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 27 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, CARRY ME, will be out from Pantheon (US) and House of Anansi (Canada) in February 2016 and by Editions Philippe-Rey (Paris). 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.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Granville Island, Vancouver

Every morning the trucks lined up to get their fill of concrete. They looked like big toys; I wanted to push them around, play with them.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

1951 Ford F1, Cutchogue

Kyle Knodt caught the truck out there on Long Island.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

1964 Chevrolet C10 Stepside

The truck sold at auction yesterday at B-A-T so we're noting it here for a guide to current prices on admirable trucks. This one had a few issues apart from the surface corrosion but it was starting quickly and driving at highway speeds, apparently. Went up without reserve, and sold for $4500. Details here.


Laurie D. Graham poem: "Louis Riel Trail"

Louis Riel Trail
for Jan Zwicky

Despair can become an effective arsenal.
— Louis Riel

Trucks, their engine retarders as hell-bent as planes coming in,
queuing up and down the flanks of the Qu’Appelle—
don’t refer to the hills as a body, don’t be cliché
the valley of industry, the empty-canvas plain, the tow rope between cities.
Across the way someone’s herding cattle in an ATV.
The bright blond stubble a colour not natural to this place mid-May.
Underneath, the knowing grasses waiting, finger-feeling.
The main branch of the militia hiked from Qu’Appelle
to Batoche in how many days.


You better like white noise you live so close to the highway,
the drone of progress wearing away a register of hearing,
a tidal thinning, the static of one’s quiet,
wanting weekends all these bikers up the hill,
and trucks, trucks carrying bulldozers and John Deeres,
tanker trucks and pickups pulling earth-movers on a Sunday,
and all around, the orbits of predators and scavengers,
mice and flies and ants in anything but a straight shot.
The jostling wind—watch your clichés again
the deer and porcupine, trucks with rebar,
trucks with plywood, trucks with empty beds descending
the hot limbs of the valley—does that sound original?


How would he feel to have a highway named after him,
a highway sprouting north from the city where he’s hanged.
White trucks by the thousands, double-trailers full of imports in a new age of austerity,
which you’ll feel if you’re not playing all the ball that you’re supposed to,
if all that’s left is rocks as ammunition for your rifles, be it soldiers in zarebas
or snipers in the ditches blasting holes in all your churches:
if you want to get from here to the site of last resistance,
you must descend the ready slopes of the Qu’Appelle.


And a nineteen-year-old woman walks the highway at night
around the weigh-scales between Lumsden and Regina.
Four lanes all around her, traffic pitched too loud for reason,
and the news and the cops can’t fathom why she took this trail.
About the time I dropped to sleep last night
was when she found the answer.
Fifteen hours before, there was an owl on the roof.

It must have been dancing for the highway.

                                                         ---Laurie D. Graham, from Settler Education

[Most Canadians know something about Louis Riel and the Northwest Rebellions. Most Americans don't. You could start here. ]

Monday, October 24, 2016

Sunday, October 23, 2016

"At the Interstate Gas Stop"

"At the Interstate Gas Stop"--photo by Stephen Hendrickson. Corvette Sting Ray. One-eyed.