Standin’ in a Cicero alley lit by sunlight
Amidst Latino gang graffiti garages
Clad in black shorts, white shirt
Frank screams at the balding, big-bellied man
“I told you not to tell him!
He’s a fuckin’ two-faced Puerto Rican
With a love for Grecian Gods
And two cents to his name!”
As he borrows a lighter, throwing it
To the log being burdened by big buttocks.
The fat man screams
“You’re fucked up in the head to be
A part of his life. Don’t give me your
God-damned bullshit - Stay the fuck away
From here ‘til you get your shit together”
And tries to light a smoke against the wind
Hair screaming in the air
Wipes his hands on his grease-stained shirt
Wonderin’ why the air seems to polluted just now.
The atmosphere fill with disco-tech dance music
From a neighborhood band in a suffocatin’ garage
Masquerading as a studio
Crab-apples diving to the ground
Somehow symbolizing the lives in this town
Hitting rock bottom
Watching Mickey sleeping in his brother’s
Backyard ‘cause he fucked up with crystal white
catchin’ blood trickles on the side
evicted from his Wrigleyville apartment
wanted by the sheriff
for a car he doesn’t own
gotta get out
like the man in black and white
and the one balding with big buttocks
He needs new energy
like Las Vegas show girls
and Wayne Newton dreams
He needs a woman sent from Venus
a job he’ll call his own
but first gotta get that license
drive a taxi-cab around
spin his wheels to get some dough
stop livin’ in a stranger’s home
for two-hundred bucks a month
and someone in Cicero
needs to see some light.


Shelley Nation
Shelley Nation is a veteran Chicago poet of 20 years. She is an occasional co-host and stand in host for Wordslingers, a poetry radio show out of Loyola University (