#431: What’s Left in the Snow

January 28th, 2015 § permalink

Someone left a table of books out for passersby.

“The Witching Hour” by Anne Rice. “Bethlehem Road Murder” by Batya Gur. Paperbacks by Ursula Hegl, I.J. Parker, Margaret Erskine, Lawrence Durrell — all on a little sea-colored folding table propped knee-height in the snow and dark and cutting cold. » Read the rest of this entry «

#430: The Widowed Building

January 26th, 2015 § permalink

Behind construction fencing and tarps printed with fake ivy leaves, the electric bulbs beneath the red Wrigley Field sign spelled out four words and two numbers:

1931-2015 » Read the rest of this entry «

#429: Metronomes

January 23rd, 2015 § permalink


She started again. » Read the rest of this entry «

#428: Welcome to the Neighborhood

January 21st, 2015 § permalink

We talked about neighborhoods.

In the MCA café, by large windows facing out to the rapidly purpling east night sky, we talked about what neighborhoods are. We talked about segregation and wealth, community and pride.

We talked about these towns in towns, urban urbs that people define themselves by, sometimes more often than by the town as a whole. I’m from Englewood, some say, proud of the toughness that connotes. I’m from Logan Square, others reply, proud of the implied cool. » Read the rest of this entry «

#427: The Vein

January 19th, 2015 § permalink

“There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.”

- Ernest Hemingway

Many years ago, a woman I was dating told me I talk all the time, but don’t say anything. » Read the rest of this entry «

#426: Our Lady of the Underpass

January 16th, 2015 § permalink

A road cone. A fallen broom. A white plastic industrial-sized bucket still festooned with the label for “Artisan Chicken” institutional-serving meat.

These are ways Our Lady of the Fullerton Underpass Accident Investigation Site is honored. » Read the rest of this entry «

#425: Building Ben Hecht

January 14th, 2015 § permalink

“We’ve been dogged by sporting events,” 1001 Afternoons in Chicago director David Less said as we sat in the Irish pub he had turned into a 1920s speakeasy.

It was the same pub I had sat in almost two years before to meet with composer Seth Boustead to talk about the Ben Hecht-inspired radio play he was bringing to fruition. Now I was sipping breakfast tea and considering a faux-Gaelic lunch menu with the director of the film version. » Read the rest of this entry «

#424: Paper, Wood and Wire

January 12th, 2015 § permalink

A whitened bird skull operated by antique spoons. She and her sister glide on ball casters made for desk chairs, hidden by rag dresses tea-stained to match the seaweed and algae that washes up on Monterey.

“They eat out of clam shells and drink out of barnacles,” Stephanie Díaz said, making one of the Las Solteronas puppets take a massive swig, picking up the glass using the magnet system Díaz installed in a bent wire hand. “I wanted these to look like things that assembled themselves autonomously from a shipwreck.” » Read the rest of this entry «

#423: Death and the Banana

January 9th, 2015 § permalink

I wear sunglasses a lot. I guess that’s where to start. » Read the rest of this entry «

#422: Rex, a Lion

January 7th, 2015 § permalink

An email from my mother, early Tuesday morning:

“When she was a little girl in Chicago, Grandma wondered why there were men pulling carts through the streets yelling, ‘Rex, a lion.’ » Read the rest of this entry «

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