jay hawk

Made it to Kansas

I feel the need to post some sort of update about the state of my life and travels. After a month of travel and visiting friends and family we've made it to Lawrence. We are now nominally moved into our apartment.

That being said, I am knee deep into on-boarding and professional training so I can't find the mental energy to provide much of substance. I promise to post a deeper narrative at a later date. 

Lawrence, Kansas is a charming little town and while I'm forming thoughts of how I hope to sink into this community I've found my mind dwelling a lot on the midwest and what it means to come back to this part of the country after having lived in the south for the past two years. 

I'll have more succinctly formed thoughts at a future date but for now I post Midwest, a poem by Stephen Dunn. I first heard this poem on "The Writer's Almanac" a podcast from APM. I've embedded a recording at the end of this post. 

                                                                                  Jay Hawk Country Indeed

                                                                                  Jay Hawk Country Indeed

Midwest

by Stephen Dunn


After the paintings

of David Ahlsted


We have lived in this town,

have disappeared

on this prairie. The church


always was smaller

than the grain elevator,

though we pretended otherwise.

The houses were similar


because few of us wanted

to be different

or estranged. And the sky


would never forgive us,

no matter how many times

we guessed upwards

in the dark.

 

The sky was the prairie's

double, immense,

kaleidoscopic, cold.

 

The town was where

and how we huddled

against such forces,

and the old abandoned

 

pickup on the edge

of town was how we knew

we had gone too far,

or had returned.

 

People? Now we can see them,

invisible in their houses

or in their stores.

 

Except for one man

lounging on his porch,

they are part of the buildings,

 

they have determined

every stubborn shape, the size

of each room. The trailer home

with the broken window

 

is somebody's life.

One thing always is

more important than another,

 

this empty street, this vanishing

point. The good eye knows

no democracy. Shadows follow

 

sunlight as they should,

as none of us can prevent.

Everything is conspicuous

and is not.