Tuesday, January 19, 2016

been on the road now for quite a while - went to kansas with the family for new year, then, upon returning, found out that my mom was in hospice and have been here in las cruces ever since, except that over the king day weekend my family came down for a weekend in cloudcroft. cloudcroft is four and a half from lubbock, and one and a half from las cruces, but it's nine thousand feet up, and that's the most important fact; we call it 'on the mountain' and we refer to going to grandma and grandpa's as going 'over the mountain.'

my mom is in sad condition, failing heart, confused, but i leave that stuff off here for the most part, and won't dwell on it. most of the time i stay by her side. i don't write, i don't do poetry, i don't even bring the computer. and i won't today, though i have it here back where i sleep.

the whole family, my two brothers and a sister, are here with my dad; my sister already lives here and has been closely monitoring the whole thing. one brother came from england, another from pittsburgh; both are leaving tomorrow. i came by car, over the mountain.

the road from cloudcroft down to las cruces is one of the wildest commutes i've ever done. down off the high mountain, with its snow and evergreens, and elk, you pass ancient caves, at a tunnel, and, going through a kind of pass through dramatic, barren mountains, you come out into the tularosa valley, 4000 feet and dry as a bone. the town of alamogordo is tucked up against the mountain, dry as a bone, very sunny, but when you head out from alamogordo you are directly in the white sands, and the white sands rise up from the desert, mostly on your right as you kind of skirt around them and shoot an hour straight across the desert to the next wall of mountains, the organs. at the organs you rise straight up and over, and you're in the mesilla valley, which has las cruces and the rio grande, coming up from texas and going straight up into albuquerque. the rio grande is heavily farmed; there are pecan groves all through mesilla and las cruces and they have literally sucked most of the water off the surface of the river, though apparently there is still some below. las cruces has about 100,000 people, while alamogordo has only 30,000; cloudcroft, however, has only about 5,000 or less. lubbock, remember, has about 350,000 but a shopping area of about a million. i am watching all these people. i am driving a lot, and watching license plates as well. i am trying to watch all this wild scenery without running off the road.

more later. i have to try my best to hang on to the ability to write, such as it is.


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