By Michael Perry
Even if he is struggling with fires, passing a kidney stone, hammering down I-80 in an 18-wheeler, or meditating at the dating among cowboys and God, Michael Perry attracts on his rural roots and footloose previous to put in writing from a viewpoint that merges the neighborhood with the worldwide. Ranging throughout matters as different as lot lizards, Klan wizards, and small-town funerals, Perry's writing during this clever and witty number of essays balances earthiness with poetry, kinetics with contemplation, and is frequently salted together with his detailed model of humor.
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Additional resources for Off Main Street: Barnstormers, Prophets & Gatemouth's Gator: Essays
To quote Marling again: The publicity value of roadside curiosities, it would seem, increases in direct proportion to their curiousness. 40 Big Things Homemade nine-thousand-pound prairie chickens in love—now that’s curiousness. But what qualiﬁes as collosi? Marling sniffs at the idea of Big Boy as colossus. “He’s actually quite small . . ” Yes. But he weighs three-hundred-pounds and perches atop restaurants. As boys go, that’s colossal. Some colossi are unmistakably colossal. Like the ﬁfteenfoot-tall Paul Bunyan built on the shore of Lake Bemidji, in Minnesota.
I am hip to the dangers of nationalism, jingoistic ﬂagwaving, and the gloriﬁcation of war. It is difﬁcult to reconcile our ironic postmodern culture, larded with cynicism and a sense of entitlement, with these aging warriors. It is even more difﬁcult—assuming, as I do, that frequently neither God nor any moral force is on the side of Old Glory—to ﬁnd hope in the remembrance of war, in the attrition and igno54 The Roots Remain rance fostered by the passage of time, in the idea that more people clustered up to see a tree cut down than to honor the ghosts of freedom.
Bits of foam cling to his sweatshirt, dot his hair, gather on his thick eyebrows as he carves out the waist of his twenty-ﬁve-foot gorilla. Across the workshop the gorilla’s unﬁnished torso holds its arms high and wide, as if hoisting a giant beer keg over its head. The sculpture is too tall for the building and must be constructed in two halves. ” says Osborne, lowering his saw. “Ummm . . nothing really. I learned to work with large size and shape through the billboard business. Learned how to scale things up.