Chicago/Chicago (9 Days to 40)

The View From My Room1.

Chicago trip/tolls/Red Vines & a Coke/a podcast about Rome at night/an antique land bathed in spotlights and crowds/loud conversations, broken statues, winding narrow streets lost in shadows/wife tries to sleep-

Too-expensive hotel/broken shower/costumed adults running for a party/I’m seeking a Chicago dog/or a deep dish pizza/settled for sandwich/remembering another I had in Italy-

Dirty streets/with beggars and tourists/tall shining buildings/everyone has someplace to be/everyone has a camera/strangely feel guilty by my noncommitments-

Art Institute/I never look enough, I scan, scan, scan…/crowds fascinate me/I spy on the conversations/their casual  mole/stealing moments around the moments captured on canvas/chiseled out of stone/moments around moments/I sit & think of that turn of phrase-

I worry about the clock/I worry about my writing and books/I worry about tomorrow/about the day after tomorrow/I worry about my children/the future/I always worry/in all these years it is now a friend-

I will probably always worry-

I should look around more/but I scan, scan, scan…-

I almost buy a shirt-


and at the beautiful wedding my wife has me dance to Katy Perry and I think that is odd since I will usually change the radio station whenever one of her songs would come on and I have a few drinks and I review text messages from my parents about my kids and read that my son at a bookstore that day knocked over Clifford the Big Red Dog and I feel oddly impressed by that because he is five and Clifford is supposedly a very big dog and I wonder if he had to take a running start and if he screamed because if I was to take on a big red dog like Clifford I would have screamed a mighty scream and run while doing it and then I begin to think of the poor teenager trapped in a low-paying job and a Clifford costume who was just bowled over by a five-year old and I imagine what curse words he thought about my child as he fell frantically reaching with his hands to catch himself on anything and I drink more old-fashions which is a mixed drink I like and it makes me think of Hemmingway and Fitzgerald and I wonder what I would have talked about with them since we would have so little in common save our books but even then they are not the same but we are part of the same club being writers and creators and struggling artists, them at the end of their track, me still forcing along and I get another drink and think of Michael Jackson as I watch my wife perfectly perform “Beat It” with the bride and I rate how much better his song is than Katy Perry’s and I wonder if that comparison makes me old, linking the gone with the alive like me and my Hemingway and then I get lost looking at my hands trying to remember what they looked like when they were younger and I think again of the teenager grunting as my son decided to give Clifford a hug too big and then I realize I don’t think I have ever read a Clifford book to him… ever.


White faced
Like clean fresh pavement-
Victorian attire
From top hat
To tails
To cane-

The ghost people-
I dub them-
And they haunted
The old Embassy Hotel
On Halloween-

I watched them
With mouth agape-
So proper-
So refined-
Like escapees
From a lost nightmare
I wish I could remember-

If the world could only be
That miraculously
I would join their dirge
With the faintest whisper of

A Jane Austen DaydreamIf you liked reading this post, why not check out one of my books? I’ve had four novels published in the last few years, A Jane Austen Daydream,  Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous DareMy Problem With Doors and Megan. You can find them via my author page here, or as an eBook on Google eBooks here.  Thanks for reading!

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10 thoughts on “Chicago/Chicago (9 Days to 40)

  1. The second section of your post reminds me a lot of the whole “Yes, and…” bit that might be something my employers made up, but really might have been something I heard from someone on how to do impromptu comedy sketches. I like it because even though it is essentially one big run on sentence, it kept me reading.
    The fact that you question whether “Beat It” is better than Katy Perry because you’re getting older shouldn’t be thought of as a negative. The fact that you’re even wondering about it, thinking about it from an outsiders perspective makes you one step ahead of many other people who will take whatever they think as fact, just because.

    • Thanks (Beat It is A better song).

      I was thinking more Joyce when I did that or some other prose poems (I’m blank on names as I write this unfortunately). I love to create passages like this from time to time. Think outside the box in writing, think of an idea as a stream, a flow of ideas, jumping into a current and seeing if I can bring it all back together.

