Yes, the road.

Yes, the road.
Eagle Nest, New Mexico. “People like to drive because driving is actually and symbolically an almost perfect mechanism for escape…there is probably no human being who does not have troubles, real or imagined, from which he at times feels the need to flee.” George R. Stewart.


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Brooklin, Maine, United States
We own a 1975 GMC Sierra Grande 15 in Maine and an '86 Chevrolet Custom Deluxe 10 in West Texas. Also a pair of '97 Volvo 850 wagons. Average age in the fleet is 26 years--we're recycling. I've published 2 novels: THE LAW OF DREAMS (2006), and THE O'BRIENS (2012), and 2 collections of stories NIGHT DRIVING (1987), and TRAVELLING LIGHT (2013). Novel # 3, KARIN, will be out from Pantheon (US) and House of Anansi (Canada) in March 2016. More of my book stuff at I was a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study for 2012-13. I've been teaching at Colorado College, Wichita State, and in the MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte. SUBSCRIBE TO THE AUTOLITERATE DAILY EMAIL by hitting the button to the right. It's free. Never an ad, never a sales pitch.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Kate Northrop poem: In the Old Army Navy

In the Old Army Navy

                                                (now that David’s dead)

The elevator, “claptrap” he’d said,
was right at the back of the jacket aisle. 
A clerk took us up—

Swung the door open, stood where it soared, the old gym
qua tent room, white and stripped
into us: the high windows
waved and stained, the bleachers
bright and dusty, like large sun-lit rocks.
Holding hands, we could see

dozens of tents (dark red, orange, one emerald)
had been arranged around the room, fluttering
in the fans a little

but holding on, like aspens.


The clerk cleared her throat.  You can go in.

She sneezed into her sleeve,
then we were climbing in the tents like children,
on our hands and knees.

Across the room I could hear
owl-sounds he was making. A little touched, goofy,
they spread out in the air there.

                                                                                     --Kate Northrop  
In the Old Army Navy first appeared 

Basque sheep country and Planet X Pottery: Northern Nevada

from Michael Moore, in northern Nevada desert:
"Brent Espil's sheep coming over the hill across highway 447 from Planet X Pottery's vehicles in remission...eight miles out of Gerlach, Nevada, one could say..." -MSM

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Three-deckah, East End, Portland Maine

3-deckahs do come in all shapes and sizes, and a half hour's walk around #Portland's eastern neighborhoods--East End, Munjoy Hill, Eastern Promenade--offers all kinds of them. This is about the plainest form of the style. Some examples from up on the Hill...

Basha Burwell: Kentucky Pontiac:

                                                                                   ©2015 Basha Burwell photograph

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Netherlands Under Construction & George R. Stewart

from Guido Goluke, Dutch translator and intrepid cyclist:
"These (first) two pictures intend to show that in the Netherlands a landscape (if we can speak of a landscape in my man made country)  is never finished. Trees that poke their shoots too enthusiastically into the air are cut back into shape. Ditches are deepened, widened, narrowed, straighened, bent, redirected or filled in.
   "The viaduct under construction must carry a six lane highway over this man made canal, right next to a bridge that also carries a six lane highway over this man made canal. Intersections are replaced by roundabouts, roundabouts by intersections. Sometimes a little patch of ‘nature’ is created to satisfy environmentalists and other troublesome folk. This gigantic ever growing network of highways and bridges is being laid over the old network of simple and slow roads down below, that now serves local traffic, and the cyclist.  Cars are more and more creatures that one has to look up to.
[AL: George R Stewart was one writer with a lot to say about highways dominating landscape: have you read his epic US 40: Cross Section of the United States" ?
"Road in early spring along the Zuiderzee...
"...but what was the designer thinking of, seeing that there...?"--GG

1966 Mercury M-100 & Big Beaver

From Alex Emond, in southern Saskatchewan: 
"Here is a groovy looking truck, and in passable shape. More comfortable than a horse. This was parked near Val Marie on the road to Orkney. Can you imagine moving from the Orkney Islands to the bald ass prairie of south-west Saskatchewan? A hundred years ago, even...
"Should you ever need a location for a Western, I would recommend the "Big Muddy" in south central Saskatchewan. Wide vistas with minimal anachronisms... 

"Big Beaver is, in fact, tiny. Counting horses, I don't think there would be 100 souls. I have to get back there next spring and explore the valley some more've got your buttes and mesas and hoodoos and coulees. You could easily forget what century this is."-AE