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Chicagoetry: Green River Blues

Green River Blues

"Chicago's a real goddam crazy place. Nobody's safe in the streets." - Lucky Luciano

I work
the green river

to earn
my nut

as a docent
of the installation
called "Chicago Skyline."

I sing
the green river . . .

and then
it turns brown,

as green does
when mixed

with red,
here the blood

of our children
of color,

to the Gazas
of the south
and west sides,

desperados of death
accumulating arms

from The Man.

He's white.

Think of him
safely ensconced
in White Sinai,

in a subdivision
called "Moral High Grounds,"

that his addictions
remain secret
while illegal,

that the children
are performing
his genocide

for him.

His cousin,
the gun-runner,
also safely ensconced,

building a fortune
through the loopholes,


Let me give
some witness:

in my decades
living in
"marginal neighborhoods,"

twenty years
on the border

between the Latin Kings
and the Insane Unknowns,

I saw a child
point his Glock

as he emptied
his chamber
down my block.

Then a child
and a cop
square off

within feet
of each other,

pointing their pistols
and refusing
to stand down.

By grace,
after moments
like years,

the child
finally relents.

The Warriors
have NO FEAR

of the cops.

No jobs, no fathers,
no hope,

no fear.

While teaching art
to this population,

a bright
young man

said to me:

should I
get a job

when I can stand
on a corner

and make
three thousand dollars

a night?"

I had no riposte.

The Man
gets his coke,
his son
his heroin.

is the Cover
and it is
a kind

of brutal genius.

Simply refuse
to acknowledge
our country's

world-leading appetite
for illegal drugs

and the destruction wreaked
under the filthy guise

of Moral Authority.

In the Twenties,
"No Snitching"
was called
"Chicago Amnesia."

And slaughter reigned
until Prohibition
was repealed.

Fat Chance:

it's too perfect
a set-up
for The Man.

He gets
his drugs,
his genocide

and his
Moral Authority.

And the river
runs brown.


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 July 10, 2013

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