LA to Chicago: This Is How We Connect

Posted on September 16, 2009 by

2


A poem about Chicago in response to my Chicago Road Trip and to the homey/undeniable K.Sao

Woke up that first morning to Chicago public transit

A space to get where we wanted to
A space to see a flatland built on bricks
A space to see Cubs fans

We had plugged into the city by means of an 80 MPH automobile

Staying in an area reserved for people who connected by means of flight
That could’ve been a lucid connection, would’ve taken at most 4 hours
But that lucidity and brevity would’ve put us out of touch
With everything
A long
The way
Not unlike an internet connection
With packets of information
Which do not have experiences to report back

We only care that the information that travels fast back and forth manipulated for its human masters

But when human masters do the traveling back and forth
They carry lots of baggage
Plenty
To

Smell, taste, touch, see, hear
Observe, read, write
The snaps of a finger
The smokes of 2 pack cartons
The nibs of a $1.00 packet of Twizzlers

The experience of

Destination to Destination

LA, city of uncontrolled growth
We left fires in its forests
Temporarily

To

Chicago, a second city,
Not to me
It was the one city that provided the space
For my parents to get it on and usher me into the human race

21 years removed
I was given a blank new slate
For me to fill the category of the “lived” Chicago with

Chicago Public Transit
Thru the tollways
Thru the every days
I stood, sat, walked, rode
Amazed at this extreme friendliness of bus driver
The helpfulness of the people
An aura of warmth and coolness
In a city of freezing snow and baking suns

The weather
No importa
de Los Angeles

I’d learned through a band of traveling information
This is the city of Michael Jordan
City of the basketball Chicago Bulls
This is a city of junk food
When the universe spoke to me just before the trip,
I was ordered to try Chicago style sausages and pizzas

Indulge the tastes and everything tactile
But beyond this blank slate
There was a past
A slate already filled
4 years of my early life
That I’d have to reconcile

I re-entered the places I’d been, recalling faces
From the early phases of my experience

Rough dots of episodic memory remain disparate but vivid
Whether it was throwing away milk at daycare or
Being taken away into the countryside for a dayfair

What person would I have been had I grown up there?

Would I have been fatter because of Lou Malnatis pizza?
Less sheltered because of the natural warmth and coolness?
Would I have experienced more because of Chicago public transit?

I was last there at an age of development
I came back at an age of discovery

Taking back with me a canvas
Embodied
Bringing back with me
Bits old and new that
I observed, read, and wrote
Stood, sat, walked, and rode

The next day we drove back to the fires of LA.

Now
Only
From a distance again
Recalling
Relaying bits
Represented by symbols
Manipulated over the computer, and the internet in certain patterns
Hoping the information I enter
travels without so much baggage and so much delay

But this is information and I hope that it travels more than one way
I’m hoping that what I say here can bring me back there

Posted in: Chicago Bulls