Five days a week I drive the garbage out of town. I know the price of higher education in a small town, it is a million plus pounds of solid waste a year dragged out to the transfer station. It is thrown on a concrete floor, scrapped into truck trailers with a front-end loader, and driven away South to Oregon to be buried in the ground. It has become somebody else’s problem, but the problem has not gone away. The problem has just changed form, become hidden.

Summer heat, winter cold, spring light, growing old, I pass the graveyard almost every day. What people believe is hidden is not always the truth about what is hidden. The questions bubble up in a bored mind as the motions become just that: motions, not actions. Just when you think the mind has become numb and you can stop worrying about the ticking years to retirement and death, the reality of going nowhere over and over again returns in some flash of a sight that makes you question truth as opposed to reality, or is it reality as opposed to truth?

Sculpted by the night of winter storms, gray head-stones have become lines of cameos. Relief figures in snow by some unknown lapidary of ice. Pictures of who has been buried without a face or voice of their own. The tilt of earth has made the sun more distant than summer, but cold has made it bright in reflected light of snow. These markers become sundials by their shadows all pointing in one direction. The stones up, the shadows through the arch of the dial’s circumference, as the world moves through its own.

The head-stones are the fingers pointing up, up away from the buried, away from the not seen. Yet the buried always comes back to haunt you, no matter how many times you have driven it away. The world does not make you forget, let you forget: people do. They have need to make action, which becomes motion. The rock does not want to stay on the top of the hill; Sisyphus knows this. But if you shovel enough dirt on it, it will go way.



taken from “Some Notes on 21st Century Sorcery”.

About johnsmithiiimxiii

John Smith, IIMXIII is the avatar of an award winning poet, artist, etc. who still lives in the Palouse country of the Pacific NW. He has not received much notice with his prose . . . but as his avatar, I hope that he keeps plugging along.

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