Thursday, June 30, 2011

comic complication


[California Avenue and Chicago Avenue]

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

an only child above the measured thunder of the cars


By nights when the yellow salamanders of the El bend all one way and the cold rain runs with the red-lit rain.
By the way the city's million wires are burdened only by lightest snow;
When chairs are stacked and glasses are turned and arc-lamps all are dimmed.
By days when the wind bangs alley gates ajar and the sun goes by on the wind.
By nights when the moon is an only child above the measured thunder of the cars, you may know Chicago's heart at last.

"Chicago: City on the Make," Nelson Algren

[Chicago Avenue at California Avenue]

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

anybody live here?

Michael Myers' Parole Officer Lives


A police car pulls up in front of the Myers house. Brackett
and Loomis get out and stand by the front gate.

Anybody live here?

Not since 1963, since it happened.
Every kid in Haddonfield thinks
this place is haunted.

They may be right.

HALLOWEEN, John Carpenter & Debra Hill.

[Oakley Boulevard below Chicago Avenue]

Monday, June 27, 2011

in a good mood


"I can't tell my jokes if I'm in a good mood."
~ James Fritz

[Chicago Avenue at California Avenue]

Sunday, June 26, 2011

a handful of dust


What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

"The Waste Land," T. S. Eliot

[Chicago Avenue At Damen Avenue]

Saturday, June 25, 2011

the shunting of trains far away in the freight yards


"He walked down into the main square, where he could hear the fountain gurgling. In the middle he stopped indecisively, his coat unbuttoned, his hands pushed to the bottom of his trousers pockets, where they encountered nothing but the cloth. He listened a long time to the gurgling of the fountain and to the shunting of trains far away in the freight yards. 'An' this is the war,”he thought. 'Ain't it queer? It's quieter than it was at home nights.' Down the street at the end of the square a band of white light appeared, the searchlight of a staff car. The two eyes of the car stared straight into his eyes, dazzling him, then veered off to one side."

"Three Soldiers," John dos Passos

[Chicago Avenue at California Avenue]

Friday, June 24, 2011

the pub crawl that stops, looks and listens

Chicago History Museum Polite Pub Crawl

At dusk on the second-longest day of the year, a Ukrainian Village pub crawl sponsored by the Chicago History Museum, paused across Chicago Avenue to take instruction. They were unaware there was an impromptu meeting of the Chicago Man Kilt Club at their destination.

[Chicago Avenue at Winchester Street.]

Thursday, June 23, 2011

ingen blandade allt annat än whisky och öl på tug & maul


Ingen blandade allt annat än whisky och öl på Tug & Maul. Att be Antek för en martini hade varit motsvarande be honom om en kyss.

~ Nelson Algren

[Damen Avenue below Division Street]

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

we don't get tornados in these parts

We don't get tornadoes in these parts

[Chicago Avenue at Winchester Street.]

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

puerco, pollo, queso


The man drew a wad of bills from his hip pocket. He'd gotten back from months of service in Iraq, he said, his full commitment, he'd cashed out his discharge settlement. He quickly had a beer and a whiskey in front of him, and he tipped the doorman 20. He tipped the bartender 20, more. Hundreds poked out from among the 20s. The man wasn't from Chicago, but from downstate, something about his discharge left him alone in the city for the night, into Tuesday morning. He stared into the distance, outside the window onto the street, took a civil sip of the Heineken. The Tamale Man's car arrived, lurched to a stop in the loading zone. The man looked toward Claudio's approaching hand cooler with a child's wide eyes. The pair trade words in Spanish, regional Spanish that appeared to take the Tamale Man by surprise. A handful of bills are exchanged, Claudio handed over tamales — puerco, pollo, queso? — in their Ziploc bag. Claudio moved into the crowded storefront, searching for familiar customers down the room, getting hellos and hugs from along the bar. On the windowsill, the veteran field-stripped his tamales, laid neatly on folded napkins as if he were working a sushi counter, as if he were making bento for a child's lunch the next day. He arranged the three kinds of dipping salsa neatly among them. He took a bite, another. He ate efficiently, quickly. He stared off toward the street again, across the street, toward the distance, past the distance. These were good tamales.

