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The Stream and The Sweep

The Stream

A stream of consciousness comes up out of the subway right there on Alvarado Street flows along MacArthur Park amidst the guys on the sidewalk selling baseball caps cigarettes bootleg salsa CDs & phony IDs on past the guy with no legs propped up against the lamppost coolly regarding the proceedings with a steadfast countenance crosses the street at Wilshire passing the old guy handing out the garish red & white flyers for Botanica San Martin Caballero passing by the Jesus freaks yelling themselves hoarse at the portals to the park then flows on past the frazzled stray cat meowing for sympathy past the black guy with the jarred-loose appearance who says Hey—remember me? I was there when you got out… past the empty Modelo Especial beer cans lying in a shiny pile past the homeless & unemployed & winos sprawled on the grass or down for the count in the spiky shadows of the tall palm trees fingering the milky-blue opacity of the sky through which cuts a LAPD helicopter with its ratcheting chatter of airborne internal combustion & Orwellian angst moving off towards the southwest where puffs of gray cloud are now blowing in off the windy Pacific Ocean in a silent steady stream.

The Sweep

The optic sweep glides along the horizon of the upper pasture slows down & lingers at the huge oak tree below the muddy spring where the cows are standing knee-deep in black muck then moves slowly across the wood pile & grinds to a halt in the stand of ash trees suddenly anchored by something profoundly emotive emanating from the deep blue-green shadows of the ash leaves at the same time totally aware of the improbability of trees being able to emote anything at all knowing fully well that it's most likely the work of some lurking consciousness spinning its web of perception cognition & association & ultimately something that is being projected from within as opposed to being perceived from without but nonetheless it truly seems as though the unidentifiable emotional quality is suspended right there in the leaves of the ash trees rustling in the sultry August breeze laden with moisture sucked up from the North Sea prior to the cracking & booming of an evening thunderstorm with all its various psychic triggers & emotional attachments sweeping across the lush green landscape.


Mark Terrill

A native Californian and former merchant seaman, Mark Terrill has lived in Germany since 1984.


The Brooklyn Rail

APR 2004

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