Wednesday, August 31, 2011

a man with a fin-tailed car

OK'd Cars

"Some people have more gadgets than others. Naturally you consider a man with a fin-tailed car more successful than the man who's driving a model five years old. It's false to judge people that way."

~ Nelson Algren

[Western Avenue above Chicago Avenue]

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Saturday, August 13, 2011

so you spend your time in vague regret or vaguer hope


“Everything is more complicated than you think. You only see a tenth of what is true. There are a million little strings attached to every choice you make. You can destroy your life every time you choose. But maybe you won’t know for twenty years! And you may never ever trace it to its source. And you only get one chance to play it out. Just try and figure out your own divorce. And they say there's no fate, but there is, it's what you create. And even though the world goes on for eons and eons, you are only here for a fraction of a fraction of a second. Most of your time is spent being dead, or not yet born. But while alive, you wait in vain wasting years for a phone call or a letter or a look from someone or something to make it all right, but it never comes. Or it seems to, but it doesn't really. So you spend your time in vague regret or vaguer hope that something good will come along, something to make you feel connected, something to make you feel cherished, something to make you feel loved. And the truth is is, I feel so angry! And the truth is, I feel so fucking sad! And the truth is, I’ve felt so fucking hurt for so fucking long and for just as long, I’ve been pretending I’m okay, just to get along! I don’t know why. Maybe because... no one wants to hear about my misery... because they have their own. Fuck everybody. Amen."

The priest's monologue, "Synecdoche, New York," Charlie Kaufman

[Chicago Avenue east of Winchester Street]

Friday, August 12, 2011

slow as a cloud


One day
she fell
in love with its
heft and speed.
Tough, lean,

fast as light
slow as a cloud.
It took care
of rain, short

noon, long dark.
It had rough kin;
did not stall.
With it, she said,
I may,

if I can,
sleep; since I must,
Some say,

"The Monosyllable," Josephine Jacobsen

[Chicago Avenue west of Damen Avenue]

Thursday, August 11, 2011

the hand holds no chalk


"Its existence
Was real, though troubled, and the ache
Of this waking dream can never drown out
The diagram still sketched on the wind,
Chosen, meant for me and materialized
In the disguising radiance of my room.
We have seen the city; it is the gibbous
Mirrored eye of an insect. All things happen
On its balcony and are resumed within,
But the action is the cold, syrupy flow
Of a pageant. One feels too confined,
Sifting the April sunlight for clues,
In the mere stillness of the ease of its
Parameter. The hand holds no chalk
And each part of the whole falls off
And cannot know it knew, except
Here and there, in cold pockets
Of remembrance, whispers out of time."

"Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror," John Ashbery

[Chicago Avenue west of California Avenue]

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

a bicycle that glitters like the wind

Cell phone pocket

This girl
Waits at the corner for
This boy
Freewheeling on his bicycle.
She holds
A flower in her hand
A gold flower
In her hands she holds
The sun.
With power between his thighs
The boy
Comes smiling to her
He rides
A bicycle that glitters like
The wind.
This boy this girl
They walk
In step with the wind
Arm in arm
They climb the level street
To where
Laid on the glittering handlebars
The flower
Is round and shining as
The sun

"Girl, Boy, Flower, Bicycle," M. K. Joseph

[Chicago Avenue at Winchester Street]

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

some specific something that's no longer required

Donald Trump live

Necessity being one of invention's many mothers, I have a certain faith in our ability to repurpose almost anything, provided it becomes sufficiently necessary. Then again, I suspect we've abandoned cities in the past because they were too thoroughly built to do some specific something that's no longer required."

~ William Gibson, Scientific American, September 2011

[Damen Avenue below North Avenue]

Monday, August 8, 2011



"One can summarize a plot in one sentence, whereas it’s fairly difficult to summarize one frame." ~ Raymond Durgnat

[North Avenue east of Milwaukee and Damen Avenues]

Sunday, August 7, 2011

every time you watch a movie


"Every time you watch a movie you become part of its moment, whenever it may have been, and you live the moment over again rather than simply remember it."

