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Chicagoetry: J.J. Tindall's Dream


I just had
this dream:

I was in a city park,
walking south
down the east side

There was a ragged
chain-link fence
around the park
which included crumbling cement

basketball courts
with weeds popping up throughout.
There were tall streetlights
at regular intervals

that were crumbling, too.
I climbed one of them to the top
at which point
the streetlight

slowly bent back downward
to the ground

and I landed softly
and safely, giggling.
I wanted
to do it again

but at the base
of the streetlight behind me stood
a middle-aged Black man, also giggling.
I took him to be

an authority figure
and was nervous.
He seemed cool about it, but
he also called me

I'd never
seen him before
in my life!

I strolled on southward to the next
east-west street corner,
the southern border of the park.
It was vaguely dusk or dawn,

as the light
was low.

At this next corner
I noticed the mottled grass
was littered with silver coins,
tens, perhaps hundreds

of dimes and quarters.
I began scooping them up,
noticing occasionally
that some were fake,

pewter or porcelain fakes
painted silver, many broken,
some with a profile
of JFK.

I filled the pockets
of my jeans, then the
bottom side pockets
of my grey sport coat

with the real thing

(now--this idea
of finding piles of silver coins
on the ground
and scooping them up

is a recurring motif
in my dreams, rooted, I suspect,
in past days of withering impoverishment
in which my only access

to an ancient, shriveled
microwave burrito
and a 40 oz. malt liquor
lay in

rifling through
somebody else's
change stash.
Not proud).

Suddenly, two white teenagers
arrive and want in on the
coin grab.
I was cool at first

but then somehow managed
to convince them
that this was MY find
and for now

they just helped me fill
my pockets. Then,
a small, wooden cart appeared
and we began to fill shopping bags

and pile them onto
the cart.

It was the largest pile
I'd ever encountered.
And another recurring motif intervened:
becoming encumbered by more and more

boxes, bags and parcels.

As I made to leave, I faced
the southern border of the park
which sloped downward toward the street
but the way out

now included the frame of a wooden fence
and thick trees.
But then my friend, my henchman,
arrived to help.

It was Bob Dylan.

Now: large, thick
ship rope appeared
and we tied the cart
to the ship rope

but then we had to weave it
awkwardly between the fence frame
and thick trees
to the curb

like an Old School
tape-loop echo effect

and the rope
got around Bob's neck,
trapping him
to the curb.

Then: a black
Dodge charger screeched to a stop
and three, large Hispanic men

and lit into Bob.

He was fucked,
and I left him to it,

grabbing two shopping bags
and scrambling west.

At the next corner,
vaguely Ashland Avenue,
I turned south
to the next corner,

turned back east,
and stopped
to rest
at the curb.

Next to my feet
was a double-LP
by Emmylou Harris,
with the vinyl LPs

strewn out
onto the curb.
I reached to replace
the LPs

back into the gatefold sleeve,
struggling somewhat
but wanting
to get it just right.

When I turned back
to my shopping bags
full of change,
they were gone.

The double-album
was a ruse!

I took off east again,
fearing for my life,
remembering I had already
been recognized

by a stranger.
And I knew
it was not just
about the money.

I had nowhere to go
and no money,
not even in my pockets anymore.
I scrambled onward

and came upon
another silver pile
in the grass,
but it was all

fake shit this time.

I climbed another
tall fence
into the midst
of a youth soccer game.

I just wanted to get
across the field but,
one by one, the kids
started coming after me,

and then it was old men,
too, grabbing me
by the arms
and shoulders,

slowly dragging me
to the ground...


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


Posted on March 14, 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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