Smoothly, quickly written in the week between August 2 and 9, 2009, with minor revisions by each poet of the other’s lines along the way, “The Last Fortune Teller of Chicago” discussed patrilineage and thin meaty sheets — sausage casings and facial cauls. It’s an oddly sexy poem, in John’s opinion.
The story begins with the fortune teller’s great grandfather, then shifts to his grandfather, then moves to one of two possible fathers (brothers sharing one father?) and his stillborn sister before settling on the potentially disfigured fortune teller. There are curses, blessings, deaths and powers. On question remains unanswered, even unasked: why is he the last fortune teller of Chicago? What are the authors saying about the future intersection, or lack thereof, of the Windy City and the realm of the soothsayer?