Friday, May 25, 2012

An Amelia Earhart Prompt Written for a Recent Interview

This came about as a prompt posed to me by Robert Vaughn.  I took a shine to it, so I thought I'd share it here.  The full interview, to appear in The Lit Pub, will be out sometime down the road.  For now, here's a sampling.  Thanks for reading.

Crossing a small creek while listening to “Take It On the Chin” by William Elliott Whitmore, I find her jawbone, strong and determined, even in that tiny vein of water.  Later, along a ridge north of where we came ashore, I trip across her leg, the boot laces still pulled tightly into an impressive knot.  I’m listening to Townes Van Zandt’s “Flying Shoes” while admiring the sturdy boot and the leg that had flown so high for so long.   I grow tired after several hours and find a shanty of some sort made of slim branches and great leaves spreading out for a roof.  As I enter, listening to Tom Waits’ “The House Where Nobody Lives”, I find a large stone.  Along the side of the stone is a single fingernail seemingly embedded into the rock, seemingly still clutching for purchase.  I’m about to heave when I leave the leafy shanty and lose my footing, sliding several yards into a clearing.  At my feet I see what at first appears to be a dead animal, its fur matted and clumped.  The closer I come to the thing I see its hair, a half inch of her scalp stretching across its underside.  The Pixies “Where’s My Mind” finally rolls through my ears.  I can still hear that distinct cry of the guitar as I make it back to the shore line.  I’m the first there, so there’s no news to share.  I walk the line, listening for the others when a foamy wave moves in over my ankles and then out again.  And now she’s looking at me.  Those eyes, blinding if stared at for too long, pushed back from the sea and onto the shore of her private and expansive cemetery.  And as I look at her eyes, and only her eyes, Hank Williams is there singing “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”.  And I do.   

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