Issue 51, Spring 1971
The red and cream Santa Fe Trailways bus pitched and rocked along the cracking, heat-racked asphalt. Around the square, jagged Rupp comers, along the dust-haloed fields, across the Twin Bridges, past windbreaks and leaning, paint-less barns, past sagging, rusted barbed wire, and turned left at the cemetery, turned by the yellow, condemned (no fire es-capes) mausoleum. In the moon-filled night the landscape of stubble and clod seemed furry in the wind that skinned the topsoil and made of it a gauze for the wounded land, a lining for the painful nose and a patina for the grunting lungs. The sifting, spinning dust snaked along in the headlights of the bus, so that the bus seemed to sail in choppy waters. It was the process of ruin and refurbishing after the crops were off and the land gouged hopefully and painfully into a future harvest.
Dust and moonlight, lust and August blight. Summer limping away to lick its wounds, time walking off with the verdant, and Skyblue (two bits one way) riding by, into and through it all, sitting on the hairy seat, sitting in his sweaty blue jeans, sitting in the grease of Halo, Skyblue “le hot” on his way to Halstead and the sweet smelling virgin, Skyblue riding off into the west, into that furious, folding star now set that burned for him and dragged him in his way. His star, the evening star, now obliterated, now gone away from him into a neon sunset of Kansas dust and our solar system sun. His star now folded into the vespers of the final shepherd and his infinite crook.