Notes on John Fante’s “Ask the Dust”

John Fante’s “Ask the Dust” is a conservative and cynical, short poetic novel. It’s poetic because its episodic movement is tense and packed, its diction deliberate, satisfying Ezra Pound’s definition of poetry. It’s cynical because of its unrelenting brutality posing as reality. Must one always suppose that to live in seediness and squalor means to…

66 Breaths of Barstow for Babs

talk desert deepens day drifts west cool prose sand morn crossroads family 1957 trunk $300 bra-pinned Route 66 Los Angeles cures ocean butterfly tomato sunrise donkey birds emerge cowboy hat floats salt sweet evening hills angel hovers sky metallic blue orange sea falls ten-pound raindrops children embrace across country blows highway tumbleweed train side winds…