Day 2: Poet’s Recession Road Trip – Austin, The Promised Land?

austin

STARBUCKS, AUSTIN – After leaving Gonzales, LA hit the road through southern LA and TX, This is a land of bridges, being down in the wetlands and where so many of the great American rivers come to the Gulf (see poem below). I’m reminded of the power of rivers and water, not so much in the old romantic traditional sense, transportation, but in operations of refineries and large industrial complexes.

Over time as the road turns more inland, the wetlands of the rice country recede and the trees grow smaller and vegetation becomes grasslands. By the time you get to Austin you find yourself among these scrub plains where the cows all hunker down under the meager shade of the small oaks.

I arrived in Austin just in time for the poetry reading at the museum here. A huge group of poets had been invited to do readings around pieces in the collection and other works of art (separate post on this all later). It was a great group of readers and the main gallery of the museum offered a great backdrop for the event.

We then went in mass, to a local TX BBQ place near the campus. Where I was able to get some of the local TX brisket. I then stayed with some friends who run a local press (separate post later). Then made a run to the local Ice Cream parlor (Amy’s).

In Conversations I’ve had though, I keep hearing that Austin just isn’t doing so badly, not like the rest of the country. They see to know this to. I heard that when people get laid off, they find jobs fairly quickly, that there’s more freezes than layoffs. There are layoffs though, and that sort of lingering uncertaintly. Like when publishers cut back on printing runs, just out of uncertainty.

I’m reminded too of how recessions are a relative deal. If you personally have been laid off, or have a loved one or friend, that’s been laid of it’s a very real thing. If you’re secure in your job, or retired – it’s all a bit more theoretical.

I understand people are still moving to Austin. There’s still construction. Austin seems to be biding it’s time.

This is just a short post, since I’m off to a long drive to El Paso. More later.

Poem of the Day

bridge

Bridge to River

Sorry mother
for I seem
the vengeful son.
My iron trusses
steel girders
hard cold angles
against your soft
flowing forms.
I know you hate me
your currents gnawing
my foundations.
They placed me here
so they could ignore you
make you irrelevant,
they fear your power.
And yes I will fall in time
to be replaced or not,
we will all fall in time
Only then to know
your dark embrace
as you cover our bones
in river sand.

rice

Ricelands of TX

industry

Riverside Industry

Amerciana of the Day

bathroom

Vintage bathroom with a vintage in-wall heater.

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5 Responses to Day 2: Poet’s Recession Road Trip – Austin, The Promised Land?

  1. If I had to pack up and move to another American city, I would move to Austin. Love it there. Great little poem!

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