Archives for posts with tag: Chicago authors

S.Bogdaniec - Door Pic 1 copy
Front Door
by Steve Bogdaniec

I don’t know what to say about it

It’s not a miracle or a
metaphor for something bigger
it’s not even ours technically
we rent this place

It’s a front door

It doesn’t care about your dreams
you can’t confide in it
don’t try

It’s not something to behold
it is something to separate the outside from the

It is covered with white paint
worn and dirty near the handle where we’ve
touched it for
six years

The front door is not art

It is not reassuring
it’s not abusive either

This door is no murderer,
but is it squeaky clean?
hell no
in the hallway, no one is

There’s no front hall closet
or anything like that
so we have a metal rack that fits over the top
for our coats
and my wife’s purse and four scarves

There’s paint on the hinges

Love the glass doorknob though
my mom’s house has some of those
they look old

Do we need a more compassionate front door?

The keyhole is pointless
we’ve never seen a key for it
and there probably isn’t one anymore
the door has a deadbolt and a
chain at the top

But I like that the keyhole is still there
some time, I should try
to look through it

I just looked through it
really dusty in there, but it
looks like it works fine

We figured out the best place to
leave ourselves notes
is by the lock on the front door
we never go out the back,
so you’re bound to see it
even if you don’t leave
sitting on the couch in the living room
there will be a green note staring you in the face
reminding you to grab your lunch

My biggest gripe would be
you need to make sure it really closes when
you close it
sometimes you’re in the hallway thinking it’s
shut behind you
and there is a cat on the doormat
ready to escape

This is all minor though
it’s really fine

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I loved the idea of this prompt so much more than the prompt itself. I wanted to do it, but I didn’t know what to write! I certainly don’t mean this piece to mock anyone else—I just do not have a connection with my front door. In the end, I tried to create something out of this lack of connection.

S.Bogdaniec - Bio pic copy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Steve Bogdaniec is a writer and teacher, currently teaching at Wright College, Chicago, IL, U.S. Steve has had poetry and short fiction published in  numerous journals, most recently in Eclectica Magazine, Silver Birch Press, and Jellyfish Review. His work can also be found in the Nancy Drew Anthology: Writing & Art Inspired by Everyone’s Favorite Female Sleuth. Check out for links to published work and updates on new stuff!



Poem by Stuart Dybek

The garments worn in flying dreams

were fashioned there—

overcoats that swooped like kites,

scarves streaming like vapor trails,

gowns ballooning into spinnakers.


In a city like that one might sail

through life led by a runaway hat.

The young scattered in whatever directions

their wild hair pointed, and gusting

into one another, fell in love.


At night, wind rippled saxophones

that hung like windchimes in pawnshop

windows, hooting through each horn

so that the streets seemed haunted   

not by nighthawks, but by doves.   


Pinwheels whirled from steeples

in place of crosses. At the pinnacles

of public buildings, snagged underclothes—

the only flag—flapped majestically.

And when it came time to disappear


one simply chose a thoroughfare

devoid of memories, raised a collar,

and turned his back on the wind.

I closed my eyes and stepped

into a swirl of scuttling leaves.

Photo: “Chicago Union Station,” by Jack Delano, 1943


“Chicago is an October sort of city, even in spring.”

From Chicago: City on the Make by NELSON ALGREN

Photo: Nelson Algren, Chicago, circa 1940.


“In our beloved Windville we curse the cold and revel in being the most senseless spot in North America to spend the winter in. But the air feels new, and all things still seem possible, as they did to Willa Cather and Sherwood Anderson and Willard Motley and Hemingway and Frank Norris and Saul Bellow and all the other Chicago writers who — when speaking of Home — finally wrote the same story. It was and is a story of possibility, because the idea in the air is that the West is beginning, and that life is capable of being both understood and enjoyed.” DAVID MAMET, Excerpt from essay entitled “Chicago” in Writing in Restaurants (1986)

Note: Like myself, David Mamet is a Chicago native. I know of few other places in the world that inspire such deep and abiding affection among its current and former inhabitants — especially its writers — as does our beloved Windy City.