A nod to Gurney Norman

Serializing Big Inca this way, I keep remembering the novel Divine Right’s Trip, first published in the margins of the Last Whole Earth Catalog. What a wonderful hippie story!


The Connecticut River, Montague, Massachusetts
The Connecticut River, Montague, Massachusetts


“I found this weird novel in the junk pile,” I piped up.

Hitchhiker said, “See you around.”

Isadora said it’s all a blur.

Narpa said we don’t have to justify anything, if done in the right light.

Wycliffe said the translation is everything.

Bosch said the Inquisition is coming. Along with the flying saucer. Again.


To open the complete (free) novella, With a passing freight train of 119 cars and twin cabooses, click here.

Saturday hippie: Ultimately an aesthetic?

As I look at the elements of the Hippie Trails saga, I keep asking: Was the movement ultimately an aesthetic? One based on a preference for curves over straight lines, color over black-and-white, whole grains over processed food, wood over plastic, communion and community over domination and status? And so on …

Or was there a coherent philosophy behind it all?

What do you think? And what would this perspective be overlooking?

Natural style~*~

Hippies came – and still come – in all varieties. Saturday Hippie is a weekly feature that highlights a counterculture awareness and spirit, including a vision of a harmonious global commonwealth on the horizon. The work and the lessons didn’t end in the ’60s and ’70s. Here’s to the Revolution, near and far.

Fog after an ice storm

The murder wasn’t so dramatic. This was, after all, Kastoria.

“You were with somebody else. I wasn’t,” he had shouted outside her apartment window, unaware she wasn’t alone.

The victim, later identified as Dewey Chinook, address unknown, unexpectedly heard the ceaseless roar of a river, running, off somewhere, away from the drainage canals of the city.

“Go piss on Jefferson’s grave, wash the bones of freedom,” came the reply, drowned out by a passing freight train of 119 cars with twin cabooses.

As for the kidnapping, if you could do it all over again? Learn to dance? Senior lifesaving? Just how had we arrived here, anyhow?

We need more of a sense that each of us has come away with something very precious.

“Having turned his attention in our last issue to making a university profitable, our economic affairs expert, Jimmy Boswell, now turns his attention to State Government,” I read on open page beside the big tumbler drier.

Isadora had raw toes. Without her, I was so free. And lonely.


To open the complete (free) novella, With a passing freight train of 119 cars and twin cabooses, click here.

Saturday hippie: Continuing streams

As I look at the elements of the Hippie Trails saga, I keep asking:

Is rasta continuing the movement? How about grunge? Even hipster? Vegan? Goth? Boho? Bohemian? What else am I missing? And that’s before we get to the causes themselves.

What do you say?

Group living~*~

Hippies came – and still come – in all varieties. Saturday Hippie is a weekly feature that highlights a counterculture awareness and spirit, including a vision of a harmonious global commonwealth on the horizon. The work and the lessons didn’t end in the ’60s and ’70s. Here’s to the Revolution, near and far.

The open house sales pitch

We had ignited more than projected.

crack shiver breach unyoking disparting bust unlock bone smoke sun blot tube rosehead cock plug knot storming swinging jabbing filing raking rolling piercing kin knifing impaling stabbing pelting lancing spiking goring dagger harvesting

