When I’m on a vacation, be it a month-long backpacking trip or weekend jaunt, each day I plan to leave a section of Walt Whitman’s Song of the Open Road. I might leave it in a B&B guestbook, tuck a note behind a hotel painting or write it on a dollar bill I spend at a hot dog stand. In any case, I’ll be tracking where I leave the poem here. I call it The Open Road Project. Click on the stanzas below to find out where they’ve been left and track the poem’s progress here.
I left the twenty-first section of the poem in Cave City, Kentucky, where I travelled over the Christmas holiday to spend time with my sweetheart and his family. I wrote the poem on a sticker I affixed to the back of a set of holiday dictionary drawings I gave to Shawn’s parents for Christmas last year. This picture is one of hundreds of Christmas decorations they put up every year- from garlands to Santa statues to poinsettias dotting the corners of every room. It’s a very festive place to spend one’s Christmas.
I inhale great draughts of space, the east and west are mine, and the north and south are mine.