Thursday, August 19, 2004

Rockwell's House Revisited

I'm burning up on this back deck,
the white clapboard in Salvage
beating down upon me. I have a beer
and a hardboiled egg. I douse it
with salt. Someone says, No it was
always changing. The weather. I
remember, the woman says, when you
couldnt sleep indoors, it was that
hot. And you'd get up at midnight
to go to the wells with a bucket
and skim the wells for water.
The reading went well. My first
reading in Newfoundland. Someone
tells me the owner of the
house that Rockwell Kent lived in,
that owner, Jake, just died. My god
he must have been ninety.
The house will go to Parks Canada.
People are lined up to buy that house.
No I think he left it to Parks.
My son Parks dont want that house.
You mean.
I'd say they'll tear that down and put
up a line of cabins.
We drive out to Brigus. It happens to
be the annual blueberry festival.
Everyone I know in Brigus abandons
Brigus for this weekend. They let
the hordes take it. It reminds us of
Pamplona. The humpbacks in the bay.
The carnival frenzy of the
heat-deprived. We have to walk
in. We eat a mooseburger
with a can of Black Horse beer, under
the black cap of shadow from a canvas
tent made in Ann Arbor. Then we
walk out to the Rockwell Kent house.
The house at the center of my novel.
When you walk over here,
you lose sight of anything modern.
There's just the hill and the
trees and the shake siding of Kent's
home, the quiet humpbacks parading
in the caplin and mackeral. Will
they tear this beauty down? One
of the oldest houses in
Newfoundland? Are they still that
savage with culture?
I am carrying a copy of The Big
Why. At the gate to the house there
are two lovers sunbathing, her
head resting on her yellow purse.
Do you know about that house,
they ask.
I tell them.
I tell them about the book.
Can I buy that off you? he says.
And I sell my reading copy of The
Big Why, at the gate to Rockwell
Kent's house.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. Nice blog. Hmmm. I think you should have some sort of Yahoo email addy posted here so that readers can write to you know, for "thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears" and other such stuff.

1:51 p.m.  

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