Florilegium Archive · Papercuts and Scribbles

August 2021 – Chicago

Poem inspired by Chicago by Brian Doyle

Savor the motley chaotic beery muddle of the White Sox;
For one dollar, buy three warm glowing holy amazing empanadas;
Great art can be made by unbelievable idiots.
When the wind whips 
I feel a bolt 
of what I can only call Chicagoness--
roaring with industry 
while surrounded by agriculture.

There are snowy owls along the lake
if you look carefully.
Chicago, which raises from the plains like Oz
where there's still laughter in the air and glitter in the puddles.
Stopping in the Billy Goat for awful coffee
where hope was incarcerated 
and despair was always on the menu.
God bless. Go Bears.

The arrogance of skyscrapers
starving for something 
not glass and metal and concrete.
I thought I could hear the lake muttering,
"There is no place better to have the blues than Chicago."

This deeper sense of the city was not at all 
where the shepherds of tourist claim it to be.
I wonder if there is not one city for each of us?
Without stories there is 
no nation and 
no religion and 
no culture.


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