Tag Archives: stories

Chicago Writers and Poets – A poem by Ilze Vitands

         IMG Randolph 2 

 Chicago Stories is introducing a new feature: Chicago Writers & Poets with new works by Chicagoans who bring their personal perspectives to the Chicago experience. I’ve been involved in writing groups and classes for a number of years and continue to meet and read the work of those who are capturing in words their unique take on Chicago life. I’ve been having so much fun I just want to share some of that with all of you. And I’ll be sneaking in some of my stuff, too.

A poem by Ilze Vitands.


 By Ilze Vitands                                      

                   Once inside a kitchen cluttered,

                        at the counter there I uttered

                        over many a sauce and condiment bottle

                        and knives with vinyl grips.

                        Here I paused in reverence, asking,

                        my body’s wisdom thus unmasking, 

                        after so much multi-tasking,

                        What refreshment here equips?

                        Of the best and healthy choices?

                        What food here shall pass my lips?”

                     Quoth my body, “Eat some chips.”


                 Ah, distinctly I remember

                        my reaction, this dissembler!

                        How my wise and knowing body could retort and be so flip?

                        So I spake, “I am mishearing.

                        Surely you would not be steering

                        me to such unworthy leering

                        at that yellow plastic clip

                        holding closed this bag of Ruffles?

                        “Truly, this food I should skip!”

                     Quoth my body, “Onion dip.”


              Presently, with virtue stronger,

                        hesitating then no longer,

                        “Sir,” said I, “No, wait..Madam, you must see

                        this weakness has to stop.

                        Do you not have resolution?

                        Stand against your own pollution!

                        Respect the eons of evolution

                        that will crumble from this slop!

                        Imbibe some purest mineral water!

                        Eat the green and leafy crop!”

                   Quoth my body, “Drink some pop.”


            “Be that then our words of parting!

                        Exercise I will be starting.

                        Hoist me hence from my apartment! 

                       To the vast Lake Michigan Sea!

                        There I’ll run along the paving,

                        End this self-destructive craving!

                        My own soul I will be saving!

                        Breathe the air so deep and free!

                        I’ll  run until my sweat

                        doth fill my eyes so I can’t see!

                   Quoth my body, “Watch TV.”


            So my body, glad in quitting,

                        still is sitting, still is sitting.

                        Watching reruns of Green Acres,

                        sharing pork rinds with the cat.

                        But in the dark before each dawning,

                        I plot afresh against each scorning

                        Repeating every doctor’s warning,

                        Every warning falling flat.

                        “Won’t you heed my wisdom, body?

                        Make some effort? Lose some fat?”

                   Quoth my body, “Screw all that.”

Inspired by The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

Quoth My Body was pulished previously in the Journal of Ordinary Thought. Ms Vitands writes as a member of the Neighborhood Writing Alliance.


The Sun Always Shines on the Gold Coast

The Chicago winter wind freezes my smile, breaks it into a hundred shards on the ground.  Squints my eyes against the flying whatevers it pries from the gutters. I’ve got time on my hands on the Gold Coast and the wind feels milder here.

 The elegant, youngish couple glides by heads down, evading my ordinary eyes, kidnapping my attention. The woman, brunette luxury, walks in mink matching her hair. He invites my envy in long leather shearling.  Thirty thousand in wardrobe between them. They are levitated by their imagined importance. But I know they’re only dressed up. They’re not the clout. Not on the Gold Coast.

 Not the real clout, the real money, the serious, old coin. The fixers. The amassers of power, collectors of the lives of anybody they please, hide 50 stories up. The McCormicks. The Fields. The Rockefeller progeny gaze down at the traffic, at the people who go to work.

 They puzzle why anybody would do that. Go to work? They know of no McCormick, Field or Rockefeller who has ever worked, save the founder. Having no relation, parent or cousin, who has ever had a job. In this they share common ground with the permanent poor. Just as dependent, just as unprepared, just as deprived. But they, and we, know they alone have the “screw-you money.”

 The brilliant Gold Coast sun bursts from a sapphire sky. Lighting the high-rise mountain peaks. Warming the penthouses. Casting blue-gray shadows on the storefront foothills.

 The sun always shines upon the right kind on the Gold Coast.