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Chicagoetry: Pinball Lizard/Guitar Zero


I'd hate to have "HATE"
Murdered to my brow
Or tattooed on my forearm
Like graffiti on a freight car.

I'd be tempted by the allure
Of a refusal to endure.

I'd teeter like a leaper
From the Hancock ledge
Or swan-dive to the river
From the State Street bridge.

My life would flash before me
In a freeze-frame collage:
Holtzman at Wrigley,
Zeppelin at the Stadium;

Christmas '69,
New Year's '93;

A bar-full of silence
At the end of my song;
Her grimace of despair
As she turned away forever,

The actual murder
Of a beloved friend.
Like avalanches of regret
In the caverns of insomnia,

Somehow the hurt
Is what mostly sticks.
And the recurring feeling,
Always being one letter off:

Struggling to be whole
I found four thousand holes,
Striving for love
I managed to lose;

Rather than endure,
I'd End U.
As I plummeted to Earth
I'd ricochet off a hearth,

Perhaps snag upon a scaffold
The Hancock window washer left
Or bounce across the ice
Along the river in winter,

Falling like blues,
Like hail.

In the final lunge for grace
I'd simply lose all face,
Bet everything and lose
And end up still alive.

But only if I let hate
Murder my crow,
My emblem of stoic endurance,
My stolid genius of love.

In a will to power
With a lust for glory
I strove for fame
And found myself

Spiritually lame,

Like the Pinball Lizard
Or Malice Cooper,

These projections of ego
Just clumsy prayers for love.
Brow bruised by the hail
Of experience, then wisdom,

There came a benediction,
A revelation of compassion:
I'd hate it if I let hate
Murder my crow.

A simple convocation,
Not meant to put the trees
Upside down
Nor turn the breeze

Wrong way 'round.
I endured a difficult time
Then something fell out
Of the sky,

Something like grace,
Something like acceptance,
Something like love.
Yes: something very, very much

Like love.

It swan-dove
From the white-grey sky.
I endured:
The only type of leap

I actually made
(One of brute faith),
The only act of hope
I actually conjured.

Then I reached out
For help.
It took
A lot of work but

A tattoo across the brow
Only seems permanent;
Action that endures
Is true physical graffiti.

Not putting the trees
Upside down
Nor turning the breeze
Wrong way 'round:

Rescue (resuscitation!) from
An ego-driven Hell
Arrived at last when I finally
Learned to spell:



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 December 22, 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.


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