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Friday, 28 September 2012



CTA cross junction, northwest corner of The Loop, Chicago; control tower 18 guides north and southbound Purple and Brown lines intersecting with east and westbound Pink and Green lines and looping Orange line above the Wells/Lake Street intersection: photo by Daniel Schwen, 2007

In labyrinthine catacombs sunk far beneath
great glass and concrete blocks
where a sacred grove once towered
white smocked post docs in masks
plant electrodes in the stripped and peeled
back skulls of mice and rats and monkeys
the actor kept distant from the act
an implicit pact of society
................................ with science
as though every creature left alive now
and supported on two feet
were not itself a test subject 
in the final animal experiment
shrouded in silence without echo
which proceeds as if without a driver
The train does not make
up its mind where it wants to go
it just follows the tracks 

Datei:CTA Night.jpg

Northward view from the Adams/Wabash station at night: photo by Daniel Schwen, 2009

File:CTA Loop Junction Detail.jpg

Northwest corner of the Chicago Loop elevated tracks: photo by Daniel Schwen, November 2007


Anonymous said...

...thinking about tracks...

"Caminante, son tus huellas
el camino y nada más;
Caminante, no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar.
Al andar se hace el camino,
y al volver la vista atrás
se ve la senda que nunca
se ha de volver a pisar.
Caminante no hay camino
sino estelas en la mar."

Antonio Machado

Susan Kay Anderson said...

The tracks are beautiful
lead into the clean city
beautiful at night
with lights.

Nobody there
as The Specials sang
about the town.

Where did all the commuters go?
At night--
it is a different city
one they would not call home
would not mourn
except for missing
the tracks they rode
they counted.

Wooden Boy said...

"White smocked post docs in masks"
The almost nursery lilt of the line, the comic touch, makes the image as it seeps into the head all the more horrendous.

Wooden Boy said...

A clock's rhythm too, of course. Tracked time.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

Huge flanks
under there somewhere
reds browns purples gold
rich full
fall Tallgrass
list this wing

Susan Kay Anderson said...

"The train does not make
up its mind where it wants to go
it just follows the tracks"

This is it--what modern science does/replicates-- people, places, things. All the proper nouns.

These words brand, burn, and click so smoothly. I smell the fumes, hear the whistle.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

"the final animal experiment"

This life
but who
are the scientists?

We see the teams
but who is in charge?

Poets take up
foresic duties
shoved aside

to the pale blog

to its owner beyond
the curtain
is the curtain.

TC said...

Presumably the technicians go off to sleep in dark rooms at night (how do they sleep??), but one supposes the lights stay on in the cages; where, whatever the hour, it's always torture o'clock.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

Torture O'Clock

Dirty socks
rock chock full-o'-nuts
plenty yesterday.

Today I seek
sayer again.

My fortune.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

"white smocked post docs in masks"

much like

the bearded PhD.

we know these doctors
who are in the midst
of their procedures

following an invented routine
like the tracks
leading in and out
of lives

we live and die
by the tracks
hobos, all
addicted to their
only routes
where we hop off randomly
into the wide and empty landscape
curing into a ball
before we hit the ground rolling.