Reminder: Reading in Chicago/Hyde Park on July 30

It’s almost here! If you’re in the Chicago area, please come see me read from my book Secret Rivers at Hyde Park Art Center this Wednesday (7/30) at 6:30 p.m. There will also be free wine.

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Chicagoans (for NaPoWriMo, Day 15)

Monk parakeets, green, with grubby baby faces
swing on a birdfeeder in our neighbor’s backyard.
How is it that people live in other places
and think, “Life in the big city must be so hard”?

 

 

NaPoWriMo, Day 15 prompt: Write a pantun, a poem with four-line stanzas, with an a-b-a-b rhyme scheme, where each line has 8-12 syllables and the second two lines take a departure from the first two. Got that?

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Cliff Dwelling, for Open Link Night

Cliff Dwelling

In a niche,
dust,
flowers
battered
by wind,
visited
only by
the bravest
of bees.

Everything
ages,
bakes
like brick.

Sun
through
metal
window
frames.
Dirty glass.
There are

children
squirreled
into nests
of softness,
park visits,
admonishments
not to touch
windowsills,
wiped daily
for lead.
This is not

poverty.
This is a
certain
vertical
choice,
lives
stacked
high.

At night,
a soft crumble
of concrete
in the walls,
a whisper
now and then.

Some lights
on;
some lights
off,

dreams,
thoughts
humming.

 

 

For Open Link Night at dVerse Poets.

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Beach Glass, for Open Link Night

Beach Glass

Not very tumbled.
Not yet opaque, milky.
Still retaining the clarity
of what they are, or were.

Holding the laughter
or anger, hot romance
of a beach night on the rocks
before bottles smashed.

A fight, or an errant toss;
someone too young, too urgent
to attempt to find a trash can
(to say nothing of recycling).

What words passed between,
among the sweet evening air
as swifts replaced seagulls
and bottle rockets flew?

Drop the bottles where you are.
There are more important things.
Maybe someday, someone will
collect the broken shards,

tossed just enough to no longer
cut. See? She tests each one
on her finger; blunted edges
make treasure out of trash.

 

 

 

For Open Link Night at dVerse Poets.

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