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Category: Travel

POEM: Going Over San Augustin Pass

Going Over San Augustin Pass

there’s a moment as the highway curves
when it looks like you’ll disappear
off the end of the Earth
lost in a pale blue sky from which
there is no returning

in the next moment you’re over the pass
spreading out before you is a basin so large
it’s as if the ground and sky switched places

far off in the distance
the pastel shadows of mountains
like an artist’s rendering

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26 February 2021
near Las Cruces, New Mexico

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haiku: 7 February 2021

February night —
like static between stations:
the waves in the cove


7 February 2021
south of Mendocino CA

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POEM: Salton Sea Serenade

Salton Sea Serenade

unknown birds sing a
Salton Sea serenade
as I squish my Crocs
through unexpected mud
later I’ll wash it off
but just for a moment
— right now —
this beach and I are one
Mardi Gras Mambo Renge Kyo!


24 January 2021
Niland CA

Thanks to Jim Macnie for the last line.

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haiku: 22 January 2021

watch cattle grazing
feel my heartbeat start to slow
: a morning lesson


22 January 2021
Catalina AZ

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haiku: 16 January 2021

sunshine, wild horses
“you’ll for sure poop in your van”
: Ironwood Forest

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16 January 2021
Ironwood Forest National Monument

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haiku: 2 December 2020

ravens launch from the rocks
as the sun burns off the mist;
snow in the desert

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Jason Crane
2 December 2020
north of Charrizozo, NM

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POEM: Oasis


It’s such a cliché even Looney Tunes covered it:
the desperate man in the desert, crawling toward water.
In the cartoon he usually dives into the pond
to find only sand where he sought salvation.
Me, I’ll be driving a minivan to the water’s edge,
and I’m fairly certain it’s actually there. At least
as certain as we can be of anything in these times.
At some point you have to ask yourself why you move.
What possible promise could await over the horizon?
Does forty degrees of longitude matter that much?
I’ll be the judge of that, says the little voice in my head.
I don’t trust that voice any further than I could throw it,
which is no distance at all if past is any kind of prologue.
“Go east, middle-aged man” doesn’t have the same ring to it
as the other, more famous phrase, but what the hell.
YOLO and whatnot. The tank is full, the nose is pointed
toward the rising sun. I have nothing to lose but my chains.
And probably some engine parts I can’t identify.
Save me a spot on the dunes.

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Jason Crane
25 October 2020
Tucson, AZ

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POEM: Eat At Joe’s

Eat At Joe’s

we slept in the back of our
        Honda Fit across the road
        from a swanky bed & breakfast

a ridge across the middle of the car
        kept either of us from sleeping soundly
        while birds with laser guns warred in the trees

I don’t wear underwear & I’m too overweight
        to change in the car so at one point
        I was naked on the gravel at Parsons Marsh

we started on the road trip with -$100
        in the bank and $100 in my pocket
        enough for gas, one meal at the Heritage

& then some bread, cheese & pepperoni
        to eat on a blanket in the car
        faces lit from time to time by passing headlights

in the morning we ate omelets at Joe’s Diner
        the one from the Rockwell painting with the cop
        & the kid who should have been allowed to escape

there was a signed photo of John Williams on the wall
        which reminded me that I first saw Star Wars
        at a drive-in not too far from here

now: a coffee shop eavesdropping on the locals
        picking out the ones we want to befriend
        when we finally escape PA & move here


Jason Crane
10 May 2019
Lenox, MA

Note: It turns out I wrote a poem with this same title back in 2012.

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VIDEO: “Swamp Thing”

A 90-second video essay made of clips from a recent trip to DC with my son John. All video and audio by Jason Crane.

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