I thought I'd start things off by showing you a poem I've just created about Kansas towns. If you have any comments to make about it, I would greatly appreciate hearing from you. Here it is:
Kansas Towns As Described by Google Earth
by Tom Mach
The Chevy Cobalt glides
through the innards of Lawrence,
like a stalker as it espies quiet houses
with its 360-degree camera
rotating on the car roof as it moves
along Rhode Island, going past
overhangs of hickories and spruce,
eating visual data for its digital map.
It doesn’t see the Quantrill raiders
hoofing their way toward their prize,
or tired farmers who milked their cows
south of the town’s South Park.
No, the Cobalt travels on, guided
by its quest to see even beyond Lawrence,
to move to Tecumseh on the turnpike,
ignoring the archaic images of dusty roads
ridden by frustrated Free Staters
who left a hostile Lecompton.
The Cobalt hustles past noisy semis
and SUVs pushing past the 70 limit.
Not blazing an Oregon Trail westward,
the Cobalt is trailblazing its way on
concrete pressed by billions of prior wheels,
exploring while ignoring the Topeka capital,
not even stopping to see a John Brown likeness;
not even pausing in Wichita to imagine
its booming aircraft industry;
not even stopping in Dodge City and
smelling the labor of buffalo hunters.
Its mission is to take photos of streets and
avenues and lanes and parks and buildings
so that a young teenager can Google Earth
and tell his mother he’s seen Kansas towns
when he really hasn’t.