Close Up The Honky Tonks

27th July

Rhinestones, overalls, a tractor, trucker hats, tight jeans. Better than Buck Owens. I first heard Red Simpson perform this song, but Dwight Yoakam does it justice. Why he’s eating a raw tomato is beyond me: one beefsteak, salt, knife and fork, while your love rocks the jukebox: that’s loneliness? I love the country camp, even though Red doubtless imagined a grittier, Bakersfield scene when he wrote “Close Up The Honky Tonks.”



21st July

What have I been up to since I fell off a cliff in Utah?

I saw The Way, Way Back. It was way, way bad. And after watching Project Runway, I finally understand fierce.

Baseball Nut is a good reason to visit Baskin-Robbins.

Reading My Struggle (Karl Ove Knausgaard). Dare I say I don’t get Norway?

I like to exercise on my wheelchair. When it rains, I go to the mall in the morning, before the shoppers turn out, and zoom to the muzak. I can also support myself on my left leg, in a cam boot, and hop around using a walker.

I had a box of Chicken McNuggets, which were delicious.

Before my accident I had been reading Kafka on the Shore (Murakami) on the toilet. I finished it, listened to the “Archduke Trio” and “My Favorite Things” four or five times, and finally understood why Murakami has …

Denver Fieldwork 1

4th July

A Taste of Paradise is a donut shop in Ogallala, Nebraska. I made the Denver run on one sour cream fritter and 7 oz. of coffee poured out the percolator head.

Love for hops infused pickles at Euclid Hall. Good with iced tea and chicken schnitzel sandwich.

Increasingly interested in textile art.

I no longer want to visit the hippest and hoodest restaurants. These days I’m happy with horchata in a cocktail shaker, carnitas tacos, roomy booths for reclining after three margaritas. Salted maple pecan ice cream, half-finished.

This city is cleaner than Singapore. Do you get spanked if you litter a craft beer can?


Domesticated in Denver?


Nebraska Fieldwork 2

3rd July

In Seward, the world’s largest time capsule. The vault includes two cars, disco paraphernalia, and letters from members of the community.


Glass bottles full of Kool-Aid soft drink, from the Hastings Museum of Natural & Cultural History.

On either side of I-80 cornfields unfold like green corduroy. The distance between towns is incredible, the possibility of never leaving Nebraska terrifying. Insulated by the whine of tires and top 40 radio, a car turns into an island drifting to the end of the world. Once we get there, we’ll tumble off the edge, off the waterfall into a foaming void. The prairie has been nearly exterminated but seafaring metaphors are still appropriate for describing a voyage from one end of the state to the other. Other than the Platte River, which I crossed this evening, geographic landmarks are absent. The farmland might as well …

Nebraska Fieldwork 1

2nd July

Lost and running out of gas along the Missouri border, grinding rural road 420, 423, 426. To the nearest station, chugging gravel, coasting, guessing east to town. Praying against empty when I spit out from the spiral and find a pump in Savannah. One long walk averted.

John Brown’s Cave is closed on Mondays. Nebraska City, bust.

Legend Comics & Coffee on Leavenworth Street: Have hipsters made it to Omaha?

At Stella’s Bar and Grill, the burger is flavored with mayo and American cheese, served with no plate but plenty of napkins. Maybe Nebraska beef. The menu only helps with the question of fresh versus frozen.

From the town of Lincoln Nebraska / Holed up in a motel, / on the edge of the highway.

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