Massive waves of privacy and flirtation, free beauty, then suburban desolation of cracker-box house litter; roadside drive in-restaurants with fat deadhead counter girls in curly bleached hair and white uniforms; strip-mall banks and billboards; an airport, like a thousand other places I’ve been. Just a heavy serious flow now … I felt myself coming down heavy already from experience, suspected I’d have a thick head by mid morning. Rather than a high, our meditation this morning presented calm. We were wondering yesterday if one of our students came here as a yogi or just as a naturally high person. The latter, thought I. She comes, Narpa said, not knowing why but was merely pulled. OK, why not? Narpa on the telephone to a follower who was undergoing many difficult tests: “Enjoy them!” I now knew WHY I must return to the research: it’s the way I can be me, release my inner voice. One philosopher says one hates another when he sees the other finds joy in something he is displeased by. I hold that such a person can be overcome by love, by feeling the TOTALITY of joy in the other things the person finds joy in … (who was it who commented that martyrdom is much easier than LIVING a godly life???) How little art of joy! Bach, Mozart! The Romantic Era is full of introspection, brooding selfishness, and self-destruction stemming from the loss of God. (“You will be the new Tom Wolfe twenty years from now” and now I see, prof.) “Pull me”: devotion, not self. Hesitation. Does this mean “finger me” or “fuck me”? It’s been lonely here, truly. Classic lit is filled with violence; are there many exceptions?

I could wear outrageous hats. See specific types.

PR? Pollution is our most important product. Honor it. Defend it.

Outlaw dissent, make democracy count.

Pollution will save the environment.

Yours for honesty in government.

Peace through war.

Extremism in the pursuit of wealth is no vice, moderation in the defense of our resources no virture.

Something was for 5Ale. Antique padlocks. Something as indefinable as the lost names of an engraved fork bought at St. Vincent’s.

State after state, the same names repeat, new voices slowly joining in: Wyoming frontier valley in Pennsylvania or Rhode Island: Oregon, Lancaster, Jacksonian neighborhoods in Ohio and Missouri.

John Birch and Jim Beam Society of Americans.

THE DAILY DOUBLE (Virgil was presently employed by Ding Dong, who had taught him mechanics after the split, and his sister, Aria).

Hitchhiker told of going to see his girl, how he rented a car (had to be 25, he was only 21 at the time), lost a hubcap, had to steal one in his old neighborhood nobody knew he was home for the weekend but he ran into a friend at the gas station … the only car he saw with identical hubcaps was parked under a street lamp … he checked the price, no way! so he did it, clank! clank! pissed in freezing pants …

HOW TO SURVIVE: use your hands, learn to fish, mechanics are always needed; learn to weld / cameras / paint / poetry costs money / prune, thin, pick (orchard foremen have a place to live) – by stepping out of society he lost his chance of “being discovered” (NYC, money, fame, location) / he can be happy, express himself that is, not trendy / be closer to nature and thus the Art Goddess – further west, trap / sell fur / hunt elk and deer / here, it’s rabbit / pheasant / chukar / make commercial signs for stores / billboard lettering (THE WINDOW WASHING SECRETS!!!) / gain access to wholesale prices on tools and parts / live in groups / true community requires selflessness of some thereof.

“Someday, when God’s not doing other things, He’ll help mankind.”

Narpa had been expecting him.

Hansa / Radha / Jumuna / Jyoti / Padme / Tat / Sat / Amrit / Asato / Manu / Jobihari / Sarve / Mungalum / Bhavatu / Sukinah

You haven’t been looking.

Hitchhiker started out in philosophy and art, with some studio work, especially in graphics, but turned practical and dropped out. In the Johns Hopkins Union scene: “You meditate, don’t you?” Joined a commune: “You’ve got to be a robot, let us push your buttons.” The sensory deprivation freedom from reading newspapers and mags, listening to radio and music, watching TV or movies. Lit out again.

What delight Wycliffe had in Express Mail … knew our number by heart. Deliver by 747 Jumbo jet: statement note account notice dispatch issue edition communique letter bulletin comment declaration leaflet circular broadside broadsheet commentary review analysis study tractate treatise paper discourse etude discussion essay sketch profile bulletin (1 Police in America) – some preliminaries. Chorus???

A confrontation with the other boss over quality led Hitchhiker to the unexpected decision to change jobs, “It was a CONVERSION experience,” he told Narpa.

And Homer felt his teeth crunch under his bite like sugar cubes into a thousand fragments: endless thread bone pour fluttering stir temptation jerk betrayal medicine white-rising dream tacks sucking aching letter.

