Build Coffee—opened this summer by two former South Side Weekly editors—is a coffee shop and bookstore directly next door to the Weekly office in the Experimental Station. They stock a mix of used and new books, including a wall of mostly-local zines, chapbooks, comics, and artist books. The following pages, chosen with great neighborly affection, are excerpts from some of their favorite Chicago presses and artists on those shelves: Bigmouth Comix, Let It Sink, 7Vientos, Half Letter Press, Low Key Label, and Brown & Proud Press.
I can’t relate to hip hop anymore
Instrumentals and old samples
of R&B and Hip Hop songs are haunting
With its collection of musicians, murals, theaters, artists’ studios, violin-makers, corsetieres; with its open-air courtyard that appears sudden as a breeze from the hollow of the fourth floor; with its streams of children hurrying to and from lessons—with all this strung together via a vintage elevator with operator, the Fine Arts Building on Michigan Avenue is one of the best places in the city to peer into windows in order to catch glimpses of the curious lives within. It’s the kind of place that seems, at times, to contain every imaginable thing or person you could ever wish to meet. But its most tempting window—the eye of the Fine Arts Building—belongs to the second-floor storefront, which was, until recently, home to the Selected Works Used Books and Sheet Music bookstore.
I am standing
like the last, lone tooth
in the rum breath
of an old Black man,
The amount of lights on the street was okay—that never was a problem. You get hurt whether it’s light or dark, so it doesn’t matter.
They are fixing up the neighborhood
belle of my boulevard, Lula Mae:
I hoped you would come again today
wearing your favorite black shoe.
Oh you, mother to the street corner child
who knew their names, cried for the nameless too.
The night Michael Jordan scored over Bryon Russell, clinching our sixth championship, defeating the Utah Jazz for the second consecutive year, burying the final shot he’d ever take for my favorite team, I thought it was impossible for the Chicago Bulls to ever lose. I was ten years old then, wearing a huge old T-shirt of my dad’s the color of a blue highlighter as pajamas, jumping up and down in our TV room, beside myself that the greatest thing that could possibly happen had happened again.
Unapologetically for everything in print
How the royal sunrise buttons gleamed: Harold Washington for mayor!
Voting in Logan Square church basement, the line surged out the door.