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, December 17, 2013

Senator Gene McCarthy: The Model T

The Model T
(to Robert Frost)

You are a Model T painted black.
The choke wire sticks out of the radiator.
The crank hangs in a  sling.
Starting you is not easy.
The spark must be set right,
the magneto coils dry.
Your kick can break a man's arm.
On cold days one may have to jack up
one of your hind wheels
to get you started.

Once started you are dangerous.
You are always slightly in gear.
Your brakes are marginal.
There is risk in riding with you.
Your fuel tank is under the front seat.
You run on gasoline or kerosene.
Either can explode.

You are not exactly comfortable.
You have leaf springs but no shock absorbers.
Your tires have inner tubes
and are not puncture proof.
You carry no spare tire,
only tire tools and patching.

Because your fuel system depends on gravity,
not on vacuum,
you climb steep hills in reverse.
You provide sure passage in spring mud,
have clearance enough for pasture rocks
and for the center ridge of deep rutted roads.

Your fenders carry small boys.
Your running boards are lined with poets.
You get us there.
                                                           --Gene McCarthy
                                                             from Minnesota

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