Litter Maps

           Some peculiar pages in one of my old notebooks,
           with detailed instructions to myself of today
           on how and where to stay two steps ahead
                      of litter.
           I kept such careful maps of all I'd cleared,
           parks and streets and halls and rooms
           where my picking up crossed others' trashing.
           Like a schedule of chores with varying routes,
           I used to walk the more littered streets to do my work,
           then relax in the least littered spaces to be alone.
           These maps are still good today, from what I'm seeing.
           The soda cans and plastic bottles and paper and junk,
           and it doesn't offend me that litter's where I want to be,
           and it doesn't offend me that litter offends some people,
           but it doesn't make me any better or any worse than them.
           And then yes, for those who see metaphors littered all over -
           yes, these old notebook pages do include maps
           that extend to streets and spaces online
                      with litter.
           And here, even more old notes - exploring my dreams
                      into litter.
           And this one other note, the one only I would know
                      where it maps.

3 Responses to “Litter Maps”

  1. 2012.08.20 at 2:15 pm

    Some of your litter map notes will tell you I was with you for some of it. Mostly helping you clear it, but you’ll see several where you picked up after me.

    I always thought your maps so curious. Adorably so. The litter maps and all your other maps. You map out a lot. Things that mean things to you. Some where they will mean something to you later on.

    You were never offended when other people littered, even when they did so in common spaces, and even when they littered in your own place. I know, how you only concerned your maps with your own ways of dealing with it, with what you picked up to make it your own, not to impose on them. Still, you had an immense influence on me. On my litter habits. And yes to the metaphors you allude to, about other things, even in things I used to think of as my own, where I thought my litter didn’t matter to anyone else.

    I like this poem because I’ve always loved your litter maps. And I like that you’re back in these familiar places you’ve mapped out.

    • 2 sarachnid
      2012.08.20 at 2:54 pm

      You make me smile, David. You like this? Then I might have to write a series of poems on my maps, hoping you’ll like each of those other maps and their poems as much.

      Without my memory, it has been my maps and my sketches and my words and my poems and my formulas and my diagrams and my instructions and my notes to myself that have been like therapy helping me back into shape. Like anyone in therapy learning to walk again, I know these to be only the exercises and the exercise equipment, not the spirit of the act itself, not the will, not the choice. Yet my maps do help me, and I thank you for keeping them safe for me.

      Still, the maps I want are of chemistry, so I can know how you think as much as you know how I think. And still, the maps I want are of everywhere you went during the past two years. And still, the maps I want are of the parts of me you touched and kissed while I was gone.

      And still, the maps I want are the ones of where all your smiles can be found.

  2. 2012.08.20 at 5:10 pm

    As crazy as it would be to do the mathematics of love or the chemistry of love or the rules of love or even any poetry of love, so too has it been insane for you to do have been working on a map of love (including where all the litter has been dropped there too). Yet you can add this poem and the comments you and David have shared here as another mapping on that one. Inspiring, to see you two like this. It’s a place on your maps that we want to visit, maybe stay a while.

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