Thursday, May 29, 2008

Chicago Poem #24

I used to live
in the building
with the most stories.

Cobden Arms

Monday, May 26, 2008

Chicago Poem #73

Rules on a paper napkin
written down.
These fools of my past
have let me down.

Tube Tile

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I Do Good Deeds in the name of Liza

Most people will just assume you’re a regular Joe – a God-fearin’, America-lovin’ ex-Marine humbled by the insanity of his youth and the honesty of a steady job. But anything will make them nervous, be it a little bit of an accent to your speaking, a dreaminess to the tone of your voice or a funny stride. They’d just as soon throw you in a nice little category then try and figure what might be eating at you, what keeps you from blowing your brains out, you’re so depressed.
But I do have one sweet thought that keeps me hanging in there. I think about her about half the time I’m driving this tow truck around. I got two hands on the wheel and the third one scratching my ass when I pull up on this lady and her flashing hazards. That’s right. Three hands. And I don’t care if I’m a mutated freak or a normal hand-over-fist working man, I’m here to help with only the best of intentions. I do good works in the name of Liza.


Monday, May 12, 2008

The Times, Eh. They don't change so much...

From a NYtimes article on Suze Rotolo's New Memoir (She's the girlfriend on the cover of Freewheelin'):

Still, she is not nostalgic. “All this indulgence of the ’60s, ay-yi-yi, get over it,” she said. Every era and place hold magic for people willing to live intently in them, she believes. “Everything occurs again, just differently,” she said. “There will always be creative people who feel that they’re different and create a community of some kind. Whether it’s a physical neighborhood or an Internet neighborhood, in Bushwick or in Greenwich Village, it’s not over."

Link to the article:

I hope you are all out there creating your communities. Invite me over sometime.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Cars Suck

Drinking Cans at Cans Festival London

Taking into account the height of the billboard, soaring an extra four or five stories over the highest five story building that runs along the Eisenhower Expressway razing land through the West Side, not land anymore but negative space sucking cars into downtown and all points south, and taking into account the subtlety of the change, the way the black letters on the ad had hung proudly, printing the product name simply: Cadillac CTS, a sexualized whisper to the masses set against a calm sea and a calm gray sky, the calm and cultured car parked in clam digging weather – whoever had changed the message, inverted its meaning to the exact opposite of the ad agency’s intent, had accomplished an enormous feat of will and wit, of brains and brawn and one asks, “How the fuck did they get all the way up there?”
Their work done, the billboard now read Cars Suck in the Monday morning rush. It was the dead of winter adding to the profundity of the feat and begging another question: “How the fuck did they not freeze to death?”
To be literal:


It was a seamless edit and the casual viewer could not make out where the original letters had been. The results were so expertly executed that it was as if this was the ad that had been paid for, this was the original intent.
Who are they? Who could have done this? Mischievous and unsupervised neighborhood kids? No way. Neo-situationists gone crazy with a degree in graphic design and too much unemployed time on their hands? Maybe. Communists we are unaware of? Maybe not. Was it a frat boy bet fulfilled? No fuckin’ way. Maybe it was a competing car company, a Japanese one like Toyota or Mitsubishi, who had in their employ seven samurai of civil disobedience. The message was written, regardless of who did it, and the message was received, regardless of who saw it. It made websites, briefly, it made news, maybe, but was blacked out, generally, by scandal in City Hall and a triple homicide out on the West Side – a drug deal gone wrong in a garage. And then there was the war and the coming war and the war behind us and we asked ourselves simply, who are we?

At four o’clock that Monday afternoon, a team of men ascended to the face of the billboard that hangs over the Eisenhower and began the work of replacing the ad, this time with an ad for breath-freshening gum featuring a black man’s nose, mouth and tongue and the phrase Fa shizzle.