Evening Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics (Issue 30, June 2013—Buch Märchen Issue)

Growing up on a vast flat plane, I lived my life two dimensionally on the x and z axes. Width and depth. Anything that drew my eyes to the height of y, then, was magically. Television towers, radio beacons, windbreaks and copses of trees, grain elevators, silos capped with lightning rods, lightning itself, windmills, and water towers. The I drawn upward. There is a reason, I think, that Chicago—the city of the flat prairie, the flat lake—is the birthplace of the skyscraper. Growing up, I visited, first, one tallest building after another as the first was replaced by the next. I went to the observation deck of The Prudential Building and watched them build the Standard Oil Building even higher. The Standard Oil Building didn’t have an observation deck but the Hancock Building did, and from there I watched them build the Sears Tower, and from the Sears Tower I could see, well almost, forever or, at least, Gary and Indiana off in the vast distance. Growing up, I grew up. And growing up, I grew up on a vast flat plain that once was made up of devil’s food cake topsoil that seemed endlessly endless. Growing up, plain on the plain so vast all of us and everything, even skyscrapers, seemed reduced to minute points in an infinitely plain plane geometry. Growing up, I sang without really knowing that the corn was as high as an elephant’s eye. Growing up was the drama of stark dimensions—x to y to z—rearranging themselves in this medium, this medium of time. Time running short. Time running long. Time running out.

Michael Martone