"If I don't get back on the road I'm going to lose my dog-damn mind howling mad and barking crazy like some burning saint. ..." So begins the journey, one of many in a two-decade stretch of living out of a backpack upon the open road - often without a destination, but never without a purpose. Vagabond Song: Neo-Haibun from the Peregrine Journals blends travel memoir with poetry to recount the author's days of hitchhiking and road trip adventures. With excursions to Central America, Britain, and throughout the American West and Midwest, the book follows in the tradition of Bashō's haibun classics such as Narrow Road to the Deep North and Records of a Weather-Exposed Skeleton. Amid stories that are often humorous and sometimes harrowing, lies a strong foundation of commitment to wild spaces, freedom (in all its precariousness) and the transformative power of poetry. Setting out from a small cabin in northern Michigan, Beaudin hits the road to find a poetry of freedom and wilderness, both physical and psychic. He confronts the ravages of history, religion and capitalism, as well as his own fears and hypocrisies while always seeking the lessons found in the wild spaces of the earth and the mind. Each chapter is a different road, from M-46 to West Elk Loop, from the A1 to the Chicken Bus Highway. The roads are presented as movements in a musical composition, separated by interludes hinting at the adventures of the perhaps apocryphal Miscellaneous Jones, the Ur-Traveler, and his companions Zorba Chaos and Moses Om. Brief periods of being off the road are recounted as caesurae, moments of silence within a piece of music. As a whole it becomes, as William Hjortsburg, author of Jubilee Hitchhiker: The Life and Times of Richard Brautigan, calls it, "a poet's song to the rewards of wandering and the joy of the highway." The book includes a foreword by poet/essayist William Heyen and cover art and interior sketches by well-known Montana artist Edd Enders.
|Publisher:||Elk River Books, LLP|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.61(d)|
About the Author
Montana native Edd Enders worked with archeological survey teams, as a hunting guide, packer, wrangler and cowboy before studying art at University. Enders paints full-
time, portraying human impact on the region, not romanticized landscapes, and is widely collected and shown.
William Heyen is the author of Crazy
Horse & the Custers and numerous other books. A former Senior Fulbright Lecturer in
American literature in Germany, he has won prizes and awards from the NEA, the
Guggenheim Foundation and the American
Academy & Institute of Arts & Letters. His
Crazy Horse in Stillness won the Small Press
Book Award in 1997, Shoah Train: Poems was a finalist for the National Book Award in
2004 and A Poetics of Hiroshima was a
Chautauqua Literary & Scientific Circle selection in 2010. He lives in Brockport, NY.