15 November, 2019

Redactions, 1 through 3

1. trucker cap

Dad preferred ball caps. Some people later referred to them as “trucker caps.” The only other kind of hat I ever saw him wear was blue wool Greek fisherman’s cap; but he only wore that one when it was cold outside. Regardless of the hat, he always wore it the same: placed atop his head like a crown, the brim bent just enough so it would sit comfortably against his large forehead.  

He was the only person I saw who wore hats that way. Not even the old farmers, the few who were left and clinging onto what land they had left until the final crop was planted and their kids sold the acres for housing developments. Their hats were clamped down on their skulls, prepared for the storm. 

Dad wore his hat like he carried the storm in his billfold next to my mother’s picture.

2.  there and back again

I keep circling myself, back around to meet myself anew. Keep circling back on these poetic roots: Whitman, Kerouac, Basho, Thoreau, HST… then onto Li Po, onto Tu Fu, and on and onto the mad Zen poets like Ikkyu. I keep circling back to the original schism, the original sin that split poetry from itself like Cain split himself from Abel.  I know they are road signs. I know by the signs I am going the right way.

3. Word as cartography

Bill Dozier, grad student, anonymous preeminent post-modernist, slaughter house scholar, and maybe the 2nd most subversive person I’ve ever met once proclaimed to me that “Kerouac’s open road has been converted into a warehouse.”  25 yrs later, shambling as I am, trudging as I am, circling back as I am only to find myself on the road Kerouac mapped. Mapped, but did not create. 

Thus, I must respectfully disagree.

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