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The stresses of modern life take a toll on all of us. But sometimes they can spark inspiration as well – like in this poem by writer Kevin Coval. It's called “Messing (A)round.”

will we will we will we ever settle down down, forever sketching clouds

now, we crowd the towns around now and whisper to the clouds, how

will we will we will we ever ever settle? we wishing wishing wishing

upon a cloud, a day, a dreams all day, want to play play no career my fear or 401k

k? is how you spell my name name, get my 1040 right, death and thumb tacks

hold heros on my office wall, my office y'all, no office at all, a closet in the back

apartment i rent, rent each month write a check, 1st of the month check, check, health care

money spent, out of pocket, every check, every month a sport i report like Chet Choppok.

got it? will we will we stop sketching clouds? hold hope upside down? public speaking

loud, rush like division streets crowds, inertia moving, never never settle, apartments

apartments, books in cardboards boxes, cds in case logics, hip-hop to heavy metal, settle

settle sediment, shhhhhhh… gentle men settle in quiet like dust in the bottom of the river,

she wrote her number in my hand with mud, now i call her river. ten numbers in my hand

and ten numbers right behind her, settle down horses, tie my eyes straight with blinders

i'm a find her, among the crowds of towns, i travel around, public speaking loud, loud

where you at, where you from, hold my hope inside your eyes now, your eyes now, fold

inside my eyes now, i want to see you see you, be seen besides the scene, i mean

will we will we live among the forests of steel and rusted beams, mid-west the best

flat fields of soy beans, miles ya boy dreams, sketch Chicago lovely, lovely the city

beautiful brutal ugly, beautiful brutal youthful dis-a-hipster smugly, ugly yuppies

trust fund lucky, Daley must be holding a bottle of bleach upside down turning the blues

to white collars, beautiful brutal ugly! followin forefather dollars, condo model scholars

hollerin holler beautiful brutal ugly! she beautiful brutal ugly! sketch Chi-city lovely,

when will she love me? holler when she love me, holy unfolding, beautiful brutal ugly!

i'll holler when she love me! sketch Chi-city lovely, she beautiful brutal ugly!

holler when she hold me! holler cuz she holy! Chi-city holy! beautiful brutal lovely!

Kevin Coval is the co-founder of Louder than a Bomb, the annual poetry competition. This Friday, Eight Forty-Eight will step aside as Coval hosts a one-hour special with highlights from this year's competition. Also, later this month, Coval will perform at an official release event for his forthcoming book, Everyday People.


Music Button: Soulstice, “Never Stop” from the CD Om_100: A Celebration of the 100th Release of Om Records (Om)

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