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Chicagoetry: Blue Line Blues


The train sang
In a whirlwind of tones,
A thousand tongues
Of steel and stone,

A thousand tons
Of brick and bone.

Steel wheels and hot rails
Rocked a rhythm section,
Momentum made maracas
Of the swaying hull

And I lost myself in the music
Of the dynamo hum.

Consuming space,
Creating time
This ream of lines
Got me in its sway.

No car, no choice
For getting to work.
No i-Phone, ear-buds,
Tabloid or book.

In all likelihood,
Heading for work
With no desire
To shorten the ride

With distractions,
Needing to stay alert.
The world is a witch
With a gift for hurt

So you gotta
Stay alert.

In all likelihood,
Heading to work
Or to visit a sick friend.
Rarely, but sometimes,

O'Hare is my end.
Or I could hop off
At Damen
And re-live my youth

In Groovytown.
If this were really
A Chicago Blues number
The chorus might be

Something like
"Hauling my ass to work,
Got those meddlesome
Blue Line Blues . . . "

I dig how
"Meddlesome Blue Line Blues"
Scans like "Leopard-Skin
Pill-Box Hat."

Like: "Headin' off to work,
Got them meddlesome
Blue Line Blues. Yeah I'm
Headin' off to work,

Got them meddlesome
Blue Line Blues. To the
Last place on earth
But I gotta pay my dues...

Blue Line Blues)" like
Pill-Box Hat."

And that's where we're at,
In all likelihood,
Heading to work,
Making no effort

To shorten or kill
The time from the suburbs
Through the Troubles
To the Loop.

Pricks sitting on the aisle seat
With their bag on the window seat,
Beggars, urine, loud phone

Transcended through
The music of the swirling spheres:
Swaying cars, whooshing tubes,
Soaring bridges, clicking wheels.

Moms teaching babies their 1,2,3s,
Women reading novels
You'd hope
They'd read,

Sports fans en regalia
Counting the minutes
To game time,
Laughter in three different languages

Enhanced by
The music of the swirling spheres.

So it's this ream
Of lines
That's got me
In its sway

As I head
In all likelihood
To someplace

I'd rather not be.


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

* Kindled Tindall: The Novel

* The Viral Video: The Match Game Dance


Posted on May 20, 2014

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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