Chicago - Sep. 19, 2018
Music TV Politics Sports Books People Places & Things
 
Beachwood PP&T
Our monthly PP&T archive.
Chicagoetry
Rhymes for the Times.
Beachwood Bookmarks
So You've Decided To Be Evil
Vintage Beer Signs
Easy Bar Tricks
Best of Craigslist
Wacky Packages
Chicagology
Taquitos Snack Food Reviews
How Products Are Made
Everyday Mysteries
Chicago Zombie
FAIL
Texts From Last Night
Fuck My Life
Awkward Family Photos
QuackWatch
Alcademics
Lamebook
Ultra Local Geography
Uncyclopedia
Best Pinball Machine Ever
Land of Sky Beer Waters
Calumet 412
Chicago Patterns
Vince Michael's Time Tells
Renegades of Funk Chicago

Chicagoetry: Bite

Bite

I eat fear every day. Fat with it.
I bike through cold rain
With worn down brakes, worried

For wipeouts, for drivers plowing
Through yellow arrows across Harlem Avenue,
Stray dogs, service truck blind spots, potholes,

Toward the liquor store where
My black neighbors are meaner to me than ever,
Insulting me to my face now

For being a "white guy,"
Fucking with my bike, in one case
Actually stealing the lock

I didn't use
For the minute
I'd be in there.

Like never before, like
I had anything
To do with it.

Perhaps I do.
I never take the bait.

The owners are cool, I'm a regular,
But one of them doesn't defend me.
Other black customers usually

Do. I just thank them and
Suck it up.

The owners are brown-skinned, (mostly) no accents,
Won't guess where from (OK: Arab?
Persian? East Indian? I don't press).

Then to downtown for work.
On CTA, don't drive.
I listen like a motherfucker:

No earpods, cellphone stashed.
Just the other day, Dude got into it
With a K-9 security guard,

Guard with a muzzled German shepherd.
"Bitch!" "Faggot!" On my last two trips downtown
In a row, in fact (I stayed still, kept quiet,

Had a fair amount of cash to pay back
A loan from a friend,
Still, quiet, fiercely alive),

To lead tour groups outdoors
Through the Loop, obliged to address,
Among other things,

Trump Tower.
By necessity, I've learned precisely
How to do it.

You have to learn.

I eat fear every day: repress, sublimate,
Sensitive to triggers, often random images
Or music, stray bits of

Conversation.
Smoking more, too, for sure.
Praying more, too, for sure,

Not because I believe
But because it makes me
Feel better.

If I could hide
I would probably hide.
But I can't, so I stay strong

And keep moving forward, moving
To refine, biting
My cold, grey tongue

Until it sort of hurts.
I keep moving.
I keep moving.

And praying.

-

J.J. Tindall is the Beachwood's poet-in-residence. He welcomes your comments. Chicagoetry is an exclusive Beachwood collection-in-progress.

-

More Tindall:

* Chicagoetry: The Book

* Ready To Rock: The Music

* The Viral Video: The Match Game Dance



Permalink

Posted on April 5, 2018


MUSIC - Christgau Loves Chicago Neonatologist.
TV - Amazon & The Way Of The World.
POLITICS - Yes On Vouchers For After-School Programs.
SPORTS - The Ex-Cub Factor.

BOOKS - Writers Under Surveillance.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Original Warrior.


Search The Beachwood Reporter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Email:

Follow BeachwoodReport on Twitter



Beachwood Radio!


Ask Me Anything!