El Camino Real

-- El Camino Real -- scroll down El Camino Real Bell

They are melting these bells.

Lincoln City, OR is where white men dream. Some Subjects of Democracy here fly as their banner (often attached to a big truck's hitch) an ugly hybrid of Old Glory and the Confederate battle flag. Brothers killing brothers. Confused people remind me that our Union is strained.

Down from Lincoln the rest of OR offers stunning vistas. Not a soul around on a Monday morning at these view points; all too busy in their metal coffins listening to the chatter chatter blabber blabber of the talkers endlessly trying to make sense of this news cycle. I did not give myself enough time with these views. One must make time enough for things one loves. I was reading Rabbit is Rich the other day. While Harry is driving his car he wonders where all these young people driving around his town came from. A young woman is unknowingly tailgating him. He was that way as a youth too. Young and in a hurry. Old people were everywhere slowing things down, he says. Now, he just "lets them pass". I had forgotten how wonderfully real John Updike's words were. I also recalled the Italian Futurismo because their love of speed. They thought it was beauty. You know, I often forget I am of Italian heritage. Strange. And O' Umberto Boccioni. Wow. Wow.

The City Rises

And morning is here and Arthur refuses to down his "Crave" brand food. He is getting picky with age. My current vimrc isn't doing line wrapping like I wish it would. set linebreak fixes this. Today maybe New Mexico? I am not sure. U.S. 101 rolls on.

Ditched U.S. 101 and made for California 58. Not far from the California Valley Solar Ranch there are rolling hills that resemble a supine trull offering her breasts. From on high the left absorbs Sol's god energy, the right offers from its nipple the black gold that powers combustion. Up and down the derricks tug and suck. Americans, the Ancients, the Moonlanders, revere her yet rape her. America, the world's nation, nay: humanity's nation. All alike endured. I am an American, says Augie March. The enormity of it stretches toward the horizon. Dull blue there. Its periphery arteries feed from the edge the interior. Pulsating power, moving water; allowing the green space, the Tupperware parties, the plastic palaces. Here the Empire is evident. One is insignificant before the ramrod power lines, the massive canopy of sky, and the vast emptiness. All this on 58.

power lines spanning across California Valley

In Arizona the radio signals are weak. When they do come through they are babbles of incoherent speech; angry and desperate. I-40, like all interstates, is vast and cold. Hugging its right side eastward are train tracks. The public works huddle close to ward off the imposing land on all sides. There are angry ghosts deep in the center headed South. Cholla Power Plant appears along the way. It is a symbol of the Empire's desire for light. Burning coal to power the crystal displays we all gather around in barrooms, motels, gas stations, schools, offices, bedrooms, dens, subways. Give us light, burn the coal.

a photo of a power plant in AZ

Further along still the trucks that feed the Empire rush in all directions. The docile mouths wait for the sweet sugar or fat burger. Palettes of fruit grace the wind.

Distant motors hum. Sky dull baby blue. Dry earth almost the color of clay. This is indeed a strange region of the Empire. Collective memory here is populated with empires past. There is a deeply felt sense of siege at night. Some firecracker prematurely ejects its violent sound effect after whistling merrily. The pop startles and makes jump -- for in that sudden fright there is the vision of the hand that lit the fuse. The hand of some Roman. Some Citizen. There are not all citizens here. There are Americans and Citizen Americans.

There are tanks on the national mall. Some drunk is angry and shouting, "Showman the fake hugs it like he loves it but he doesn't love it no." And yet there is also the memory of John Adams:

"Resolved, that the flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation."

Mind wonders on wonderful New Mexican mornings surrounded by memories and the making of sense out of confusion. The twists and turns of neurons. Pop, sizzle, and fade.

flag of the United States of America

This dry heat warps the mind, makes for the delirious as fat men hose down SUVs in the summer sun. Earpieces bulging with clear liquid rolling down plastic sidings. Talk, talk, talk. Fireworks with awful sounding names ("Civil War", "Bloodhound Mortar") rest under tents staffed with derelicts on drugs. They are young and speak in tongues powered by besotted minds. What it is they see in their glazed eyes? They know how to rap, he says. He knows, actually. And, yeah, I am the one who taught that guy over there in the red shirt -- who, by the way, can help you with anything you need -- how to rap. He's a good guy. Today is a good day. Hello, guys. Hey, how are you? He says all these things as I wander about the makeshift bazaar. He is a born Walmart greeter. He is of the Moonlanders.

Missed sunrise and the Empire spans before me albeit blocked by a plywood fence. The air is calm and cool. Updated my vimrc because there was an issue with esc key delays. Yesterday was somber. For a flicker of a moment I saw the skies full across all the cities and towns and parking lots and abandoned malls and unkempt baseball fields fill with bursts of lavish color. Below I stare at people of the First Nations and there is a strong desire very (you derivative fool) deeply felt of wanting to escape my body and the Empire surrounding it to "see with eyes unclouded by hate" all before me. To not be American but to see all Americans. The Moonlanders. The Marslanders.

Centre of equal daughters, equal sons,
All, all alike endear’d, grown, ungrown, young or old,
Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich,
Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love,
A grand, sane, towering, seated Mother,
Chair’d in the adamant of Time.

Walking downtown through the rich and the poor. The poor are the bureaucrats and the non doers the forever safes and never challenged. They stand idle waiting for the government bus to come and take them home. They are the castoffs and the dead. They are overweight sugar gulpers testing the strength of the fabric which surrounds their bulging bodies. Here is the center. The center of all power. The tents only appear at night. They only come at night. Mostly.

It is late July.

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page last modified: 2019-09-28