Isadora, composing HITH 7, needed better definition of the term, good or bad? Or going from A to B, as from hippies to killers and thieves, or failing to pay their freight and get messed up with the cops? Their subversive side (non- consumers: advertising cannot touch them): THEY’RE OUTLAWS. Even before bikers.

“Grandfathers have grandfathers too! May we grow old gracefully!” Hitchhiker, again.

source sperm source ancestor cause thread author agent old lusty fiddler parent head base basis sire stud mover generator creator fountainhead springhead well root egg germ nucleus bud breeder brooder incubator old one who set out on foot

Maybe I’d finish my ethnographic field work after all.

occupant sourdough longhorn shorthorn townfolk lodgers ledgers porch

From GREENING OF AMERICA to its BROWNING (the Lowell experiment failed, becoming instead the Industrial Menace so may we today also in the face of technology … trade unionism eroding, people having less control over their own lives … the only remaining way to go is INWARD … where Narpa comes in.

That is, in DHYANA!!! Narpa was sending BAD VIBES to visitors we didn’t want.


“I hate to admit it, but I’ve blown it … my life. The shortcuts didn’t work. Nor did the labor. Should have gone to grad school.” Hitchhiker said he was at the end of his road. Kept quoting Susan Sontag. “Even at one book a year, there’d be fourteen by now.” Of course, he’d go to work for Wycliffe. At last.

Isadora preferred the Zen aesthetic, with its upper-class intellectual appeal. Her love reached out like an overcast day.

“If I didn’t like you, I wouldn’t try and put you on, man.”

“Open the door. I have a surprise for you. I can’t tell you what it is.” (A kid to his little brother or sister, who was looking out the window).


We’re saving you money by not spending anything at all.

Hollis Holloway, complete dispersal sale. Shag Wilson and Son. John Donne, come home. Izaak Walton. Hot shit Christmas. A metaphysical date. Emporium Cantos. Add swim in September. Farmers’ almanac. Farts of July. Charles Ives.





To open the complete (free) novella, With a passing freight train of 119 cars and twin cabooses, click here.

Saturday hippie: Most missed

It’s one more element of the Hippie Trails saga.

Without getting nostalgic, what do you miss most intensely? (Apart from your youth?)


Hippies came – and still come – in all varieties. Saturday Hippie is a weekly feature that highlights a counterculture awareness and spirit, including a vision of a harmonious global commonwealth on the horizon. The work and the lessons didn’t end in the ’60s and ’70s. Here’s to the Revolution, near and far.

Dilemma at midnight

We hadn’t imagined having to choose among a fat wad of money or wide circulation or critical praise. Any way, we would have arrived and lost.

Our movie starred a half-Zuni who spoke only single word sentences: “Video.” “Lasagna.”

His mother? Iceberg.

Everybody wanted to interview them. Both. They’d become stars. Or at least celebrities.

Our movie also starred Isadora with her dancers.

Everybody seemed to know them.

We made our Magic Show fully aware how Micemen Finish Last / Fragments / In May, Against Trees Blossoming Softly / Petroglyphs / Tipi Gita / Fertility Rites (condoms, diaphrams, etc) / Fertile Turtles / Car Nation Milk / Prose Like Fresh Tilled Earth / Onward, Elektrik Bleu! / Love Rest Stop (chalked on sidewalk, hop skip and jump) / Dancing Bear Is a Good-Time Man / Sun Signs / Moon Festival / Rosemary’s Mother / Dirty Little / King David / Ain’t No Bugs on Me / Ant Song / “He’s Mine.”

Homer was now Duke at the bank.

The airport, on Barley Sheaf Road, meant ROCKY RUNWAY TAKEOFF. Even for aliens.

GOURMET LOTTERY, as the sign says, at its landing.


To open the complete (free) novella, With a passing freight train of 119 cars and twin cabooses, click here.

Saturday hippie: Wrong turns

Many of us took leaps that fell short.

