Saturday, February 19, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

lighting on every moment of my life

Heart on

My lovers suffocate me,
Crowding my lips, thick in the pores of my skin,
Jostling me through streets and public halls, coming naked to me at night,
Crying by day, Ahoy! from the rocks of the river, swinging and
chirping over my head,
Calling my name from flower-beds, vines, tangled underbrush,
Lighting on every moment of my life,
Bussing my body with soft balsamic busses,
Noiselessly passing handfuls out of their hearts and giving them to be mine.

"Song of Myself," Walt Whitman

[Chicago Avenue at Winchester Street]

Sunday, February 13, 2011

an overwhelming problem for an animal free of instinct


Life is an overwhelming problem for an animal free of instinct. The individual has to protect himself from the world, and he can do this only as any other animal would: by narrowing down the world, shutting off experience, developing an obliviousness both to the terrors of the world and to his own anxieties. Otherwise he would be crippled for action. We cannot repeat too often the great lesson of Freudian psychology: that repression is normal self-protection and creative self-restriction—in a real sense man's natural substitute for instinct... The artist also takes in the world but instead of being oppressed by it he reworks it in his own personality and recreates it in the work of art... We might say that both the neurotic and the artist bite off more than they can chew, but the artist spews it back out again and chews it over in an objectified way, as an external, active, work project... The neurotic's frustration as a failed artist can't be remedied by anything but an objective creative work of his own... There is no doubt that creative work is itself done under a compulsion often indistinguishable from a purely clinical obsession. In this sense, what we call a creative gift is merely the social license to be obsessed.

"The Denial of Death," Ernest Becker

[West of Damen Avenue, south of Thomas Street]

Saturday, February 12, 2011

all things shining


And you have made all things new;
you have showed me all things shining.

~ Odes of Solomon

[The Magic Alley, Ukrainian Village]

Friday, February 11, 2011

mystical hysterical

Winded flag

Mystical hysterical amalgam of earth and wind
and mind

"Dust Devil," Christian Wiman

[Division Street east of Damen Avenue]

Monday, February 7, 2011

the great city's troubled heart

"There, unheard by the millions who ride the waves above and sleep, and sleep and dream, night after night after night, loving and well beloved, guarding and well guarded, beats the great city's troubled heart."

"City on the Make," Nelson Algren

[Chicago Avenue and Damen Avenue]

Saturday, February 5, 2011



[Cortez Street east of Western Avenue]

Friday, February 4, 2011

the fog remains

More snow, Mr. Antonioni?

Here was the fog. It's not difficult to drive in the fog. Just don't lose sight of the white line in the middle of the road; move over only when you see another car coming toward you. In a relationship between a man and a woman, there's also a white line, which at a certain moment divides into two: these two move parallel to each other for awhile and then converge, only to diverge suddenly until finally they disappear. The fog remains.

~ Michelangelo Antonioni

[Chicago Avenue west of Wolcott]

Thursday, February 3, 2011

in the dark times

Work light
All indoors

In the dark times
Will there also be singing?

Yes, there will be singing.
About the dark times.

~ Bertolt Brecht

[Chicago Avenue east of Winchester Street]

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

our endurance these days frayed


For wearing the soul out in dull dull size
O’Hare is the worst, it is a fitting gate
to come into Chicago, if your feet
still drag their heavy selves and if your eyes
survive the miles of Stygian blue. Be wise,
lovers of light, lovers, and sedate
humanists, race of Erasmus, to evade
this labyrinth upon your winged ways;

our number is grown few and our endurance
these days frayed; though we are sweet and bland
by disposition, we are known to kill
or die of grief meeting the imbecile.
And through these corridors they pipe a canned
music that is neither song nor dance.

"O’Hare Airport," Paul Goodman

[Chicago Avenue and Damen Avenue]

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

a ruined moon in a sky that had fallen through

A sky of midnight blue. A moon of Christmas snow. Long ago. Now rust and rain had run the colors, sun had flaked the midnight snow. Nothing remained but a ruined moon in a sky that had fallen through.

"A Walk On The Wild Side," Nelson Algren

[Chicago Avenue at Damen Avenue]

About Me

Chicago, Illinois, United States