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Sport 19: Lightworks

Towards a New Poetics of Motor City

page 27

Towards a New Poetics of Motor City

It is morning and it is night. You're driving fast
southbound on the Chrysler Freeway, below the city,
channeled, kept in line by huge concrete walls.
The sun is rising, you notice the darkness and
weird orange of the Detroit sky changing to blue.
Trains, trucks, and huge aircraft help define
the space around you, they roar above the
screaming jazz saxophone of Soul Coughing,
‘Is Chicago, Is Not Chicago.’
Obsessed with poetry, the need for triangulation,
for making sense and making sentences,
you wonder how cities differentiate themselves.
You're imagining a new poetics of Motor City.
One fine day, you want to build again ‘a small
(or large) machine,’ you want to rebuild
the urban landscape with words, you want to take back,
in all its glory, the Motor City of the 1920s.
You ‘want to use poetry as your weapon.’
You drive from site to site, you consult,
you drop off and pick up your suits and shirts.
You eat lunch at the Detroit Institute of Art,
you advise political entrepreneurs
of the feasibility of creative destruction.
These life fragments, these moments, betray
a ‘rage for order.’ You smirk at yourself
‘out of key with [the] time.’ The big planes fly off,
the trucks and trains are leaving for good.
It is morning and it is night. You're driving fast.