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
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
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.
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
from around the world, from ancient Chinese scrolls to ebony African
contemporary canvases and thousands of books. A home anchored
to the desert, with a deep thirst for culture.
I am more loosely fitted,
my edges even,
more rounded and smoothed,
gentler like a glacial pebble.