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

About Me

Chicago, Illinois, United States