The Pyramids39.920231, -86.221082

Explore your stream of consciousness by writing down every thought that enters your mind.
Adrian Matejka

Designed by the famed architect Kevin Roche for the College Life Insurance Company of America, The Pyramids have become a landmark in Pike Township’s College Park neighborhood since their completion in the early 1970s. The Pyramids, noted for their modern architecture, appear in the poetry of Adrian Matejka, who grew up nearby.


Adrian Matejka
b. 1971

Literary Inspiration

“Ascendant Blacks”

Published 2017


3500 Depauw Boulevard
Indianapolis, IN 46268

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“Ascendant Blacks” in Map to the Stars

Adrian Matejka

The power was turned off again the Tuesday morning I got my curl & Guion S. Bluford became the first black man in outer space. August 30, 1983. I styled my wet frond like 1999 Prince: left side tucked behind the ear, dangling mess getting activator in the same eye I would have used to telescope the Challenger as it flew over Kennedy Space Center in the midnight habit of black men trying to get out expeditiously. In Indiana, any yellow brother could be an on-the-fly Prince if he opened his eyes like two afterburners & hung his lips just a little. Even on the East Side where we all felt better in groups. Even way over in Pike Township, where three Pyramids rise as majestically as cranial lumps after a beat down. Or in Martinsville, a town so precise with its epithets & buckshot, Bluford wouldn’t even fly over it in the daytime.


I went to Pike High School, and I used to be a denizen of these streets around The Pyramids of College Park. Writing this book in 2017 to Indianapolis of 2017 versus the Indianapolis of my memory in 1990, 1988, or ’85, was a great journey of excavation and discovery. Every place I went, things that I remembered in one way had changed. And of all of those things that had not changed, The Pyramids were at the top of the list. They looked exactly the same, sitting over this part of the city, the way that the mountains hang over the top of Seattle or something.

—Adrian Matejka

Adrian Matejka teaches at Indiana University in Bloomington and was the state’s poet laureate in 2018-19. His collections of poetry include Map to the StarsSomebody Else Sold the World (coming July 2021), The Big Smoke (finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize) and more. 


Indianapolis is a place that inspires creativity. This is one of a dozen original pieces of visual and performing art created by Hoosier artists inspired by Bookmark Indy authors.

Tony Styxx digital painting

Tony Styxx

“Port Noir in Elsewhere”
Poetry/Spoken Word | Tony’s Instagram | Tony’s digital art Instagram


“Port Noir in Elsewhere”

Just as Adrian Matejka uses space travel and science fiction to explore and contextualize his upbringing in Indianapolis, so too does Tony Styxx employ these same subjects and imageries as he remembers traveling around and navigating the city.  

the pyramids

3500 Depauw Boulevard
Indianapolis, IN 46268


Closest IndyGo Stop: 

Depauw Boulevard & Purdue Road (Route 34)



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Tune in to part 1 of Words and Music from WQRT and Big Car as they explore the life and work of Indiana writers. Susan Neville, Adrian Matejka, Kevin McKelvey, and Jim Walker discuss the beauty and challenges of Indiana through the lens of William Gass’s 1968 story, “In the Heart of the Heart of the Country.”

Report Back.

Read the location passage. What questions would you ask the author? What would help you understand the author's viewpoint?

Added TEXTure.

Writing is about more than just words. Look around to discover what textures are most prevalent in this place. Do a texture rubbing using a piece of paper and a crayon or pencil.

In the Margins.

What inspires you most about this place? Draw a quick doodle of it in the margin of one of your books.

Found sound.

Walk around the location and record the sounds of surroundings. Did what you hear depend on what time you visited?

Backward / Forward.

Cities change—what did your location look like in 1920? What will it look like in 2120?


Find another perspective by walking to a different spot around this location. Do you notice anything new? Which of your five senses notices a change first?

Strike a Prose.

Write a short passage describing how this place inspires you.

Love Letter / BreakUp Letter.

Think about your relationship with the place you’re visiting or perhaps with your own neighborhood. Is it time to commit? Or time to let go? Write a letter as if you’re speaking directly to the place you have in mind.

Field Notes.

Explore your stream of consciousness by writing down every thought that enters your mind.