You can lose your soul anywhere

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Duke Ellington one time said:

Rhythm came from Africa to America.
Do you know what it does to you?
Exactly what it's supposed to do.”

I remember the night we drove Detroit back streets of your early childhood—a scratchy tape of your father's jazz 78's crashing through the speakers in the dash. The bombed and burned-out buildings seemed a natural setting for those tunes, sad and quiet but peaceful; the way I felt about leaving Michigan. Sometime way past midnight you pulled up to a house and took me to meet Rita. As we leaving, she looked at my palm and told me to avoid criminal elements and not to even think about getting married for at least five years. If only I had listened…Well, listen to this—“It is not the danger of losing your soul in such a place. You can lose your soul anywhere. It is that in a place with this quality of city, soul is the medium of exchange.” But in Detroit or Ypsilanti, in any city with little to offer in exchange, it just may be possible to get a rebate. Look for the reflection of my headlights in the sky tonight as I wander once again those forsaken dark roads.

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John T. Unger poet

I'm best known as an artist and designer. Relaxing makes me tense, so I tend to put in a lot of hours on diverse projects.

Before becoming a visual artist, I spent 15 years as a poet. I studied poetry at Interlochen Arts Academy, Naropa, Stone Circle and on the streets. I performed my work for years at Stone Circle, solo shows, poetry readings, and at Lollapalooza in 1996.

I still write poems, but only if I can make them fit the constraints ofTwitter.

Mobile: 231.584.2710 (9 to 5 PST only) | Email me

Art IS my day job

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