Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Yet knowing how way leads on to way

Robert Frost was born in San Francisco.

Arrived Tuesday in California and did a little road too much traveled by thousands of SUVs to visit family. Driving back into San Fran today. When I travel, I tend to think about writers who lived where I am visiting. I like knowing the regional ties to writers dead or alive. I know we won’t make to Big Sur, but the California writer I thought of as we landed was Henry Miller.

“In Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch, Miller treats his years living on the California coast as a sage of human liberation, expressed in a combination of anecdotes and ruminations.”

Written in 1957 (the year I was born).

Even though we flew to California from Kansas, most trips I take still feel like road trips. While living back east I took many road trips, a few deliberately to see as many of Robert Frost’s homes as possible. In my town now, we have the house that William S. Burroughs lived in for many years before he died in 1997.

One year before we moved to Lawrence Kansas, Burroughs died.

From the Web memorial for Burroughs:

Although Burroughs first struck my consciousness through Kerouac's writing, it was in 1980 that I first met him -- he was sitting on my couch smoking a thick joint, wearing suit and hat and holding cane -- I was startled to see this elderly man smoking pot, but he introduced himself and shook my hand as a friend...

Burroughs made Lawrence his home. I remember him walking at
dawn in the Mass. St. Dillon's grocery store parking lot
as I drove to work...him waving at me from a car downtown...
him reading from his books at the Kansas Union and at Beat literary
fests at the Lawrence Opera House.

S.Arthur Kelly

And speaking of road trips, I am amazed by the magnetic ribbons on all the cars. I heard someone on the radio joking that he was worried about getting pulled over, fined, or possibly arrested for not having a magnetic ribbon on his vehicle.

I went out and bought a ribbon that says GO JAYHAWKS

“Audrey” will sit for days at the 6,000 acre economy parking at the Kansas City airport. Home on the range.

Need more ribbons? Want to mix it up a bit, try new ribbon messages? Please don’t write and tell me I am not being patriotic. The ribbons themselves need support since they were once yellow and belonged to Tony Orlando and Dawn.



At 11:35 AM, Blogger Tamara Miles said...

I like the photographs and the talk of road trips and Burroughs and Kerouac, though I have to say I'm a little confused about what part of your narrative is quoted material and what part is your own perspective --- and I'd like to have seen the photographs introduced in the narrative. I'm probably getting stuck in teacher mode, always looking for an academic paper. That's not what the blog is meant to be. Then again, if I look at parts of the blog as a photo essay, I guess I don't need a narrative for them at all. I'm just thinking out loud, so don't take my remarks as a criticism --- rather as an observation about writer intent vs. reality on paper and an invitation for discussion about reader response.

As for ribbons, here's what I think of:

"Take the ribbon from my hair,
shake it loose and let it fall"

The blue ribbon I won at the Parks & Recreation talent contest for playing "The Entertainer" on the clarinet when I was in the 4th grade --- and all the blue ribbons I never tried to get.

typewriter ribbons

The reasons I never wanted to be in a sorority included the fact that I didn't want to wear my hair in a ponytail with a stupid ribbon.

At 9:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous digs the alt.dis himself, but your reservations are understandable, Tamara.

Still, SFO sensibilities pervade here, and Anonymous is tempted to down some bennies, find a very long role of paper, and hammer out that stream-of-consciousness novel that lurks like crayfish in the stream of his consciousness.

If I can just figure out how to feed the paper into my PowerBook.

At 8:35 AM, Blogger Tamara Miles said...

Okay -- I figured out the reference to "alternative discourse" but I don't know what SFO is. So fucking obvious? San Francisco ... something?

It's the Friday before Spring Break,and I'm either short on entertaining ideas or just too tired and ready for a break to come up with anything. Everybody have a great day!

By the way Anonymous, you've got to use that sentence about the crayfish in your stream of consciousness somewhere. It's fabulous!

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