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.


My Photo
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. In 2015-16 I'll be a Fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. SUBSCRIBE TO THE AUTOLITERATE DAILY EMAIL by hitting the button to the right. It's free. Never an ad, never a sales pitch.

Friday, April 17, 2015

1954 Chevrolet 210 Townsman

We caught the Chevy at last weeks' swap meet in Arundel ME. Today: have just arrived at our home on the Blue Hill Peninsula. When we left a week ago snow was still thigh deep but after a week of balmy 60s and bit of rain it has shrunk: there's 80% bare ground. The smell of ground means Spring is here and irrevocable. Now we have to get out on the water somehow. SCOUT wont be ready to launch for another 6 weeks.  The payback for Maine winter is Maine spring, especially right now, when everything is bare, just starting to show green,  the sky is full of light, and the frogs are peeping in the ponds. New moon or near tonight and I noticed coming over the bridge at Blue Hill Falls that low tide was exceptionally 
Hey, Alex Emond caught one of these wagons in Banff last year. 

63 1/2 Mercury Marauder S-55

Like this one. It's for sale in Long Beach. Original, it seems. Details at B-A-T.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Pilgrim. Steve Earle & the Del McCoury Band.

AL's official theme song: Pilgrim. Steve Earle & the Del McCoury Band. Emmylou Harris singing backup.

Not the NJ Turnpike

From Colin Washburn, crossing Nevada on "The Loneliest Road in America".
Love that lonely.
It's hard to find.
Our contendah in Maine would be State Route 9, the section from Bangor to Calais, which is called "The Airline" for reasons nobody remembers.
And that's Caliss, by the way.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Winky Lewis photograph: The Jeepster & Isle au Haut.

                                                                                                                               both photographs ©Winky Lewis 2015
 Winky Lewis and Susan Conley's remarkable book project is Stop Here. This is the Place. (One Year in Motherland). Isle au Haut is out in Penobscot Bay. Sometimes when Scout's still in Bill Grant's boatshed we catch the Aisle a Ho mailboat out from Stonington just to get out on the water. Islands and islands. Casco Passage, Merchants Row. Lots of rocks. It's impossible not to see a schooner in the summer. Sailing those waters, you need to keep an eye on the chart. But everyone who sails in Maine hits rocks sooner of later. We'll probably hop the mailboat this weekend.  
There's another yellow Jeepster living over in Brooklin, on the other side of Eggemoggin Reach.

Maine Calling & Tony Hoagland's Disappointment

Perhaps you heard Garrison Keillor read Tony Hoagland's poem "Disappointment" on NPR this morning. If you're autoliterate, you will remember Tony's astonishing poem America which we posted with Tony's permission last year. Tony will be Jennifer Brooks' guest today on Maine Calling on MPBN radio. Richard Blanco, Betsy Sholl, and Steve Luttrell are also on board.  The show is  'Why Poetry Must Matter', which sounds a bit desperate. Poetry matters only if you read poetry. Good poetry matters the way strong weather does: wakes you up, makes you wonder about being alive.


I was feeling pretty religious
standing on the bridge in my winter coat
looking down at the gray water:
the sharp little waves dusted with snow,
fish in their tin armor.
That’s what I like about disappointment:
the way it slows you down,
when the querulous insistent chatter of desire
goes dead calm
and the minor roadside flowers
pronounce their quiet colors,
and the red dirt of the hillside glows.
She played the flute, he played the fiddle
and the moon came up over the barn.
Then he didn’t get the job, —
or her father died before she told him
that one, most important thing—
and everything got still.
It was February or October
It was July
I remember it so clear
You don’t have to pursue anything ever again
It’s over
You’re free
You’re unemployed
You just have to stand there
looking out on the water
in your trench coat of solitude
with your scarf of resignation
lifting in the wind.
"Disappointment” by Tony Hoagland from What Narcissism Means to Me. © Graywolf Press, 2006.  (buy now)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Ain't That America?

Supersize me...I think it started with the Louisiana Purchase. Before.We've always been the land of excess.
The front bumper of the Continental would make a good bench seat for a tailgate party.