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Here We Are Now, a novel of the Grunge Generation

Chapter Six

In the white light skies of my child minds eye

Johnson’s farm was the edge of the world

green pastures, green trees

green hills like green seas

Above and beyond the David Moore Heights

the trusty trestle bridge and

elevatorgrainwhitewashed barn and house

we would Follow the track to the coal dump “Alamo” place

where I found fire and lived in fear

of ever going home

or trip down “Washington”

past the academy

up to the Thrall

what a call it would’ve been

“Uptown” city set of my child minds eye

sliding down a twisted trail

to a brick pond and beyond the “pines” forever

Three Victorian stories of attic door fear

a face without a voice without a face

not a trace of either

only a faint cerebral chill

It speaks of Calicoon Creek

the wilds of Shawangakill on

down to Rutgers

and a stone of familiar shape

indian vision or anachronism?

not a chiseled groove, only smooth

couldn’t prove the authenticity of my diamond

though knotted, tensed and cramped from climbing

Succesion of the seasons with no reason

autumn fire

winter white

rising wind

and gone

a kite

This poem represented his young life in New York. There was an old coal dump made of concrete which resembled the Alamo. He’d go there and play cowboys and indians, and with matches. One time a friend set his jacket on fire and blamed Dylan for it. The kid’s mother wouldn’t let him play with Dylan anymore. And Dylan thought the kid was a little weird anyway.

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The Lorax Correspondent

Here We Are Now, a novel of the Grunge Generation

by philip scott wikel

Chapter Five

… when I was young and full of grace, spirited, a rattlesnake…

- REM, Life’s Rich pageant

Dylan enjoyed writing poetry. This was a strong connection between he and his parents, but his true love was baseball. Since the age of 7 he’d wanted nothing more than to be the next Babe Ruth, the Big Bambino, the Sultan of Swat, the King of Crash. His grandfather loved baseball too and Dylan wished grandpa Felix had never had to die. The year after Dylan was born, his parents, Morgan and Olivia, had moved to a town in upstate New York. For them it was convenient to the city. For Grandpa it was like visiting Mecca because of the horsetrack and it’s glory of being the home of the Hambletonian. For Dylan, upstate was a vast unexplored wilderness of pine trees, rivers, lakes and rolling pasture land.

Felix would come up from the city often to see the trotters run and he would take Dylan back to the city with him during baseball season. But while he was in town he would take Dylan down to the races. They’d visit the stables and Grandpa, being a friend to all, would strike up a conversation with the jockeys, trainers, and owners of the horses. And through this Dylan would have the opportunity to meet the men behind the scenes. Many suggested that Dylan, being small in his stature, should consider being a jockey one day himself. This idea resonated with Dylan since he was a great fan of Walter Farley and the stories of The Black Stallion. Dylan placed upon his meetings with these men, the romance of these books, and would often dream of riding the great “Black” on some deserted island or in one of the great races in the Triple Crown. Hearing the stories of the great ones like Secretariat, Ruffian, and Willie Shoemaker made days like this with Grandpa feel like glorious lifetimes lived in a single day.

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Dear Readers,

While you’re enjoying Here We Are Now, which I’m offering here on my blog free of charge, I’m hoping you might consider purchasing a copy of Ticket to Ride.

Thank you for your consideration and thank you for stopping by.

Sincerely,

Philip Scott Wikel

Click here to buy Ticket to Ride

Thirteen

by philip scott wikel

My son is growing, changing, struggling, reaching, thinking, dreaming, believing, hoping, and, hopefully, knowing where he is. At 13 it’s as if you’ve found yourself on the map. It’s not a map that you made of course, but it’s the map you find that you’ve been placed. There’s a dotted line on the map and that is, you suppose, the line you’re meant to follow. You sit and look at the lines and remember some of the places the lines lead to and you remember when you walked these streets with no singular purpose other than to just keep walking, keep feeling the sun on your face and feel the warmth in your legs as they chug away at the asphalt and dirt and cement and then, maybe, up a tree, not necessarily to get a better look but maybe just because the tree is there and you feel the deepest need to climb it.

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Here We Are Now, chapter four (smells like teen spirit)

by philip scott wikel

His mother and father were down-to-earth and both were successful writers. They’d taught him a great deal about life and finding a close to connection to the spiritual world. They were children of the 60s, adolescents in the 70s, and could have gone the way of the “freelove,” drug culture, consciouslessness of most of their generation but had found the inner fortitude to resist becoming caricatures in a time when everyone around them claimed to be moving to higher ground. That higher ground had manifested itself in one of three ways; as drug burnouts, materialists who had thought paying lip-service to the higher ground would make them happy, or becoming “average.” Average, to him, now meant complacent, apathetic, culturally illiterate and holding standards for everything from public education to personal hygiene that would make the statue of liberty cry real tears and wish she hadn’t welcomed their grandparents.

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Dear Readers,

Following is the full text of the review of Ticket to Ride as reviewed by James A. Cox of the Midwest Book Review. The Midwest Book Review is a prestigious reviewer of books connected to “Cengage Learning, Gale Interactive (published four times yearly for academic, corporate, and public library systems), as well as such book review databases as LexisNexis and Goliath.

Buy the Book: Ticket to Ride

“Adulthood wasn’t easy when everyone around you wanted you to destroy what adulthood was. “Ticket to Ride” is a novel telling the story of Morgan and Livy coming to adulthood during a time where revolutions of all types were coming ahead and so many messages were going around, no one knew who to follow or believe. “Ticket to Ride” is an exciting read with its own take on the 1960s and 1970s, very highly recommended.” To view it at it’s source, click on: Midwest Book Review

 

I’m catching a bit of flack because of the “misogyny” in my second book. If you will continue to follow the ensuing chapters, you will see how my protagonist came to his observations about the world around him. I’d rather not give away the whole story line at this point and I hope you will stick with the book. Just remember, this is a book of fiction and the first 10 chapters or so were written several years ago.

Chapter Three,  The Fragmentation

A postmodern struggle against indifference or a warning sign of something else?

by philip scott wikel

“I should be an actor, a writer, a director, a graphic designer, a singer/songwriter, a waiter, a bartender, a deckhand, a teacher, an escort, a publisher, an agent, a distributor of goods, a clothing designer, a painter, a carpenter, a photographer, any kind of artist; I was born for all of these things and more. I should be all these things or just one or several at the same time. I should sleep more, sleep less, eat better, drink more, drink less, exercise more, be patient, be more active, “just do it,” relax, let the butterfly land on my shoulder, keep moving, move quickly, slow down, be more proactive, read the signs, ignore the signs, decide between what I see and what I know, figure out if I know anything, Give myself more credit for the knowledge I have, realize I don’t know much or nothing, be proud of the wisdom I have, expand my horizons, focus on a tangible part of the picture, give some clothes to the thrift store, shop at the thrift store, hang out, be more social, have some more alone time, spend more time with friends, find a girlfriend, learn how to be alone, go on dates, make plans, go with the flow, be spontaneous, be practical, be ridiculous, smile more, express anger, get a massage, be a stonemason, surf all the time, pay bills on time, don’t take anything too seriously, get focused, care about everything, don’t care so much, use my head more, use it less, follow my heart, be careful not to leap before I look, jump, run, fly, walk, travel, pray more, have sex, sublimate, share, take what’s mine, allow things to come into my life, make things happen, push, pull, stop, go, take a nap,” he thought.

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