Cartography
by George Moore

We would all live on the plain, undisguised.
Yet piecing lives together by aerotriangulation
Leaves odd photographs that do not fit the grid,

And the flatness of the globe returns in minutes
Of a degree, like variants on our speculations.  Some
Have lived by coordinates and see in the azimuth

The angle of a dream to the horizon.  They believe
Nothing changes when I lay my quadrant down.
But I have moved the world just every so slightly.

And those who say that without stars you are lost
Have never had to travel by a dead reckoning,
Where the plot of our lives might be determined

By the plot of others.  And where shifts in desires
Prove the principles of uncertainty.  Even from a height
At times, the best way to proceed is without knowing.




                 ____________________________


George Moore’s poetry has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly,
North American Review, Orion, Colorado Review, Nimrod,
Meridian, and other journals.  He published an e-book last year,
All Night Card Game in the Back Room of Time, with DPP
Publishing, and a CD chapbook,
Tree in the Wall, with
CDchapbooks.com.  His third paperbound collection,
Headhunting,
was published by Edwin Mellen in 2002.  A current manuscript,
The Way Things Are, was a finalist for the 2007 Richard Snyder
Memorial Prize from Ashland Poetry Press, and earlier for The
National Poetry Series, The Brittingham Poetry Award, and the
Anhinga Poetry Prize.  Moore teaches writing and literature at the
University of Colorado, Boulder.


On “Cartography”:
I have always traveled in one way or another.  Out of college,
I was a year in India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nepal, and
have, on the spur of the moment at times, flown to Europe to
cleanse my perspective.  So poems like “Cartography” are a
natural rumination for me on how we see ourselves in relation
not only to others but to others in the various landscapes we
inhabit.  I like to think that the human dimensions of our maps
are the parts where we remember a place by its association with
someone.  So I can
t say I always know where I am, but I like to
think that charting a course will always put me into contact
with others.
 


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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary
Literature
 

ISSN 1931-3888

Volume 3, Number 1
(Spring 2008)

Copyright © 2008
by Leah Browning, Editor.  

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published in the
Apple
Valley Review
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