Cartographer Blues

by Amy Turn Sharp


If you were to take a tiny knife and cut me you would find that I have some magic in my blood. My grandmother is a clairvoyant but I am the tiniest form of her matter. I am like a stunted one. But I think when I die music will pour out of me and I always hope that someone catches it like Henry Ford tried to catch the last breathe of his friend Edison and put it in a glass test tube and place it in a museum.

And little kids will stare at air and believe with mouths open to the floor.

When I think- I see in pictures and most every time in words like a black sans-serif typeface flashing around and there is always music in the background beyond the layer of yr face. It will be the song that was last attached to you when we were the most.

The happiest together.

The meanest together.

The saddest together.

I pitter patter point to the moment we felt the most like electric and I imprint on you this arrangement and someone should wonder what is wrong with me. But it is always like this. Even before ear buds and yellow plastic Walkman squares I would walk around and I never knew that other people just had beautiful quiet inside their orderly minds. I never knew that the soundtrack to movies where special. I always saw the panoramic view and the building swell of sound as my feet pounded the ground. And when I smiled at people I was sure they could hear my song. But people have told me different stories. People think in all kind of ways and I would sit on concrete curbs all over my youth and cry because I was so different.

I would ride my bike past the terrifying German Shepard on the gravel road where I grew up and I would pedal so fast with Hank Williams pounding through my mind. I would coast down towards the town that only had a post office and general store and I would lift my legs off pedals and Stevie Nicks would whisper to me all the way towards the time when I was not a child anymore and her words cut and ran fast like rivers over the bones that held me together. And in taverns where I spent time with people that taught me how to write off the page I would unfold white paper and let "roots rock" hold me together.

We would all open our mouths and pregnant bartenders and tired sad old men would spin on barstools and we would all at the same time in history create a memory. All at once. Only they would throw it away and I would sample it forever. Like a broken DJ. And I would make little maps back to those times. Bread crumbs into the forest.

And my mind is a map -a mad representation that shows how things are related to each other over and over again. And I have been reading these maps tonight. Tracing fingers over mountains and tapping on a molehill and it's funny how much I can just stare at a relief map of my yesterday. Really all I came here tonight to do was play some CCR and let all the memories of dirty hippie boys and honeysuckle hollows and silver Keystone Light Tallboy beer cans spin around. They are spinning.