Let’s forget all that, that and the war,
And enisle ourselves a little beyond time,
You with this Irish whiskey, I with red wine,
While the stars go over the sleepless ocean,
And sometimes after midnight I’ll pluck you a wreath
Of chose ones; we’ll talk about love and death,
Rock-solid themes, old and deep as the sea,
Admit nothing more timely, nothing less real
While the stars go over the timeless ocean,
And they vanish we’ll have spent the night well.
From ‘For Una’ by Robinson Jeffers
"Buckshot’s fat body rolled forward with effortless steps, fat belly plump butt quivering with dancing jazz. He hopped into the air when the bass of the piano neared its lowest depth, seemed to hang suspended for a moment with one knee bent against his chest, balanced in the toe’s tip of the outstretched leg, then stomped his foot in mock anger right on time with the final bass note.
“Yeeeeeeeaaaaaaah!” the crowd chorused.
“Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!” Aaron cried, dancing every step with Buckshot, anticipating every graceful quiver and effortless roll; and when Buckshot raised up, with an arrogant expression on his face, one eyebrow arched in a mocking, feminine manner, tan cheeks sucked in, lips pursed in a cupid-bow kiss, little pinkie beckoning, the back of a hand on the hump of an out-flung hip, a sardonic smile playing over his pursed lips, brightening the brown eyes, he jelly-assed with him in a mincing, knock-kneed gait closer to the porch and called out:
“Boogie, baby, boogie!
“Boogie boogie, boogie.”
The piano rolled down deep again, and when it reached its lowest notes, Buckshot hopped into the air again, brought his right foot down with terrific force, but stopped it a scant inch from the walk, and gently tapped his toe.
“Go ahead, baby! Go ahead! Go ahead!” Aaron cried, sharing the immense and beautifully controlled power.
And as the brass joined in again, and a wild trumpet began to solo with shrill authority, Buckshot threw his hands in the air, scattered his fingers, and rocked up the walk with tight legs, top-heavy in the head, still sanding, his whole body quivering with exalted joy, his eyes as moist as melting chocolate, his mouth open in a silent cry of ecstasy.
“Take us with you, Buckshot! Take us with you!"
— Tattoo the Wicked Cross by Floyd Salas
Writing About Home
When critics ask me why I continue to write about Oildale, about Bakersfield, about the Central Valley, I tell them that the place is sufficient, even though my talent or craft may not be. In this site can be found all the great subjects, all the grand dramas, and they are not only themes of my stories and essays, but in a sense they are the settings too: place and people and passion inseperable as the terrain of the heart. And the heart is our primary locale. As a result, location and purpose often merge, so I employ rural California and its denizens to extol honor or truth or courage just as I use them to attack those narrow, negative attitudes that would bind our souls. Imagination starts somewhere and, since I observed and learned all those things here, I write about them here–an apprentice shaman questing for the sacred.