Lately, I’ve been obsessed with maps; the obsession is based on a game my son plays with his little friends. These friends create horrific imaginary worlds that they must battle, systematically—these children are mapping adulthood. The maps are nothing short of perfect art.
I want so badly to be near perfect art, but I can’t. I’m too old. I can’t enter such suspensions of reality.
Oh, but I want to.
I’ve been collection the children’s maps and to create my own—a map back to childhood. Of course, it is a failure—my adult approximation of newness. I’ve been mapping my son in order to find something I fear is lost forever—but it feels good to attempt such connections.
Recently, I was looking at a wooden puzzle of the United States (my son love’s puzzles of the United States). This map was a topographical—my son asked, how am I to see a mountain in a bowl of macaroni? This isn’t dirt, he said, this is a bunch of lines. He is right, a bunch of lines.
Once a map is no longer a map, it begins to look more like flesh—the human body stripped of its skin. The map is only an attempt to position the singular identity in reference to others. And oh, how we wish to find each other or escape each other (same things really). I’ve been reading Peter Turchi’s, Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer ; this is such an incredible book on the subject of maps as metaphor.
At 3 A.M. I leave for New York. I’ve been studying maps of the city, trying to decide the cheapest way of finding myself in this city of epic energy. How does something wild, as a girl from the city of all sky, find her way through the maze of skyscrapers? Adventure; it should be fun.
I’ll be reading Friday night at The Players Club. Such an honor, I feel, requires a devotion of time and imagination—it deserves a map.
My dear friend Pavi has hand painted a vintage dress—it is an approximation of a map. I’ve been working with JJ to turn him into a map made of poetry. I’ve also been creating glass chickens as gifts for my fellow readers—you know, so much depends upon…
I want to find New York and have it locate me. I would like to be with New York. The theme of my reading centers on the “want” of location—location me to location you—location me as you—you as me. We’ll see.
The Red Wheelbarrow
William Carlos Williams
so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white