Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.

~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

after one look

After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say I want to see the manager.

~ William S. Burroughs

[Chicago Avenue west of Damen Avenue; demolished]

Monday, December 28, 2009

swim to me, swim to me

Here I am, here I am waiting to hold you.
Did I dream you dreamed about me?
Were you here when I was full sail?
Hear me sing: Swim to me, swim to me, let me enfold you.
Here I am. Here I am, waiting to hold you

"Song The Siren," This Mortal Coil

[Carroll Street west of Damen Avenue]

Sunday, December 27, 2009

they could not lose their way

The path was narrow and wound here and there between the trees, but they could not lose their way, because thick vines and creepers shut them in on both sides. They had walked a long time when, suddenly turning a curve of the pathway, they came upon a lake of black water, so big and so deep that they were forced to stop.

"Little Wizard Stories of Oz," L. Frank Baum

[Winchester Street at Chicago Avenue]

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

ordinary eternal machinery

Hear is not the right word. I became a telephone. Edith was the electrical conversation that went through me.
—Well, what was it, what was it?
—Ordinary eternal machinery.
—Ordinary eternal machinery.
—Is that all you are going to say?
—Ordinary eternal machinery like the grinding of the stars.
—That’s better.
—That was a distortion of the truth which, I see, suits you very well. I distorted the truth to make it easier for you. The truth is: ordinary eternal machinery.

"Beautiful Losers," Leonard Cohen

[Carroll Street west of Damen Avenue]

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

you want to travel blind

And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And you know that she will trust you
For you’ve touched her perfect body with your mind

"Suzanne," Leonard Cohen

[Chicago Avenue east of Damen Avenue]

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

everything terrible

Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

[Damen Avenue above Augusta Avenue]

Sunday, December 6, 2009

timeless raindrops

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.

"A River Runs Through It," Norman Maclean

[Chicago River near Wacker Drive]

Saturday, December 5, 2009

color of hard crimson

You will hear thunder and remember me,
And think: she wanted storms. The rim
Of the sky will be the colour of hard crimson,
And your heart, as it was then, will be on fire.

That day in Moscow, it will all come true,
when, for the last time, I take my leave,
And hasten to the heights that I have longed for,
Leaving my shadow still to be with you.

"You Will Hear Thunder," Anna Akhmatova

Friday, December 4, 2009

known knowns

HandAs we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don’t know
We don’t know.

~ Donald Rumsfeld

Monday, November 30, 2009

made her feel very sleepy and stupid

Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, “and what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversations?” So she was considering, in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.

"Alice In Wonderland," Lewis Carroll

[Thomas Street at Damen Avenue]

Friday, November 27, 2009

the old remembered pictures

Dreams in the dusk,
Only dreams closing the day
And with the day’s close going back
To the gray things, the dark things,
The far, deep things of dreamland.

Dreams, only dreams in the dusk,
Only the old remembered pictures
Of lost days when the day’s loss
Wrote in tears the heart’s loss.

Tears and loss and broken dreams
May find your heart at dusk.

"Dreams in the Dusk," Carl Sandburg

Thursday, November 26, 2009

nothing is impossible

Today I ate a meal at a fancy restaurant. I like to do so that sometimes. It makes me feel like I'm part of the world. Makes me realize nothing is impossible.

"Notes From Underground," Eric Bogosian

[Damen Avenue above Haddon Street]

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

i scratch myself; i stop writing indefinitely; i lose my appetite;

Every time I read that someone has spoken badly of me, I begin to cry; I drag myself across the floor; I scratch myself; I stop writing indefinitely; I lose my appetite; I smoke less; I engage in sport; I go for walks on the edge of the sea—which, by the way, is less than 30 meters from my house—and I ask the seagulls, whose ancestors ate the fish who ate Ulysses: Why me? Why? I've done you no harm.

