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Chicagoetry: Night Jets

NIGHT JETS

Then comes the white-hot shriek
Of the street jets,
The racing motorbikes

That tear up the expressways
In the middle of the night
In summer, when the windows

Are all open.

My railroad flat
Is really an expressway flat:
I am perched

Atop the Eisenhower,
Steel rapids
In a continuous, whirling wash

Of sound and light,
With electric trains
Running alongside.

This highway
Is like a molten river,
But the train

Is just a train,
Not a simile.
Although we can make it

Antique,

Like a steam locomotive
Along a frontier river
Dredged dry of gold.

I wonder about
This cult of Knights
And their earthbound jets,

Their rituals and rules,
Their hunger for danger v.
My hunger for safety.

I've seen the bikes gathered
At Louie's Grill in Forest Park,
Just a few blocks north

Off the Eisenhower.
I know that's them!
I wonder, deeply,

In the spaces between dreams,
Moments, then hours, awake,
When, windows open,

I become a docent
In a gallery of breezes,

Each a canvas
Of sound. And
Of urban silence, a relative,

Subjective silence, as
One becomes ear-blind
To the dynamo hum:

Horns, brakes, sirens, skids, stereos,
Neighbors' air conditioning, human voices,
A fat robin in the back alley

And rain.
Not as much gunfire now
As in West Town

Or Humboldt Park,
I should say.
And a night sky without stars!

The darkness and the silence
Are relative, artificial.
But the space is real, and almost

Pure.

Awakened from stress dreams,
Relieved at their passing,
Only to start girding

Against the stresses
Of the coming day,
Heralded by that lone robin.

To traverse space and time
At the highest possible speeds,
Mocking death, dissing dread,

Flaunting authority,
This is the game, the high,

The orgasm, I suspect.
I'd rather stay wondering, distracting
My mind from what else

Would fill it, wide
Awake in the whirling night.

-

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



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Posted on June 20, 2016


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