Thursday, September 17, 2009


It's always a mistake to look back into the hole.

My body's infused with the pyrite. I could crap a penny, day or night. I coughed when we lit the candles on the fir tree Christmastide, and Easter come out of my lung. I'm carrying it always. Why look back? It's a compounded error.

The prisoner was first shown the instruments of his torture and urged to confess...

Sunday school. Pfft. It's schooling you get out in the real world, and that's for certain. Sunday is for hiding from it. Pa said he never encountered a slender monk, and even though I was but wee I kenned him right away. He was always talking over the horizon. He'd say a sentence and there'd be a volume in there somewhere. Like a seam showing, waiting to be dug out. The padres -- he always called them that like we was still in the feudal time-- would go on and on, then double back and start over until your eyes would wander to the grimy window lights and you'd shut it out and abide alone in your head. Pa said so little you remembered every damn word.

If you look back in the hole on the way back to the shack, there's no today in the view. It's tomorrow down below, always, waiting in a cool haze above the metallic puddles. We dig deeper every day and the sun rises later. Some day the sun won't rise at all down there.

I can hear the children playing in the chaparral that ain't stomped flat yet long before I can see them. Their clear, strong voices drift on the wind. Run-Sheep-Run! They'll fix up a little shack out theres, or pretend to be somewheres else doing anything other than. They make little worlds with all the bits and pieces they can scavenge. Just like us.


Andy said...

Bingham Canyon Mine. I've never been much closer to it than downtown Salt Lake City, but then you don't need to be much closer than that to get it.

I am not so good as to know it was Bingham Canyon from the imagery alone - the filename popped up with the pic, and I went all Wiki-crazy from there.

TmjUtah said...

I have lived in Utah since 1992 and haven't ever seen the bottom of the pit; never taken the tour. In... 1997 or so I did do the staking for a leach pad at the Barney Canyon gold operation, which is basically byproduct scavenging for the copper pit.

I see the outer wall of the pit every day on my commute up to Salt Lake. The astronauts in the ISS see it every time they fly over.