s.n.a. poems #59: ancient aztalan village

aztalan (totally a modern euro-american name—longer story than i want to go into) is a tremendous archaeological site in wisconsin. it is an outpost of the mississippian civilization more prominently known for their city called cahokia in illinois. it appears that folks from cahokia took boats up the mississippi, rock, and then the crawfish rivers to the present site. the village flourished between about 1,000-1,200 ce/ad. the village had large platform mounds, houses, a stockade, and a fish weir. why the settlers abandoned the village is unsure.

thanks to the wisconsin dnr for keeping up the site.


when i left this morning

stoplights were flashing

with the urban dawn chorus


rapid thud from the bank,

sun diffused thru altostratus:

dawn on the crawfish river


you were once here,

and now you’re gone

and this remains


crows cut over the platform mound

as silos loom over empty fields

a new niece has arrived in the world

best sign all day

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