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Chicagoetry: Great Expectations


It is the best of cities
And the worst of cities.
I checked it out, and I found myself a city

To live in.
WHERE will let me
Be me?

I made a bet. You bet!
I knew I'd need
Big shoulders to cry upon,
Big enough for both

My dirty angels. I knew I'd need space
To spread my brittle wings. I knew I'd need a place
To sing.

When I was just a boy
In Naperville, Illinois
I thought Chicago was a blown-glass downtown
Surrounded by
A vast, dissipated

Ghetto. Burlington-Northern got me where I needed to
Get to: Wrigley Field, Chicago Stadium, the
International Amphitheater. I saw what I could see:

Led Zeppelin, the Stones,
The Foghat, Queen.

Wax Trax, Bizarre Bazaar, eventually

Tavern. I became
What I could be.

Hey: I didn't go
To college. I went to
Illinois State. There, I
Learned that middle-class, heck, even UPPER
middle-class people lived in

The city. Dick Roeper, Mick Caplan,

Salerno. Evan, Vinnie . . .
Phyllis', Rainbo, Czar

Metro, Club 950, Exit.

Checkerboard Motherfucking
Lounge (hi Mr. Guy! OK

If we stay?)

Souled American . . .
Tribe . . .

Then, I made myself take
A leap

Of faith, a virtual swan-dive
Off the Sears
Tower: I got up


In a

And read my terrified poem
To a handful of people who came
To watch the hockey game.

Not only did I survive,
I got a FREE BEER, and got out

I found myself
I found myself
I found myself

A city
To live in.


J. J. Tindall is the Beachwood's poet-in-residence. He can reached at Chicagoetry is an exclusive Beachwood collection-in-progress.


Posted on August 18, 2008

MUSIC - December In Chicago Drill.
TV - Don't Weaken Media Ownership Limits.
POLITICS - Another SRO Crisis.
SPORTS - TrackNotes: Mom.

BOOKS - How Stereo Was Sold To A Skeptical Public.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicago Footwork King's Bail Battle.

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