Millenium Mills

Posted by Bradley L. Garrett on Monday Nov 15, 2010 Under Academia, Archaeology, Cultural Geography, Freedom, Poetry, Ruins, Spatial Politics

With Ruins
Li-Young Lee

Choose a quiet place, a ruin,
a house no more a house,
under whose stone archway I stood
one day to duck the rain.

The roofless floor, vertical
studs, eight wood columns
supporting nothing,
two staircases careening to nowhere,
all make it seem

a sketch, notes to a house, a three-
dimensional grid negotiating
absences, an idea
receding into indefinite rain,

or else that idea
emerging, skeletal
against the hammered sky, a
human thing, scoured seen clean
through from here to an iron heaven.

A place where things
were said and done,
there you can remember
what you need to remember.
Melancholy is useful. Bring yours.

There are no neighbors to wonder
who you are,
what you might me doing
walking there,
stopping now and then

to touch a crumbling brick
or stand in a doorway
framed by the day.
No one has to know you
thing of another doorway

that framed the rain or news of war
depending on which way you faced.
You think of sea-roads and earth-roads
you traveled once, and always
in the same direction: away.

You think
of a woman, a favorite
dress, your old father’s breasts
the last time you saw him, his breath,
brief, the leaf

you’ve torn from a vine and which you hold now
to your cheek like a train ticket
or a piece of cloth, a little hand or a blade –
it all depends
on the course of your memory.

It’s a place
for those who own no place
to correspond to ruins in the soul.
It’s mine.
It’s all yours.


For Toby Butler


6 Responses to “Millenium Mills”

  1. Place Hacking » Blog Archive » 2010 in Retrospect Says:

    […] numbers are in. During 2010 we explored 110 locations in 9 countries, ranging from derelict industrial sites to impossible heights; from vital infrastructure to dead shopping malls. Over the course of the […]

  2. Rose60 Says:

    Hi Loved hthe Mill Have visited here before Have l looked at a few myself but Hubby won't go in or let cause I can't wak very well any more
    l Wonder why they left all the old elcetric cable It was hauntingl;y beautiful Wish I could stan d on a ledge wa y up too Thanks Guys Rose

  3. Dee Says:

    Some really beautiful photos. I am a journalist writing an article on the Mills, is it possible to talk to you about your time in there? Also do you know anyone or local residents who worked there or remember the Mills? Any information greatly accepted.

  4. Jono Says:

    i surveyed this mill back in 2002 and it was found to be heavily contaminated with thermal asbestos insulation debris. the amount of people that have broke into site such as this and exposed themselves to high levels of asbestos is unbelievable.