Chicago Boy – A Poem

The Excuse


The genesis of some writing is no more than a gathering of bricks to build something at a later date. This is an example of that theory. Often the words flow, and a piece may write itself in a matter of minutes, or hours. Other times not-so-much. The following is an instance of the not-so-much category. There is no one to blame for the results.

The Words

Working backwards from the phrases these are the words used. You can see there are few.

a, about, air, all, am, and, as, boogie, bottle, boy, but, by, called, came, carried, Chicago, coming, crying, dead, deflated, destiny, devil, did,don’t, every, evil,fame, fascination,from, go, harden, heaps, I, ice, if, in, is, it, it's, know,last, lay,like, Live, love, man,my, no, not,of, off, one,out, past, poetry,prison, save, silence, sometimes, souls, storming, Stray, streets, sunlight, super, the, they, trembling, unused, used, waltzing, was, where, winter,won’t, words, world, year,you,your

The Phrases

I have hinted about a cruel muse. These are the phrases I jotted down from time to time as they arrived into consciousness. They were pieced together after months of waiting, perhaps some longer than that. Is there any rhyme or reason for this? Nope. Am I finished with these words? Nope. They are still trying to tell me something. (Word Whisperer.)

Chicago Boy
Deflated fame
I came in crying – but I am storming out
I did not know the sunlight
In the streets, they harden
Live every year as if it was your last
Man in a bottle
No one is coming
Passed all fascination
Silence like ice (evil in the world carried off by the dead)
Sometimes it's love
Stray poetry
The Devil won’t save you from the boogie man.
The man called super
The Prison of My Destiny
Trembling air
Used and unused
Waltzing in winter
Where souls don’t go
Words lay about in heaps
--

The Poetry

Source

Chicago Boy

What of those waltzing in winter?

Sunshine always a season away

Dark figures twirling to music unheard,

barely disturbing the cold trembling air


Their words, they lay about in heaps,

hardened, frozen on the streets

With lives carried past all fascination,

to a place where souls don’t meet


To the kingdom of deflated fame,

the shadow figures twirl in vain

Carrying bottled silence, to

the prison of my destiny

The Music

And on a happier note:

More by this Author

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    Between Novembers Your tumbled arrival during a Chicago storm set the tone, set your course, became the norm The gale force winds, set to twirling all the swirly things, you rolled away calling no place home ...

  • Fred Astaire - A Poem
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    In through the door walked the man with the cane By the cut of his clothes you could tell he was vain * There was just something about how he pulled out his chair That guy, oh, wait is that Fred Astaire...

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    Angels escort a father away from this earthly existence.


Comments 41 comments

always exploring profile image

always exploring 8 months ago from Southern Illinois

Wow, this blows my mind. I've read it twice and each time I see something different. I have words twirling around in my mind constantly, never thought about writing them down. These lines particularly caught my eye. " The prison of my destiny and Words lay about in heaps. " Sometimes I hear a song and it sparks a need to write, or a phrase I read somewhere, funny how that happens. I'm on my way back up to watch the videos. Time in a bottle is another one of my all time favorites. This is totally different and I love it. You ' dun ' good!


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 8 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Good Friday to you Ruby. It is always good to see you. The habit of writing phrases down was slow to learn, but has worked from time to time to produce something. It is like working out a puzzle to see the bits and pieces going on. Have a great day.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 8 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

GOOD Friday, dear Mike.

I was sad not to see a post from you last Friday but this was worth the wait...

I love to see how the mind of a talented artist works - this is an amazing glimpse into your process of this writing craft you make look so easy.

Cruel as your muse may be at times, he / she serves you well... this poetic masterpiece is a wonderful example.

Your song choices are great - you have my toes tapping with this classic version of "Uptown Funk".

Wishing you and yours a peaceful and happy Easter weekend. Hugs, mar


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 8 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Good Friday to you Maria. I hope your day brings you peace. As far as the publishing schedule, I just don't know. I look at those that I follow, and they allow months between a publication. Hubpages seems to be thinning out quite dramatically.

I have always advocated writing down, of thoughts and lines.I spoke of it before, the words, "That would make a good book title," often rings out. I usually say; write it down' but I don't think anyone but me (around here) writes it down.

Thank you for the nice compliment. The poetry seemed to work.

There is some irony, having our taxes done on Easter weekend.


tsmog profile image

tsmog 8 months ago from Escondido, CA

Thank for expressing and sharing. I am still pondering . . .


savvydating profile image

savvydating 8 months ago

Wow! This is an awesome "lesson" on how to use those "swirling" words. Great advice and a darn good poem too---something very different from you. I like it!


