Notebook


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.


Notes on Puerto Rico

26th June

“You have heard the coqui? It is the Puerto Rico frog. If you take it from Puerto Rico, it dies. I am like this frog. If you take me away, I die.” (Tour Guide at the Tibes Indigenous Ceremonial Center)

Lunch at a lechonera: roast pork, blood sausage, cassava, rice and beans, amarillos. A mountain road is not conducive to digestion.

What is around Guanica: Feral dogs, friendly and with pups, cactus growing tall red fruits like fezzes, conch dressed with mayonnaise and stuffed in mofongo, mahogany plantations left to wild, public beaches, sailboats, mosquitos, Finlandia vodka, mofongo, mosquitos, Medalla Light, mofongo, mofongo, an empty eggshell of horizon bordered by the sea.

What is mofongo? Mofongo is green plantain fried and mashed and flavored with garlic.

In Ponce there is a protest. The US government is holding a political prisoner. I am eating an almond …




From the Notebook
Nebraska Fieldwork 2

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...

Nebraska Fieldwork 1

Lost and running out of gas along the Missouri border, grinding rural road 420, 423, 426. To the nearest station, chugging gravel, coasting, guessing...

Notes on Puerto Rico

“You have heard the coqui? It is the Puerto Rico frog. If you take it from Puerto Rico, it dies. I am like this...