Tuesday, July 20, 2010

big wide-open desert

's where i'd like to bivouac.
up north.
up interstate 15.
past los angeles.
where it starts to open up.
past these hot little towns.
real slow hot little towns skirting the desert.
a waitress named "antoinette," doing the best she can,
in the desert.
serving up biscuits 'n gravy to teamsters.
but i find a spot out there,
in the desert.
start walking and very soon i'm alone.
two hours from santa monica blvd., and you're all alone.
climb a mountain. a little mountain. an outcropping. maybe a hill.
and get high up.
real high -- where the land expands into a wide-open empty vista.
the curvature of the Earth visible.
rolling along, dotted with creosote and sage.
old tires.
and bones.
expended shotgun shells.
heat fluctuating, distorting what's out there.
which ain't much, but a few anemic coyotes.
a jackrabbit or two.
& if you're lucky, a desert tortoise.
-- gopherus agassizii
the wind blows warm up there.
every-thing's a fragment.
a little spec of something.
glinting and rippling in the foreground.
metal and glass and pink feet jutting out windows.

few hours pass -- pack the ruck.
hop on the 15, headed south.
past those hot little towns skirting the desert.
and "antoinette," as she watches the cars ZOOM by.
wishing she could just hitch a ride.
stick that thumb in the warm wind...

but i gotta keep going, "antoinette."
past the holiday inn,
and the Getty
creeping down the four-oh-five.
rounding the culver bend.
traffic balls deep in torrance.
straight shot to the harbor freeway.
straight shot to the sea.
and before too long,
i'm home.