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 8 months ago

Dear Mike, Good Friday to you and Blessings too. I grew up in Chicago and Chicago suburbs and that is where my two sons were born.

Wonderfully expressed

The woes of winter to excess

Jack Frost caressing my nose

From the numbness in my toes

Icy winds pulling at my cloths

It is the way a Chicago winter goes

*

*

I am glad you are a poet

Blessings always


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 8 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hi tsmog. Thanks for the visit. I too am pondering. I am not sure of my translation of the words and phrases.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 8 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello savvydating. Wishing you a joyous Good Friday. Thanks for the visit today. The lesson is a good one. Now, to get them written down all in one place so when the search for a spark of inspiration begins, they are able to be found. Thanks for the nice comment.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 8 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Shyron, Happy Good Friday. I was born in Chicago but did not spend any time there. I tell people two weeks after I was born, I couldn't find work and headed out.

I liked your poetry. Had a nice flow, and message.

Thanks for the blessing and nice comment.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 8 months ago from Queensland Australia

Smoke, I love how you shared this process of writing down the random phrases that miraculously appear and swirl around in your head, then using them to inspire your writing. I often have random phrases or song lyrics pop into my head but rarely think to write them down at the time and use them, unless I am already in the middle of writing a poem..when words just seem to automatically materialise that fir what I am trying to say.

I love the finished poem you came up with, but I am sure you already have a new and growing list of new phrases. Happy Easter.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 8 months ago from Queensland Australia

That should have read "Mike" not "Smoke".. Damn predictive text on the iPad drives me crazy at times.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 8 months ago from Dallas, Texas

The creative muse sharing your secrets, so true, the swirling words that must be written down. Sometimes they wake me in the night and I grab a pen and scribble down indecipherable phrases that baffle me in the morning. You've collected these into an intriguing form, mysterious, deep, and significant. I'm going back for another read. Of course, I love the Jim Croce video, too! Ah, "The Kingdom of Deflated Fame"...what a great title for a book.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

This is such a wonderful look inside the creative process of a creative mind. Thank you for sharing this with us. This should be required reading for anyone who thinks writing is their path.

Happy Easter my friend.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 8 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello John. I must have figured out that if a line pops into my head, I should write it down and quick because it might be part of something big. (Mostly not.) Sometimes one good line will spark an entire story, for which I am thankful.

I appreciate you stopping by. Happy Easter to you and yours.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 8 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Peg –Happy Easter. Yes, I also have scribbled notes written in the dark. Something so clever that it had to be written down in my sleep, only to be worm trails on the page the next morning.

Many times, just one line can set off a train of thought that will make it into a story. What I am sure of the lines that pop into our heads are trying to tell us something. Oh, that is a good book title – write it down.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 8 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Bill. Happy Easter to you and yours. Writing is hard work, so any trick that will help in the pursuit of a story I feel should be employed. I have read here about, writing prompts and other devices to kick start writing. Good lines are hard to come by, so gather them as they arrive.

Thanks for the visit. I see you are on a writing tear.


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 8 months ago from Canada

Hello Mike, what a treat to see the creative process you go through. I feel the cold in this piece, it is eery and there is such a tragic sense of loss. Jim Croce is perfect mood music. Words lay about in heaps indeed!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 8 months ago from Orlando, FL

Hi Mike, I had Time In A Bottle stuck in my headache this weekend, I wasn't sure why...I am still not sure, but I was happy to see the video within your hub this morning.

"What of those waltzing in winter?

Sunshine always a season away"

I could so relate to those words...

Beautiful poem, you have quite the gift and thank you for sharing your words with us.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 8 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Mike....Piles of phrases would remain meaningless heaps of words without the person of amazing talent and the perfect flair to create beauty & inspiration into poetry and prose.

YOU are that person. We are the lucky ones to love your work.

Both videos are the perfect start to my day. Thank you Mike. You never fail us. Paula


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 8 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello snakeslane. The process varies. Often I can sit down and type a story as it is being constructed in my head. Often that can be a quick process. Sometimes I get a concept and being typing with ‘what’s next’ driver to guide me. And as with this piece, words are gathered as a bird would gather pieces for a nest and then cobbled together. I am not sure I got the message of these words right.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 8 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Linda – You have so much going on in your life that I am not surprised that you have headaches that last a weekend. What a tough weekend not to feel well. I am sure you had a big hand in all the celebrations. I liked the line ‘sunshine always a season away’ it felt like it had an impact. I appreciate the compliment.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 8 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Paula. I had two things on my list as a young man that I wanted to accomplish. (shh) One was to write a book, yet I did not start writing until I was passed 60. (again shh) The other was to have a painting hanging in a museum, so I had better get started. Haha What a nice comment. Thank you.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 8 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

So.....OK amigo! Thank you for the subtle hint that "it's never too late." I should know better, but it doesn't hurt to hear this from such a successful man as you are. If I start now, my book will be in your hands by the time I'm 70? Yikes. Oh Mike, I don't know.

