Lore from Normal Ave
Bill Zenith sat on the curb in the last gasps of the twentieth century wearing a silverchair t-shirt. His hair was long but shaved underneath. His leather jacket had belonged to his father, the one who had been a founding cast member of the international terror show Blackwater. At some point someone transferred six million dollars into Bill’s bank account and then he got a letter saying that his father was dead somewhere in Somalia. Bill started smoking that day, it was also the day Chris Farley died, it was also the first day that Bill ever saw someone wear JNCO jeans. He watched a white kid with dreads strut on the other side of Milwaukee Ave, in broad daylight no less, wearing only what appeared to be an amish skirt made of denim split in two and a wife-beater. A toothless old homeless lady, looked at the kid like he was an alien and her unlit half cigarette fell out of her mouth.
Bill looked at his busted old Levi’s torn at the knees and crotch. Thought about the coming fashion, and laughed to himself. Bill went back to his Ravenswood Academy, his boarding school in Bucktown, which he had escaped from that day, but no one had noticed. Becca Kimberly was waiting for him. She said hello and she said cigarette and lips and jokes and smile and girl smells and thighs and feathers in her raven hair and why don’t we slip away and yes and yes and yes of course. So Bill went with her down the block of Normal Ave where she lived. She asked Bill if he could tell which one was her house without ever having been there. It only took Bill a moment to reach out and to hear the decrepit old red brick row house mansion of sorts coo at him like a nuzzling owl.
Bill pointed and she kissed him. He followed behind mostly trying hard not to stare at her ass but he did anyway. The house instantly swallowed Bill. It was a house for Rockefeller if he was secretly Dracula. A house that dripped in wealth and archaic Victorian taste. How? How in the fuck? Bill asked with his mouth constantly open. The Kimberlys are a very old family she said, very very old. We’ve lived on this block before it was Chicago. How can that be Bill asked? But Rebecca was already up the stairs, laughing and sprinting.
Bill caught up to her in a room he assumed to be her bedroom but none of the furniture was from this century. How could a seventeen year old girl live without a cd player he thought, but she was already against him, her warmth slithering itself inside of him as the wetness of her kiss soldered him into her. She wanted to show him something, something wonderful something that would cheer him from his father. Something that would be the start of a whole new life.
She took him to the attic. A place of creaking floor boards, feathers, dust, and a single massive armoir. The armoire had extention cords running from. An electric armoire? what in the fuck Bill wheeled but Becca was not alone now. Ten figures in black robes stood with her.
One asked Becca if “Bill was any good?”
Becca said “he’s the best I’ve ever seen”.
She took the dagger from her belt and drove it into Bill’s stomach. “You dick” was the best Bill had to rebuttal. They descended on him; some for his arms, some for his legs one for his hair, all holding him to the face the armoire which now was beginning to laugh in hideous tones behind the rattling door. Becca took his blood smeared it over his lips and drove her kiss into him like a stake. Then she held his face to the armoire, opened the lock letting blue light poured for its doors, and Bill’s beautiful auburn hair went snow white as his future exploded from a piece of antique furniture.
Get a Real Job
I used to work this life-shredding office job,
but I never did any work. I always said that I was going
to “meet clients” but I would just walk around the Field Museum high.
I was going “to lunch” for six hours but really I would lounge
around the occult section of the Harold Washington Library,
looking for some astrological epiphany to save me,
for the I-Ching to warn me of the oncoming adventure.
Once I decided to see how far I could get in city hall,
without getting caught, I almost walked right into
the mayor’s office without knowing it.
His secretary asked who I was.
I said that I was going to make copies but I ended up here.
Poems from an old notebook
breakin through spells takes time
and yeah, you’re worried,
but everybody is on your side.
I’ll keep casting
'till we find the one,
which lights up the sparks, in the dark,
big fat sparks.
Magic blasted through your eyes
I see all the old molding
on the facades;
bright and glowing
and I think about the people who used to live there,
used to love here,
with their smiling eyes
as they danced in sweaty bars
and laughed at jokes in the street
and lit fireworks for no reason.
I hear them sometimes
on the back stairs
creeping sadly into the basement
or looking in the windows
to places they knew
by different names.
Ghosts on the Internet
You live on the edges of my life. Blocking the names we used
to call each other,
Even though we were born with them
You see that snow? I made it for you, I made the old neighborhood,
just to remind you that I’m still here.
I can hear you breathing, you want to hear me sing?
One day I’ll see you and I’ll ask you questions
that only mean something to me. Maybe to you too.
We All Paid To Be Here
In a movie theatre I think I gave up on the human race.
Not like a super villian or anything, nothing that boring or
No I just had to admit to myself that my aging process
my thought process
my concept of recess and excess and progress
might never will and might never will be.
And for the children laughing,
I wish you were laughing at the world dying.
I would feel better about maniacs than
boring drones laughing at pictures in cellphones.