chicago chicago/ dm

Date: Monday, January 25, 2010, 1:45 AM

In the Allegro Hotel, a Kimpton dot on their grand sweep of hotels across the state. In Chicago — the big city w/ Sandburg’s brawny shoulders, & yes, amazing buildings — we’re in the Loop, decidedly upscale — in these situations always feel like less than — due to my mobility problems, there’s not much time to actually walk the city — great cities have to be walked & my crutches just go so far — a big drag —

in Chicago, I immediately think of its heroes: Tom Clark, Sandburg, Algren, Studs Terkel, Little Walter, Paul Butterfield, Nick Gravenites, Mike Bloomfield, the source of Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, aiee, Chess & Checkers Records — Upton Sinclair’s savage attack on the meat packing industry — so much more, but enough already — powerful vector of ascent & defeat —

bless Larry Sawyer for setting up our gig at The Hideout — we met Larry a year earlier doing a gig at Myopic Bookstore — Larry’s a cultural activist warrior trying to spread the necessity of poetry & performance & transformation in the often hard-core hate world of dismal options & entropic slumber — he created a Rockpile Symposium at Columbia College — brought in Art Lange, Dan McNaughton (bassist, leader of exemplary unit Spider Trio), Tony Trigillio, et al. — but alas the panel outnumbered the audience —

BUT the gig at The Hideout was ample & wonderful — what a magnificent joint! deep in some subaltern industrial section between shadowy warehouses & immense hulking Gotham City blocks of industry — in between two mammoth blocks of shadow is this transplant from some noir movie — one section is a bar & the other is a performance space — Bob Malone’s ass-kicking trio is already there before we arrive doing a sound-check — the cabbie that got us there got lost in the shadowy realm — Patricia Donneley’s brother greets us w/ a bottle of some kind of high-octane sherry in a weird woven bag — stuff I wouldn’t drink even on a bet — he wants me to know if I “know” as he does — & then & right then & there I become a parishioner of the Church of Uncertainty — his wife is another presence apparently luded or loaded in some kind of psychotropic wonderland —

but when the music & poetry begins, a instant uplift — thanks to poets Art Lange, Larry Sawyer, Francesco Levato, Joe Wetteroth — & Spider Trio & the Dan Godtson Band — there’s video of it all which gives a sense of what it was — somewhat —

Bob Malone’s Trio kicked it beyond the goal posts — !!

OK, it’s over now, we’re still in a fuddled but alert post-trip coma & at the same time, frenzied desire to re-live it all over & over again

— dm

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