poetry
inchoate desires
odd jobs

The Sublime Integrity of Chicago Police
(a found poem)

by Joseph Miedzianowski, former CPD Sgt.    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. In 1998 the Federal Bureau of Investigation taped 250 of his remarkable spoken word performances when it was discovered he was engaged in drug running. The tapes were released in a special boxed set when Miedzianowski was found guilty of 10 criminal counts including drug conspiracy and racketeering in April 2001. Transcripts of the performances provided the material for this poem. While Miedzianowski's cop poetry is colorful, he is only the most well documented performer in the genre. There are many undiscovered cop poets who have similar vivid and violent stories. Some of them were trained in the art by Miedzianowski himself. One is practicing his craft on the skull of a suspect as you read this.

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