Jack Eidt: “Crossing the seductive blink of the shape-shifting desert oases, Bon passed lush green golf courses, 24-hour entertainment-casino-truck-stops, billboards announcing women who could be his slave, National Forests with no trees, Indian Reservations with no Indians, Mormon towns with no people, all a blur. He stopped for the night at a Red Roof Inn off the Interstate north of Salt Lake.”
An Excerpt from Medicine Walk
He dreamed of a bison. It stood silent 50 yards hence, gnawing on grass, not seeming to care. Bon hunted it with a 30.06 rifle, though had only used one once to hit targets in the desert. Foraging on a hunting expedition with oil company clients, he was anxious to be one of the guys. The rifle made him feel powerful. It almost had a mind of its own, a full cartridge, locked and loaded with 150 grain. A sage hunter once said: “A blood trail is life.” But what kind of life includes the bloody slaughter trail of many millions of bison since Bon’s relatives from Europe vagabonded their way west? A cliff in the distance resembled a pile of buffalo skulls. Nearing the bison, he had to hop barbed wire, cross not noticed before railroad tracks, then wait for the trucks to pass on a highway. He had lost sight of the thing, searching down by the river. The cottonwoods appeared to have dead Indians left on scaffolds. Texas longhorns had trampled the blue bunch wheat grass and lounged in the fenced distance. There the bison stood, near that cliff, looking dangerous. One must assume the surviving 2,000-pound bulls knew how to fight. Bon could not see any of his oil company cohorts. He faced the beast on his own.
From a forthcoming novel.
Jack Eidt, reading from Medicine Walk, Part of Environmental and Activist Poetry/Fiction at Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center in Venice, CA. 12/5/2015, from the Vision LA 2015 Climate Change Arts Festival. Hosted by Darrell Larson.