[California Avenue and Chicago Avenue]

Monday, June 20, 2011

two parallel red lines


Weekends are long and white. Snow drifts against the door. Distant threads from the piano downstairs. Deneuve washes her glassware. Dries it. Hours slide. In the hotel room it is dusk, a girl turns, I have to confess something. This is mental. Two parallel red lines of different lengths inch forward, not touching.

"Weekends," Anne Carson

[Chicago Avenue west of Winchester Street]

a city filled with streets and sewers

a poem is a city filled with streets and sewers
filled with saints, heroes, beggars, madmen,
filled with banality and booze,
filled with rain and thunder and periods of
drought, a poem is a city at war,
a poem is a city asking a clock why,
a poem is a city burning,
a poem is a city under guns
its barbershops filled with cynical drunks,
a poem is a city where God rides naked
through the streets like Lady Godiva,
where dogs bark at night, and chase away
the flag; a poem is a city of poets,
most of them quite similar
and envious and bitter…
a small music from broken windows...
a poem is a city, a poem is a nation,
a poem is the world...

"A Poem Is A City," Charles Bukowski

[Damen Avenue and Chicago Avenue.]

willingness to be happy

O'Hara finds a thousand things to like. Ballet dancers fly through his verse. Taxi drivers tell him funny things. Zinka Milanov sings, the fountains splash. The city honks at him and he honks back. This willingness to be happy is one of the things for which O’Hara is most loved, and rightly so. It is a fundamental aspect of his moral life, and the motor of his poetry.

~ Joan Acocella on Frank O'Hara

[Chicago Avenue east of Damen Avenue.]

Sunday, June 19, 2011

often silly


"When will we hear once more the pure voice of elation
raised in the nightwood of known symbol and allusion?
Oh, far from Mother, in the unmarried city,
you contemplate a new ode to Euphrosyne,
goddess of banquets; and in the darkest hours
of holocaust and apocalypse, cheap music and singles bars,
you remind us of what the examined life involves –
for what you teach is the courage to be ourselves,
however ridiculous; and if you were often silly
or too “prone to hold forth," you prescribe a cure
for our civilization and its discontents
based upon agapé, Baroque opera, common sense
and the creative impulse that brought us here,
sustaining us now as we face a more boring future."

"Auden on St. Marks Place," Derek Mahon

[Above Lee Street east of Damen Avenue]

Saturday, June 18, 2011

urban falconry

Baby 2
Up There
baby 1
Walk like this

[Chicago Avenue east of Damen Avenue]

Friday, June 17, 2011

the new chicago style

After a discussion of what constitutes "The New Chicago Style," advertised on the cover of ACM magazine (Another Chicago Magazine), editor Jacob Knabb shares thoughts on the meaning of the rubic on the sidewalk outside the Stop Smiling storefront. 16 June.

[Milwaukee Avenue below Wood Street.]

Monday, June 6, 2011

hence the horizon's blade


Darling, you think it’s love, it’s just a midnight journey.
Best are the dales and rivers removed by force,
as from the next compartment throttles “Oh, stop it, Bernie,”
yet the rhythm of those paroxysms is exactly yours.
Hook to the meat! Brush to the red-brick dentures,
alias cigars, smokeless like a driven nail!
Here the works are fewer than monkey wrenches,
and the phones are whining, dwarfed by to-no-avail.
Bark, then, with joy at Clancy, Fitzgibbon, Miller.
Dogs and block letters care how misfortune spells.
Still, you can tell yourself in the john by the spat-at mirror,
slamming the flush and emerging with clean lapels.
Only the liquid furniture cradles the dwindling figure.
Man shouldn’t grow in size once he’s been portrayed.
Look: what’s been left behind is about as meager
as what remains ahead. Hence the horizon’s blade.

"Seaward," Josep Brodsky.

[Chicago Avenue at Winchester Street]

Sunday, June 5, 2011



Bryan Wendorf introduces THE COLOR WHEEL at Chicago Underground.

[State Street south of Couch Place]

Saturday, June 4, 2011

his aim is true-ish


Filmmaker Bill Siegel.

[Lake Street east of Union Park]

some girls never learn

Jerzy Rose

Filmmaker Jerzy Rose after premiere of his feature of the same name, opening night 2011, Chicago Underground Film Festival.

[State Street below Couch Place]

About Me

Chicago, Illinois, United States