Here are a few collaborative poems written with friends at Cuneen's (a nice divey-type bar on Devon and Newgard in Rogers Park) - two very loose renga (we like to call them that) and one exquisite corpse (which I may post here later). It was a gross snowy evening, but we were warmed by beer, poems and comraderie. Vive le vin nouveau! Thanks to Ben for typing them up!

This may just have to become a regular event - I like how they turned out.

Renga #1

The snow in April rests on our shoulders
like cigar store Indians - waxy and dark

The water pools on the floor near the
door. It makes the socks wet, cold.

There would be a fire in the fireplace,
but it is fake, and holding an unopened box.

Inside the box is a limited edition
collector's tin of stale popcorn.

The porch houses a parsley supply of
wood, enough for the night, but you are ill.

A candle flicker will suffice, eyes
adjust. How long will this falling fall?

You hit the lucky dark, you have
diphtheria. Love is a hateful feeling.

Some would argue that it's cold outside.
Too cold for sandals is not cold at all.

The man from Florida does not agree.
The woman from Alaska hunts from the air.

Her flute, her conga line haunt us,
we go all the way and fall off the edge of

life. Am I alone now? The traps were set.
Nothing moved. The traps were sprung. Frigid

blasts of air from the North. O! Pioneers
and Privateers know beasts and beats.

They will beat the stark brush aside
for tapioca-eyed prey, killed or not.

It doesn't matter. Food is no longer
a luxury or necessity. Nothing is.

This rain and snow (remember the wet
socks?) defeats all, save a cold.

Save a cold, hug an Indian.
Save an Indian, hold on to your fast food.

Save a tree, wipe your ass with
an owl. It doesn't make sense. It will.

Lay down your parsley burden, friend,
and drown in candle wax. You deserve it.

Lindsay Bell
Mitchell Weller
John Niemi

Park Sky Voices Inn
(Renga #2)

The voices are silently deafening. There are
too many, maybe not enough. It's uncomfortable.

Be sure to talk to your kids about
the voices. They loom large, may cause harm.

Children will listen if the words are
shiny enough. The sound of their laughter is a pain.

Wishes are children, come true not free.
Free to be you and me; free to be a family.

It's 10:00, do you know where your
Children are? Sunday night at a bar.

Sunday night in the ether. Do you know
your children will grow up to be villains?

Villainy is in the eye of the beholder.
Beholden to the rules of being an Arch Nemesis.

Frank O'Hara did this and that to your
Villain children. Drink Ovaltine, shoot your

drug of choice under your fingernails.
Put it in a headband & let it run into your eyes.

Snorkel in a kiddie pool of it,
hold it for your friend, dive for "pennies."

Pennies from Heaven and nickels from
hell. Where does other currency come from?

My references have no currency in
this economy. Would you like a pastry?


John Niemi
Adam Pelz
Mitchell Weller
Lindsay Bell


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