The Journal of John Herzog

CTA - 36
12/27/2017 10:48 p.m.
blackberries! the state fruit of alabama, much like the guy who inspired this poem.

36 being the bus route I took to our first date - he seemed wonderful and a great fit for me at first, but he quickly revealed layers of immaturity, manipulative/passive-aggressive behavior. cancelled!

this is the quickest and shortest poem I've ever written, but some things are just as long as they need to be.
I am currently Calm

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CTA Blue Line (Division) & Adams/Wabash
12/19/2017 11:51 p.m.
These two poems are tied together, in a way. I wrote Blue Line as I'm coming to terms with the toxicity of my ex and his presence in my life, who moved me to Chicago to live with him and then broke up with me.

The hardest part of this experience was not having secured a stable job. I was stranded here. I see so much of my father in myself, who struggled with severe mental health problems as I do. After my parents' divorce and his relapse into narcotics addiction, he spent much of his remaining years homeless before his death in 2009. The story I recounted in Adams/Wabash is very much true, and a trauma I hadn't fully recognized until recently.

I started seeing him in the countless homeless people all around Chicago, and by extension, seeing myself and the potential futures that lay before me. It's gotten easier since I've found a solid full time job and my own place to live, but it is a specter that still haunts. I'm working on.

Most of my poems are tangible incarnations of the abstractions that swirl amount my mind. The poems in this series, are somewhat of the opposite; they are all like journal entries, direct and literal experiences of mine simply made abstract. Either way, this CTA series has so far been extremely therapeutic for me. Thank you for reading.

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CTA - 70
12/12/2017 11:08 p.m.
This poem was inspired by the CTA bus route 70, which I rode to the first job I had in the city - a hosting position at the restaurant on the 95th floor of the John Hancock Center. Specifically, the poem details the sensations I experienced on the bus ride to the interview for that job - the exhilaration, the trepidation, the realization that, suddenly, my entire life was possible.

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CTA - Red Line
12/12/2017 11:03 p.m.
This poem was written about an anxiety attack I had on the train to work one morning. I was off my medication that week, due to trouble getting a refill. I was running late. The train, moving slowly with delays, then stalled for several minutes. All this, combined with my claustrophobia, my heart already racing from running to catch the train, caused me to spiral out and fall away from myself. This poem explores the process of talking myself back together.

After that morning, I started experiencing the onset of anxiety attacks every time I would set foot on the train, any CTA train. Thus, I was compelled to write this poem to get a better understanding of why. The catharsis this provided has inspired me to begin a poem series centered around my experiences of living in the city so far, having moved to Chicago in August. More to come.

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out of date
07/14/2011 02:57 a.m.
I just realized that my library still says I live in Pinckney while I haven't lived there in over a year (I miss it so). Then again, I also haven't written anything in over a year, so I suppose it's just as well.

It's hard. I try writing all the time, but I'm no longer any good at expressing myself through the written word. Maybe it's just an old hobby I'm foolishly hanging onto.

I think I'm hanging onto many things.
I am currently Reflective

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a modicum of normalcy
01/02/2010 07:21 p.m.
I'm suddenly having a bit of an acne breakout. For the first time ever, I actually feel a little like a normal teenager.
I am currently Upbeat
I am listening to "Anticipate" by Ani DiFranco

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Ha, this is my summer right here
06/30/2009 06:17 a.m.
No productivity whatsoever. That won't do.
I am currently Bleh
I am listening to "My Weakness" by Moby

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