Eleanor / Annmarie O'Connell

$ 7.00


dancing girl press, 2015




Annmarie O'Connell is a lifelong resident of the south side of Chicago. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Verse Daily, Slipstream, SOFTBLOW, Vinyl Poetry, Curbside Splendor, Escape Into Life, 2River View and many other wonderful journals. Her first chapbook, Her Last Cup of Light, was published by Aldrich Press. Her first full length collection of poems, Your Immaculate Heart, will be published this year by Trio House Press. She currently serves as a poetry editor for Extract(s) .



The city isn’t a skyline


"Chicago ain't nothin' but a blues band." -Sunnyland Slim


That’s pretend.

If you’re lucky, the city is your Mama

chasing down the freight train rolling

over your body. If not,

it’s Loretta in the back-

room piano   West side soul

Magic Sam calls it music to strip.

Call it Gentlemen Jim’s and The Pit.

Loretta really wants to get out

of the animal city. She is a half price

booty dilemma you can’t ignore. Weigh it

into the performance,

her thin alligator face doin’ it right

now. The men tell her

they summer in Cambridge

and France with five hundred cameras,

with saxophones and trumpets

they don’t know

how to use   Loretta is an independent scholar

with novel theories on Hot Jazz

and Fist Wars. When she dies

no one claims her. Her body sits in

the county morgue then goes

unmarked in a wooden box.

Loretta is thousands

of nameless bodies speaking one

central heart beating

deep down in the vicious

city dirt.