Lamp Post Five’s Dream
written by Mathias Svalina with Elle Longpre
All day & all night I watch the two statues of liberty atop the Liberty Building, each of them looking over the city in opposite directions, but each searching unceasingly for the other, forever searching in vain. The two identical statues of liberty are in love with one another, a feverish & unerodable love. But the statues are set into the Liberty Building to always look away from one another. Each pines ceaselessly, holding out her torch in search of her beloved, who stands right there behind her, concealed in her blindspot. Finally, this is too much for me. I dislodge myself from the ground & climb the side of the library to the roof, where the wind whistles around me. I walk around the edges of the library’s roof until I find a huge chute made of sixty-six connected black trash cans with their bottoms cut out. The chute is used by a construction crew to drop debris down to a dumpster on the sidewalk. I lift the end of the trash-can-chute & swing it into the air. The chute stretches out in the air, until its end reaches the Liberty Building. I leap into the trash-can-chute & slide across town. At the Liberty Building I try to figure out a plan to help them. It would be nice to turn them, to move them so that they could hold the torches out together, perhaps even so that one hand could brush against the other’s. But they are statues fixed atop a stone building. Their histories, their bodies would not accommodate this kind of change. So I mount rear-view mirrors mirror each statue’s face, angled so each can look into her beloved’s face. They may be doomed to forever look away from one another, to forever cast their light onto all but what they wish to cast their lights onto, but at least now they know the other is there with them. I hope they can take some comfort in that.