I heard the news as I was walking past that tiny rural library
where we first met – squatting between fantasy & fiction.
A fat hardback edition of ‘The October Country’ reached out
& pulled me in. I knew, as soon as I saw the title I was a goner.
Though never a covert to Fahrenheit 451, I loved the bleakness
of the film adaptation. It was the twisted stories that evolved
out’ve ‘nothings’, the ordinary that, when you looked close,
became extraordinary, ‘that’ was the stuff that resonated with me,
got right in my blood.
The Illustrated Man, forerunner to Sam Sheperd’s mid-western
nowhere’s, Jack Smight’s 60’s film adaptation, Rod Steiger
languishing in a side show tent as the world handed over
it’s money to see things they were warned not to look at –
like morbidly curios drivers slowing to catch a glimpse
of a fatal accident. The October Country, that season when the
city packs up holidays & goes home, leaving the hedge-rows silent,
decaying beautifully with dignity. Then I found ‘Dandelion Wine’,
in paperback, Black with vibrant flower, in a town that boasted
an actual book shop. Coming form a place where, if you were
just passing through, you’d think ‘Gorgeous, but nothing ever happens’
I identified with those rich twisting stories of the things that went on
behind the ‘nothings’ & squatting between the book cases dreamed
that one day I’d write this town.