Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cartography: A Proof

I’ve seen the tongues of
rooftops splayed out like
maps charting the great
North American fresh-
water seas. From the
glimmering wings of
recycled trash, the once
mobile concrete appeared
to be eroding, as if it
longed for a ride on
the tarnished barges
shipping timber out east.

But from the top levels
of the City’s old schools
with the deep limestone
roots, the floors smell of
unsettled dirt and the
windows can’t be seen
through: the sooty
smudges of hand prints
disguise the city a
forest with rolling hills.

Hidden between intersecting
valleys, the sidewalks breathe
the damp air of fallen down,
hallowed out logs as they are
trampled upon by animals.
Blocks with broken windows
frame the avenues of birch
bark one-ways as the white
turns a dull, muddy brown
escaping beauty with age.

Now the smudges have come
alive, every color, every shape
reflect the cityscape a wilderness
of hate and difference and race.
It was in the schools these
traits were institutionalized and
went unchecked under monikers
of “higher education.” The English
language as precedent over the
dialect of foreign-born speakers.
Children separated if unable to
pronounce vowels, told they
were hopeless and left to
learn by themselves.

But up here, the past blurs
and neighborhoods abrogate
to nature, hills, and space.
The present shies away beyond
the dense ore canopy. The future
laughs what cerulean must sound
like to the lofty breeze

“Ahee Ahee ahee”
Over the lakes
“Ahee ahee ahee”
Over everything

This eventual echo of humanity
hooting: a nerve gas of laughter.
On top of the roofs I can see
the smiles on generations of
offspring slowly melt on the
hot tar of realization. The
colors of their peers have
always been poignantly
mirrored back at them

Did they know how
education would
prep them?

These children taught
cartography by teachers
drawing gridlines onto
human compositions?

1 comment:

Panda said...

Onomatopoeia is the sweetest writing device ever if you do it properly. You done did it.

Other things you did properly:

"Neighborhoods erased to
nature, hills, and space.
The sky shies away, beyond
the resilient dense ore canopy,
laughing what blue must
sound like to the lofty breeze"

I am also fond of birch-framed anything.

Have you BEEN to any garage sales lately!? Jesus Christ.

Who-ray! Crsssssh Crsssssh!