The Road Goes on Forever
If you like really cool journals and prose/poem sketching, along the lines of the "Wastelander" work I've been giving all y'all, you must read Joe Ely's new book, Bonfire of Roadmaps. It is so alive, so vibrant, and so rockin'. You'll feel like you've been on a haiku tour bus with Issa and a bottle of tequila. As for me, well, I've begun my wicked wandering ways again. I'd stopped the Perpetual Tour of the World before Christmas. Too much writing and teaching and fathering to do--and you just can't do it from a hotel room or a stage--ask Joe Ely! But, you know, it's funny--they keep asking for you to coem back out and play. So this weekend, I was at Loyola, doing my heathen-Jesuit thing, talking about Teresita. Then I hit the road and got de-iced in our latest relentless snowstorm, and got down to Houston for some Texas warmth. It was a fancy hotel, but a little old and ragged. When I went to open my window because the a.c. didn't work, the window fell out of the wall. Across the street, Oscar de la Hoya and Floyd Mayweather were announcing their apocalyptic fight in the park. I happened to stroll across the street just as Oscar's limo pulled up, and he got out right in front of me. Man. Writers thing they're famous, but you have to see boxers to see what real fame is like. Oscar-haters were screaming to Mayweather, "Slap that bitch just fo' the hell of it!" And, "Hit him, Floyd! I got your back!" No matter what I did after that, it would be a bit of an anti-climax. Alicia Gaspar de Alba was there for the gig. We always have happy reunions. That night, the reading was at the Alley Theatre. I did the unhinged Luis-Comedian thang. I was whipping out ridiculous stories and reciting text from memory. Watch out, Sherman Alexie! I am Funnyman! So after the thing, when I was signing books, a real Hummingbird's Daughter moment happened. Which is really why I'm writing you this note. A quiet Mexican man stepped up to the table. He looked around to make sure nobody was listening. He said, "When you were onstage, a small old Indian woman appeared. She stood on your left side and watched you do your show." Believe it or not, I have heard this about five times. I wonder what Joe Ely would say? XXX, Luis

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