Setting Place by Jim Landwehr

 

road-endless-straight-longSetting PaceThe first entry from the On a Road poem series

Sitting at the bar in southwest Minneapolis
the boys and I realize we’re starting the trip
out with recklessness and wonton disregard for schedule
as we sip our beers, talk and contemplate
the estimated forty hour trip we have in front of us.
Dean raises his glass and declares, “to California, boys!”
Sal and I echo back “to California.”
and take long draws from our
watered down American pilsners.
We’re just three twenty-somethings
with highly uncertain futures doing what we do best at
this point in our lives; drinking, hanging out and
living in the immediate because, if nothing, else
we’ve got each other, these drinks and dreams
of palm trees, the pacific ocean and So Cal girls
on this grey day in March and
I guess that will have to do for now.
At the moment, everything is alright by me
as the beer squelches the uncertainty of the road ahead
and the jukebox plays Def Leppard’s
counsel to the lost boys of minnesota

 

“All right
I got somethin’ to say
Yeah, it’s better to burn out
Yeah, than fade away…”*

 

“I was halfway across America, at the dividing line between the East of my youth and the West of my future.”
― Jack KerouacOn the Road

 

*Lyrics courtesy of Def Leppard, “Rock of Ages” from the album Pyromania

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