ode to Phoenix

Here’s a teensy bit from a piece I’m working on, hopefully to be published in Dreamseeker Magazine.

It’s about nostalgia and dislocation, about being a child of the southwest living on the east coast. Let me know what you think:

I’m sure the sun bore down on the water, refracting like a crystal charm dangling from somebody’s rearview mirror. It was the Valley of the Sun, so what the sun was doing was a foregone conclusion. But I don’t remember really.

Phoenix in those days was hot, yet languid, on its way to being something grandiose and sprawling, spilling out of nowhere onto the receptive desert, over the dry river beds, around chalky-pink mountains, drowning a swath of cholla, saguaro, and prickly pear cactus. The desert will surely drink it back up someday, but the spill is in stop – frame right now, and we were even closer to the beginning of the film loop back then. Things were starting to get out of hand, but it was still a sleepy town of maybe 800,000 souls, depending how broadly you defined “metro Phoenix” – did Chandler count? How about Buckeye? The boom started in the raging days of automobile monoculture, so human scale got hosed. We became creatures of endless strip malls and mile after mile of subdivision housing. We were a puddle not yet stagnant, teeming with life.

Ahh, memories. Hopefully the whole shebang will appear in print and online in the next few months. I’ll keep you posted.


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