Train Art, Anne Evans

Michael Diehl, Darkest Hour



Train Art


It only happens when a train links long and varied cars, some rusted
and some gray, and some with graffiti and some with
birdlike blades of windmills that stretch a few cars long,
suggesting flight on wheels or a dolphin arc on the tracks,
but it doesn’t always happen, even then.

It doesn’t matter what the train carries: be it birds or dolphins,
metal, wood, or grain; machines, chemicals, or coal;
plastic, paper or pulp. It can happen carrying any of these.

It only happens when empty slabs or perhaps a cage
for cotton or chickens hooks between the freight, anything with slats
or holes that let the landscape blink through. And the type
of landscape doesn’t matter be it prairie or forest, desert or mountain,
river or field, just as long as it’s framed by the quick empty spaces
so that you don’t know when it’s coming – that glimpse of river
or field, a flash of framed sky, a shot of orange cliff
or cluster of pine – what would simply blend into the horizon
without  its moving camera, its wink to the eyes,
and for a few seconds,
iron and rust and motion and earth
make art.

Anne Evans

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