Forget Kerouac and Cassady. Perhaps, they were never really all that anyway. For this five day drive from Portland, Oregon to Florida's gulf coast, Rilke, Odysseus Elytis, Roy DeG., Galway Kinnell and Billy Collins have been our literary traveling companions. I should say Billy McCollins because, for all his admittedly delightful surprise poetic twist endings, and being a former Poet Laureate of the United States, Billy really is the Rod McKuen of the hour. Sorry Billy, but you know it's true. Anyway, their company has been, in turns, painful (Billy's same-ie sameness), lofty (Odysseus's romantic Greek modernism), electrifying (Rilke), heartbreaking (Galway) and delightful (Roy DeG.).
|M. Lee, Roy DeG. & me in K.C.|
When we got to Florida we turned off I-75 to gas up and found ourselves in an alternate Elmore Leonard universe and stopping at the Sarasota Trader Joe's we entered the alternate universe of "ageless" women sporting every implant known to modern and primitive man plus some double, perhaps triple, implants and lifts known only to aliens and Jersey surgeons before which we could only stand in jaw-dropped awe.
Monday - home - Alligator Creek
The old place looks good. Since we were here last, Frida Kahlo's pineapple palm was (finally) pruned. There was even a young squirrel in it this morning eating a nut! Surely, she is one of Frida's descendants. And, wonder upon wonder, Sonny Boy still lives with his parents across the street. He's been out in the screen porch all morning expounding to his mother about the fat epidemic, environment disasters, jail, death, work (which he does not) and a variety of other subjects as flocks of white ibises fly over the twittering, splashing mangroves on their way to the beach. In the last year, we've spent more time on Alligator Creek than "home" in Nevada. It's comforting to see that something of the world as it was still lives there.