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, February 27, 2021

1955 International Harvester R-150

Kinda ballpark here on the year and model. Truck's for sale on Deer Isle, Maine

That would be area code 207


Friday, February 26, 2021

Big House, little house, back house, barn.


Brooklin, Maine. Maine farmhouse vernacular. Probably started as a simple Cape @ 1840.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

1972 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 4.5


Is there a sturdier a 1/2 century-old car? Doubtful. There's a reason why this era Mercedes-Benz--often diesels, which this one ain't-- were the default taxis of Europe. Here's a D we caught in New Mexico a while back. This car is on the block at BaT in a few hours.

Eva H.D., "Bonedog"

       JoAnn Verburg photo.



Coming home is terrible.

Whether the dogs lick your 

face or not; whether you

have a wife or just a wife-

shaped loneliness waiting

for you, coming home

is terribly lonely so

that you will even think 

of the oppressive barometric 

pressure back 

where you have just come 

from with fondness

because everything is worse

once you're home.

You will think of the

vermin clinging to the 

grass stalks, long hours

on the road, roadside

assistance and ice creams

and the peculiar shapes

of certain clouds

and silences

with longing

because you did not want

to return;

coming home is just

awful, and the homestyle

silences and clouds

contribute to nothing

but the general

malaise. The clouds,

such as they are,

are in fact suspect

and made from a different

material than those

you left behind.

You yourself are cut

from a different

cloudy cloth,

returned, remaindered,

ill-met by moonlight,

unhappy to be back,

slack in all the wrong

spots, seamy suit

of clothes, dishrag-

ratty, worn.


You return home

moonlanded, foreign,

the earth's gravitational

pull an effort now redoubled

dragging your shoelaces

loose and your shoulders, 

etching deeper the 

stanza of worry

on your forehead,

you return

home deepened,

a parched well,

linked to tomorrow

by a frail strand of


you sigh

into the onslaught

of identical days, one

might as well

at a time.


Well, anyway,

you're back,

the sun goes up

and down like a

tired whore,

the weather immobile

as a broken limb

while you just keep

getting older.

Nothing moves

but the shifting tides

of salt in your body.

Your vision blears.

You carry your weather

with you, big

blue whale, a

skeletal darkness;

you've come back

with X-ray vision;

your eyes have become

a hunger.

You come home

with your mutant gifts

to a house of bone.


Everything you see now.

All of it. Bone.

                                    -Eva H.D.

                                  (The poem is recited by Jessie Buckley, playing the protagonist in Charlie Kaufman's film I'm Thinking of Ending Things)


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Trunk Road Gritter Tracker (Scotland)


Scotland names and tracks their "gritter" trucks. Thanks to Lee Saloutos for this. Our first scroll-able post on AL.

Trunk Road Gritter Tracker

The Trunk Road Gritter Tracker page provides live tracking of gritters on the trunk road network.  It displays the current location of gritters and a trail with an age range for where gritters have previously passed along the trunk routes across Scotland.  The Gritter Tracker does not provide road treatment or gritting information.

For information about Transport Scotland Winter Service Plans please click here.
For information about Transport Scotland Winter Treatment Activity please click here.
To visit the Traffic Scotland website please click here.

Useful Tips on using the Gritter Tracker

The initial map view (default extent) on the Trunk Road Gritter Tracker provides vehicle trails for the 0-2hrs range and the current location of all gritters. Active gritters, in yellow, will orientate according to the direction of travel. Inactive gritters, i.e. parked up at a depot, will be greyed out with the icon facing East.

To view gritter trails above the 0-2hrs age ranges (2-4hrs up to 12+hrs) and to view a number of gritters at the same location i.e. at a depot, then you must zoom into the map view on a specific area or trunk route to view this information.

You can use the search bar at the top left to search for a gritter by name.  Enter the first few letters of the name, then pick from the resulting list.

To view traffic information, enable the Traffic layer by clicking on the 'Layer List' button located at the top left of the map, under the search bar.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

1957 Buick Roadmaster 75

That was a good year for Buicks, especially compared to the '58. (Here's a 1958 Roadmaster from Cambridge).AL caught this car in Harper, Kansas a while back. We're dipping into the Autoliterate archive because here in Maine by late February there's darn little precious metal out on the road. So if you live in a sunnier and less salty clime, do get out there with your camera and send us something shiny--or rusty--please. Rolling or not, doesn't matter. We love side profiles and details.


Sunday, February 21, 2021

Studebakers: Champ, Commander, Lark & etc.


AL met this horde of Studebakers a couple years back in Canyon, Texas. Find more by Googling Autoliterate Studebaker.

The beauty of the bunch...

Saturday, February 20, 2021

1966 Chevrolet Caprice. Cold.

From Reid Cunningham: "Claremont, New Hampshire. A quick search says this is the first year of the Caprice. The formal roofline on the two door was just for the Caprice, the Impala and SS had the sloping sport roof. Most likely the 283 and a Powerglide."

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

1967 Volvo P1800, Maine


Thanks to photographer Scott Dorrance. We posted another P1800--from Colorado Springs--a couple days ago. More if you try Volvo on our search widget or just search Autoliterate Volvo online.