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.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Fitchburg and the Listless Bucket

Spent some time on a cold, clear winter day looking around Fitchburg. An intriguing town. Just got the barest glimpse of it, must go back for more. The Nashua River runs through and powered the 19th century mills.  Like Worcester, Fitchburg was more an engineering/metal manufacturing town (guns, tools, machinery) than a textile town like, say, Lowell was. Or Biddeford, Maine. Fitchburg would have had a significant French Canadian population, since Quebec from the 1860s through the 1950s tended to export its surplus farm population south to the industrial centers of New England. While I was at the Macdowell Colony in the 1990s,, another colonist,  the architectural photographer Cervin Robinson  Cervin was driving south from New Hampshire every day in his Porsche (was it a Speedster?) to shoot Fitchburg. I plan to return. Meanwhile, here are some other towns AL has explored. They are mostly on no one's bucket list, but we never much related to the bucket list. Anyway it seems that the best places to go are most often the places you never heard of until you got there.

Brunswick MaineOttawa, Kansas.  Ottawa, Kansas (again)  Clayton New Mexico and and the Hi-Lo Country.  Montreal.  Winnipeg, Manitoba   Frankfurt, Germany.  Toronto.  Colorado Springs

Las Vegas, New MexicoBath, Maine   Moncton New Brunswick.  Paris.  Cimarron, New Mexico

Mora, New Mexico.  Eastern Townships, Quebec.


Friday, January 29, 2021

Thursday, January 28, 2021


 Ye olde indestructible. 1992 Volvo 240 5-speed,  on the block today at BaT

1955 Plymouth Savoy; 1977 Mercedes 450SL


further treats of Dupont St., Toronto from Eva H.D.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Big Mack, Fitchburg, Mass.

Beauty is in the eye....AL will be posting some more on Fitchburg MA which we have been exploring. Very interesting New England ex-mill town. The kind of town where everyone looks at you 2 or 3 times-long hard stares--when you're running around with a camera. Because maybe the last tourist spotted in Fitchburg was before the Civil War. Though my friend the architectural photographer Cervin Robinson was doing some work there while we were at MacDowell, way back when. More on all that in another post...Anyway, truck's a beauty, eh?

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Colombian Van, Fitchburg MA

"Color, Flavor and Aroma of my land"                                                                   Fitchburg MA

Monday, January 25, 2021

Cadillac Fitchburg

Fitchburg, MA. Cold bright windy January.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Once and always Cutlass.


from the poet Eva H.D., in Toronto. 1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass. Dupont Ave. T.O. 

Saturday, January 23, 2021

1963 Pontiac Catalina clean machine

Alex Emond caught the Catalina on Hemmings. It's for sale. In Germany. This was the basic plain Jane four door model,  a post sedan. You know, here at AL we have always had a thing for Catalinas. They touch something primal. We've posted several '63 Pontiacs, including a rough and ready Bonneville convertible and a Catalina stationwagon, both here in Maine. Alex saw this Parisienne in a Canada Day parade in Saskatchewan, and we know a couple  Catalina convertibles in West Texas.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

1969 Chevrolet Brookwood missing

You know we like plainjanes, and plainjane wagons especially. I'd rather own the car above than that Maserati that cut you off on the 10 this morning. We've all let great cars go. When I was moving from California back to Maine, for some dumb reason I talked myself out of bringing along my '69 Brookwood (below). Which has turned up a couple time since, the last time for sale, in Ventura, a few years back. Please give AL a heads-up if you ever do spot the Brookwood. It needs to come home.


Monday, January 18, 2021

Karen Solie, "Boyfriend's Car" from SHORT HAUL ENGINE

                                                                                                               AL caught the Nova (not black) in Moncton NB

Black Nova. Jacked up. Fast.

Rhetorical question. Naturally,
a girl would choose
the adult conspiracy
of smoked glass, darkened interiors.
Privacy. Its language
of moving parts, belts,
and unfamiliar fluids.

Michael Hofmann reviewed the astounding Karen Solie's The Living Option: Selected Poems in the London Review of Books a couple yearss back. Solie writes long poems, usually. In his review, Hofmann pulled these Solie lines (above) from "Boyfriend's Car", which is actually from an earlier collection, Short Haul Engine.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Red Lobsterboat: calm down.

Yeah she had a rough ride--check our last post--but today was fine. Holding on her mooring with wind blowing E maybe 5-10 knots. What a difference a day makes.

Red Lobsterboat, Blue Hill Bay


Blowing maybe E37k at a mooring off Dodges Wharf Road in Blue Hill Bay. Some days it's tough being a lobsterboat. Here she is in calmer weather.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Low Tech's '49 Chevrolet Fleetline

Low Tech Marc's '49 Chevy Fleetline looking a bit more fleet than it did, rolling out of the factory. A custom, not a restomod, and not a massacre, either. The car lives in France. We have posted a bunch more Fleetlines of different vintages.


Friday, January 15, 2021

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Dodge Power Wagon, Maine & Philip Booth

When old cars get retired, they go to Maine.
Thick as crows in backlots off the blacktop,
East of Bucksport, down the washboard
from Penobscot to Castine,
they graze behind frame barns: a Ford
turned tractor, Hudsons chopped to half-ton
trucks, and Chevy panels, jacked up,
tireless, geared to saw a cord of wood...

---from "Maine" by Philip Booth

Thanks to Matt Dallett for the Philip Booth lines. We caught the Power Wagon--probably ex-military or ex- Maine Forestry Service-- on a day the pond was frozen and good for skating. We've posted plenty of Power Wagons, like this beauty in Claremont NH. And a '73 Power Wagon is maybe our favorite truck in Cambridge MA.