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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
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