Friday, April 20, 2012

On 22nd Street

Wooden poles taper, building height or greater, stained dark and hairy with splinters, uninviting. But the wires above. Spaghetti between chopsticks. Crossing back and forth, draping over streets. Over black and gray and white concrete. Above-ground, they call them. Spangled with birds in good weather. Empty tonight. Black lines crossing blocks, down hills and over. Just outside my window patchwork of parked cars and poorly lit potholes. The late train cries out, but the wires don't move, don't listen. Aren't meant to, or won't. Tuned to other voices, coming from other places. Silent carriers string us together, long-limbed and thin, electrical messengers. Always busy, rarely in motion. Festively minimal. Like strings between paper cups or cans. Playing telephone. Carrying so much on cables thinner than ropes. Sky stanchions, holding back the houses and bigger groups of apartments. Indicating quadrants, lines layered over receding distance. Obsolete standard of future transmissions, laying on the air, day or night, draping. Looking like they're lacking a trained animal on a tiny unicycle, or mustachioed brothers in form-fitting sequins, a long white pole parallel to the ground. Latitudinal shadows often going unnoticed. Organic gridwork, spare pinstripes whisper, subdividing all around.

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