Monday, August 25, 2008

“no focuses . . . no certainty”

They took the Buick today, the Le Sabre that in 6 years I put an extra 100k+ miles and which, in the end, introduced me the the actual streets of Paterson. Looking at my notebooks, trying to reconstruct that first visit, I must have been driving a lot. A long series of pages on Deleuze’s “plane of immanence” signified the stasis of home in South Carolina, and the relatively untrammeled concentration of summer. Then follows some poem-notes about Milwaukee—was it just restlessness that brought me there? Something particular?—mentions of a meeting in Chicago, trying to sell a stock in Cleveland, some notes on bromeliad (which would seem to bring me back to Florida, but notebooks dictate the chronology of memory more than the order of fact) . . . neither Spanish, nor moss . . . Smithson on enantiomorphic chambers and Hotel Palenque “no focuses . . . no certainty” (and here, there is a time stamp with a entrance sticker from the Whitney dated 7/27/05), and then some poem-notes on Paterson when I first visited, at dawn “before the city remembers the psychosis/a thousand silky automatons/have cocooned its brain in . . . the cataract of the falls/like a stereoscope slide/in a restaurant dumpster./The Krishnas who turn out to be/convicts in bring orange jumpers/ Enlightened!”, relatively blank pages=NYC, a page on Lacan and angels—which again may have signified a return to home (Lacan: “the signifier is stupid”), but some notes on daucus carota led me to believe that there was also a trip to Montauk in there somewhere as the Buick always had camping gear trunked for spontaneous trips— that fine weed of summer, aka Queen Anne’s lace, was all along the way, but it was the end of Long Island where I finally attained its natural history.
All this, I guess, is vicarious living, since I haven’t been able to have that kind of spontaneous summer for a while (this is the third summer consumed by moving), although the Buick did some good work getting me from the South to Rochester and back (with stops in Philadelphia and Baltimore and Asheville) and then all the way to Seattle before conking out for good. It completely died on the BQE last year while driving with L______ back to Providence, but, against all odds was resurrected at an Amoco in Queens. This particular 88 Buick was called a “poem” by N_____’s mother, and many a day it got me through the poem-streets of downtown Paterson, sometime festooned with lavalier mics—a make-shift and moving talk-show set. Because Leonard seemed to like it, I picked up Gabriel Gudding’s Rhode Island Notebook recently, and I could neither relate to the poet’s problems nor believe the veracity of his accounts of them, because he begins with an unfortunate travesty of Buick owners . . . and he has yet to own up to the model of his car. He only calls it “my efficient Toyota” (it’s obviously a Prius). No I prefer the Cortázars’ red Fafner from Autonauts of the Cosmoroute.

In the last few days, as I moved the limping Buick from parking place to parking place to prevent it from getting ticketed as an abandoned car, it would billow smoke from both ends; since this is Seattle, people would stop and look at me as if I were a baby-killer.

RiP also Nishiki 91, which was usually strapped onto the back of the Buick, and which, also, on that first morning in Paterson, glided me in a way more effortlessly than the Buick could between my random parking place, the Falls and the factories. The Buick was donated to Youth Radio, and hopefully it will be transmuted into at least a flash audio recorder; the Nishiki, by virtue of its being left there by mistake, will have many a Gothic intrigue in the VSW haunted mansion of art.

Last days in the Badlands:

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Blogger Gabriel said...

I use Google Alerts for mentions of "Rhode Island Notebook." Nice to be introduced to your blog. I like your blog.

It was not a Prius but an Echo. 2002. Current odometric: 185,000 miles. Smallest car Toyota then produced. 41-46 mpg hwy.

Beef with BUICKS: subjective cultural bias stemming from being raised in rural MN. I agree Cortázar and Dunlop's "dragon" is cooler.

Problems mentioned in book: divorce, suffering of driver's daughter, jingoism & propagandist atmosphere in run-up to Iraq war, American history (predations of T Roosevelt, Reagan [nancy & ron], military-industrial complex, genocide of Native peoples [in appendix]) -- and problems such as:

10:30 AM Sun on HWY 70 W east of Dayton over left shoulder, at rearest portion of driver’s side window

“Mad River” 810 M fr. Prov, Dayton
Next 4 exits. “McMahon’s Manufactured
Homes Next Exit.” Paul Sherry Vans
& RVs. “Great Miami River” 818 M
“Stillwater St. Scenic River” Meijer
24 Hours. Waffle House Comfort Inn
Holiday Inn Hampton Inn Now Available
Singer Properties Parkville Apts.
Hoke Rd Trotwood Hwy Patrol
Greenville Clayton 2 & a ½ Stop Ahead Stop Ahead Cavalier Chevrolet Clayton Corp Limit
Brookville Phillipsburg Greenville Clayton
Greenville Clayton North 49 Exit 24
Dead deer broken neck BMX Races
KOA KAMPGROUND “Kamp in This Woods” Co. Rd 533 Brookville exit 21 FOOD exit 21 Co. Rd 533 Brookville ½ mile
BP Day’s Inn Diesel [illegible]
Co Rd Brookville

U. S. Express Enterprises Caution Meritor
Air-Ride Equipped 833 M Marathon
Petro Pizza Hut Baskin Robbins
Preble Co. emergency Need Help?
Car van-pool Call Rideshare
Lodging Super Inn West Alexandria
End Warranty Pavement Citgo
Sunoco Diesel No Semi’s Pilot Dairy
Queen Bob Evans Econo Lodge
County Pride Brazer Eaton Greenville
TA Diesel Marathon BP Road
Condition Hueston Woods State
Park. Eaton Subway Dairy Queen 17
Mile 847 M fr. Prov. Still HWY 70 West a
11:35 AM EST Black beef cows AND
A DONKEY! Cracker Barrel
Lees Inn Richmond Thank You For
Visiting Ohio

