Chicago A Concrete River I Miss

There's a tribal Native American Ojibwa spirit hiding in Chicago

The author on Lincoln Avenue at sunset. Photo by: Isabella Zoltak
The author on Lincoln Avenue at sunset. Photo by: Isabella Zoltak

A Thunderstorm Of Words 4 Chicago

Winds rushing past on Lincoln Avenue gravel

Asphalt and lots of grit mixed with gasoline

There are cars racing by in monotonous buzzer patterns


Bubble gum oily and grey and dirty mixed saturated with bacteria

Turning rolling broiling into black and blotched numbness brains

A forte of humanity lying prone on the roadway

Waiting patiently for bicyclists to fall upon and rub cheeks into

Roaring like a ravens wing in a windswept dust carpet

Tunnels of time and paychecks

Go drifting into forever or at least until Armitage Avenue

Then Lake Shore Drive whistling forward lysurgically acidically

Upon the Drake Hotel


Michigan Avenue girls sailing short skirts

Lushness sexy madness

Waving into the night the lakes waves rolling and rolling and rolling

Wondering where are the sturgeon and coyote trapped on ice floes and in delis


Somewhere a young man with an old man's spirit is riding on eight wheels

Bringing bad news to the city

To pay for raw fish and underwear and desires of the hungry platitudes


Still there's no place for a lost soul

No misfit oil painter

No room in an Institute of Art

Only room for mockingbirds and demagogues and sycophants

Only rewards for antiunion union workers clandestine shit piles

Oil wrecks called actresses all petroleum in spirit


The Swiss Hotel treatment is like a white satin mistress

Tearing at something buried hidden

A wondering mystic lost in a tribe in a country forgotten woods

A pulsing quasi star maybe planetoid maybe hot dog with celery salt


There in the quiet crying sometimes

In sadness

Sometimes

In joy

A man dare an artist or poet or lumbering oaf of rye withering greens


More by this Author


Comments 40 comments

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

A wonderful read, thank you.


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA Author

Thank you Hello, hello for your kind words.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

It is my hope that there still is a place for a misfit oil painter or two in the world... I like to believe the world needs us creative-types, even if they don't know they need us.

Have a good Sunday, Ben.

Mike


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Very lyrical and filled your usual mystical imagery, Ben. Rated up.


JannyC profile image

JannyC 6 years ago

Deep man. Loved the twisting imagery.


Ann Nonymous profile image

Ann Nonymous 6 years ago from Virginia

I love it. From your very creative title to everything you describe! Two thumbs up, Ben!


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA Author

Thank you for the well wishes Mike, I think you are right the world needs us dammit. I really felt tapped into my old school poetry reading days with this collection.


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA Author

Thanks for the descriptive compliments Green Lotus! Your comments are always warm.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Very creative. I loved the hub.


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA Author

Thanks Janny, twisting imagery from a mildy twisted dude.


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA Author

Thank you Ann your warm words melt my heart.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

Okay it made me think. Unusual, I don't do that much anymore. Dang, had to look up a couple of words. Still don't know quite what to make of them. Made me want to wander through the city though. I guess I had an emotional response! Wow! And I don't even like poetry. Thanks.


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA Author

Thanks Pamela for your kind words!


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA Author

Thanks Pamela for your kind words!


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA Author

Steve! You appear to be a great thinking man to me, but I'm honored and flattered that you took a look at my poetry despite not caring for poetry much. There's not much better in life than when your expectations of something get turned on it's head. Poetry is very forgiving, probably why I like it best, now dryer drive belts on the other hand! Relentless! Thanks for your kind words.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

You have a wonderful way with words, Ben!


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA Author

Thanks for your kind compliment my friend Habee!!!!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

We used to love visiting Chicago the four years my husband and I lived in Wisconsin Rapids. Michigan Avenue, the Drake Hotel, The Art Institute of Chicago and so much more was brought alive by your poetry. We actually joined the Field Museum when the King Tut exhibit was there, so got to the head of the line as members the next time we were there for a visit.


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA Author

OOH, I would have loved to have seen that exhibit Peggy, really enthralling. Thank you for recognizing my poetry, no small feat in our digitized world!!!


whcobb profile image

whcobb 6 years ago from Fort Campbell, KY

Good read bro... I'm thinking about going to Chicago and maybe catching a White Sox game.


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA Author

Sox fans are your kind of people Bill, I tell you what! I know you'd have a helluva time at a Sox game I hope you do. If and when you do make sure to get a couple of Chicago style hot dogs!


whcobb profile image

whcobb 6 years ago from Fort Campbell, KY

Wouldn't miss the Chicago dogs for the world... I may actually make my way up there late August or early September...


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA Author

Good to know, give me a couple weeks heads up maybe I'd do a quick day trip down to Chi town and grab a beer with ya. We're expecting a baby around here in July so I might not be able to pull it off but lemme know.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

Very good and compelling poetry. I enjoyed it. And I love Chicago.


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA Author

Honored to have a James Watkins comment here, I know you and I don't see eye to eye on many things, but I admire a man who has the magnanimity to commiserate with people other than his own feather.

Thanks for the compliment Jim.

Ben


whcobb profile image

whcobb 6 years ago from Fort Campbell, KY

Congrats on the little one man... I'll definitely give you a shout if I am going to be able to make it up that way. Take care man.


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA Author

Thanks big Bill, we will see in a few weeks if we're gettin' a boy or a girl! Would be pretty cool to catch a game if we could ever line it up. Take care too hombre!


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA Author

It's a boy!!!


RosWebbART profile image

RosWebbART 6 years ago from Ireland

fantastic !


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA Author

roswebb: I am humbled!

Ben


Jason Esposito 6 years ago

Yeah, but outside of New York, California, Oregon and North Carolina, Wisconsin is the most beautiful state in the union. I've been to Illinois and it is all flat and corn fields. Chicago's a great town, but brrrr.


Laura in Denver profile image

Laura in Denver 6 years ago from Aurora

Very nice, I like it!

Chicago is certainly a city of contrasts.


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA Author

Thanks Jason, and for including Wisconsin in your group. If you think Chicago's brrr, spend a winter in Minneapolis, cold in stacks and rolls!

Cheers

Ben


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA Author

Thanks Laura! Denver's a great town too (although the time I spent there was between bars, I only remember being happy, all other details are hazy, hehe)

Thanks for your warm words,

Ben


Peter Owen profile image

Peter Owen 5 years ago from West Hempstead, NY

Hou ave a nice flow of words in your writings.


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 5 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA Author

Thanks Peter, I'm big on word texture when I look back on it with you.

Cheers.

Ben


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Ben,

The King Tut exhibit is once again traveling to the U.S. and will be shown in Houston. Not sure where it goes from there. With any luck maybe it will show up in your "neck of the woods" or somewhere nearby so that you do get to see it someday. It is amazing!


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 4 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA Author

Ah I would love to see that exhibit, I'll check Mam, Moca and the Chazen to see if the King Tut exhibit will shoot this way, thanks Peg.

Ben


Laura in Denver profile image

Laura in Denver 4 years ago from Aurora

Chicago's such a fun town. I worked at AT&T/Lucent in Naperville and took the train in every weekend to see a different museum.

Not too much night life, since I had only my bicycle,

but the time I did go out, I saw a professor from NM.

Coincidence, or what?


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 4 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA Author

Laura great to hear from you , sorry for the slow response I've just moved into a new house and finished my first public art sculpture I've been super busy

!!!

My mom and father in law both worked for AT& T and my ma with Lucent too I think for awhile... Chicago definitely has that spirit of kizmit!

Best to you four corners princess

Ben

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