Attempting to free himself from old binds and reinvent his life on his own terms in the open spaces of Montana, Bergen discovers love only to have it destroyed by an old enemy. In the end there seems to be only one option left.
A Brooklyn poet plots to kill a famous right-wing radio hate-monger. Is desperation a form of inspiration? Can revenge ever qualify as justice? Or is it all just an elaborate exercise of the poet’s imagination?
It’s 1929, a year of severe drought in northeast Texas farm country. Crops have failed and the Witherspoon’s well is dangerously low. In those days there was only one way for people of poor means to improve a failing well: if it was a hand-dug well, a young boy could be lowered down by rope to dig out the accumulated silt, with the hope of clearing a better seep from the water table. Other worlds wait at the bottom of the well.
Manhattan, February. Overhead, a spitting mass of Atlantic gloom has been stalled for days. Winds squall down from Canada and batter the lid but it holds tight. A cold gray halflight fades to darkness by rush hour. Air passengers on final approach peer through the Plexiglas, seeing nothing, sweating the variables. Pilots go a bit thin-lipped, locked to their instruments, factoring electronics and hydraulics, angles and airspeed, yaw and pitch. The old cowboy ease returns only when the runway strobes finally reveal themselves approximately where they’re supposed to be.
Grandpa always said if a lad of shaving age was to walk more than a day away from home he would likely just keep right on walking. Riding Shank’s mare is what he called it, and so I was and so she was taking me east at a good pace. The only reason I might have wanted to go back was to tell Grandpa he was right, but he was dead and gone by then so I didn’t have no reason to turn around.