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I brood through empty hours of wind like peering through yellow panes of an abandoned storefront.

 

I hike across the rocks above the one raven reckoning a huge moon would rise through thin clouds like striations of memory.

 

Early morning at Kelso Depot, a man uses a long arm with a mechanical claw to shift a load of steel rails by the tracks, a man sleeps in his camper shell with his boots jutting out, Kelso Depot is closed but I wash in the restroom and walk in sweet airs of pepper trees.

 

I eat cans poured over rice, looking out across fifty or 100 miles of valley scrub (U.S. 40 twenty miles to the south), ranges folding into distant haze as if indistinctly recalled.

 

Fade at reading, fall asleep—finally I pay attention to whatever it was.

 

I needed to move through empty days without shelter, without shade.

 

I needed to sit in the front seat in the back, sit in the front seat in the back.

 

Forgot the toothpaste, found an old toothbrush so I can brush my teeth with nothing. Wash, rusty water from a pump.

 

Barber Peak looms darkly over the campground of several campfires, families, tents, bus-size RVs at one end and outhouses, Barber Peak riddled with millions of holes, cubbies, flues and caves.

 

Behind Barber Peak, desiccated cowshit everywhere, gray piles of it, horseshit, road apples falling apart, scuffed hoof prints and tracks of shoes, curlicue of coyote shit on the trail, a jeep trail crossing sandy eroded washes, a fire through here a decade or 2 ago removed Joshua trees blooming in hanging clusters of creamy white blossoms, elsewhere.

 

Out of the night sky, the tireless wind.

 

—returning to L.A. from the desert:

 

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

Blue Guts,

Black Peeple’s Oil,

Eye Zoom Itemz,

Subcutaneous Tacos,

Blistering Products,

Okay Okay Okay,

Flensing & Marketing,

Stiff Caked Music,

Organic Rapid-flex Weenies,

Grover Washington Juice,

The Red Veins,

Mawkish Pop Youth,

Fatty Eye Cream,

Flowers of Rototiller,

Thanks to Our Customers for 15 Years,

Golf Cart World,

Brown Oil Peeple,

Chili Vibe,

British Psychological Services,

Battling Grief? Hire an Attorney,

Marine Corps Forward Logistical Base,

29 Palms Marine Corps Base,

Purple Stains,

Photo Insemination Practice,

Bright Toggle Diddling,

Vinyl and Aluminum Chronologies,

Expect More From Dog Skin,

Buttery Blood Recycling,

Conformity Markers,

Plausible Bone Tidings,

Gas Sausage Massage,

Face Ribbons,

Exploitation Cap,

Pre-Chewed Divisions,

Balzac Dog Skin,

Coma Leftovers,

Daly City Leftovers,

Fissures of Maternity,

Flank Real Estate,

Accident Victim Sound,

Thin Iffy,

Scrubbed Shag Fleece? Hire an Attorney,

Pocky Prognostications,

Sotomayor Filling,

Prose-Stained Intermediate Care,

Busy Senator Suites,

Paint Thinner,

Mossy Wires,

Drubbing Fog,

Mired Action Collusion and Careers,

Pastel Distrust Estates.

 

 

 

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