What now

Cooperation only lasts as long as the status quo is unchanged. As soon as this guy gets to wherever this thing ends… he won’t need you anymore -Patrick Gates, National Treasure

Yesterday changed the game
the status quo shifting
from what was assumed
to what we have no way of knowing

What in the world was I thinking
taking off my gas mask
before the war was over–

You don’t know me still
and I thought the truce
was still in effect
thinking–what if
we don’t make it to Sunday

Are we heading into space
because you know I still can’t fly
I am already in danger
of drowning for crying

That was your dream
of going to the moon
that was your dream–not mine
I always wanted
my feet on the ground

Crying and begging don’t cut it
it was you on your knees
during the good times–my
hail Mary pass
when all seemed to be lost

A Golden Age

Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Cultural Center 78 E. Washington, Chicago IL


Age appears to be best in four things; old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.  -Francis Bacon

Walking around my beloved Chicago, I do find my eyes more often passing over the new to admire the old, particularly the architecture that came out of the era just after the great fire in 1871. The Chicago Cultural Center was opened in 1897. Originally the city’s central library, it was converted in the late 70’s to an arts and culture center. I love this building. I walk around it every time like it is the first time. And the real beauty for me of this corner of Michigan and Washington is the old buildings flanked by the new. But for now, let’s look back.

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I like when night falls
in fog
obscuring the naughty bits
the ugliness best forgotten–
last night
it fell like bricks
bruising and

I try to write in the dark
where my thoughts
are most honest
I grieve lately
choking on the words
to tell
how you keep me
in the dark

Flipping the Tables

I had the opportunity to write for a website I really enjoy called Cinema Shame. If you are a cinephile as I am, I think you’ll love the podcasts there especially, delightful romps through films that are very popular but which the writer’s had not seen before.
Here is mine, after watching Raging Bull for the first time.

Cinema Shame


The movies I watch most frequently, roughly 80%, are subtle, full of dark images, deep thoughts, and painted with smoke, mirrors, and chiaroscuro. The movies I tend to walk around, to avoid, even when given four-star reviews, are bloody, action flicks, brutal and gruesome, cruel and angry. My best friend might argue with you, that is exactly what I watch, a mixture of the usual top-ten noir films we’ve all seen with Bogart and Mitchum and their splendid ilk. But I also watch a lot of 1940’s crime films with twisted femme fatales, and a mixture of characters with seemingly no conscience and no regrets. I suppose there is a discrepancy there but we all have our limits and I never did well with brutal, unless it was painted up pretty and put in stockings and a ball gown.

Enter Raging Bull, the top daddy on many critics’ lists, including…

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Tantalizing Tuesday: Jean Arthur

Jean Arthur

I fell in love with Jean Arthur for the first time in Mr Smith Goes to Washington. She guided Jimmy Stewart as a Junior Senator who stumbled over some corruption during his first time in Washington. I could go on an on about the film itself–its great casting, the marvelous filming around Washington, D.C., as well as the involvement of the child-actors who really made the film special. But we’re talking about Jean Arthur today. Let’s take a peek–and a listen–

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I saw it coming

Once upon a time, there was a damsel in a red dress
the young prince jealous of all the dashing penguins
surrounding her, courting the lady with words, fancying themselves
new Byrons, and one in every crowd, a Bukowski in tights
catching her eye

She wasn’t much to look at in the midday sun, but when the shadows were cast across the folds of her dress, he would turn his head, his eyes soft and lost in daydreams of what could be done with such a woman

Knowing that the nights, such as they were, were payment for days of ludicrous loss they would never see coming, the wars fought without swords, inflicting wounds that would never heal, festering fathoms of ache

Allowed one indulgence, one glorious night under the moon, wrapped up in her tresses, the rising sun giving away the messes of what would be their great romance, a lifetime in one night, an ending before they were ever begun.

The end.

Again? (so many Mondays)

Is this Monday again? I wasn’t looking. I wasn’t paying attention. I walked right into it, writing while walking, sulking while my feet were still moving and she was above me, in thin air

I ordered roses for her from the florist. They sent her lilies. How did they know? Were they looking through my window when my face pinched in pain? Did they read my letters and follow my halting steps

I wish this wasn’t a true story. I wish it was a horror that people read, dog-earing the pages to the ghastly parts they want to show their partners later. I wish it was fiction in the purest sense

At what point did I realize that there was hope? What was elusive, dodging me, mocking me, is at arm’s length. That is a good deal closer than in my youth, giving up the dreams for thralldom.

Pleasure is fleeting. But it returns, I know it, somewhere around Thursday of the month, a refreshing gust in the middle of swelter

Speeding ticket

I am in the kitchen writing out my life
Chopin in the living room,urging me not to quit
for the sadness (over breakfast
and a hurried car ride home)
is heavy and burdensome

I don’t care (I said)
because of course
I care more than life itself
but if I have to give up my life
in the process (I don’t care)

Then what is the purpose of living
this strangling, overarching plot
that no one would buy
is dancing in my last nerve
threatening to end us

So it is like this, that you will
treat me kindly in the future
and I will continue to write my life
both wonderful and terrible, and
this is the contract I implore you to sign