Thursday, December 29, 2011

town of peeling paint

town of peeling paint,
hidden words emerging as
weather scours the walls

On Boxing Day we visit Eldon, a small town in Iowa, population 998 at last count. Since the Rock Island train station closed, the town has withered, buildings like empty boxes, slowly deteriorating. Words painted on brick walls long ago, gone undercover as new owners applied plaster or paint to hide them from view, are resurfacing as weather whittles away their concealment. Fragments emerge, inscrutable as camouflage, passing from crypsis, being hidden, to mimesis, being seen but resembling something else -- a half-finished puzzle, a skull, a shark, a teddy bear, a Cheshire cat.

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