Finding Chicago > Finding Chicago

Accordion-fold book. Bookboard covered with decorative paper. Both sides of pages can be read. Ties with ribbon. Edition of three. One in the collection of Meta Brophy, one in the collection of Sarasvita Munoz, and one is not for sale.

Here is the poem it contains:

I’ve ridden the Red Line
to school, up, down, never
becoming used to the way
the city goes on forever
or at least until Lake Michigan.
But heading north or south
no matter which direction
there is no end to it. Other
towns appear, disappear
blending each into another.
Driving west there is no
horizon but land, houses, straight
road in front, behind.

I was used to Manhattan,
where no matter what direction
I would meet water. The streets,
east, west, terminated in rivers.
North, south, the port waters or
another river. Bounded on all sides,
even in Brooklyn, by water.
But in Chicago, there is only
the lake, which on a clear day,
gives visibility into other states:
the steel mills of Gary;
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

I get around here by remembering
there are no boundaries, no dragons.
Some bridges span the Chicago River
or a canal, but so safe, all of them,
I feel no vertigo. No Verrazano or
Brooklyn bridge, no roiling depths beneath
to lure me into death by drowning.
There is no real safety either, since Chicago
is a city, and there are thugs, robbers
who have no connection to rivery mists.

I have not yet learned the horizontals
from the verticals, which direction
is north, south; which is east, west.
I cannot see the sun that well
to orient myself. What’s more,
some streets are felt to be one thing
but in relation to the sun, they are
something else. What is a problem
for me doesn’t bother the natives.
I wonder if I shall ever be
one of them, so that no matter where
I find myself, I’ll know
where I am.

Saralyn F. Fosnight
23 April 2005
Copyright ©2008 by Saralyn Fosnight

Finding Chicago, page 1
artist's book
3 x 5
Finding Chicago, page 2
artist's book
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Finding Chicago, page 3
artist's book
3 x 5
Finding Chicago, page 4
artist's book
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Finding Chicago. page 5
artist's book
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Finding Chicago, page 6
artist's book
3 x 5