• On the Road to Satori – State Trooper Blues


    State Trooper Blues


    we see the trooper’s lights
    and hear the blip of the siren
    turn to each other with a “we’ve been
    narced by the guy at the Bodega!” look on our faces

    the trooper snoops around
    looking mean in his Smokey Bear hat
    black Gestapo boots and a forty-five pistol

    his ’69 Plymouth Road Runner
    hemi-head dual exhaust
    going varoom! varoom! shaking
    like a dragster disguised in cop lights
    and a New Mexico State Trooper emblem
    so that we’re quite impressed!
    despite the circumstances

    he let us go
    must have figured we were just
    a bunch of wide-eyed college kids
    on their way to see America
    why toss ‘em in the clink
    and ruin their lives forever?
    let ‘em find out for themselves
    when they end up
    on the street

    “your brake light’s out,
    thought I’d give ya a warning”
    we slide back on to the road

    welcome to New Mexico

  • On the Road to Satori – Tempe





    Tempe was not the haven I expected
    a roadside rest park just off the bridge from Mesa
    substituted for the hobo jungle of my hitchhiking dreams

    campers and tents strewn around
    smoke rising from campfires and alcohol stoves
    people waking up early every morning
    after staying up all night drinking
    spinning yarns

    Buckhorn Bob taught me
    how to make cowboy coffee:
    “You sprinkle some grounds in the pot
    bring the water to boil let the grounds
    settle and pour it off the top—ya got your
    cowboy coffee” he instructed me

    I hungrily accepted his kind offer of a cup
    as by now I was pretty much broke
    hungry; no direction

  • On the Road to Satori – Westfalia


    On the Way Back to Wolfsburg by DocSonian





    she was a congressman’s ex-wife
    rambling in a Volkswagen Westfalia with her two kids
    she offered to take me further down the road
    said she sensed I had a greater motive
    for all of this journeying “Seattle\Northwest
    you’re bound” she told me nodding with certainty
    over a cook fire on the road north to Flagstaff

    at the ruins of Montezuma’s Castle
    stripping off my jeans and
    red flannel road-shirt
    I lay in a narrow canal
    letting the cool water course my skin
    cleaning me up spit shine and polished
    hair smoothed back and grinning like a lark

    I whistled as I returned to the campsite
    and told her about the refreshing spot just up the trail
    she gasped as I described my naked exposure
    the solitude of the wild Sedona autumn
    I was just young enough to not
    make the connection; she
    was at least sixty
    I thought
    back then
    now realize
    as I’m older
    she was probably not

    she later speculated she must
    remind me of my Mom not
    at all,
    I replied
    —I still didn’t get it

  • On the Road to Satori – Flagstaff





    we drove north from Sedona
    amazed at the crystal clear air of the night
    Elizabeth explained that the crackle of bonfires
    were actually in people’s back yards
    not the National Park

    we spent the night
    with a family in the process
    of converting their mobile home
    into a mountain lodge; the framework
    and plywood sheathing visible
    as we sat to dinner

    I marveled at the ingenuity
    of people who engage in such effort
    having lived my whole life in apartments
    never knowing what it’s like
    to own a house
    you can convert
    and add to
    at will

    Ralph and his family were ok
    they all got along fine with Elizabeth’s two kids
    and their dog; who later ate the scraps from our plates
    (I think we probably ate venison)

    we had breakfast the next morning
    at a coffee shop on San Francisco Street
    train tracks ran East-West through town
    I walked along them for a half mile or so with Jack
    a fellow we’d met in the café

    Jack told me of his dreams of traveling
    cross-country; riding the rails and bumming it
    how he envied me his job and bills
    reminding me that, yeah
    I was pretty lucky
    out here rambling
    no worries—no dough

    back at the diner
    Elizabeth waited
    to take me to the Interstate
    where I would (hopefully)
    make my next connection
    to the Coast

    she let me off at the crossroads
    and I waited there for a ride
    she stayed in the micro bus
    guarding my journey
    like the angel of
    my mother’s prayers

    a pretty girl
    driving a flatbed truck
    stopped to give me a ride

    I ran jumped up into the cab thinking:

    I’m standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona,
    It’s such a fine sight to see
    It’s a girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford
    Slowin’ down to take a look at me
    . . . take it easy. . .*

    I waved at Elizabeth and the kids
    —I was on my way

    *Take It Easy—Eagles, 1972

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