12 October 1999
Newspoetry Etude for Prepared Piano
According to Illinois Labor Law, for every four-hour shift, Chicago
workers are guaranteed the right to think about art for fifteen
Keep in mind that your workplace may attempt to subvert
this law, and in fact steps are being taken to repeal this law even
as I write this poem. Nevertheless, if you work full-time, you are
paid by your employer to think about art for half an hour each day.
This time of year in Chicago, the cows along Michigan
Avenue have fantastic colors.
The piano was prepared
by filling it with live squid and setting it on fire.
This time of year, according to National Public Radio,
the Japanese have an uneasy relationship with the atom.
What will happen if one of these earthquakes hit Chicago?
In a thousand years, archeologists will unearth in North
America a black enamel cow with flames on the side.
The cows have horns and udders, as the city of Chicago
expresses its acceptance of its gay lesbian bisexual transsexual and
The Harold Washington public library is a monument to
The piano was prepared by marinating it in balsamic
vinegar with bay leaves and basil.
The WGN / Tribune building was built when gangsters
ruled Chicago, in 1692.
Some of the cows were vandalized or stolen before they
installed the cow alarms.
Your choice of restaurant: Iraqi, Sudanese, Afghanistani,
In the Nineteenth Century, 100 cows drowned in the Chicago
River when a bridge collapsed.
I sometimes shed a tear over my cheeseburger at the
The piano was prepared by filling it full of aspirin
and shipping it to Iraq.
In Chicago, the cows play ragtime.
What is to become of the Bulls? In Chicago, even the
cows wear horns to mock them.