Sunday, September 28, 2008

A poetic riffing on Ed Abbey


Written within the mindset, and through the eyes and viewpoint of, Ed Abbey, as a reflection on the 40th anniversary of “Desert Solitaire.”

Goddam people.
Goddam stupid people questions.
Get the goddam fuck out of MY ARCHES.
I ought to shoot you.
Or sic one of my snakes on you.
Or bury you
Beneath blown-up rubble
From a destroyed Glen Canyon Dam.

Ahh, juniper.
Growing twisted and crazy,
Just like me.
That’s why I like you,
You slow-growing, stubbornly living
Anarchic bastard like me.

Ohh, the desert stars,
With a trace of moon,
And no goddam people.
Just enough waxing moon
For a nighttime hike
Through Fiery Furnace,
Then back home —
The red rock home, not the trailer one —
To bask in fading heat.

Goddam, Bates!
What’s this talk?
A National Park now?
Wasn’t Canyonlands enough?
I guess not.
Did Proudhon write about Park envy?

Maybe we need to blow up some park roads
When we blow up that goddam dam.

Moab, Utah, gateway to Arches National Park, or the former Arches National Monument Munnymint of Ed Abbey’s “Desert Solitaire,” will be the sight of the Confluence Literary Festival Oct. 14-19. The “confluence” comes from the confluence of the Green and Colorado rivers in Canyonlands National Park, west and southwest of Moab and another favorite tramping ground of Abbey, given that Lake Powell almost laps at its southwest corner.

The conference will have some heavy Western literary hitters, including Doug Peacock, Abbey’s model for Hayduke in the “Monkey Wrench Gang,” official Abbey biographer Jack Loeffler, and Craig Childs.

Abbey wrote “Desert Solitaire” in 1968, based on his experiences as a seasonal ranger in Arches.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Refresh your mind with new Skeptic’s Circle

The latest issue of Skeptic’s Circle is now up, hosted by skepticism’s own secular patron saint, Bob Carroll, creator of the Skeptic’s Dictionary. A good variety of posts, including by yours truly, are on this week’s biweekly cycle.