JT Tsuchiya

Beyond the tallest pyramids and the mightiest trees!
Plow the Earth,
Lay your foundation,
Imbue each brick with purpose and meaning!
Up! Reach ever onwards!
Build your tower as a monument to ingenuity!
Buttress your glorious behemoth while the underdwellers sleep!
Up, to the heavens!
Up, hallelujah!
Up, there is no tomorrow!
Spare no expense!
Praise the conveyor belt, worship the factory line!
Throw your hammer and chisel into the furnace!
Become the pride of your friends and family,
Never speak to them again!
Let gravity handle dead weight!
Up! Raise your walls high, forge your titanium staircase!
Chase ribbons of smog flown like kites from concrete smokestacks far below!
Rip through the air, a cork penetrating the troposphere!
Up where the air tastes like pop rocks,
Up where stomachs flutter and eyes glaze over into fine china, calcified and unbreakable,
Upon which the greater good is served to the benefit of the innovators!
Up where the Great Wall is reduced to a megapixel!
Grasp at the outer limits with unfolding metal tentacles,
So high you can no longer hear mumbles of praise from the worms below!
Build hastily, spiral ever upwards, sprawl out on your mangled Jacob’s Ladder!
Your vision of America will be ravenous and plagued by falling tetrominoes!
Spit on the falcon, curse at the clouds!
Beat the ozone to submission!
Send Icarus plummeting with an absentminded flick!
Lock the Tower of Babel into your celestial chokehold!
Create a structure that will stand erect once everything is dust!
Up! Poke God in the eye!
Piss down onto the splintered ruins of the Earth before it is pushed out of orbit!
Build higher and higher and higher,
Past the stars that laminate and fold into one another,
Past the galaxies,
Past the emptiness that expands like cosmic sheet cake,
Until you can finally build a space with plate glass windows,
A space so quiet you just might hear your blood pumping.

JT Tsuchiya is our nation’s most vital literary voice.