Things No One Expected To Be True

Until Viewing the Film

The imaginary cities of my youth

actually exist.

It turns out a handful

were painstakingly crafted in miniature

by a loose collection of savants in the attics of Vienna,

the rest are nestled in the valleys

that crinkle the foothills of the Carpathians.

Each contains a building on its outskirts

housing an identical wooden spindle chair

painted an inexplicable shade of red.

In some circles, this would be considered

a type of necklace.

An atlas containing photogravure

maps and detailed city plans

also exists

though it has been mislaid

in a bookstore in Buenos Aires,

erroneously filed under

fiction where it has since been

swallowed by contemporary mystery.

Given that a cat’s tongue

is the cleanest thing in nature

for centuries the women of the Gøeshtl hinterland

have used that sandpapery pink

for ritual cleansing and exfoliation.

When it comes to the subject of human

geography my peninsula extends

precariously into the cold

waters of the North Sea.

The bay that constitutes

your psyche is shallow and considerably

more storm-tossed than surrounding waters. Also,

your imaginary cities do not exist.

We waited until the credits rolled to confirm this.

But these cities do not exist

anywhere. We seem to have reached an impasse

here, an impregnable space

between the reader and her intended

progress—but in all likelihood

it is not due to the tiny

avalanche that recently cascaded

down those papier-mâché mountains

in a Viennese garret. No,

that was simply a handful of loose gravel

and will be swept clean by whisk broom and dustpan

proving no impediment to anyone whatsoever.


Places I've Been

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