere

Friend two:  
Sneezes yet again

Friend one:
Knows all the stars--
of friendship

being how she is one :)
Joanne is a best friend from teaching days.  We love movies, wine, and dinner.  Noticing our comfortable routine today, made me smile.  Told her I was writing this.  Everyone should have well-loved friend.  :)
guy scutellaro Sep 2018
( kate's birthday, part one, part two continues it)


"How hot is?" Kathleen asks.

The bar is empty except for O Malley, Paul Keater, and a man and a woman.

"About 98.6," says Jack, the beads of sweat roll down his cheeks. He walks into the pool room to stand in front the big floor fan. Kathleen follows him.

"Let's go to the boardwalk," Kathleen suggests.

"When it's hot like this it's hot all over."

"We can go on the rides."

"I don't like the rides."

"It might be fun. You promised me we'd go on the rides."

"I've got the next pool game." Jack says, and then he glances at Paul Keater who is playing pool.

Paul takes his shot. The eight ball drops. Keater slides the brim of his baseball cap back and fourth across his sweat soaked forehead.
"Ah ****,"  Keater murmurs.

"Jack, how do I look to you?" She is wearing a too short skirt, black nylon stockings, and a tight blue t-shirt.

"Beautiful as always."

" Then why do you pay more attention to Paul than you do to me? A man you despise. You're not ******* Keater, are you?"

"Kate," he tells her, "you're drunk again."

"Why do you hate Paul?"

"He lives above the bar.  He's a drug addict. Tells everyone he served in Irag. You don't lie about a thing like that."

" Your in the bar just about every night."

"There's a difference between coming to the bar and living above it."

Jack just be honest with me?"

Maybe it is the heat or alcohol or frustration.

  Jack tells Kate." My dad sobered up and left me and my mom. Apparently, the old ******* was quite a nice man when he stopped drinking. Took Keater to baseball games and places. Keater is my half brother. The half I don't like."


Kathleen is silent for several minutes and then she says to Jack, " I'm not drunk yet, but I'm sure as hell going to be. It's my birthday."

"I bought you flowers."

"Yeah, carnations," She turns a mirthless smile towards Jack, "You don't care."

"Ah come on. All I wanna do is play one lousy game of pool, and then we'll go down to the boardwalk. I promise." Delleto grips her gently by the shoulders and steers her towards the bar.

Kathleen sits down on a bar stool. She watches Jack play pool and when he wins, she turns towards the bar to face O' Malley who is standing behind the bar,  arms folded, watching a horse race on TV.

"It's my birthday, " Kathleen tells O' Malley. She crosses her long legs and when she turns from the horse race, he notices.

"Hey, happy birthday Kate, at least twenty-one, I hope, " Bob says playfully, and he takes two shot glasses from the shelf. He puts a glass in front of Kathleen. "Jack Daniels?"

"Fine," She tells him.

O" Malley fills the glasses. They touch glasses. "Happy birthday Kate." Bob smiles.

"Thanks, " She pouts, " at least someone cares." They throw down the shots.

"Hope Jack won't mind," O' Malley says, but before Kate can answer he leans over the bar and kisses her on the lips.

Kathleen looks over her shoulder at Delleto. Jack is playing pool with a thin woman wearing a black leather halter top. The woman comes over to Jack, says something and when she smiles at Delleto her teeth sparkle like tombstones after a  hard rain.

Jack smiles and says something to the woman. The boyfriend  stares angrily at Delleto.

When Kathleen turns back O' Malley is filling her shot glass.

Jack wins that game, too.  


A big yellow moon hangs above the decaying Casino Amusements that extends across the boardwalk. " I'm through waiting for Jack." Kathleen looks up at the flashing marque sign that proclaims games,  prizes and fun. Kathleen staggers into the great hall into the smell of pop corn, and the clack, clack of the game wheels.

It is one in the morning and as she totters pass the water guns and over to the ticket booth beside the merry-go-round she sees the arcade is almost empty.

Inside the ticket booth the man stares down at Kathleen as the sweat rolls down his bulbos nose  collecting a tiny pool on the counter.

"What do ya want?" He asks curtly, tries to relight the stub of his cigar. He points to the blue and white sign nailed to the top of the booth. With the unlit cigar hanging from the corner of his mouth he impatiently recites the sign to the drunken lady, "House of Mirrors, The Whip, Bumper cars, Merry-go- round."

"Jack would never go on that. He'd think it was too silly," Kathleen mutters. "The merry-go -round," She tells him, pushing a ten dollar bill across the pitted  wooden counter.

The man takes the bill, tears five tickets off the big roll of tickets, and pushes them through the opening at the bottom of the bars.

"Hey, I only want one ticket," she slurs.

"Closing time, Babe, closing time," The weasel faced man says hanging up the Closed Sign from the window.

Kathleen takes the tickets, "Hey, wait a min."

"BOOM!" a balloon explodes from the water gun game. Kathleen jumps. She takes the tickets from her shirt pocket, lights up a cigarette, and the makes her way over to the carousel.

Kathleen stares at it. It is such a fantastic machine. There are mirrors on the inside walls of the ride and pulsating red and blue lights along the perimeter of its fluted roof. She thinks the horses themselves are the most beautiful creatures. There are white, black, brown and even red ponies. All the horses have intricately painted saddles of coordinated colors and long cascading manes. There faces are alive with fear and passion as if a spirit has been molded into their plastic skin.

(Kate's birthday will continue)
her
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