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Chicagoetry: Creature Feature


"Be silent in that solitude,
Which is not loneliness--for then
The spirits of the dead who stood
In life before thee are again
In death around thee--and their will
Shall overshadow thee: be still."

--Edgar Allan Poe, "Spirits of the Dead."

Festoon the black clouds
And low jets above

With the sway--

The wanton sway!--
Of premier spotlights!

Like an Old Time Thriller
At a Midnight Movie
In the crisp, dead air

Of a leering
Harvest Moon.

Like Lon Cheney, Sr.
In "London After Midnight" (1927).

Behold the monumental visage
Of Hyde, the Abominable Dr. Jekyll

Unmasked, or perhaps
The Gargantua
Of Rabelais

"Born calling for ale
With a yard-long erection!"

Like on "Creature Features,"
The late night Horror Movie franchise
On WGN-TV, Channel 9, Chicago,

With late headlines
From Marty McNeely.
"Experiment in Terror!"

I am a ghost of the union stockyards,
A city-cowboy in strictly formal attire
Replete with long gun, sharp spurs

And lariat.
White skin, black eyes,
Grin of stale fangs.

Black gloves,
Gold tie-clasp.
A denizen of the Old West,

Haunted with guilt,
And gales

Of ruined breath.

Short, black top-hat,
Tux via the Undertaker
Au Rue Morgue.

Made a killing in futures.
Straight outta Canaryville,
Founded Worldwide Lariat,

You've heard of it.

The briefest cologne,
A light bouquet
Of agony, dolor and candle-ash.

Atop my left

My soul is awry.

Like "The Picture
Of Dorian Gray" (1945, portrait
Of Dorian by Warrenville's

Ivan Albright),
I'm just past

Halfway to ghoul.
To the watchful,
A silent clue:

My shadow,
The silhouette
Of a marionette.

The tarantula
Was the beloved pet
Of a now-deceased friend.

He's usually
Pretty cool.

I've arrived at the masked ball
To join the dancing dead!

Mardi Gras in reverse:
Halloween in Chicago,
A rebellion of Sinners

On the eve
Of All Saints!

A perfect ritual party!

Like a movie:
Opera of light,
Symphony of faces.

To energize
This light opera of grief?

My magic lariat!

Like a cursed rapier
Hand-hewn from pressed hemp
And black oil.

Lifeline, lasso, line of text,
Forked tongue, whip . . .

Noose. The Dread

In silhouette above
The entire wretched proceedings.

Tip of the whip:
Sometimes the bleak jaw
Of a tarantula,

Sometimes a stash
Of jets
Hidden amidst

Some minarets.

I come to conjure CHAOS!
Charm the dull, afflict the weak
And make off

With the Belle of the Ball
Hog-tied in oil-black lariat.

I summon my demons
With a spotlight signal
Shone from my golden tie-clasp:

Upon the black clouds,
The silhouette of a marionette,
Lines cut

From lariat.
Demons abet.

I seed the dark clouds
Of your conscience

For the black rain
Of your nightmares.

Are you weak?

Are you dull?
Then perhaps tonight
Your fortune

Remains full.
Stay tuned. Perhaps

I'll see you again
Atop your next Night Mare.
We'll dance

With the dead.
So let us dance!
Be boisterous

In this solitude,
Which is not loneliness.

The spirits of the dead
Shall overshadow thee:

Be boisterous, jets
Amidst the minarets.


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 October 26, 2013

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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