Memory of the Future

Manhattan is the memory of the future

one of my earliest poems
and first poem in New York

…the broken geometry
  of steel and stone…

the poem was (alas) weak
(and long long ago)

but not the insight which was
the layering of memories
in the city

layer upon layer
generation to generation

overpowering it was
and is

not an original thought of course
i had read this in Vonnegut
and in Alan Watts and Bachelard
and now i discover it all the more
by way of the quantum work

the city is made of memory
steel and stone clasped in memory
right down to the molecular bonds
remembering their origins from
the masses of original valences

Manhattan IS composed of memories
at all scales of magnitude

the world remembers

in matter and in symbols
in the myths and catastrophes
of infinitely infinite observations

and ponderings

dreams of the future
arising and misplaced and abandoned
and forgotten

metaphor mixed with real blood

of course it isn't only Manhattan
but also The Bronx Brooklyn
Queens and even Staten Island
that remembers and/or forgets
the future

with observations open
and/or observations closed

it's also Chicago and Beijing

and Baghdad
and Mogadishu

every city
every civilization

every roadside stop

every election

every body
every breathing in

breathing out

every bird that sings
on Earth

every directional sign


        November 2, 2004