~ Steve Erickson on Monte Hellman

[Damen Avenue below Division Street]

Saturday, August 6, 2011

a perpetual setting forth


"Barthes' preferred way of presenting his hypotheses was in the form of linked aphorisms, and, as Susan Sontag noted, 'it is the nature of aphoristic thinking to be always in a state of concluding.' The paradox, then, is that this man who liked first words (and adored paradoxes) offered his provisional findings as if they were the last word. Needless to say, this last word was always susceptible to further elaboration and refinement, to further beginnings. This is how Barthes' prose acquires its signature style of compression and flow, a summing up that is also a perpetual setting forth."

~ Geoff Dyer on Roland Barthes


Friday, August 5, 2011

days before the injury was expected


You might remember trying to read
The notes scrawled on the decaying leaves
Of the branches whizzing upwards
As you tumbled down the yawn
Between mountains, irresistible
As the urge to bandage your chest
Days before the injury was expected.

"And About Time," David Lehman

[Chicago Avenue west of California Avenue]

Thursday, August 4, 2011

a minor light, a cooling star


"The madness of an autumn prairie cold front coming through. You could feel it: something terrible was going to happen. The sun low in the sky, a minor light, a cooling star. Gust after gust of disorder. Trees restless, temperatures falling, the whole northern religion of things coming to an end."

"The Corrections," Jonathan Franzen

[Haddon Street at Damen Avenue]

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

constantly lapsing into oblivion


"I think how little we can hold in mind, how everything is constantly lapsing into oblivion with every extinguished life, how the world is, as it were, draining itself, in that the history of countless places and objects which themselves have no power or memory is never heard, never described or passed on."

"Austerlitz," W.G. Sebald

[Damen Avenue below Haddon Street]

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

figureless landscapes drenched in the light worked through the presumption of sentimental memory

Sunset in a flooded gutter

“Just how powwrful is art? Can it put you off your food the way love or grief or fear does? Can it slam the brakes on the relentless business of life, fade out the buzz and cut straight through to our most basic emotions: anguish, desire, ecstasy, terror? For most of art's history, it was assumed that if you pitched the stakes that high you would need stories, or at least figures, to deliver the poetic rush of feeling: weeping Madonnas; voluptuously vulnerable nudes; soulful self-portraits; embattled heroes laid low. Even figureless landscapes drenched in the light worked through the presumption of sentimental memory, briefly passing felicities. But Mark Rothko believed that tradition was all used up; that figurative art no longer had what it took to connect us, viscerally, to the human tragedy. In the century of mass incinerations, who cared about a few darts in the side of St Sebastian? The problem of modern life, especially in consumer society, he thought, was that unspeakable things had been done and contemporary culture’s answer was to dull the pain with distraction, with the daily satisfaction of the appetites. The problem of modern art was how—with such elementary material as paint and canvas—it could throttle the relentless chirpiness of contemporary life and reconnect us with the strenuous drama of the human condition... Only a completely new visual language of strong feeling, Rothko thought, could wake us from moral stupor.”

"The Power of Art," Simon Schama

[Chicago Avenue and Damen Avenue]

Monday, August 1, 2011

no moon and the stars sparse


Long ago in Kentucky, I, a boy
Stood by a dirt road at first dark
And heard the great geese hoot northward.

I could not see them
There being no moon and the stars sparse.
I heard them.

I did not know what was happening in my heart.
It was the season before the elderberry blooms,
Therefore, they were going north.
The sound was passing northward.

Tell me a story.
In this century in moment of mania
Tell me a story.
Make it a story of great distances and starlight.
The name of the story will be Time,
But you must not pronounce its name.
Tell me a story of deep delight.

"Audubon: A Vision," Robert Penn Warren

[Chicago Avenue at Winchester Street]

About Me

Chicago, Illinois, United States