The Road Goes on Forever

luis

"I've been gone away so long..." Chris Whitley

Three weeks of non-stop book tour, 48 hours to do laundry and pack, three weeks in England with a side trip to Paris. Home for ten days to try to work before going to Squaw Valley to turn my profoundly burned brain toward workshops...before my birthday...and school starting...and the Fall touring season kicks in. I've tried to keep some record of the journeys on Facebook and Twitter. Busy, busy, busy.

I hope to post some tour goodies here. Some sketches and impressions. Those of you who have read this blog for a while know that I have this little prose-sketch style I like on the road. I call these "Wastelanders." Did about six books' worth this time. Don't worry, I won't bomb you with all of them.

It was interesting, driving across Texas. My pally the Christian rock rebel Rick Elias is playing Marfa right now. I was there a few weeks ago. Small world. But when you're road dogs, you walk in each other's shadow.

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We were slamming along the hiway from San Antonio to Alpine. All you big tea bag fans of SB 1070--if you feel the US aint guardin the border real good from friggin beaners, you ought to travel that hiway sometime. Dang. I haven't seen that many Border Patrol guys...ever. BP was everywhere. They were even cutting drags along the side of the hiway just like in Devil's Highway. They stopped us and set the sniffer dogs on the car to see if we had anything juicy. We didn't. White trucks like small glaciers on fried carmine desert peaks. Helicopters. Dudes in Terminator head gear appearing out of the bushes on ATVs.

So, off we went, doing about 81, and a Texas State Trooper caught us. But somehow, instead of writing us a ticket, he ended up talking with us about books. It was a really great meeting, out there in the desert wind. The whole time this grace descended upon us, a huge dragonfly hovered outside my car window, staring. I was trying to watch it and the trooper at the same time. I felt like The Hummingbird's Daughter is still IN DA HOUSE.

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Out beside the Pecos River, at the west end of the high bridge out there, we once stumbled upon an abandoned building. Motel? Gas station? Don't know. It was all amazing stuff--Cinderella and I were on our first big car trip then, and we parked on the Pecos bridge and walked out into the middle and kissed. Who says life can't be like a Joe Ely song?

We were scared by the abandoned building. It was full of bones. Every room was one foot, two feet dep in big bones. There was a stained mattress in there. And panties spiked to the wall with huge nails. Gulp.

We passed that wicked li'l joint again this year. But were were going like Mad Max and didn't stop this time. It was weirdly exhilarating to see it again, to wonder at its dark rich stinky bounty inside. When I got home, I looked up my old notes about it. You see, there was poetry and...stuff...on the walls. Here's what the walls said back in 1996:

Bursack
Eric
Spytko

66

In Life The Living And The Dead
Dwell In One Another's Arms
Only the Sand's Shift
Between Them.
Time Is An Oasis.

BULLDOGS.

Travelers Come Past You
And Move Away.
But Nothing Changes.

Viet-Nam.
3rd Here.

Kill Dan.
USMC.

When was I born?
Where did I come from?
Where am I going?
What am I?
"The Hopi Questions"

Smith
Tae Kwon Do
Rules

I'm Going Only
Where I
Desire

Fast Eddie
Pony Boy
Szpytko

I'll Chaneg Highways In a While
At The Crossroads
One more mile.
My path is lit by my own
FIRE.

ON THE ROAD I HAVE
TAKEN,
ONE DAY WALKING, I AWAKEN
AMAZED TO SEE
WHERE I HAVE COME
WHERE I'M GOING
WHERE I FROM

Headhuntasz

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One more page of the American poem, etched in the night, somewhere out there, along the howling Pecos gorge, in a white room full of ghosts, torn panties, old blood, and bones. Glimpsed for a second, while pushing books like vaccuum cleaners upon strangers in the heat.

Joes said it best: "The road goes on forever, the party never ends...."

Love, L

Comments

White Eagle (not verified)

i can feel the road grit. you are writing your life.

keep on.

eag

el poquito (not verified)

oh yeah.

Sylvan Woman (not verified)

Pecos noir.

kathryn (not verified)

What Grace said! Electric.

Grace (not verified)

Wow. Amazing.

And Wastelanders...yay!

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Book club members have been some of my most enthusiastic and careful readers. I’m thrilled to share my work with you, answer your questions and tell you some of the stories behind the stories. This is our spot, just for us. Here, we can chat:  If I’m nearby, I’ll come and visit your club. Otherwise, we can Skype, talk over the phone or email. Sometimes, I’ll send surprises or hold contests.

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