So you paint as well? Wow. What a talented guy!...I'll keep searching museums.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 8 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Paula. You are a gifted writer. You could easily put together enough meaningful thoughts to fill a book. I have every confidence that you can do this. No need to wait or set a target date. If you hurry, I will get your work into print.

As for painting, I could get lost in painting. You will notice that Quinn Moosebroker was a Sunday painter, with no aspiration other than to enjoy his leisure. (Where do these ideas come from?) haha


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 8 months ago from Orlando, FL

Dang autocorrect...Time In A Bottle was stuck in my head, not headache :)


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 8 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

It is a nice song to have stuck in your head. There are so many that I cannot say that about...


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 8 months ago from southern USA

Mike!

Well, I am certainly late in finding this brilliant piece of poetry here ...what was going on last weekend, oh, I picked up my grands for the Easter weekend and there's no room for anything else.

This is such a treat. I wish the twirling words in my head, and later jotted down, would produce such a masterpiece. Thank you for sharing your creative process.

Peace and blessings


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 8 months ago from Shelton

an all together well written hub.. love the poetry my friend :)


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 8 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Good morning Theresa. Easter is a good excuse for having fun with your grandchildren. I appreciate your kind words and the blessings.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 8 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Good morning Frank. Thanks for the visit this morning.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 7 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

Sorry I'm so late, Mike. My work sabbatical is nearing its end -- thank goodness! You have outlined the creative process of writing so well...words can come at impromptu times, sometimes they do not find their connective paths until the timing is just "write." Such timing shifts with each of us, yet each is hallowed though unspoken, wandering, pondering their way to the light on the page. Bravo, Mike. :-)


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 7 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Genna. I am so glad that you are taking a few moments for yourself. I for one have missed you, in your absence. Yes, the writing journey can make us all wander from point to point while trying to make sense of the random phrases. Good to know that writers like yourself engage in similar pondering.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 7 months ago from Central Florida

Mike, I love the way your muse works. The phrases you jotted down are very interesting. I'll bet you could write a short story or a poem based on each one separately.

Do you recall what you were doing or thinking when those lines came to you?

Love the dance video. Whoever took the time to find and place just the right clips to match the music is a genius. I've seen that video several times and never tire of it, just as I never tire of your creative offerings.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 7 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Sha. The lines arrive at various times. I might be reading and something catches my eye. Even sometimes a 'throw-away' line in a movie strikes a cord and I write it down. Then I gather these ideas together and see what they are trying to tell me. I have a couple of lines now that keep buzzing about, 'sometimes its love' is one of them, there must at least be a song there. And 'all our bones are white' - I just don't know what that is trying to tell me.

There are so many clever people - yes, the dance video demonstrates that fact well.

Thanks for the visit.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 7 months ago from Southern Illinois

Mike, I came back to read this piece again. It's amazing how you put this together. You know I love your stories/series but your poetry is first-class and I miss it, so get to it and write some more. That's an order. Hee..


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 7 months ago from Central Florida

Mike, I think "all our bones are white" refers to humanity. We may look different on the outside, but when it comes down to it, we're all people with similar makeup.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 7 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Ruby. I will get to work on a world class poem right away. Thank you. You are appreciated.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 7 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Sha - That is what I think it means also. Now, I just have to figure out all the rest of the words that go around those. Have a nice weekend.


annart profile image

annart 4 weeks ago from SW England

I love this. What an interesting idea! I do this all the time, have words and phrases pop into my head and most times I write them down, if not they're gone before they leave my head, such is my ageing memory!

I like the way you've showed the process which in itself is a good lesson in writing. We have to capture our ideas, our words, lock them into a cage and then release them into a formed existence. You do that so well.

I came across to your profile to find something of yours other than the Carriage Driver stories, just to see what else you do. I didn't realise you wrote poetry too, silly me! Such an enjoyable read!

Ann


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 4 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Ann - I have written a great deal. I usually gather up 30 or so hubs and call them a book. Yes, it is such a good idea to write the little messages that arrive down, and save them. They were went for a reason. Often, I have to wait to find out why the phrase popped into my head. Have a great weekend.

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