The Anatomy of Distance or: A Study of Cartography

By Matthew O’Shea

if cartography is the study and practice of drawing
conclusions then surely   distance is the pen and 

parchment   time spent mapping every freckle is
time lost observing the external landscape   oral

traditions have a peculiar way of sucking   all of the
tension out of the usually revealing geographical 

attractions   an unbalanced compass often implies-
-magnetism   which as you know   can lead only to 

bias analysis   the depth of the trench   is best
observed from an   impartial angle  or one may risk     

a prepossession which haunts our professional
detachment   and honest cartography should be art

not seance   exploration of the anatomy of volcanoes
at ground level   can cause third degree friction

burns    instead the budding cartographer should
record the physical characteristics of any given

phenomenon   and place them to    one side in favour
of the abstract    and vastly more pragmatic

toponyms or political boundaries which separate
man from beast and allow the patient to trace

mistakes made by amateur    land lovers who
were too distracted by the   beauty   of the world


Matthew A O’Shea is currently having his existential crisis in Scotland. He studies Philosophy and Theology at Glasgow University, which he believes isn’t helping. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.

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