Saturday, August 8, 2015

Maria Egel writes


And like an old lover you return to me,

roll over me, into me.

You inhale my many spices

embrace my spidery arms of fog,

and feel safe in my cocoon.

You frolic on my green vistas

and wash away your grime

in the waters of my lake.

My many veins carry you to and fro,

to the very outskirts of my borders.

Did you miss me? My music?

The swelling notes of Bach,

The warbled blues,

Hard rock, hot jazz,

My hum, my growl, my heartbeat?

Did you miss the many colors of my seasonal hats?

My winter coats not always white and sterile?

My explosions of colors on a hot summer day?

My spiraling towers sun bathed before dipping

into the night's thousand other illuminations?

You did not miss my darker side I know

The wailing sirens summoned by an angry shot

Fleeting footsteps, a cry for help, the stink of fear

That too is life, my life

I know the homeless hustle for a buck

and sex is sold as love

I have my glitter and my shame

but through it all I shine

and lure you back as I know I could

for I am Chicago.

1 comment:

  1. For such a dynamic city, it's amazing to be that, as a muse, it has hardly changed in a century. I think it's impossible to read this without recalling Carl Sandburg's "Chicago."

    Hog Butcher for the World,
    Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
    Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
    Stormy, husky, brawling,
    City of the Big Shoulders:

    They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I have seen your painted women under the gas lamps luring the farm boys.
    And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it is true I have seen the gunman kill and go free to kill again.
    And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the faces of women and children I have seen the marks of wanton hunger.
    And having answered so I turn once more to those who sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer and say to them:
    Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
    Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the little soft cities;
    Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning as a savage pitted against the wilderness,
    Building, breaking, rebuilding,
    Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with white teeth,
    Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young man laughs,
    Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has never lost a battle,
    Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse, and under his ribs the heart of the people,
    Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of Youth, half-naked, sweating, proud to be Hog Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.

    Or his "Fog."

    The fog comes
    on little cat feet.

    It sits looking
    over harbor and city
    on silent haunches
    and then moves on.


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