I found myself searching for the pulse of Chicago, not in places, but in people. There’s a certain common rhythm you can find in the residents if you listen hard enough. It’s a gritty-looking sound, like gravel or factory smoke but it also is a glamorous sound that comes to a point like the geometric shapes of art-deco. A Chicagoan heart beat is tattooed, bleeds red like raw steak and speaks many languages. Because of this, I drew a self-portrait to show the heart beat of Chicago pumping through me [Well, a varient of me. I'm adopting a Lady Britannica sort of angle]. The style of the piece is inspired by classic tattoo art and mexican memorial portraits. The roses near my head in the piece, are symbolic of the sound that is bursting through me. The media is ink and watercolor on parchment.
I have also written poem to the rhythm of this heartbeat. It’s best when read aloud, so you can find the cadence of the city I’m trying my best to describe.
As I Stand With Stethoscope Over the Second City [By: M.E. Owen]
Chicago’s heartbeat is a cacophony
becomes audible through me
it moves to the tune of a near three million
crashing it’s cymbals while singing sweetly.
Chicago’s heartbeat isnt in the chest
it’s in the shoulders.
It’s in the screaming motors
of the factories and memories and street-bound high-rollers.
Chicago’s heartbeat is pumping out ink
onto paper onto pavement
of cliff-dwellers and those painting concrete.
Chicago’s heartbeat is vast
it shakes the water and the land
it connects the coasts with its sonic hands
yet still becomes the bass-drum-thrum
to accompany your lone singing
on the ashes of avenues still gleaming.