It’s been long time gone since witness-thrust
Within the midwesterly croaky land of mistrust
The Clark Street to Michigan Avenue noontime rushing horde of not a single smiling face the funny family starring mama the talkative racist
who changed their name from Pole to British
To avoid their sadbastard fellow bigots’ disdain in secret
Or the young suburban family living in a row of self-identical
Disneyland homes on a kind of disneyish street
Who hated their neighbors because they liked whitesox over cubs and ate borscht, being Russian.
And the Germans and their bundlike bunko klub motorsailing along Kankakee’s river
Her mother’s shelves blessed by regiments of cousins kissing by Hummel, and whitewire canaried cages
Originally come from a lighthouse island deftly placed by Thor, between Denmark and
Hamburg ii.
Looking back at my times in Chicago from seventy-eight through to aught six, and excluding Oak Park’s funny old ladies who run the Hemingway museum still calling men “bub,”
I’m startled to realize I never knew anyone from around there whether Oak Lawn or Oak Park or Forest Park or Lawn Forest
Who wasn’t a racist or didn’t have trouble accepting the existence of The Others With its invisible bordered Lithuanian, Irish, Black neighborhoods
tense quadruple shootings daily

the empty eltrain snaking about in summer

Its sad downtown display where it can be seen what it once was


The unforgot glories on borrowed time remain a mystery to me, wherever they may be Whether the eutrophied canals of Venice, cee-ay,
or Detroit’s cratered weedcrack infested cityblock walkways
The abandobed swampcooler adobes of Albuquerque’s near southeast torched by teen arsoƱes every 4th of July
or cowbarns grayfade abandoned throughout Wisconsin’s eastern shoreline countys or stately boarded redbrick banks in small towns hollowed out
anywhere off the interstate thru east Colorado, Nebraska
Sometimes alongside drydusty ponds rimmed by leafless gnarly trees
And in the Sacramento Mountains outside Alamogordo, above old La Paz, there past washed out desert arroyo roads of ancient grooved gravel
there’s a land of dying vines where grapes were once tried and, where
on certain mysterious New Mexico nights beneath full moons and the silence of jackrabbit cactus
The sky exudes thin cloudwhisps whispering contorted shape of twists, quiet, scant seen, an enormous peering by blank stare question mark in the clear desert air a non-neonic accusation divine
from glarelit antlike cities unseen;
no time

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“screech ‘One terrible scream-a cry which, once heard, could never be forgotten-not that of agony, or terror, or surprise, but a shrill and violent indrawing of …’ ” }

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