By J.J. Colagrande

01_thelonious-horowitz21Good-bye, like the computerized voice when you log off of AOL. You’re out, logged off, unplugged. It’s the kind of out that will let you in. You’re on your way. You don’t know where you’re going except for the festival. You’re on your way, taking your time. It’s always a mission. Stop off at a state park and lie on a quilt blanket. The white noise isn’t an air conditioner. It’s a running creek and some crickets and birds. Summer sticks to your skin, but the breeze lets you wear the sun with comfort and fashion. In the car, the windows are down and the wind massages you. You’re listening to a bootleg of some show. Turn the radio as loud as can be, so the groove fills you with anticipation and energy. You’re stopping in towns along the way, looking for old friends, meeting new ones. When your eyes come upon something different, your energy’s no longer potential, it’s kinetic. The new thing could be a highway sign, a shopping mall, a mountain, a town, a park, a store. You’re hearing different accents and seeing different license plates. You’ve broken a cycle, escaped a routine. You’ve demolished a wall. You want to scream, you want to roar. It’s safe. You’re on your way, home. On the road in America, there’s no better place to be, and the best part of all, is the whole thing is free.

click here to read an unpublished poem from KC