~ Roberto Bolaño

[Chicago Avenue at Damen Avenue]

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

a good cuppa


[Damen Avenue at Chicago Avenue]

Monday, November 23, 2009



[East of Damen Avenue above Chicago Avenue]

Sunday, November 22, 2009

i saw a man, he danced with his wife In chicago, chicago my home town

I do remember some things
times when I listened and heard
no one saying no, certain
miraculous provisions
of the much prayed for manna
and once a man, it was two
o’clock in the morning in
Pittsburgh, Kansas, I finally
coming home from the loveliest
drunk of them all, a train chugged,
goddamn, struggled across a
prairie intersection and
a man from the caboose real-
ly waved, honestly, and said,
and said something like my name.

"Manna," James Tate
Young Sam Elliott

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Jacqueline Bisset signs for a waiting collector

Jacqueline Bisset signs a still from The Deep for a fan.

[Outside Ambassador East Hotel]

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sunday, November 1, 2009

descent of the drowned body sinking backward

By falling asleep, I fall inside myself: from my exhaustion, from my boredom, from my exhausted pleasure or from my exhausting pain. I fall inside my own satiety as well as my own vacuity: I myself become the abyss and the plunge, the density of deep water and the descent of the drowned body sinking backward. I fall to where I am no longer separated from the world by a demarcation that still belongs to me all though my waking state and that I myself am, just as I am my skin and all my sense organs. I pass that line of distinction, I slip entire into the innermost and outermost part of myself, erasing the division between these two putative regions.

"The Fall of Sleep," Jean-Luc Nancy

[Damen Avenue above Haddon Street]

Monday, October 26, 2009

planning your search for a city

It is a myth, the city, the rooms and windows, the steam-spitting streets; for anyone, everyone, a different myth, an idol-head with traffic-light eyes winking a tender green, a cynical red. This island, floating in river water like a diamond iceberg, call it New York, name it whatever you like; the name hardly matters because, entering from the greater reality of elsewhere, one is only in search of a city, a place to hide, to lose or discover oneself, to make a dream wherein you prove that perhaps after all you are not an ugly duckling, but wonderful, and worthy of love, as you thought sitting on the stoop where the Fords went by; as you thought planning your search for a city…

"The Diamond Iceberg," Truman Capote

[Damen Avenue above Milwaukee Aveneu]

Sunday, October 25, 2009

wandering ghost

Korean culture dictates that when a person dies away from home, their spirit will remain unsettled and thereby become a ‘wandering ghost.’ The only way to save the spirit from eternal unrest and wandering is for the person who was last in contact with the body before it passed to participate in an ancient ritual to put the spirit at rest.

~ Ray Palen

[Chicago Avenue west of California Avenue]

Saturday, October 24, 2009


[Chicago Avenue west of Bishop Street]

Friday, October 23, 2009



[Damen Avenue below Chicago Avenue]

Thursday, October 22, 2009

ate him up from head to toe

Next morning, in comes Farmer Bland,
A pail of pigswill in his hand,
And piggy with a mighty roar,
Bashes the farmer to the floor…
Now comes the rather grizzly bit
So let's not make too much of it,
Except that you must understand
That Piggy did eat Farmer Bland,
He ate him up from head to toe,
Chewing the pieces nice and slow.
It took an hour to reach the feet,
Because there was so much to eat,
And when he finished, Pig, of course,
Felt absolutely no remorse.
Slowly he scratched his brainy head
And with a little smile he said,
"I had a fairly powerful hunch
"That he might have me for his lunch.
"And so, because I feared the worst,
"I thought I'd better eat him first.

"The Pig," Roald Dahl

[Damen Avenue below Wicker Park]

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

fled like arrows from the taut string

Why keep on seeding the chairs
When the future is night and no one knows what
He wants? It would probably be best though
To hang on to these words if only
For the rhyme. Little enough,
But later on, at the summit, it won't
Matter so much that they fled like arrows
From the taut string of a restrained
Consciousness, only that they mattered.
For the present, our not-knowing
Delights them. Probably they won't be devoured
By the lions, like the others, but be released
After a certain time. Meanwhile, keep
Careful count of the rows of windows overlooking
The deep blue sky behind the factory: we'll need them.

