February 23, 2015

this poem has parts, hearts, lungs and etcetera(s)...

Lawndale Public Housing
West side of Chicago
( June, 1951, CHA archives )


this poem has parts, hearts, lungs and etcetera(s)

publicly housed vignette-ification words 
(in animal familiar adoption ritual song)

it's always 
some beautiful stray 
that gets you 
you're singing 
stealing little pleasures
to find where
a when
didn't mean
time knew 
where to count 
against you

"...those cats 
and dogs 
were old souls 
sent to remind 
those stationed 
here for awhile 
to find where 
they're worn 
most comfortably thinned..."

tight tied together
leaning brick 
and mortar 
space age apart meant
bared to rocks carry 
your dole mule stubborn
into a living space 
find your between 
the cracks
and brigade 
veined inside
voyeur to de-sensitized
vanity by way
of consumption(s)
great and small 

the chains 
laughter was a
funeral balance
kept dreaming 
from getting 
too high

outside the windows
it was barracks looking 
nondescript just about 
prison walls 
this is where
the poor folks live
with their sidewalks
and parking spots 
designated yearly 
freshly painted lines 
that promised 
most likely 
was and is
going to be 
just beyond 
their reach

(coda on the collar)

they were 
near enough
where they could be
at least, aware 
of a semblance
of meaning 

almost was king
being the taste
of forever, here

in a land
peopled by 
those with families, 
those leftover caravans 
and those who 
want to be 
of the rest
of the world 
like me


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