Monday, February 14, 2011
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
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
Friday, February 11, 2011
Monday, February 7, 2011
"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
Friday, February 4, 2011
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
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
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 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]
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