It’s one more element of the Hippie Trails saga.

Anything you wish you’d done differently. Any warning signs you missed? Where you only stuck in place too long, or was there something more?

Were you ever busted? Come down with a serious illness? Lose it all along the way?


Hippies came – and still come – in all varieties. Saturday Hippie is a weekly feature that highlights a counterculture awareness and spirit, including a vision of a harmonious global commonwealth on the horizon. The work and the lessons didn’t end in the ’60s and ’70s. Here’s to the Revolution, near and far.

Down to brass tacks

“Find a dusty old volume,” Wycliffe commanded.

Came up with The Trial of the Daffodil Three. Hitchhiker guessed right.

“Photography is easy,” Bosch echoed.

At last, we would movie ruthlessly.

Look at the Plastic Pigs with their Painted Faces! And these women? “I want a man to look like a man, and a woman to look like a woman,” said Castrator the Barbarian, the Theologian, as quoted by Bosch.

Party hairmen. The hoard of education … New Yori … Godberg … Golddell … Arthyr … Dianne Gunning … Everything kept losing its focus. The cat lady and her trashy house, down at the corner of personality disintegration. According to Laing, these drugs or schizophrenia are an “initiation ceremony through which one must be guided by people who have been there and back.”

Homer had it right.

“Dragonfire no hell,” answered martyrs unknowingly.

The goodbye death scene: Movieola out of business, as envisioned by Virgil.

Across galloping dawn rides day with its exploding nerve endings, skin aflame.


Wipeout. Shootout. TV news.

A bad spell under fire.

Out where there were only Lutherans, Catholics, or Volunteer Firemen, as Hitchhiker had found.


The Prague newspaper: Mlada Fronta, on Isadora’s desk.

Democratic aucus. Homer laughed.

HATE!!! These constraints, fears, invading TV pitchmen, roaring automobiles, chrome glaring friendliness! LET ME BE! QUIET ON THE SET! Open space, for prowling. No more police. Now back to business. OPEN these prison minds, let down these curlers, wash off the makeup no longer fearing what everybody else fears just once SCREAM and roll wild and even touch someone else, like …

Yes, like the Wolf Bitch clutching a baby she owns a slave-driver someday, just maybe, will LET GO, coming in the homestretch, as the 29th Cavalry’s wiped out. Preliminary wire reports say. Or would.

Not by the sounds of an era but its accomplishments is it judged. Someday, ever?, will good triumph, virtue flourish, and knowledge reign? Homer again, adding perspective. A photo-essay of the moon. Symmetry of Sugar Creek. Left, right, left. Gargoyles in Middletown. Oregonia after the Blitz. From the viewpoint of contemporary American heroes.

The packing plant, the foundry, elevator, mill, transmission plant, chemical plant, rail yards, and quarry out on strike. Bosch roamed the neighboring cities. Out on the rails.

Is it 6 M (or) W 9: written on the sidewalk? In front of storefront the Dharma Hall Om Bhao.

The swirl of politics, seen in rear view: LBJ / Gene McCarthy / Bobby Kennedy / Martin Luther King and Malcolm X / Spiro Agnew / Nixon, all ways, the war without declaration / no commitment / long hair / increasing frustration and anger / swelling toward Watergate, pisshole of the party. “I worked that convention like a whore.” More of the times in: Dow Chemical, pie in the face being the conservatives’ funny joke, until a radical does it: protests, Czechoslovakia, peaceniks & hippies, race, going militant. Business trips with calcified remains.

walking that lonesome valley / backwaters / embryos / self-criticism / pyrotechnica / shelters / intentions / rifts / melting spot / origins / sources / seeds / graphs / tracings / nonlinear problems / enzymes / biological order / programming language / hierarchial structures /burning your sources

Candidia / Rolpodia / Dormiendo / Helepida / Dorejment / Kisopida / Savery Row / Sinsomphie / Nilemphoria / Concrephrie / Zampandu / Lipsodement …

New Riegel’s celebration Mass, followed by the drunken band / Rising Sun’s fire department street fair / McCutcheonville’s Zebra Research Station

“What you are, I am, too,” she sang out. “Just for the grins.”

