"Big-shot town, small-shot town, jet-propelled old-fashioned town, by old-world hands with new-world tools built into a place whose heartbeat carries farther than its shout, whose whispering in the night sounds less hollow than its roistering noontime laugh: they have builded a heavy-shouldered laugher here who went to work too young.
      And grew up too arrogant, too gullible, too swift to mockery and too slow to love. So careless and so soon careworn, so challenging yet secretly despairing—how can such a cocksure Johnson of a town catch anybody but a barfly’s heart?
      Catch the heart and just hold it there with no bar even near?
      Yet on nights when, under all the arc-lamps, the little men of the rain come running, you’ll know at last that, long long ago, something went wrong between St. Columbanus and North Troy Street.
      And Chicago divided your heart.
      Leaving you loving the joint for keeps.
      Yet knowing it never can love you."
Nelson Algren, from Chicago: City On The Make (via rustbeltjessie)
Broken Radio by Rainer Maria


and i’m certain, if i drive into those trees, 
it’d make less of a mess 
than you’ve made of me.

"Novels—particularly those written by women—set in the sphere of the domestic, and those that deal with the events of ordinary existence, are inevitably considered to be (or dismissed as) thinly disguised accounts of the writers’ own lives. Why?"

-Anne-Marie Casey, on novels not necessarily being autobiographical (via snoothy)

What if you consider yourself a subject worthy of literature? What if you take your own story, use it as a plot, and throw in some recipes? In the end, how can readers detect the differences between the writer’s observations and his or her imagination?

You're Gonna Miss Me by 13th Floor Elevators

13th Floor Elevators - “You’re Gonna Miss Me”


(for art school girls in the Windy City)

Art school girls -
I know you come here
to this, the Windy City,
not realizing just how
windy it will be.

You come here from
the suburbs or a
small midwestern town
in Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan.
A town where no one
understood you and you
felt all alone.

You come here and
you are going to
make a splash,
make your mark
on the scene,
be the next big
thing in music, film,
you don’t much
care which,
so long as your
name is emblazoned
in lights on a
marquee and you
have adoring fans…

You come here to this city
that grew up from the prairie.
The buildings are monoliths,
huge creatures with steel
skeletons and flesh
of glass and concrete,
so much taller than
anything you’ve ever seen.

Open all night.
Always lit up, tinting
the sky with sickly orange.
You get a boyfriend,
maybe he’s in a band.
And it’s just like the subway
stop, you think, yes:
“This is Grand.”

But before you know
it, you are lost
in a sea of
people with pinched faces;
and the sky is orange,
and the lake is gray.

You get a couple of
blue tattoos and some
scars that won’t easily fade.
Your hair is windblown -
but that’s the in thing
these days.
You turn to a bottle
of whiskey or gin,
and you don’t eat much,
and you’re getting so thin…

and you can’t help but
laugh, dancing alone in
your apartment at
night, thinking:
“I may be depressed, but
I look fabulous.”

You collect matchbooks,
shotglasses, love affairs,
and one-night stands.
You’ve lost all the friends
you thought you had.
You save ticket stubs from
the times you went to
see your favorite bands.

Your wallet is always empty
and your bed is always cold.
You’re only in your twenties,
but you feel so fucking old.

The prairie winds blow
fierce and burning,
they put their
icy fingers up your shirt.
They crack the scaffolding
of that new parking
garage downtown
as easy as blowing
down cornstalks.

And you drop out of
art school, after an
affair with a professor
(which seemed so bold
and romantic at the
time, but now you just
feel cheap and used); or maybe
you simply realized
that a piece of paper
with your name printed
on it is no substitute for
real talent.
Most likely, you just
can’t afford it anymore.

And you get some
bottom-level job,
arranging flowers,
selling useless products,
pouring coffee for
minimum wage.
You make just enough
money that you won’t
get evicted, thrown
out into the wet gray
streets of the Windy City

but you’ve lost your
identity, swallowed up
by the gaping black
maw of Chicago
and you stare at
the skyscrapers and
you scream at the
pinched dead faces
of passerby:
Who am I?
Where am I?

and Why?

Rust Belt Jessie, “Who Am I?” (2004)
This accordion is still one of the best birthday presents I’ve ever received. December 2004.

This accordion is still one of the best birthday presents I’ve ever received. December 2004.

save these instructions

i would make an incredibly bad girlfriend. people don’t seem to realize this about me. they fall in love or like or lust with me, and by the time they figure out that all i’m gonna do is fuck up their lives, it’s too late. then, they get all pissed off and tell me i tricked them.

so this is fair warning to all of you: i’m a mess. i might seem fun at first, but in the end, all i’m going to do is drink all your booze, and drive you to suicide. stay far, far away from me.

-journal entry, 12/20/04

i can say a thousand times a day that i hate this town, and that i want to leave. but then, certain moments come, like yesterday evening, and i realize that i still love it.

there was cold air. strings of lights on the trees in grant park. an old man with a cello. smoking a cigarette on the steps of the art institute. trash cans on fire. people in stupid hats. and, from the window of a coffeeshop, watching the orange streetlamps, and the bare trees, and the fading pinkpurple light of late afternoon.

yes, i do still love chicago. but there are other cities i love, too, and other places i want to visit and live. and i think i should leave this city while i still love it, so that, perhaps, i will one day come back.

-journal entry, 12/15/04

will i ever learn to stop crashing cars, breaking bottles, falling into boys? will i ever learn to stop slicing myself open with knives and razorblades and guitar strings? do i want to learn? my body may be broken, true, but my feet hurt from dancing and my head hurts from thought. my throat is raw from smoking and singing, my eyes water from staying up too late, reading poetry by candle light. my fingers are cramped from gripping the pen or the guitar pick, my lips are chapped from kissing. and my heart hurts from love. hurts from love.

-journal entry, 12/14/04

Girl Anachronism by The Dresden Dolls

Dresden Dolls - “Girl Anachronism”

And you can tell
By the red in my eyes
And the bruises on my thighs
And the knots in my hair
And the bathtub full of flies
That I’m not right now at all
There I go again
Pretending that I’ll fall
Don’t call the doctors
'Cause they've seen it all before
They’ll say just

Let her crash
And burn
She’ll learn
The attention just encourages her

I can not stand AFP as a person anymore, but I’ll be goddamned if I won’t always love her music, especially the Dresden Dolls.

Real Dreams That Never Go Smash
2004! How 'Bout That Blog! Whoo!