poetry By nv baker Gentrification There’s this fucking dude in Chicago On weekend mornings He’s got his gleanings & wears string medallions On one string, got a handset of an old phone Got a cowbell, got a cardboard sign that says “Black Chicago” He’s even managed to get the writ notarized But it cost him most his teeth Fucking guy’s something really He’s got a rooster that’ll perch on his hand Cock rides the shopping cart handle with a firm grip & preaches The word to dope heads on Wednesdays at noon for a small taste & eats the lice out of the fucking dude’s hog bristle beard Lays an egg in the fucking dude’s mouth every morning too. There’s this fucking dude in Chicago On weekend mornings Wearing strings & signs with small writ Saying “You own equity, not people, ‘cause nouns is a liability” You can find him outside of the houses Who are having garage sales Fucking guy’s something really Until he is asked to leave Amputating a single inch off of his stilts, every time Until he is short enough to beg & tall enough to be realized, dismissed The prophet finally emblazoned on a coffee cup Painted by Tomas fucking Kinkaid Lodged into a box & regifted in concept. end. There’s this fucking dude in Chicago On the weekend mornings He trundles & his shopping cart trundles too He pulls up to garage sales & steps politely ten feet away Slangs his shit that no One wants on the dope corners, tangible merchandise Until he’s asked to leave, & he’s always asked to leave You can find him in the evening with a highlighter & a newspaper Squatting in the alleyways with his pants down around his jaws Fucking guy’s something really Face forested by a white Brillo bearding Knows all the fucking cops & they buy him coffee & the cops clean his ears with those Chinese wax removers while he cocks his head & listens to the flame The weather’s hard with the lake effect & the cops lick castor oil into his chilblains for it. There’s this fucking dude in Chicago On weekend mornings The bars don’t open until he raps at the wood of the portals Patron’s all supplicants as he cracks & coughs & Bleeds glitter into the slat perforations of the keg cellars Drinking nothing but well rum for the islandry of it Fucking guy’s something really Got two different colors of eyes Dark brown & light brown Eighth son of an eighth son Designated after the portion of The corner of a twist-rendered sandwich baggie “Ziplock, man, always Zip lock.” There’s this fucking dude in Chicago On the weekend mornings His body had rails His bones gleamed right through the sky Looked also like he had somehow managed to fit stilts On the bottoms of his sockless feet & Pull his shoes up over the whole of the stilts Misappropriating the vertical Space in a feat of chimerical brilliance Fucking guy’s something, really Whole world hidden The river Thames, the Bridges of London, the Empire State Between where the Black Man’s heel & insole meet.