Thursday, June 19, 2008

somehow i can't go on with normal life, blogging and all, without thinking about all my friends, waist high in the slog up there in iowa. these are two places i used to work- the imu, or memorial union, i was a busboy, kind of, but this was not a time in my life that i'd like to dwell on. at the epb- english philosophy- this i'm sure is where the writer's workshop resides- i got my master's in linguistics while keeping in mind that, if you park in the lot shown covered by feet of water- for more than two minutes, they'd put a ticket on your windshield so fast you couldn't believe it.

i guess what bothers me most is knowing that this isn't just water- and, it isn't even just muddy water. most of it is now down around us- traveling quite quickly down the mississippi, through rockwood, through grand tower and devil's backbone, less than ten miles from here. the river is always very muddy- lots of farmland washing down with every square foot of water- but the legacy of the midwest includes lots of pesticides too, and lots of fertilizer, so much that they call it a 'dead zone' from louisiana spreading out for hundreds of miles. this is so toxic that if you even come into contact with it you have to get hosed off, i guess. the farmers were having a pretty good year- corn prices high- half of it going into ethanol- but now, as it turns out, iowa is in the alley where hot air gathering way up high tends to back up the wetness coming down out of canada- and this is our third hundred-year-flood in twenty years. times have changed. maybe 'iowa' and 'iriwaddy'- the great delta in myanmar- are distantly related. can't help but be a little angry, that global warming does a cruel blow on my favorite place, but i guess that's just the way it is.

here's to my friends up there- to old times, to nights when the old cap was lit up and glowed gently into empty office or riverbank, to where the ducks would walk, and i'd feed them, sometimes with my young daughter. to a river that i jumped in more than once, but was a little leery of, as it shot over a dam just south of these pictures. to a house i lived in, that was the first to go, even when i lived there, when they let the water out of the dam. to cedar rapids- where i lived maybe half a year, but worked for over a year- where, if the wind was right, the smell of cooked corn syrup came over the valley from the northwest at just such an angle, crossing the cedar, cutting through a winter night sometimes. to ivanhoe, linn county, south of mount vernon, home of the world's best mulberries, on trees down on the cedar, now totally covered i'm sure, where i lived for a while on a gravel road in a small cabin, and caught the smell of c-r, coming down out of the northwest, even on summer nights. it's all under water now, a sickening, tepid, dirty kind of muck, i'm sure, and it makes me sick just thinking about's all water under the bridge, so to speak, maybe just barely under the bridge, if that's the way it will finally get out of there. i'll try to get it out of my mind, and move on, but i want you to know, my heart is with you. good luck, getting out from under.


Blogger Peggy said...

I was speaking to Chris Lyon today (Dr Lyon's son). He has said that the cabins at Ivanhoe are all gone! Deb Albert forwarded me some photos of the Sutliff bridge going. It is all so sad! Brown Street is high and dry though. :-)

5:03 PM  

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