i was invited to Folsom this week by a book club to showcase my work and meet some who read my first serial fiction. i had a blast and got to share my process, and listen to some fine critiques of my work. now i know i cannot fool anyone and why would i? good books can sell and weak books sell, too. i am determined to publish only books that brought out the best in me writing them. blood, sweat, tears, and coffee. it’s no use to be loved or hated if you cannot take pride and stand behind your little offspring-creations.
i had gone to the back of the room and left them telling their stories one by one with seldom an interruption. the voices gave warmth to a cool autumn morning while the delta breeze slid soundlessly across the train tracks and the torn upholstery of abandoned cars to the branches of the trees tapping on the glass all around us to get in.
i poured myself a mug of hot coffee and stirred in a bit of sugar, standing there with my back to them, listening half-heartedly and somewhere between consciousness and last night’s dream.
after a few hearty slugs of the black stuff my eyes woke up first and stared into a congregation of uneven framed black and white portraits from times before now. century old tired and long faces looked back at me and over my shoulder as if they were part of our gathering in this old meeting
hall, a former nondescript bar once with billiards for the truck drivers and laborers in the yards.
i felt a chill carry over the nape of my neck as i realized i had become some medium some conduit between my audience hung by nails alongside coffee mugs on the wall, and the living boisterous
true fellowship behind us. i stood perfectly still then
turned to see the speaker at the head of the table, an older gentleman with a way about him and expressions i would not forget to remember him by. as i turned slowly back my eyes getting larger to see, alighted on an old rusted peg, the visage of the living man! he was silent yearning to be free, framed right there before me… and in small white numerals in the corner of the photograph… i read in disbelief the year! it was 1923.
i went all out after i passed my boards today, pushed into third gear like a demon around rush hour, cut ahead of that old man’s ford and made three randy’s and a lucy into the drive through lane of the local starbux for a venti iced almond milk maple pecan latté with whipped cream scenario. i sure know how to complicate an easy thing. but goddam! there’s gotta be more to life than your daily mister coffee iv drip to rocket you outta your slippers
i found my peace in silence
we drank coffee and squeezed oranges
in the morning. canadien whisky
at night with milk. smoking
4 finger lids
the letter c
started to stick
i had to find oil
and take arms
she was essential
to my vocabulary
tuning our guitars together
swimming out past the
sandbar to the lone buoy
the hammerheads liked to