Wednesday, March 31, 2010

the moon walked across


On the edges of our dreams was the sea,
which the moon walked across with soft footsteps.

"Gilgamesh," Spencer Reese

[Chicago Avenue east of Damen Avenue]

Monday, March 29, 2010

where all the ladders start


Now that my ladder's gone,
I must lie down where all the ladders start
In the foul rag and bone shop of the heart.

"The Circus Animals' Desertion," William Butler Yeats

[Milwaukee Avenue at North Avenue]

Sunday, March 28, 2010

what do you read


"What do you read, my lord?"
"Words, words, words."

"Hamlet," Shakespeare

[State Street]

Thursday, March 25, 2010

the true nature

All I could do was to offer you an opinion upon one minor point—a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction; and that, as you will see, leaves the great problem of the true nature of woman and the true nature of fiction unsolved. I have shirked the duty of coming to a conclusion upon these two questions—women and fiction remain, so far as I am concerned, unsolved problems.

"A Room Of One's Own," Virginia Woolf

[Ukrainian Village]

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

the fineness of sand

Penumbra de la paloma
llamaron los hebreos a la iniciación de la tarde
cuando la sombra no entropece los pasos
y la venida de la noche se advierte
como una música esperada y antiqua,
como un grato declive.
En esa hora en que la luz
tiene una finura de arena,
di con una calle ignorada,
abierta en noble anchura de terraza,
cuyas cornisas y paredes mostraban
colores tenues como el mismo cielo
que conmovía el fondo.

"Calle Desconocia," Jorge Luis Borges

[Superior Street east of Rush Street]

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

evoking happy moments

How beautiful the sun is on warm evenings! How deep space is! How powerful is the heart! Bending over you, queen of adored ones, I thought I breathed the perfume of your blood. How beautiful the sun is on warm evenings! ... I know the art of evoking happy moments, and live again my past curled up in your lap. For what is the good of seeking your languorous beauty elsewhere than in your dear body and in your so gentle heart? I know the art of evoking happy moments.

"The Balcony," Baudelaire via Elaine Marks

[Damen Avenue above Haddon Street]

Monday, March 22, 2010

well then cry

Well then, cry! Be sad! Pour out your heart and tell me, now and again, how you

~ Gustave Flaubert

[Damen Avenue below Division Street; Damen Avenue east of Chicago Avenue]

Saturday, March 20, 2010

now we cannot go anywhere

You see we all thought the ride would be lovely
and worth the trip, which it was, but now we cannot go anywhere
having already been everywhere. No, do you
understand how realistic it all is?

"Girls on the Run," John Ashbery

[Chicago Avenue east of Ashland Avenue]

Friday, March 19, 2010

what is this quintessence of dust

Hamlet: What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how
infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and
admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like
a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals—and yet,
to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me—
nor woman neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so.

Rosencrantz: My lord, there was no such stuff in my thoughts.

"Hamlet," William Shakespeare

[Peninsula Hotel, Rush Street at Superior Street]

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning
as a savage pitted against the wilderness,
Building, breaking, rebuilding,
Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with
white teeth,
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young
man laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has
never lost a battle,
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse.
and under his ribs the heart of the people,
Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of
Youth, half-naked, sweating, proud to be Hog
Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with
Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.

"Chicago," Carl Sandburg

[Chicago Avenue west of Noble Street]

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

children by the millions

Children by the millions
Wait for Alex Chilton
To come around
They say, I’m in love
What’s that song?
I’m in love
With that song

"Alex Chilton," Paul Westerberg

[Augusta Avenue at Hoyne Street]

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Soldier gummiesJubileeParr

Parr slides a Sharpie from the pocket of his crisp blue shirt. He has a look a photographer would affect: bemused, unremarkable, with fleeting but deadly accurate awareness. The room is crowded and the dozens of pictures on the walls range across three decades of his career, sampling from the satirical eye that has made him perhaps the most controversial of the Magnum Agency’s members. [Cont'd.]

[Martin Parr appearance, Stephen Daiter Gallery, Franklin Street at Huron Street]

Friday, March 12, 2010

who'll text first?


[Huron Street east of Franklin Street]

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Chicago fire

What is to give light must endure burning

~ Victor Frankl

[Dana Hotel, State Street at Erie Street]

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

next door

listen: there’s a hell
of a good universe next door; let’s go

~e.e. cummings

[The Magic Alley]

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


To Moscow, to Moscow, to Moscow!

"Three Sisters," Anton Chekhov

[Chicago Avenue east of Damen Avenue]

Sunday, March 7, 2010

this huge blank garden like a piece of electricity

I have it from Virginia Woolf
who once spoke to me at a party not of course
about drowning of which she had no idea yet

—have I told you this story before?
I remember the sky behind her was purple she
came towards me saying Why are you alone

in this huge blank garden
like a piece of electricity? Electricity?
Maybe she said cakes and tea true we were

drinking gin

"Autobiography of Red," Anne Carson

[Chicago Avenue at Winchester Street]

Thursday, March 4, 2010

endless jabberwockies

"Of course there’s going to be endless jabberwockies. That’s what’ll make it interesting.”

~ Helena Bonham-Carter

[Orleans Street at Huron Street]

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

see it and leave

Sometimes I see something so moving I know I'm not supposed to linger. See it and leave. If you stay too long, you wear out the wordless shock. Love it and trust it and leave.

"Underworld," Don DeLillo

[Below North Avenue east of Milwaukee Avenue]

Monday, March 1, 2010

punk from damen and division

The little petit-larceny punk from Damen and Division and the dealer still got along like a couple playful pups... Their friendship had kindled on a winter night two years before Pearl Harbor when Sparrow had first drifted, with that lost year's first snow, out of a lightless, snow-banked alley onto a littered and lighted street.

"The Man With The Golden Arm," Nelson Algren

[Damen Avenue at Division Street]

About Me

Chicago, Illinois, United States