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.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Trinidad, Colorado; David Mason & the Ludlow Massacre.

Where is everybody? That is the question you ask yourself, wandering the more or less abandoned streets of Trinidad, Colorado on a cool, hazy April morning. It's as though the Martians have landed and taken everybody away: it is America without Americans. Should you venture outward to the sprawl, there's some activity at the truck-stops strung along the frontage roads to I-25, and the usual array of junk food parlors, auto parts stores, big boxes, etc. But the only action I caught in downtown Trinidad was around the multiple stores selling weed, legal in Colorado. Trinidad is close to the New Mexico line. The town is marketing itself as a dope destination for Santa Fe and Albuquerque.
Trinidad was a mining town. Heavily Italian, back in the day. David Mason, former poet laureate of Colorado, is the writer to read in this part of the world. His powerful novel-in-verse Ludlow tells the stories of the Greek, Italian and Scots immigrant miners of southern Colorado, and the miners' strike in 1913-14 that culminated in the Ludlow Massacre.
What remains is this built town, which is wonderful, and proud, and lost. The built town speaks of a civitas no longer extant: it is a challenge to even think of yourself as a citizen in the strip malls that are the standard North American West landscape of loneliness and unease.

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