Albuquerque: Feb 5-7, 2019

Feb 5th, 2019

We drove away from the Comfort Inn in Clovis past the Golden West Flour Co building as we watched heavy military aircraft come in for landings. The Cannon Air Force Base is 7 miles SW of Clovis.  It’s under the jurisdiction of Air Force Special Operations Command. The population of the base is around 2,000. More herds of pretty cattle lolled in the pastures, Angus and Herford. The day a greyish mauve cast. Then there were rams with curving horns and sheep. Highway 84 West runs along side the railroad track where long freight trains passed us going in the opposite direction.  A dead coyote hung off a wire fence, fur ruffling in the wind, shot and left as a warning to other coyotes no doubt.

What is it about New Mexico. We just crossed the border from Texas and the skies opened like a fan unrolled all around us. Suddenly it was all sparkling blue with swirls and white puffs of clouds. A Georgia O’Keeffe painting.

Driving, we noted abandoned farmsteads and a regular old ghost town. Then appaloosa and buckskin in a high pasture.

Arrived in Albuquerque at the Mother Road (route 66) Hostel. We were early and no one at the front desk, all locked up. We found a cool coffee shop nearby to wait, tho just as we sat down to enjoy our scone and tea we saw they were closing at 3:30 and it was 3:25! They let us linger a little, then we drove back to the hostel and took a walk till they opened.  The Mother Road is a bright yellow, older building with many rooms and a very accommodating atmosphere. The staff is extremely helpful and friendly and the security is top notch.

I emailed Margaret Randall, wonderful writer and activist living in Albuquerque, and we made plans to meet for dinner tomorrow with her and her spouse, Barbara Byers, a terrific artist. (MO)


February 5/6, 2019
Woke up in Clovis NM, tired,
sleeping rough in a bed
body in a vata state, gotta calm
down, clear lungs, take turns,
driving, car climbing upward,
lived under this same blue sky
umbrella years before,
the sloping planet earth,
eat tempeh sandwiches
& drive into Albuquerque’s
mother road hostel, two
rooms pro-soundly possible
in the hostel, dinner
at Annapurna, communal
breakfast with a guy
from Ireland en route to Mexico
another guy profoundly
in the know, political
history & all, cold and rainy,
small yoga class, slow-ga,
just what I need, the women
advise chlorophyll for
altitude sickness, coupled
with lung overuse, windy,
clear and cold, unpack
our coats, radiator cold,
missing a bullet, visit Margaret
Randall and Barbara Byers,
talking  art, writing, two lives
having lived/living art, Cuba,
Roma,paintings and asemic
writing, home to Central Ave/
Hwy 66, still breathless
Maureen carries my bag.


February 6, 2019
We met Margaret Randall and Barbara Byers at the Orchid Thai Restaurant on Central Avenue.  We meant to take some photos with Margaret and Barbara at their house where we gathered after dinner, but we got lost in conversation and forgot.

(BH: As I was sitting quietly there, a bit breathless, I noticed how beautiful Margaret was as she reclined on the couch talking to us about all her trips and adventures. I wish I had taken a snap.)

Barbara took us into her studio and showed us her art book projects, as well as some of her recent asemic work and paintings.  Margaret gave us a copy of her recent collected poems.


Feb 7, 2019
Compared to our last reading in Austin at Malvern Books, the bookstore reading in Albuquerque was a bit disappointing in terms of turnout. The weather was unseasonably cold and apparently affected the attendance.  We were very happy, however, to read for the small group that included Barbara Byers, Mark Mills  (a friend of Elinor Nauen’s), a few of BH’s on-line students, Sherry Wright and her husband David (of San Francisco) and Dara Elerath, a very talented young poet and graphic designer. Margaret Randall sent her regards; she wasn’t well enough to attend. After the reading we went to the Flying Star Cafe with Barbara Byers and Dara.  Here’s a link to one of Dara’s poems: