A road not taken for many years, yet the same smoke stacks of a power plant, dry High Desert mesas on either side of the highway for the next fifty miles slicing through several Indian reservations, radio stations mouthing static, climbing 2000 ft., to Santa Fe.

With chilly morning air sweeping off the mountains, I wait in front of a fake adobe supermarket outside Santa Fe for Bill Witherup. About ten minutes later, he appears in a cowboy hat. "There ain't room for two poets in this parking lot," he quips. Except for a quick meet in Albuquerque a few weeks ago, it has been twenty years since Bill and I have talked face to face.

A few miles south, the house, once a way station on the Camino Real has since undergone extensive renovations. It is also what it's present owner brings to it that makes this dwelling extraordinary. From any point of view, on the one hand, it hints at the dark side, the nonscientific side. It hints at religious eschatology. It hints at mysticism. It hints at psychoanalysis. On the other hand, it has this almost too glib machine mode. I don't believe in either. I think that when the story of the organism is told, when we really understand how these things evolved and developed, there's art from around the world, from ancient Chinese scrolls to ebony African sculptures, along with contemporary canvases and thousands of books. A home anchored to the desert, with a deep thirst for culture.

Now I am more loosely fitted,
my edges even,
more rounded and smoothed,
gentler like a glacial pebble.

 

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