Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Can there be an urban poetry? In Chicago? I wonder. The naked fact is that Chicago has little aesthetically to inspire poetry. It is ugly. Most of its buildings are facades like a movies set, with plainspoken bare brick behind, crumbling. These sides were not meant to be seen but often stand, exposed by the death of a neighbor. New structures are smaller, meaner, with less time for beauty and artifice. With these, all sides are bare and plain. Weeds poke up through the melting gray snow, and trash. On the streets, cars stand in lines by the bare tree stem medians while drivers howl. Monoxide swirls lazily making everyone a little stupider. The neighborhood has always been ugly, with tall preposterous victorian flats rising next to white wooden shacks. Tall next to short, and varying distances from the street, the houses are like the teeth of an unsuccessful boxer or longtime minor league hockey goalie. Everywhere parking, cars, exhaust, cement. It's not grey here it's babyshit brown, polluted, dying. A woman with a broken nose? Chicago is like loving a leper.