A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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June 2006, vol 2 no 2

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Lynn Edge

Black Rock

I stand near a crevasse. Here thousands of years ago, the earth cracked open. Dark lava bubbled up, flowed down a path two miles wide and twenty long, hardened into these New Mexico badlands.This chasm filled with black rock reminds me of Jack Kerouac alone on a mountaintop in Washington. He struggles with isolation, depression, alcoholism. I imagine him dressed in a plaid flannel shirt with a flip-top notebook in his pocket. From his fire-watcher's shack on Desolation Peak, he stares toward the black slopes of Hozomeen Mountain, and writes:

on Starvation Ridge
little sticks
are trying to grow

      ~ Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels

Kerouac, the original hipster, dead at forty-seven. Buried thirty-four long years ago. My thoughts turn to Gary Snyder, Jack's hiking buddy in the Dharma Bums. Synder still writing poems at seventy-five.

a handful of stems
push through igneous rock
desert marigold