The cartographer’s dilemmaTony Mancus
I’m going to sleep with the wheel I keep as a guide for my directness. It’s shaped so right and I’m supposed to be drawing a map of this place, but my hands remain unsteady. A portrait of a long necked goose that feels so real. And the brochure for cartography school was more appealing than the place where I got sent to draw—what a love of earth tones and pastels, a love of scriptlike fonts can do to a man who wants a sure-fire career. Tonight even you cannot take the place of you or taking you to the place where there’s no you to take to, only cannons. So I’m stuck looking out of portholes and my face is just another circle dotted with eyes from far away—the kind an artless child would draw. The land rises a number of feet and the miles, according to a sign we passed a while back, no longer count. I can draw the coastline like a portrait (sea above) and I could invite another party of searchlights to locate that damnable tree with golden leaves all the royals are so fond of. I’ll wear my fountain pen as a mask. I’ll pour the ink in splotches to mark time’s disinterest, or the waves won’t quit. If someone can make sense of this when we get back, I vow to set my hands away from my self so long they won’t know which way to turn to make their way back.
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