Sunday, November 30, 2008

now I am not going to face things


Now I am not going to face things
because I am not a start
nor fall asleep against a heart
that doesn't burn the wolves away,
hunting and virtue beside an open fire.
And you know if I drift into the sky
it will be heavy as surf.

"Two Variations," in "Meditations in An Emergency," Frank O'Hara

[No longer visible, Franklin Street below Chicago Avenue]

Saturday, November 29, 2008

the exhausted lightning

The exhausted lightning lay down on its side
And slept on a bed of cumulous sheets

"The Horizontal Line (Homage to Agnes Martin", Edward Hirsch

[Chicago River from Michigan Avenue Bridge, astride Wrigley Building, glow from Trump Tower]

Friday, November 28, 2008

softer than the mist

Dust of the feet
And dust of the wheels,
Wagons and people going,
All day feet and wheels.
Voices of broken hearts,
Voices singing, singing,
Silver voices, singing,
Softer than the stars,
Softer than the mist.

"Clark Street Bridge," Carl Sandburg

[Michigan Avenue Bridge above Wacker Drive]

♫ take this longing from my tongue


Riley's bike briefly knows tenderness:

Oh take this longing from my tongue,
whatever useless things these hands have done.
Let me see your beauty broken down
like you would do for one you love.

"Take This Longing," Leonard Cohen

[A keenly overlooked location on Chicago Avenue]

Thursday, November 27, 2008

♫ i can see now i never really committed

High fidelity

I can see now I never really committed to Laura. I always had one foot out the door, and that prevented me from doing a lot of things, like thinking about my future and... I guess it made more sense to commit to nothing, keep my options open. And that's suicide. By tiny, tiny increments.

High Fidelity, Nick Hornby, D.V. DeVincentis, Steve Pink, John Cusack, Scott Rosenberg.

[Rainbo Club, Damen Avenue below Division Street]

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

a pleasant wavering of the air

Spring sepia

In all this springing up was no hint
Of a tide, only a pleasant wavering of the air
In which all things seemed present, whether
Just past or soon to come. It was all invitation.

"Scheherazade," in "Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror," John Ashbery

Tuesday, November 25, 2008



Liz Tapp in front of a piece by Chris Roberson on opening night of a show of his work at Country Club.

[Damen Avenue below Haddon Avenue]

Monday, November 24, 2008

♫ lit


Stephanie, triply lit.

[Continental, Chicago Avenue west of California Avenue]

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Dawnzer lee light

Light as streaked as years-dirty windows.

[Chicago Avenue east of Damen Avenue]

Saturday, November 22, 2008



Streaking toward dusk. Turner dusk.

[Chicago Avenue east of Damen Avenue]

Friday, November 21, 2008



I have never seen hair like Jessie's on any other head.

And behind that brick wall... Liz Phair eked out lots of experiences—and lyrics—for Exile in Guyville.

[Damen Avenue above Haddon Street]

Thursday, November 20, 2008

trib towering

Trib Towering

A lot of people in Chicago couldn't stand the Tribune. It was against Roosevelt, against unions, against everything Democrats believed in. Journalistically, it was the last of the big powerful papers to catch up with the twentieth century. Reading the Tribune in the 1950s and 1960s you would have had a hard time understanding that this country was going through a major change, the civil rights movement. The Tribune didn't cover it at all. The Tribune's idea of covering a riot in the Sixties was to count the number of broken windows and ask a police commander to comment. The Tribune, for a long time, never had a columnist. Colonel McCormick didn't want any other opinions in the paper but his. It was so politically involved. If you ran for office as a Republican, you had to do whatever the Tribune said. People used to say during the 1950s and 1960s that its political editor, George Tagge, should register as a lobbyist.

Mike Royko, from "Royko: A Life in Print," F. Richard Ciccone

[435 North Michigan Avenue]

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Arsonland 2

For the most dissonant night charms us, even after death. This,
after all, may be happiness: tuba notes awash on the great flood,
ruptures of xylophone, violins, limpets, grace-notes, the musical
instrument called serpent, viola da gambas, aeolian harps,
clavicles, pinball machines, electric drills, que saisje encore!

"Rivers and Mountains," John Ashbery

[Chicago Avenue at Damen Avenue]

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

♫ writing in breath

Writing in breath

Matheus Nachtergaele is writing the name of his directorial debut in breath across the Chicago skyline: A Festa da Menina Morta (The Dead Girl's Party).

[Dana Hotel, twenty-eighth floor, State Street at Huron Street]

Monday, November 17, 2008

♫ w


I live under a flight path.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

kristin's nightmare

Kristen's nightmare

Seeking sanctuary, you run, run faster, run harder. The heavy doors of the church will open, swing wide. Safety. Salvation. Cement blocks. A concrete wall.

[St. Boniface, Noble Street at Chestnut Street]

Saturday, November 15, 2008



The eye wanders.

[Beat Kitchen, Belmont Avenue at Hoyne Avenue]

Friday, November 14, 2008

♫ orbis


Uncross your eyes.

Thursday, November 13, 2008



Dawn: damage done.

[Damen Avenue below Grand Avenue]

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

a stir of dust

Sepia night

Moon peers; follows you round the town.

There is a stir of dust from old leaves
Will you trade roses for acorns...

"Canto LXXIX," Ezra Pound

[Thomas Street west of Hoyne Street]

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

thurber's light-juggling tiger

Go green

James Thurber observed that the sight of a near-blind man is a wondrous thing, especially in cities, in traffic. The oncoming vision of a bright orange tiger juggling glowing orbs of green and red, for instance.

[California Avenue]

Monday, November 10, 2008

♫ falling


[Chicago Avenue, westward]

Sunday, November 9, 2008

♫ walker


In dreams, no one answers your call. No one turns their head. No one pauses. They are going away.

[Chicago Avenue west of California Avenue]

Saturday, November 8, 2008



Stenciled katz won't fade away. Always the thought of a shadow of a kitten left by a nuclear detonation.

[Damen Avenue above Division Street]

Friday, November 7, 2008

♫ set

Looking west

Pollution's prettiness.

[Looking west from Chicago Avenue at Damen Avenue]

Thursday, November 6, 2008




[Architrouve, Chicago Avenue east of Bishop Street]

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

obama ahead

Obama ahead

[Kings Cross, London]

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

daylight savings

Daylight savings

Night's pumpkin flush.

[Damen Avenue above Thomas Street]

Monday, November 3, 2008



I wanted to make a census of varieties of cast-iron utility covers in the neighborhood, but suddenly, they're being replaced with strange plastic coverlets.

[Damen Avenue below Augusta Boulevard]

Sunday, November 2, 2008



Illuminating grid by night, briefly, intermittently, between cover of cloud.

[Alley behind Damen Avenue above Rice Street]

Saturday, November 1, 2008

west, north

west north

The eye wanders. Shadows gather. Shadows more solid than objects in motion.

[Beat Kitchen, Belmont Avenue at Hoyne Avenue]

About Me

Chicago, Illinois, United States