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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Lemont Center for the Arts

Last week I participated in a poetry reading at the Lemont Center for the Arts. The Center gathered art works from area artists and had poets choose one item. We then wrote a poem in response to it. Here is my response to Charles Huth's "Heavy is the Head" which he created to study the intersection of architecture and humans.

Crown of Cement

“Nobody sees it happening, but the architecture of our time
Is becoming the architecture of the next time.” Mark Strand

No clinging to what was, what is,
a moment of crowning and we leave the womb behind.
We use our instincts to breathe, eat, sleep.

Pink or blue, the taste of mothers' milk, every pang of hunger a kind of silicon,
Every comforting caress or lullaby a type of sand.
Neural pathways form and we recognize feelings, movement, faces, voice.

Every fall from a bike, fight with a sibling, talent uncovered deposits a pebble.
Every book read, skill developed, meal burned, conversation with a stranger leaves clay.
Every love lost, snowflake, election, illness, best friend, adds lime.
Every last lonely day, sleepless night, stairway climbed, birthday party, deposits silt.
Every experience calcifies our minds with its imprint, cements us into a prison of thought.

Choices stretch into habits, accretions that impede or abet our growth.
Until at last, entwined by the accumulation of a lifetime, the crown
becomes too heavy to bear. Our heads hang under the weight.

We need assistance to breathe, eat, sleep.
a rattle of breath and we leave the world behind,
no clinging to what was, what is.