We filmed Sandy Mile Road Methodist BIGOTS vs Catholic SINNERS. The DeKalb ear & buckle. CORKSCREW MEMORIES.

Was he or wasn’t he the police chief? In the end, it wouldn’t matter.

“I just like to carry a gun.”

“And get in her pants.”

On the railroad to Indian No Place. This was, after all a documentary, with dancers.

GROWN UP CLOTHES, what we wear to work, how different they are from the other clothes we really wear, like at home and on weekends.

The late 20th century TRANSCULTURAL CONFUSION as Deep Compressions. The misguided spiritual elements of Dionysian life. Also, the “rich aspirants” syndrome of “my, aren’t we cool! My, aren’t we pretty!”

Doctors’ and lawyers’ kids. Considering villains.

“Pop Tibetan,” too.

Using rubber cement like the time X did it to all Y’s condoms.

As a TEA MASTER, Narpa was dizzy, sitting on the floor. Grinning inanely.

Hitchhiker: “If I don’t come back Monday, I’ll probably be back soon after that (during the week). Please tell her not to paint the room or move in till I gets me stuff out. OKAY? Dig you later. Your almost former apt. mate.”

IN THE MORGUE: Indianapolis Is Torpedoed; 833 Are Lost / U.S. Cruiser Sinks Off Leyte; 315 Men Saved After Torture. GAUM

Life is composed of shots and scenes, so that Eisenstein images and plots / circular rectangular ascent / excretion unfolding / concave blunt perforated percolator / edge interner / front side life … You understand the movie talk, don’t you? MOVIE TALK: interior / side / metabolic / marrow / regression / plunge / Montana / luminary / oracle / omen / arena / foot / inborn / moody / Mars / phase / maya / blank /

We were starting out behind once again. Yesterday, today, tomorrow. Treading water, catch up on all the rest. All over again.

Out of nowhere, Isadora flashed into Homer’s house, blasted out, over the horizon, into Bloomingdark.

How times change! Once upon my life, I couldn’t read or write without music playing intense, dramatic, symphonic sounds. So Isadora said. “Perhaps that was some of my best thinking. Now total concentration is required and composition is difficult. Silence, how strange!”

We’d need list of rules for Hitchhiker. Along spiritual lines.

Outside the Pinky’s Big Bundle Launderama window, two Chicago subway cars passed by. Double doors, green stripe along the side. In destination window, one said EVANSTON. The other, LINDEN. On flatbed trucks.

Morrison Knudsen Co. On an index card.

Hitchhiker had changed. So had the subways. Fear and muggings. Nobody wanted to share anything anymore. No more granola. No more gorp. No more duty of companionship and conversation. Weird tales circulated. Knifings. Homosexual rapes. Free-riders so stoned they couldn’t speak, except to demand music money or a smoke. Had authentic thumbing gone underground once again? Had it vanished? Or merely changed form? Hitchhiker would uphold what he could, wherever he was.

If only the Amish would discover hitchhiking. Or subways.

Don’t confuse free-riders with vandals, he insisted. One is constructive and helpful or, at worst, passive. The other is always destructive.

“There’s a vision I want to proclaim,” Bosch admitted.

It takes great courage to movie a book in Kastoria. As everyone knows, there are no subways. Not even Chicago’s. No buildings taller than the grain elevators or foundry smokestack. And yet, finish and you’ll never again see New York quite the same. Or Boston, Philadelphia, the District of Columbia, San Francisco, London, Paris, Moscow, Pittsburgh, Baltimore …

Here’s a token. Take off. Far into the 21st century.


To open the complete (free) novella, With a passing freight train of 119 cars and twin cabooses, click here.