Notebook Made While Driving 18 Hours from Illinois to Rhode Island, Labor Day Weekend 2002,
in One Go, Stopping to Gas Only and to Urinate my Pee
You will never find such as these on your path. Pray that the road is long.
Constantine P. Cavafy (1911)
Departing after teaching English 247, 2:30 PM, bright sky, HWY 74 west.
Those poor raccoons.
From that rock song I learned "every rose has its thorns.
The Ford Explorer is an abomination. Great day teaching at ISU today except for the one kid hunched at his desk: the sand-dollars of sleep hanging under his eyes kept clacking in the small breezes of his mouth weather. I woke him and explained that eye-sleep constitutes a type of guano.
Jazz is pervert music. Maurice Scharton died two days ago. I did not know him many people spoke of his pigtail.
From that rock song I learned Ooh Shadoobay.
Inexplicable erection between Dayton and Columbus. Very hard, very very hard.
Buicks. These cars are for white elder couples. The Buick design-engineers of the late 1980s modeled their conveyances upon Ethan Allen furniture. The model straining to pass my efficient Toyota resembles a teak coffee table. That Ohio Buick is occupied by people who appear to be Christians with very loose skin. A coffee table on wheels driven by a pair of coasters.
1. "When your brother is shot out of the cannon, is he conscious the whole time?"
2. "I hope so."
Shoulder smeared with the meat-frosting of an antelope. Up inside the antelope one sees blood and feces and chemicals frozen under the horns. One sees bubbles in the eyes, the flight of the brown-red eggs. I see all of this while passing the ripped carcass at 70 miles an hour. At this speed my vehicle will achieve 46 miles per gallon. At 62 miles an hour I achieve 50 miles per gallon if I don,t use the air conditioner.
We will know what is inside Jerry Lewis if we continue on this road. The road we are presently on is Hwy 80 East Jerry I am coming.
I remember her breasts. Staring at her breasts was like spending 2 nights inside a kazoo.
East of Akron, out of tedium, I begin to sing "Slowly balding, slowly balding, slowly balding,
You are slowly balding and your children are balding apace.
No one else in the world is balding except your family. Wife is balding.
The vaginas of your women are blen,
the penises of your men are shrung,
shrungen, balden, stretchle wife. Your family is really bald and stretched out now.
Soon your children bald will go off to college balden, shrungen, stretchle.
Bald, slowly slowly bald. Balding slowly. Slowly shrung. Ooh shadoobay." The sun sets beneath Akron.
I do not know why I have sung this, except to remember that when driving long distances a person enters a kind of snakedance psychosis and I really do feel at this point like I have been rewired with the ligaments of a baboon. In the twilight, bird almost hits windshield, cartwheels off in the slipstream. It is a matter of natural record that a stork can deliver its own enema. Your mother's meatloaf looked like stonehenge that night. She set it right down there between the butter plate and the jam tray, the meatloaf so hard and cold a baby fog settled over the dinnerware. The stonehenge meatloaf lay there in its miniscule immensity. There was embarrassed silence for your mother. I stood up and slowly undid my buckle, I bent over and wishing to please your mother, placed a small wedge of meatloaf between the cheeks of my buttocks. I smiled and said, "This tastes very good." Somehow this caused an uproar.
I believe I have written things that can get me arrested/fired/or beaten. Life is to be dealt with over and over.
Comfort Inn my toosh. Country Rd 533 Brookville. "I got a peaceful easy feeling." What if The Lord hid your soul in the fundament of a hen and you chose to recover it after finding out which hen contained it? How would you proceed? Or say your soul is lodged in a goat lipand you have identified the goat in question. Do you call a chaplain or a person of medical lip knowledge. Now that I am employed I hope I can avoid the direct attention of psychiatrists. Big cliffs 709 miles from Bloomington/Normal.
Pulling over in Clarion Pennsylvania to sleep, tilt seat back fall asleep seat belt on, wake 4:30 AM Eastern time, pee and drive.
My advice is demonstrate incompetence in everything you do. Demonstrate incompetence in every feature of your personality. Ineffective people are left alone to do their work. If you are incompetent you cannot be improved upon. What's more, truly independent beings are incompetent by design. For instance now I am in New Jersey, the geese here are collectively independent. Look here are some now, they are refusing to fly in V's and W's. They are flying in P's and O's.
Business ideas: Collect underwear of the elderly and infirm and from them make thin, urinous quilts. Sell brilliant typos: 5 to 10 dollars depending upon whether the typo is a spoonerism, inadvertant acronym, Freudian slip (e.g., Kent becomes Kunt) or nonsense. Nonsense costs the most. I think that you've got an inadvertant acronym there in which case that's 7 dollars. I take PayPal. g
The succeeding is my response to a fellow driver in mid Connecticut. Earnest Driver I am putting the end of a wrench in your navel, am putting the concomitant pain of a duck in each of your heels, a half a duck,s pain to either heel , a full duck,s pain to the pair of your feet. Into your knees I am depositing the pain of a goose, into your hip loins I apply the pain of an emu, into your chest I lodge the sufferings of an ostrich, and onto the top of your head, in the chakra of reason, I place the hurt of an irritated hummingbird, just a fleck of pea-pain goes there to ensure that you did not stop feeling pompous.
Your obvious bosoms reach outward. Many prows and ships come to us like your breasts, by two,s. Many ships do however come by three,s and four,s. The point being your obvious bosoms reach outward substantially bearing the cargo of your nipples. I have put my drafts and versions on your bosoms, but the wind blew them off. I eschewed the top of your head as a place to put my versions as there is a heavy weather out of your mouth. I adore you. This rattletrap of a dock adores you, and the old hard fish under this rigid dock adores you. I the rigid dock am sailing to rendezvous with the entire fleet of your body parts, each part bearing its cargo of boobies. And I am the dock am bearing my rigidity, my rigid wood, my immense creosote members, my masculine pylons and stiffened beams. I adore you you adore you. Life is to be dealt with over and over.
On top of your baby, I put a flat baby. The flat baby is sorrowful and smells of old wings. I am trying to extinguish your baby with a flat baby. Suffering is conservative. Endurance is progressive. Life is to be dealt with over and over. Ooh shadoobay.
I shall garland you with the epigraphs of far away books. And failing that, kiss you.
Gabriel Gudding is an assistant professor of English at Illinois State University in Normal, IL. His book, A Defense of Poetry will be published in November of 2002 in the Pitt Poetry Series.