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Web Letter


Sandberg, Algren, Royko and Terkel;
They all rah and razz you, Chicago.
They talk about you like you're some whore
they've been in love with and paying for.

Studs says you're a two-face.
Algren says you're a carny kid,
on the make;
on the take.

Sinatra croons that you're
his kind of town
in Hobokenese that could pass
for native southside jive.

Benny G. learned his jazz
with you here in an orphanage,
and brought it back home
when he refined it,
to your stomping approval.

The stench of your stocks is gone.
Those south-town steel-maker
chimneys spit no more.
Your trains are down to a trickle.

They've stripped your landmarks:
many of Sullivan's edifices,
the trolleys. What's left?

For every Sullivan gone, a Van der Rohe;
for every trolley, an El;
for every Capone, a Fast Eddie;
for every Daley, another Daley

You may be a whore on some nights.
but on others you're a lady.
I've seen you resplendent at the symphony,
while strolling by the Lake,
or browsing at Marshall Field's

So you defy us, Chicago,
laugh at your reputation,
swallow up five million of us,
make us pay dearly for you,
and dare us not to love you.

to Studs from another guy who loves Chicago

Ernest Griffith

Phoenix, AZ

Nov 23 2007 - 7:53pm