It was Beth who, when I explained how the thing I'm in felt like some kind of transformation, told me, standing out on Boulevard in her Carhartt coveralls, "Yeah, you're just going through the fire." The ten pounds I lost, the veins rangy upon my arms like tree roots, or tributary streams, the feeling like I'm a walking wire with a current run through it. She named her gallery Wilderness, down in the tail end of Manchester, the dog-end tail of dog town. Consider this ghost city within our city, every maimed ghetto, every last trolley that clattered across the bridges burned years and years ago. Whole blocks lost to the fire of purification, returned to tall grass with stairs leading up to it. There in the grass, the lonely trees and loading docks, our brave pilgrim lives and works and breathes. If I ride my bike that way I go without music. So that I am aware. Down Hull to West Seventh street and the warehouse where I want to live. Past Alcoa, past weed stricken husks of industry waiting for developers and their blueprints. I roll on the throttle around Legend, as there is no one to hear, past empty shops overlooking the river, and bank it up the ramp onto Commerce. It is there I catch the hammering of the pistons housed in their cylinders, the sound of them a song against the concrete of the rail, the stobbed aluminum posts of the rail staccato past. It is there in the night I am jettisoned onto three empty lanes of this bridge from Manchester, a machine on a bridge with no other machines, pointed at the heart of this city and hurtling across the river towards it's rising.
at 8:35 PM