      I did improv comedy twice in my life. It was fun but exhausting.


  2. Sounds like a crazy fun weekend! Haha. Love love love the imagery in this one and the lyrical and prose and poetic devices you interwoven. I track worry, then self-identity, then a Halloween party–maybe an actual event or a dream perhaps? Maybe a form of analyzing the past? There’s ghosts and then there’s ghosts. I will retort with words of my own weekend since to comment on such things seems redundant, because you cannot comment on people’s experiences without sharing your own!

    Edges of madness creep past the anxieties and transgressions that my mind bestows upon itself
    A legendary tale for the masses, an ever escaping lack of truth with a claim that depression is real and isn’t real all at the same time
    A cawing crow calls to the cold winter wind, others join in the fray, soon everyone bellows to be heard, everyone screams to be noticed
    Who will notice me notice you?
    I caw, I beg to be heard, I plead with the wind crying, “Save me! Save me tumultuous world, drugs, sex, money, fame, Save me! For I desperately need to be saved.
    Like the crows I caw at nothing, just bitter cold.
    I caw not to be noticed, but to be noticed, to be connected to someone by flesh or by spirit, I caw at growing old.
    Madness! Everything is madness, what type of madness you choose is what you choose, and what words you use to depict yourself is the words that you will use.
    part 2
    Wispy winds of something once known
    Dripping facets, bottles of wine lie empty
    A hotel room, two girls hide in
    Talking of things that will never leave those walls
    Talking of things that will never leave their heads
    Twisted stories, games we’ve played
    The walls we’ve mastered
    The walls we’ve made.
    An award was given for excellence
    An award was given, she won!
    She won something alright,
    The loneliness of her spirit.
    Two girls talk, two girls close their eyes.
    One leaves hers open,
    Approaching the dawn with more things to do/more things to be done.
    Life seems to be all about the things
    All the things and no subjects.
    Part 3
    The past makes us,
    The past reshapes us,
    Give me glory, give me speed,
    Give me everything, but the past.
    Leave it behind, enter into oblivion,
    Seek a deeper shade of red than you once was
    Seek a deeper color of purple than what was done.
    Venture out!
    Take a leap of faith—a risk
    See what happens next
    The next time you give in.

    Haha, not as good as yours though! Let’s have the Saints (or Aquinas Student Saint) keep working on it.

    • I think this is the first comment I have ever received back in poetry. Whoa… So what is happening in these pieces? What awards are these?

      I like the bit about life being about the things and no subjects.


  3. I love the differences between the pieces. It feels so much like a thought process in the minds of three different people. Each one has it’s own style and rhythm, that sets the pieces apart. I’m still not sure which bit I like more. My first read through I thought it was definitely the second piece because it was so engaging and the pace makes it so powerful, but after re-reading the pieces a couple of time individually, I can find so many amazing bits within each piece that grabs the attention and pulls you into the piece. The way you’ve managed to write in three different styles and still make each piece just as strong as the previous is really something beautiful.

  4. I love your train of thought throughout the whole weekend and how you go from dancing to Katy Perry to learning about how your son knocked Clifford over, and then how you think of the teenager who is working a low paying job at that bookstore: no one ever thinks of the lowly bookstore employee.
    Sounds like it was a wonderful weekend.

  5. I visited Chicago for the second time this summer but it was a the first time I got the chance to really walk around and take in the sights and smells and sends of the city. My boyfriend and I spent the whole day walking around while the rest of my family enjoyed a cubs game. Not being a baseball fan the city offered me an escape that I’m surprised I enjoyed so much. I hate cars and big groups of people so the thought of Chicago seemed overwhelming. But it offered me great people watching opportunities and I loved all the fountains.
    And you must read your son at least one Clifford book. They R too epic to miss, especially now that he has taken on and overcome the big red dog himself.
    And I must confess that while I love Michael Jackson, Katy Perry is my guilty pleasure. She is probably the only contemporary pop singer that I do like. Don’t worry, sometimes I question my own judgement.

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