We used these two poems for inspiration:
In the Beginning
There was the famous photographer, Walker Evans,
who started by photographing old signs and ended
by filling his bathtub with them and washing
himself in the kitchen sink. There was the Harlem
man whose pet tiger cub grew so big that first
his family and finally he himself fled
the 12th-floor, three-bedroom apartment in the housing
project, returning every day to fling raw chickens
through a crack in the front door. Love displaces
everything. All over the city the signs peer
from beneath modern facades, fade in the sun and rain
high up on sides of buildings: BEST QUALITY TWINE. Ghosts
on brick, cockeyed atop demolition dumpsters, tin
worn delicate as paper, pale lettered—mint,
red, black: ELEVATOR APARTMENTS AVAILABLE:
INQUIRE ON PREMISES. If you stare at them words
are faces; everyone who ever spelled them out,
ever debated whether to buy twine or rent
an apartment fades up into view wearing shadowy
Homburgs, black veils, parcels in their arms, the winter
air freshening for snow. Or imagine the face
of a tiger waiting behind a thin metal door,
your furniture demolished, your family living
on friends’ floors, your neighbors smelling urine and fur
and losing their tolerance, a policeman
rappelling outside your windows with a dart gun.
Imagine a hunger for the invisible world
so deep it must have existed before you were born.
--Anne Pierson Wiese
God Created the world over the span of four years.
He would get all excited about it & work really hard for a few days
& then he would watch some movies & get out of the mood
of staying up late crafting mountains & deciding where to put all the Shell stations.
He would hang out, popping pills & listening to the coda from “Layla” over & over again.
But then he would be cooking eggs or cleaning the toilet & think Fuck! The world!
And for a couple of days he would work really hard again.
It was during these active periods that he created New Zealand & piano concertos.
After four years God was updating his livejournal & wrote
it may not be good enough, it may not be the best world ever, but it’s my world & I’m just sick of tinkering with it, so I’m going to give it a name & call it done & move on to something else.
He did this. He called his world Des Moines & got in bed to take a nap, but he accidentally set the alarm for AM instead of PM
& he never woke up again & this is why there is only one world
& why it is called Des Moines.
Des Moines consists of single-family homes & several different retirement residences.
Des Moines consists of 8 hospitals.
Des Moines consists of new construction, replacing previously rural farm fields.
Des Moines feels like warm lake water.
Des Moines has some nice shopping; it is the nexus of God’s will.
All things in Des Moines are made up of the five elements:
1. badly bleached hair
2. shoeboxes full of old mix-tapes
3. extremely old wrenches and/or mistakes