Friday, July 30, 2010


I was interested to discover there are several places named Chicago in North America -- Chicago being a derivation of the Native American construct ''Chi-cau-qhu', which was a widespread catch- all for a kind of flowering wild onion, or herb. One of my favorites I visited recently is Chicago, NV. It was founded in 1877 by Emiline Roquefort, who established the famous silver mine "Delight" in 1876. Regrettably, in 1879 Mr. Roquefort shot himself with a pistol during an altercation with Bart Blanchette, who was a native of Chicago, IL. Another Chicago is located in the State of Maine, by Bett Crossing. Civil War buffs will probably remember the battle there, fought by Union General C. Marshall Skilling at Patch River Bend. In Chicago, in Maine, vistors can get a good view over the Patch River if they choose to climb to the heights along Telegraph Street. From the downtown and a numbr of quaintly restored shops & historic buildings, you can see the steeples of Benchley Church, in the village of Sorrow.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lady of Oak Park

Every day during the summertime, I recognize a lady who goes to Scofeild Park at about 1 o'clock in the afternoon. Under the trees, she plays checkers by herself near the war monument. The war monument is under renovation, but it does not seem to bother her. If you see her, the woman does not look unhappy in the least -- she won't talk to you, she's not there. I think she's in 1958 with a boyfriend, who moved to Canada just before Autumn. When October rolls around she waits in the lobby of the Oak Park Arms retirement home, for a letter that will never come. Tomorrow will be another day.

An Author, a Book, and a Librarian at the Library in the Morning


It is a beautiful summer's morning in Oak Park. I put on a nice soft plaid shirt and grab a copy of my smallest, thinnest book. You have to start somewhere.

"Hello." I say, at the library.

"Hello!" says the librarian.

"I am an author." I say.

"Cool!" says the librarian.

"I live here, and this is our community library. It is a very nice library!"

"Thank you." says the librarian.

"Look what I have here! I'd like to give the library a copy of my latest book. It was written in Oak Park, and it is about Oak Park."

"Oh." says the librarian. "We don't accept book submissions to the library."

Being ready for this, I say, "Well, it is a library, isn't it?"

"Yes." laughs the librarian seeing the irony. "But still, we don't usually accept book submissions to the library." The librarian thinks. "But there have been exceptions."

"Who would know about those exceptions?"

"Administration, on the second floor."

"Thanks so much. It was nice talking to you."

"You're welcome!"

I talk to the nice people in Administration, and then, in a cafe, I give my book away to a pretty girl. This was the beginning of my Library, which I guess is not a library at all -- where books are accepted, where people don't know they are a branch of my Library, and if they give my book away to anyone else, it makes a new branch.

Or, out of my confused thinking, I remember one of my heroes, Richard Brautigan, used to hand his poetry out on the street, the work attached to little packets of seeds. I have no idea what I'll do.


When I get home, I decide tomorrow I'll go to the Oak Park Historical Society & hide one of my books in the bathroom.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

It Starts to Rain


Once dreaming about a book I was reading, now working where my old office used to be in the side basement room. The house is empty, save me and what I need to pack. I cannot quite capture the dream. A friend and I go to a thrift store called Brown Elephant, I need a tie for a meeting tonight. In the dream last night I was in a meeting. I pick a tie out and an old National Geographic for $3.50, but I can't go to the meeting because of a deadline. The dream is completely gone now.

The sky darkens, wind blows, rain scheduled never comes.


If I had time, ideally I'd go to Scofield Park and look at the trees and see if they reminded me of anything about my dreams. There is a deadline as real as a dream to be done. The deadline changes like a dream. The dream and the deadline are the same. Looking around, I think I am more awake when I am asleep. If I dream tonight of going to a meeting after getting a tie and an old National Geographic magazine from Brown Elephant, that would be fine. Or the dream meeting in the dream would be interrupted by a dream dream deadline that changes in the dream like a dream.

It starts to rain.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Joe and Pianos

Joe lived alone in the house his mother and father had bought in Oak Park, IL. Joe was 52 and had never been able to make many friends.

For many years, Joe was an aspiring writer of gags. Usually he wrote every day after having a glass of milk at the cafe. Often it was about pianos. Joe wrote:

Goes to show you, some musical instruments can go bad and get you when you least expect it. Today, a piano attacked without warning from the back of a piano moving truck at Harlem and Home Avenues, about 40 miles per hour. There was just a split second for a driver to hesitate a bit on the accelerator, but that was it. The piano hit the pavement with the flash and crash that sounded like the start of an epic Wagner concerto & the mayhem commenced. Ivory keys exploded, strings and sharp pieces of shaped wooden piano guts fighting with the cars as they ran over the thing. Renegade stand up piano took out 4 cars and a motorcyclist in 30 seconds flat. Not a few people in Oak Park will go home tonight and look at, say, a harpsichord and wonder when a seemingly innocent objects will SNAP.

He sat there for a few minutes, looking at what he wrote, tapping the pen to his teeth. Joe tried reworkng the writing, because he couldn't figure out why it was funny.

He fed the squirrels. He came back inside. The great piano attack story wasn't funny. It wasn't even true.

At about 11 PM, Joe tucked himself in.

He had a dream about naked ladies playing pianos. He blushed. He had no paper handy in his dream to write about the ladies playing the pianos.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

To the Other Shore

You are on the shore of a river. The sun is out, and there is not a cloud in the sky. Where others should be, in the brightness, they are not, it is just you & I. You are wearing clothes as if to go boating -- white slacks and a white loose shirt. You look dapper and at ease. At first I do not recognize you and I hesitate to intrude, to go back into the shade of the trees. But easily you look up, and you say "Hello, I remember you, how have you been?" Just fine, I say back. We look at the water, hardly you can look at the sun on it. But there is a gladness to it, a fierce happiness in the glare. Understand he and I were somehow inside, and outside the light & we both comprehended this without necessary comment. How do you feel? I asked. "I'm fine, better than ever. Be careful what you tell, I don't want you to give the wrong idea about how good and easy it was. I think I'll be pushing off to the other shore, it looks good there." Image passed before my eyes, stronger, yet dimmed. A paddle dipped down, then two in a stroke while the oarlocks sweetly creaked.

July 12



In looking
at others and
imagining anything
you are stealing
from them --

do not do this.
It is stealing.


There is no
jealousy in
true spirituality.


If there is
division, then
it is the product
of one's own
deluded mind,
which is the self.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Poem - come/ with me

with me

don't face
empty rooms

the apartment
is packed


sun will keep
coming through

day and day it will
touch the floor

right there
in that spot

so lovely

you had to move
to see this


Lombard Street
Oak Park