The Manhattan Review
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The Manhattan Review
Established 1980
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Archive > Vol. X no. Z

 

Kate Farrell

Revised Interactive Map of the Skies

The archer who shoots the arrow is not the centaur who drew the bow in mythic maps of the heavens, but another side of ourselves entirely — a citizen who lives in freedom among actual stars with a lofty brigade of fellow thinkers sworn to oversee the aspirations and proclivities of those we think of as “us” — from nomads lost in shelter-less mirages of inner deserts — to a reader on a patio who looks up from her book to say: Oh, you know, like so many authors these days, he throws out the baby and bottles the bath water . . . . Larger considerations are sifted in border caves a la Lascaux. Equations shimmer in the night air with sketches of magical animals, colorful bird-people, pilgrims in their respective trances; the arrow shot so long ago, we forget it’s coming and why, sailing down and around, before striking with astonishing timing the gigantic stampeding mastodon-like creature that collapses lifeless in the dust as it’s about to trample us. And yet — who can forget the betrayed surprise in its eyes? The lonely clasp of starry hooves to shaggy heart?