Indiana Border 853 M fr. Prov.
Muncie Greenville Indianapolis Tom Raper
Nobody Beats Our Deal Wendys The
Biggest & Best RV Show Grandpa’s Farm
Campground Union City Winchester Exit
Smyrna Rd. Wayne Co. Warm Glow
Candle Factory Outlet Stuckeys Super 8
Burger King Chester Blvd. Richmond
Muni. Airport WATCH FOR ICE on
BRIDGES Hardees Eastcase Electric
Love’s Travel Stop Walnut Ridge Webb’s
Antique Mall D&J Homes Since 1955
Earlham College Tom Raper RV World’s
Largest! Tom Raper RV Exit 149A!
Williamsburg Pike Exit 149A Hardee’s
Charbroiled Hamburgers Living Faith Church
of God Trucks Over 13 Tons Declared
Gm. Weight. Stucken’s Dairy Queen Brazier
BP Dairy Queen Souveniers fr. All 50 States

For Traffic Info Tune Radio to AM 530.
Regular $1.49/gallon “Noland’s Fork Creek”
Train Rides White Water Valley Indiana’s
Most Scenic Valley Antoine “Tony”
Hulman Memorial Highway Alert When
Flashing Walnut Ridge Family Trailer
Sales & Service Washington Rd “Greens
Fork River” 868 M “Speedco a Faster
Better Truck Oil Change Is On The Way”
Days Inn Exit 123 Free Continental Breakfast
Large Parking. Marathon Taco Bell KFC
Firestone exit 131 Connersville Hagerstown
McDonalds One Stop Truck Plaza
Gasamerica “Free Chicken: 100 Gallon MINIUM” [sic] Cambridge City Connorsville Hagerstown New Lisbon Indianapolis “Whitewater River” Honda CR-V Marathon Buses Welcome Oil Change Henry Co. Wilbur Wright Rd. Marathon Diesel

A white wooden cross on roadside bearing in black stencil the letters “DAD RIP” Meridian
Insurance Auto Home Business Farm
Satellite Radio Be Self Employed! Work from
Home Rent 317-484… WABASH Ford Sterling Trucks
“Flatrock River” Indiana Basketball Hall of
Museum Flying J. Smokes For
Less Cartons Really Cheap! New Castle
Spiceland Spiceland New Castle Harley Truck
Parts “We’re Proud of Indiana” Day’s Inn
Denny’s Teamsters Local Union #135
“See Where It All Started: Hall of Fame Museum” I LOVE THIS DELL! At Old Spicer Rd: 887 M fr. Providence. Dollar Inn Lees Inn U.S. Express Enterprises “Big Blue River” Greensboro Pike “Anthony Creek” Dried figs are scrotal, I think that’s why
artists’ve traditionally used a fig leaf—
metonymy covers fr. mommy, metonymy
covers anatomy of tommy from mommy

“Nameless Creek” Wendy’s Motorists Service
Information Next Exit Historical Hancock
County. Antiques Malls Restaurants
Chrysler 300 Ponderosa Steakhouse
Arby’s Left 1 Minute Steamyburgers White
Castle. Clio wants to write Jane
Goodall a letter on her website
Marion County. German Church Rd.
17 miles from Indianapolis Ruben T.
Glick Memorial HWY First Church
of the Nazarene. 74 West 935 M
fr. Prov. 12:05 PM CST This is
the first time I’ve driven this stretch
this direction in daylight. Billboards
are the palmtrees of Indiana. 74 W 942 M fr. Providence. Eagle Creek Reservoir and Dam 945 M fr. Providence. The little river island
going always upstream, and some days,
flying shiningly into the sunset “Sugar Cr.” 981 M

“Dry Run Cr.”
“Graham Cr.” 1003 M fr. Providence 1:07 PM CST Covington Big Boy Restaurant and Market “Wabash River” Vermilion Co. IN 1008 M. Statue of Liberty on a sign for fireworks. 2 hawks, one in a tree one on a
fence post 100 yards after, they’ll
be gone next we (Clio and I) pass
this way’gin. 1015 M Illinois
border. “Vermilion River” 1019 M
“South Fork Vermilion River” 1024 M
“Middle Fork Vermilion River” 1026 M
The RightWing BurmaShave signs of Champagne County:
“Roses are Red
My Gun is Blue
I am Safe
How About You—”
4 signs at 1035 M fr. Prov., east of
Champaign. Homer Exit 197
Champaign County. St. Joseph one mile

“Salt Fork” 1043
Bears Football Traffic Exit 183
Origin of KASKASIA River 1059 M
Piatt County 1066 M
“Criminals Menacing?
Lady Alone?
The Situation Requires
Something More Than a Phone—”
“Spread the News
Like Paul Revere
Guns Save Life
All the Year—”
What are sand funnels. I will gas
at Farmer City. DeWitt Co.

McLean County 1082 M
Morain View St. Park Clinton Lake
Leroy 2:45 PM arrive Normal
IL 1102 M The mileage reads about 5 miles
over the normal trip length,
wonder if that’s due to cold weather
and shrinkage of metal near odometer

12:01 PM, August 25, 2008  

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