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Obstructed View: Ruins
ruminations on recurring themes of decay and decrepitude


I thought somewhere between the wasted land and the happy farms there would be something I could learn. So I set out, and dragged this body across vast spaces and times. I made myself look at railroads, and fallen down farmhouses. I dragged my feet in gravel and wore them smooth on concrete. I made myself look at stars, and skies, and interstates - miles and miles of interstate highways. I passed through small towns and gritty cities, always on foot - or in someone else's car - an endless windowscape of scenery, of very unpicturesque postcards, of living, of loves that used to be, the Potemkin villages of "rural America." I slept in cold places, wet places, and at the feet of fierce freight trucks... and maybe I did learn something... but probably not. Not until later, when even the closest I got to some truth was no truth at all, a moment or a year passed in someone's arms, a cornupcopia of confusion, but at least undeniably real and true to something in myself. And in this inward but shared perspective, what mattered to me began to take shape, a ragged edged shape, surely nothing more than an obstructed view of ruins, the shattered pasts and rebuilt dreams that I have come to know as my life. Perhaps a sliver of each of those drifts into some of what I write - and perhaps those dusty years before still echo in that I still struggle to keep searching.

1/29/04 - 7 AM

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© Huw Powell