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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Fanning a chilled, fevered mind

The cheery carol Winter Wonderland may make a holiday season snowfall seem a blessed event, but that pop-affected attitude loses its charm quite quickly here in the urban American Midwest.

A fresh snow can still be a thing of beauty when rooftops, limbs, and streetlights are first coated in chaste white, but as the days pass and the salt and exhaust go to work, the ground cover changes to a sinfully ugly mix of gray, brown and black slush (and then there's the yellow variety ...).

It marks the onset of that time of year when we Chicagoans contract cabin fever — the restless byproduct of the self-imposed perpetual indoor confinement used to escape the wintry mess. I've already begun avoiding the outdoor chill and have succumbed to navel-gazing, yet another symptom of the seasonal disorder.

It's amazing what entertainments the under-stimulated mind can fashion under such conditions. Here I give you a prime example of too much time spent pondering household objects ... consider it a winter ode to city apartment dwelling.

Five Blades
By Francis Scudellari

Five blades cut, thick air slice sharply
A dark shadowed smudge, whirred voices
Spinning soft tales, currents pushed down,
The day's image blurred, circular
Logic traced on sleep-dusted mind

Five fingers loom, open-palm stretch,
On ceiling spread, stark outlines drawn,
Coldly etched in cloud-dimmed light, rays
Greet up-cast eyes, soul searching, till,
Motion-stopped, energy captured,
Passion starved, I am slapped awake
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