Chicago - Mar. 19, 2022
Music TV Politics Sports Books People Places & Things
Beachwood PP&T
Our monthly PP&T archive.
Rhymes for the Times.
Beachwood Bookmarks
So You've Decided To Be Evil
Vintage Beer Signs
Easy Bar Tricks
Best of Craigslist
Wacky Packages
Taquitos Snack Food Reviews
How Products Are Made
Everyday Mysteries
Chicago Zombie
Texts From Last Night
Fuck My Life
Awkward Family Photos
Ultra Local Geography
Best Pinball Machine Ever
Land of Sky Beer Waters
Calumet 412
Chicago Patterns
Vince Michael's Time Tells
Renegades of Funk Chicago
History vs. Hollywood

Chicagoetry: Love In Vain In A Station Of The Metro

Love in Vain in a Station of the Metro

I lost my last car

In the Late Crash,
Forced underground
Into the subways again,

Back to the trains
And my fellow Undergroundlings.
Just another near-vagrant

Trying to be happy,
Hoping you'd stay.

I busked the Underground
With a large marionette,
A highly portable contraption

Of wood, string and ink.
I named him Charlot,

Loveable Tramp.
Yes, like Charlie Chaplin,
Whose shadow

Became a god.

He's a puppet
That wishes
To be real.

He peals:
"May you listen
With your eyes!"

Now: into the subway,
The electric

Labyrinth, realm
Of trains, mind, musicians, mimes
And Minotaurs.

Kindness here,
Courtesy there, but it's
Ever the Minotaur's lair.

Minotaur: Lurking devil,
Hulking evil, Shape Shifter.
Mugger, rapist,

Unattended bag.

The labyrinth is his suzerainty,
The Minotaur is Suzerain.
One learns fast to listen.

Can't get too cute.
Just always, always listen
For the Suzerain.

Fellow denizens
Of the labyrinth,

Seek not love
In vain nor faith blind!
Surge forward

With your soul on fire

But with all five
Of your goddam senses
Always listen

For the Suzerain.
You'll notice it's hard to tell
When all your love's

In vain

But you always
Gotta listen
For the Suzerain.

I made this
Because I wanted something
For you

To read on the train
As you leave,
My love.

About a doll
That wanted to be real.

It began about
Seven motives ago,
When shadows were gods.

It requires me
To throw my voice
A little.

With the train lights,
I can make a silhouette
Of my marionette

(Blue Light Baby,
Red Light Mind).

In the right mood,
The silhouette
Will pirouette.

So here's me
Throwing my

A little
For you,
My love,

As you leave,

In the likeness
Of a near-vagrant
Hamlet, denizen

Of the labyrinth,
A marionette

By the crux
Of a working dowser.

The illusion requires
A leap of faith.

So we dance,
And I throw my voice
A little.

Seven motives ago
I tried to be real,
For my

Fellow denizens
Of the labyrinth,
Element of the Minotaur,

Of the Metropolitain.

Long trains slolem
Out of dark blue tunnels
Into a gleaming station, all

Fluorescent light,
Painted steel and

A public proscenium,
Every stop a stage. The illusion requires
A leap of faith.

Charlot is like:
"I lost my last car

In the Late Crash.
Forced Underground
Back to the subways,

And my fellow Undergroundlings.

Here's me
Going to work. Here's me

To get home.
Here's me
Finally home,

Stepping into the foyer
Trying to be happy,
Stepping into the living room

Trying to be happy,

Stepping into bedroom
Trying to be happy then I
Step into the kitchen

And have something to eat.
And feel a little better."
We dance a little more

And I throw my voice again:
"So here's me
Trying to be happy."

Making a goddam
Fool of myself
Trying to be happy.

Hoping you'd stay.

I lost it all
In the Late Crash.
I retained

The remnants of love.
I learned to hear
With my eyes

And make gods
Out of shadows.

Several moments ago
I was happy.
It was very controversial!

Apparently, it was selfish.

Underground, you get
The odd Ophelia but mostly everybody's

Trying to be free,
Trying not to love in vain,

Again and yet again
Into the Labyrinth,
Element of the Minotaur,

Scanning the porcelain
For a shadow
Of the Suzerain.

I sure wish I was real.
For now, I'll have to

I can still see the joins.
Between stops, you face
Your own reflection

In the dark glass and

I can still see
The goddam joins.
I continue to listen.

Once again I
Made a mortal fool of myself
Trying to be real

But at least
I continue to listen,
My love,

As you leave.


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 November 24, 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.


Search The Beachwood Reporter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Follow BeachwoodReport on Twitter

Beachwood Radio!