Saturday, April 9, 2011

map a mundi

"The objective behind creating a map would be to somehow ... impose order on a city which is always moving, which is always growing, which is always changing, which is falling apart as it's burgeoning at the same time"
(from 'the beauty of maps')

"A map is a city without the people.A map is a monument to building but is not a monument to human behaviour."
(from 'the beauty of maps')

"All we know of Morgan's fate, was that he never made another map. Only in his 30s, he sold the plates of his wonderful map to another publisher, and was never heard of again."
(from 'the beauty of maps' about the creator of the first Enlightenment map)

the city is the
noise of being human
dirt of being matter
residue of having feelings

the expression
the gladness or frenzy or necessity
of being alive

the living, crawling, shouting, moving, breathing
hive of us

our clean maps which were born from the Enlightenment
are not enlightened emptiness but
dual, caused, born and dying, forgetting,

illusion of empty

i trace my future journeys on a map between the walls
of my own identity, in the shell of
my home, in my square of the city

how hard can it be? to travel
through the silent, steady landscape
that the map shows me?
from here to there, no anxiety
just lines and spaces

on the road
the line becomes movement
the pen trace becomes the energy of the legs and heart
the eye moving across the page becomes the eye surveying the possible
dangers: visions, sudden movements, memories

on the road, off the map

when i looked at the map, i thought i forgot myself
in the lines and spaces and shapes
but actually, i was there all along,
bending the city to my desire
so effectively that i became desire
and there was nothing else
and everything seemed quiet
and calm
and good

now, as i travel, i remember myself, nakedly
tremblingly, vividly
the city is me, is us
shaking and flushing and crying


the Enlightenment map is not a monument to us
to our relations and our fears

the Medieval map a mundi comes much closer
to the experience of traveling through memory
vision, uncertainty, and fearful imagination


on the way downtown, to the edge of my known
world, ("here there be dragons")
on moore st.,
i stop my bicycle by the graveyard and smell spring
in the soil
i stop for a moment to watch a
pine branch move in the wind

all maps empty out
from my mind
and there is only this place
in the spring and in the wind
a monument to no one

1 comment:

emma said...

this is a beautiful exploration of the symbology of maps and our human interaction with the real world that is mapped. so glad to read this!