Los Angeles energy and diversity

sometimes combined with a sort of

malevolence and I needed an escape

At first I had closed the blinds to the

sea, visitors asked me why, I said it

just served to emphasize I’d gone as

far West as I could go and Alger’s

advice was meant for younger men

and it saddened me. Then I came to

find The Tube. In moments before

sleep, I would enter a pneumatic

tube of copper and glass and it sent

me deep into the earth with a quiet

whooshing sound, and I’d descend

smoothly with a growing sense of

calm, down, down, down until the

elevator came to a slow, non-jolting

stop, and the doors slid open to

reveal a scene: walkways, panorama

of depths and finished walls chipped

out of cavelike structures, softly lit

but well-lit, the light was green but

greenish gold in areas, industrial

machines whirred and performed

generative tasks and men in hard

hats walked about checking things

and took no notice of me. The big

machines, made of one foot pipes

bolted together with flanges were

all industrial green on concrete

pads, with gauges and louvered

sides, and I knew they supplied the

power and light for the complex, a

seemingly endless cave of tranquil

energy, there for me whenever I

needed it for restoration and deep

green sleep to face the L.A. day.

 

Guinotte Wise

Guinotte Wise writes and welds steel sculpture on a farm in Resume Speed, Kansas. His short story collection (Night Train, Cold Beer) won publication by a university press and enough money to fix the soffits. Five more books since. A 5-time Pushcart nominee, his fiction and poetry have been published in numerous literary journals including Atticus, The MacGuffin, Southern Humanities Review, Rattle and The American Journal of Poetry. His wife has an honest job in the city and drives 100 miles a day to keep it. Some work is at http://www.wisesculpture.com

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