Skip to main content


Showing posts from November, 2013

Savoring A Drink Called Paradise by Terese Svoboda

Not a page went by in A Drink Called Paradise when I wasn't stunned by the talent of Terese Svoboda.  Svoboda wrote prose so potent in her second novel I'm tempted to go euphemistic and overstate its explosive power and call it atomic.  Only I wouldn't be overstating.  For almost every sentence in A Drink Called Paradise, and certainly every paragraph, visceral as they are in ideas, clues, and images, could pass for poems.  No real surprise there, because prior to A Drink Called Paradise's publication by Counterpoint in 1999, she'd authored three books of poetry, All Aberration, LaughingAfrica, and Mere Mortals.

Like her contemporary, Denis Johnson, Terese Svoboda was first a poet and then a novelist.  A DrinkCalled Paradise, in fact, is strikingly similar in style, brevity, and emotional intensity, to Denis Johnson's Train Dreams.  Both novellas feature protagonists on the run from shockwaves of grief and loss.  Ground zero for Robert Grainier, the leading ma…

Meeting my Grandfather on Route 66: ARIZONA

into Arizona
and cross
Colo River Friday

at 5 a.m. & thru
Topock.  Thru
Oatman at 5:45.
Into Kingman
and stop to eat
breakfast at 6:45
at The White
House Cafe. Had
drove68mi.Mailed cards.   
Start on at 7:20.
Stop to be inspected*
at 7:25.  Start on
at 7:55.  Thru
Goldroad&Hackberry into
Peach Springs
at 9:25.
Thru Ashfork
at 11:10
Should of changed
time between
Peach Springs &
Ashfork at
Seligman.  But
didn't know when
we were there
So run watches
up 1 hour now.
Lots of pine trees.
Real pretty.  Lake
among the Pines.
Pine Springs Camp.
Stop a while
Is beautiful here.
Stop at
Williams at
1:20 to eat
dinner**, at "Bert's Place"


Start on at 1:46,
Hwy. runs thru
center of a large
lake.  Saw such a
large herd of sheep.
Flagstaff Sat
2:50.  Elevation
6907 ft.
Into Winslow
Arizona at 4:25
out at 4:45
Holbrook at 5:25
Thru the Painted
Desert.  Also saw
petrified wood
for sale.
Drove 5 miles
in 6 1/2 minutes.


Indian Country.
Out of Arizona

* would've been an agricultural inspection (still there, I believe,…

Meeting my Grandfather on Route 66: CALIFORNIA

note: the state headings are mine, not my grandfather's.  Numbers in parentheses are my grandfather's.  This is a work in progress.  I'd like to eventually have every page of his journal side-by-side with my transcription of his notes, along with hypertext of his more obscure or interesting observations.  For now, a few scanned images below of the original notepad per state will do.


San Pedro, California
May, 19, 1932,
9:45 a.m.
Leaving Pacific
Tower Service
Station, starting on
trip to Missouri
Stanley, Gertrude 
& I in their Ford.
Car registers
27985.  Stop and
have wind shield
wiper fixed at Art
Gill's Shop by Harbor
View Service Station
Leave there at
10 a.m.
Thru Anaheim
at 11:05
Thru Riverside

Stop in San Bernardinoto eat at 12:30Real good mealfor 25¢ each.Started on at 1:05In just a minuteor two saw thegear shift was outof working orderGuess Art failedto fix it rightyesterday when heput in new parts.Stanley left usin car and hasgone walking to
& H St. whereH…