Beyond the West


After the West begins the Beyond, a place of inscrutable intentions and cross-purposes that blow you off-course like the gusts over Altamont Pass, where contraptions of precarious beauty born of human hubris float like effigies on the once-pristine hills now stained in the blood of a generation’s lost dreams. Meanwhile, in the Sierras, giant trees are dying off by the millions while we quibble and the bees begin their long, choreographed goodbye.

Were it not for the ocean at our back, we would have advanced further – but the water will not part for us – though the atom acquiesced to our repeated entreaties in the mountains of New Mexico and released a great plume over the whites sands and was deemed the holy Trinity. (More of that hubris.)

We fear the Bomb but it is the mosquito that will undo us.

I was born in West Oakland on the street between an abandoned factory and a chainlink fence. A railroad spur witnessed the event. I called this place home and still recognize a part of me in its topography, but I do not belong. None of us are made for this world. Our destinies are read out to us like a sentence.

I miss the places that I have left behind and sunbathe under mercury vapor lamps. The sunlight no longer thrills me.

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