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 a 1986 Chevrolet Custom Deluxe 10 in West Texas. Also a pair of 1997 Volvo 850 wagons. Average age in the fleet is 28 years--we're recycling. I've published 3 novels: THE LAW OF DREAMS (2006), THE O'BRIENS (2012), and CARRY ME (2016). Also 2 short story collections: NIGHT DRIVING(1987) and TRAVELLING LIGHT (2013). More of my literary life is at I was a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study for 2012-13. I'm an adjunct professor at Colorado College and in the MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte. In 2015-16 I was a Fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The Autoliterate office is in Car Talk Plaza in Harvard Square, 2 floors above Dewey Cheatem & Howe. SUBSCRIBE TO THE AUTOLITERATE DAILY EMAIL by hitting the button to the right.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

El Llano Estacado Texas & New Mexico

A lot of the Llano is an environmental disaster. In the one hundred forty years since we finally won it from the Comanches, it had been over-grazed, farmed to dust, irrigated, feed-lotted, urban-sprawled and generally fucked around with by people who bellow about their patriotism...patriotism which apparently has absolutely nothing to do with caring for the physical land, the actual American ground. For all our silly blather about love of country, and for all the crazy, ersatz, pumped-up, steroid-military-culture patriotism on display at insane American carnivals (like the pre-game show at last night's Monday Night NFL football game, New England "Patriots" vs Carolina) I think we really don't like our country very much. We really hate it. It makes us uncomfortable. We want to turn it into something else. One big feedlot. One big shopping mall. One big ATM machine.
So I'm posting pictures of the beauties of the wondrous llano, which are still out there, on the remote range country in Texas and Eastern New Mexico, and in Palo Duro Canyon--but I wish I had grabbed photos of the poverty shacks lining the highway in Amarillo (traffic was going too fast, I couldn't stop) and the feedlots (again, blame traffic..couldn't pull over in time) and the other dismal wreckage that is I fear 80% of the reality of that sad, despoiled region.

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