The Scale by Which the Mapped Concerns the Map

by Bruce Beasley
Beasley. Theophobia. The Scale by Which the Mapped Concerns the Map
1. We are the map's icons, the clot- black or gray hyphen- lines, the capital's isolate circled star. The key boxed underneath in the smallest font will tell us exactly what it is we mean to stand for. 2. Is there no difference between a legend and a key. We've never known a scale of more than one to one, imperceptible dis- proportion. . . 3. And here we are again, self-within: legended, aliased and atlased. 4. Without its scale, the map's a sumptuary object, quarter-inch a thousand miles, a yard a sliver of off-green. I'd chart your inwardness but where's the key. The scale-pan's weight subtractable from the measure. 5. If the scale is an arrangement of our notes and what's left inaudible between them 6. As diagnosis is to disease, so the map's legend, to the mapped. 7. All we do, Libra, is practice at our scales, finger the frets toward some unlearned nocturne's diminishment, its flats. 8. Will the key reexplain everything on the mapface that's been inscrutably abbreviated? 9. Legend is to history as map is to its legend. 10. We've grown so tired of persistent direction— is there still some way to unmap each other that the scales might fall from our eyes? 11. Then say to me something I can't expect, or negotiate- against, or boundary-draw: draw me a map wherein no legend's legible, or needed.