Monday, December 14, 2009

Chicago Poem #45

Brother and Sister kept, check
Family in the suburbs
Family in the retail shops
Stiff winds wound up; always movement
Putting on that Renaissance mask
Pretending another much needed rebirth,
Native sons grow up and move out.

I looked up pictures of you
on the internet
from the Forties, Fifties and Sixties
Those won't matter much longer.
They are scenes from a movie made
twenty years later doesn't matter anymore.
Those cars were beasts and it is all too bad we destroyed.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Chicago Poem #28

A trailblazer and a felon
walk into a large building
towards a bank of elevators
and wait for the next car
going up.

Breezing past them,
in a plaid sport coat
is a Quiet American
with an appointment to keep.

A muted shuffling rush of humanity and...

There is only room for two men
on the next car going up.

What happens is an overreaching
respect for authority
mixes with a genuine loathing
of anything but the self.
No one will enter the next car.
No one was sent.

The doors close,
three men stand near the bank of elevators.
And the city moves forward,
educating its young kings
to clamor to be sent,
to be wanted.
To wear and where and wear.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Chicago Poem #47

I could go just to hear:
the funny way the barmaid asks us
"What's you guys' story?"
The fact that teenagers I once knew
now own bungalows and brownstones
Just to see:
The light switch for the dartboard
put in a wiseguy location
six feet up a wall
with a sloppy paint job
The daily utterance
"just let me get offa work"
The daily plea
"where's my piece?"
Daily, this place was dirty snow
and walking uphill both ways
winds that turned the corner
to frostbite your lips
Your dry lips that spit
"just let me get outta this city"
Never, ever could escape
It closed up around my ankles,
my knees, my thighs, my right hand,
my left hand, my hat.

Montrose Saloon