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 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.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Mercury Truck & Wallace Stegner

From Alex Emond: On my drive back to Banff I passed through Eastend, Saskatchewan then swung north to Maple Creek to connect with the Trans Canada Hwy.. Saw two of my favourite things ... old trucks and antelope.
 The male pronghorn was keeping his "harem" in line , chasing down any of the females that wanted to bolt. That's the Frenchman River with the grain elevator...
 Wallace Stegner's house has a fresh coat of paint on it and looks good.(Check this post: )
The white Mercury truck was outside a shop in Maple Creek, looking really clean , almost refined . The shop, Alf's , seems to do some nice work . I doubt if it is short for "alien life form" but the Merc was out of this world.  cheers, Alex
Another Canadian Mercury up here. 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

1967 Mercedes Benz 230 SL

They keep them clean in Santa Barbara. Such a nimble looking car. You see a lot from inside that glass house.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Morgan 4

 Stephen Hendrickson spotted the car in Stockbridge, Mass. Last one posted was in Virginia.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

1966 International-Harvester 3/4 ton

 Saw the truck in Newport, Rhode Island after a day of sailing.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

White Bus

This a few weeks back, from Alex Emond, in Banff: This pre-40's White bus has been sitting behind the newly renovated Mount Royal Hotel, which is run by Brewster. They have had this vehicle since new, taking tourists on drives, little "tours". Now it's restored, used rarely but is somewhere between art and nostalgia, a kind of advertising .
The white canvas roof lets in a nice light . Excuse my blasphemy but this thing would make an awesome camper .... let those New England boatbuilder dudes have their way with it and ship it back out to Banff .
As you can see (below), the smoke in the air is bad . I'd say the worst I have ever seen here. Could be a long August .

Friday, September 21, 2018

Elizabeth Bishop: "At the Fishhouses"

At the Fishhouses 

Although it is a cold evening,

down by one of the fishhouses

an old man sits netting,

his net, in the gloaming almost invisible,

a dark purple-brown,

and his shuttle worn and polished.

The air smells so strong of codfish

it makes one’s nose run and one’s eyes water.

The five fishhouses have steeply peaked roofs

and narrow, cleated gangplanks slant up

to storerooms in the gables

for the wheelbarrows to be pushed up and down on.

All is silver: the heavy surface of the sea,

swelling slowly as if considering spilling over,

is opaque, but the silver of the benches,

the lobster pots, and masts, scattered

among the wild jagged rocks,

is of an apparent translucence

like the small old buildings with an emerald moss

growing on their shoreward walls.

The big fish tubs are completely lined

with layers of beautiful herring scales

and the wheelbarrows are similarly plastered

with creamy iridescent coats of mail,

with small iridescent flies crawling on them.

Up on the little slope behind the houses,

set in the sparse bright sprinkle of grass,

is an ancient wooden capstan,

cracked, with two long bleached handles

and some melancholy stains, like dried blood,

where the ironwork has rusted.

The old man accepts a Lucky Strike.

He was a friend of my grandfather.

We talk of the decline in the population

and of codfish and herring

while he waits for a herring boat to come in.

There are sequins on his vest and on his thumb.

He has scraped the scales, the principal beauty,

from unnumbered fish with that black old knife,

the blade of which is almost worn away.

Down at the water’s edge, at the place

where they haul up the boats, up the long ramp

descending into the water, thin silver

tree trunks are laid horizontally

across the gray stones, down and down

at intervals of four or five feet.

Cold dark deep and absolutely clear,

element bearable to no mortal,

to fish and to seals . . . One seal particularly

I have seen here evening after evening.

He was curious about me. He was interested in music;

like me a believer in total immersion,

so I used to sing him Baptist hymns.

I also sang “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.”

He stood up in the water and regarded me

steadily, moving his head a little.

Then he would disappear, then suddenly emerge

almost in the same spot, with a sort of shrug

as if it were against his better judgment.

Cold dark deep and absolutely clear,

the clear gray icy water . . . Back, behind us,

the dignified tall firs begin.

Bluish, associating with their shadows,

a million Christmas trees stand

waiting for Christmas. The water seems suspended

above the rounded gray and blue-gray stones.

I have seen it over and over, the same sea, the same,

slightly, indifferently swinging above the stones,

icily free above the stones,

above the stones and then the world.

If you should dip your hand in,

your wrist would ache immediately,

your bones would begin to ache and your hand would burn

as if the water were a transmutation of fire

that feeds on stones and burns with a dark gray flame.

If you tasted it, it would first taste bitter,

then briny, then surely burn your tongue.

It is like what we imagine knowledge to be:

dark, salt, clear, moving, utterly free,

drawn from the cold hard mouth

of the world, derived from the rocky breasts

forever, flowing and drawn, and since

our knowledge is historical, flowing, and flown.

                                                                      Elizabeth Bishop

Thursday, September 20, 2018

1933 Terraplane & Robert Johnson & The Barrow Gang

Geoff Park took the photo in Clinton, Iowa. I think maybe Bonnie and Clyde left the car behind on their disastrous sortie through Iowa. I'm guessing when I call it a 1933 Terraplane. Your thoughts? Maybe listen to Robert Johnson, Terraplane Blues.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

McLaren cars.

Kinda ugly, right? At least, compared to yesterday's 1953 Chevrolet 3600. This was on Sunset Blvd in--where else--Beverly Hills, heading west. Can't figure out which McLaren model this was.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

1953 Chevrolet 3600

 On the road to Newport, Rhode Island

 where we went sailing.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

1947 Dodge pickup

 Circa 1947, anyway. Must be Canadian. Saw the truck on the streets of Santa Barbara.

Friday, September 14, 2018

1965 Plymouth Valiant, and Maggie Nelson.

 Valiants were humble cars but there is something about a machine that's still ticking and still roadworthy 52-odd years later. Saw this are in Santa Barbara. Love the blue.

“I want you to know, if you ever read this, there was a time when I would rather have had you by my side than any one of these words; I would rather have had you by my side than all the blue in the world.”
--Maggie Nelson, Bluets