“It’s a hand pump, just south of West Irving Park Road, near Cumberland Avenue. There’s
nothing conspiratorial about it, and if you know the pump I’m referring to, you need no
directions: For you, there is only one pump, only one source of water in the Chicago area worth
discussing. You believe in this pump… you hear it tastes better than tap water, it keeps colder for
longer, it contains holistic qualities, it’s good for heart and teeth, it’s unfiltered and therefore not
chlorinated or fluoridated… The water from this pump will keep you young an unnaturally long
time. ‘At home, I drink nothing but this,’ said
⬛⬛, who lives on the Far Northwest Side.
“No soda, nothing artificial. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll drink my water like a fish.”

  – Chicago Tribune, October 4, 2019

Take up your milk jugs and washed-out kraut jars! assemblage of applesauce masons and
jelly-jam glasses, scour the cracks in your sofa for wanderlust children – someone tell grandpa to
fetch his galoshes! Stack high the pots you balance on your round-pot-belly, they’re siphoning
magic from Mother herself. Now where is our favorite dehydrated devotee, to whom have you
vended your blessed name

Boris! baklava hands and coriander wit, thirsty Uncle Ukie with a yearning for youth. How’s the
mattress business holding? And your stamp collection of legend? Laced vinegar breath sprinkled
orthodox salt, there’s a prayer stuck in your moustache from morning’s communion. A sign of
the cross to you, old man! Won’t you furbish a supper to pair with the metal-found nectar? Jezus
Chrystus, you’re popular in the delis, a white apartment Dunning dove. A.D. adventurer, Boris of
the B.C, landlord collecting rent at your pulpit the pump oh

Gullible Boris! one sip and you see the Pope peeking above trees, your sunspots kissing
goodbye! That’s nothing but hollow heads of golden church and dusk, Ukranian daydreams and
billboards of White Castle and sex. Is that a red eye to O’Hare or a canoe-travelling serpent
spell? A native arrowhead or directions to redemption? Come on Boris, don’t frazzle this gravel
path with your pipe dreams. Have a loosie and listen here

Hydrophilic Boris! you’re not getting any younger. Look around at these
cemeteries-not-kindergartens, this world’s a crevice as the cough in your lungs. So-called
disciples at my roadside bar, sipping healthy poisoned serums like all our Fathers do. Are you not
served Sobieski in a chalice, see our barstools as pew? My dear confused

Forest Boris! guzzling your rotten egg water. It is not gold but sulfur, a reservoir of Borises
tunnel-visioned in barely-city from which everything pulls. Stop seeking special, here is no good
for good, selling dreams and out-dated messages. Now, you want to drink yourself to sleep like a
sensible holy fish? Cover your tired eyes with drooping potholed asphalt skin? Well now you’ve
found the Spirit of Dunning! This one’s on the house! Follow me to be baptized with our sacred
city covenant and listen – the wait at heaven’s gates is vacant as the other pump across the street.

Christian Thorsberg is a journalist and poet from the northwest side of Chicago. He drives a Grand Marquis and roots for the White Sox. His favorite moment in film: “Zed’s dead baby. Zed’s dead.”