"Litany," John Ashbery

[Hideout Inn, east of Elston Avenue above North Avenue.]

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

what are you

what are you
in love with your problems?

~ Talking Heads

[Dovetail, Chicago Avenue west of Bishop Street]

Monday, October 12, 2009

each one is new only once

In its essence life is monotonous. Happiness therefore depends on a reasonably thorough adaptation to life’s monotony. By making ourselves monotonous, we make ourselves equal to life. Thus we live to the full. And living to the full is to be happy...It seems, at first glance, that new things are what give pleasure to the mind; but there aren’t many new things, and each one is new only once. Our sensibility, furthermore, is limited, and it doesn’t vibrate indefinitely. Too many new things will eventually get tiresome, since our sensibility can’t keep up with all the stimulations it receives.

"Notebooks," Fernando Pessoa

[Chicago Avenue west of Damen Avenue]

Sunday, October 11, 2009

her voice was a man

Shhhh. Hissing. Shhhhhh. Purring, breathing deep in her belly. She pretended her voice was a man. I love you You're mine Eat your food. And I licked her hand all over, up and down between her fingers.

"Lechery," Jayne Anne Phillips

[Chicago Avenue below California Avenue]

Thursday, October 8, 2009

the smoothness of oil

Cross-hatchings of rain against grey walls,
Slant lines of black rain
In front of the up and down, wet stone sides of buildings.
Greasy, shiny, black, horizontal,
The street.
And over it, umbrellas,
Black polished dots
Struck to white
An instant,
Stream in two flat lines
Slipping past each other with the smoothness of oil.

"Afternoon Rain In State Street," Amy Lowell

[State Street at Madison Street]

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

temperature shock

She began to crave the physical flash of walking in and out of places, the temperature shock, the hot wind blowing outside, the heavy frigid air inside.

"Play It As It Lays," Joan Didion

[Chicago Avenue at Damen Avenue]

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

even when lived in

houses built for happy people, therefore standing empty
even when lived in.

~ Brecht

[Chicago Avenue west of Damen Avenue]

Monday, October 5, 2009

lights must never

Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.

"September 1, 1939," W. H. Auden

[Damen Avenue above Haddon Street]

Sunday, October 4, 2009

ready to go smash

They're both of them peevish tonight, whippy as sheets of glass improperly annealed, ready to go smash at any indefinite touch in a whining matrix of stresses—

"Gravity's Rainbow," Thomas Pynchon

[Damen Avenue below Division Street]

Saturday, October 3, 2009

false azure

I was the shadow of the waxwing slain
By the false azure in the windowpane

"Pale Fire," Vladimir Nabokov

[Chicago Avenue west of Noble Street]

Friday, October 2, 2009

while you loved me

I was born when you kissed me. I died when you left me. I lived a few weeks while you loved me.

"In A Lonely Place," "Dixon Steele"

[Damen Avenue above Cortez Street

Sunday, September 27, 2009

if that ruins your life

Your numbers been purged from our central computer
So we can rig the facts
And sweep you under the rug
See our chart? Unemployment’s going down
If that ruins your life that’s your problem.

"Soup is Good Food," Dead Kennedys

[The Magic Alley, Ukrainian Village]

Saturday, September 26, 2009



[Winchester Street at Augusta Boulevard]

i smile and pass by

Your lies
sharp as knives.

You harm my heart.

My smile is past.

Your lies
sharp as knives

I drink pain
glass after glass

trying to escape
your eyes

sharp as knives.

I smile and pass by

The record says
again and again

in the same cruel scratch.

"Your love entering my bloodstream like a slow poison," Dónall Dempsey

[Winchester Street above Thomas Street]

Friday, September 25, 2009

Two new shows in October, at Myopic Books and Dovetail. Addresses, details, openings and other information are at the Far. And Near. blog.

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Chicago, Illinois, United States

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