poetry
inchoate desires
odd jobs

Back to Fengi     Back to Archives
The Sublime Integrity of Chicago Police  (a found poem)
    by Joseph Miedzianowski, Ex-Sargent, Chicago Police Department    author info

Prologue: How The World Is

There ain't no honorable motherfuckers out there.
They're all the -
I'm telling you
they're all out to stick your ass up,
everyone of 'em,
in one way or another.

They're gonna stick ya up for your money,
they're gonna stick ya up for your product,
they're gonna stick ya up for your bitch,
they're gonna stick ya up for your car.

They ain't got no roots,
those guys got no roots. . . .

I. A Man in This World

I don't go out there
and fucking pull those dumb ass shots
where I pull some guy over
and start slappin' him in the face or,
or make him look stupid in front of his friends.

No, I approach everybody like a man.
You fuck over a friend of mine,
or you fuck over me
then I will come for your ass.

I will fuck your fucking life up.
I will fuck your dog,
                your cat,
                your mom,
                your dad,
I don't give a fuck.

I won't stop,
but I mean that's 'cause
you fucked up,
not me.

II. How It Was and How It Is

Man, Bill,
I've thrown guys out third-floor windows,
I fucking beat 'em with hammers,
I've run over them with cars.

None of these fuckers got the balls to do that anymore.
It's ridiculous.

III. Ode to Joy of No Beefs

'Cause I'm papa.

'Cause I always remember one thing.

What you put down on paper today
will come to haunt you tomorrow.
So I always put down the right stuff.

I mean, how many guys, John,
from my recruit class, got fired?

For stealin'.
For doin' something wrong on the job.
For off-duty drinkin' beefs.

The amount of beefs we've had
and never a sustained beef ever.
Ever, John. Ever!

Joseph Miedzianowski served as an officer for the Chicago Police Department for 22 years, and is a well known purveyor of cop poetry. Hailed by some critics as, "the most corrupt cop in Chicago history," Miedzianowski examined the symbiosis between cop and criminal in a variety of ways, including arming local gang members and selling duffle bags full of crack in the parking lot of a local church.

In 1998 the Federal Bureau of Investigation began taping Miedzianowski's remarkable spoken word performances. 250 hours of these sessions were released in a special boxed set when Miedzianowski was found guilty of 10 criminal counts in April 2001. Transcripts from the collection provided the material for the poem above.

On January 25, 2003, Miedzianowski was sentenced to life without parole.

While Miedzianowski's cop poetry is colorful, he is only the most extensively documented performer in the genre. There are many undiscovered cop poets with their own vivid styles. Some were trained in the art by Miedzianowski himself. One is practicing his craft on the streets as you read this.

^Back to Top^    Back to Archives