|graffiti artist unknown***|
Today's no different than yesterday, really, other than it's 2014, four new numbers, a new year, an imposition. Dirt lies in three pyramids in our back yard -- some of that dirt, I'm certain, unearthed for the first time in nearly a century. I fancied something discovered while the men were digging -- pottery, perhaps, or arrowheads, some fine bones, a skull, even oil. The men filled plastic buckets with big brown clumps of it, and they filled wheelbarrows, trundled it toward the pile. The men smile when I come out to stand at the edge, look down. They wear long-sleeved dress shirts despite the heat and the swing of the pick-ax. They speak no English. I imagine they have only recently crossed the border from Mexico, picked up clothes at a Goodwill. They are the Italians and Irish of yesterday who built the bridges and mined the minerals, lay the tracks and dug the wells, raised the buildings, built the country. The pyramids in my backyard are dirt. There are rocks and roots. The clay pipe lies exposed at the bottom of a seven foot trench, the dirt around it clean of anything primitive or even civilized. The trees that grow alongside the trench are a deep green. Their secret is their roots, twisted and preternaturally strong, or naturally so. They've crept through dirt, worked their way through cracks in clay, pushed into man-made cylinders, a relentless search, reaching toward water like fingers and eyes toward light. They've nourished themselves on waste, channeled what's left back up through wood and out toward branches and leaves, thick and glossy.
It's a new year, and we're fourteen years into an age. Our minds are thoughts, our thoughts are thoughts, only, just.
***Henry and I saw this on La Brea as we walked home from breakfast yesterday. Henry thought it might be Banksy, but I doubted it. What do you think? Anyone know? Steve Reed?