Cherie Bombardier came back to SF from tour, took up "Cooper Lee Bombardier" as a pen name and all-purpose alias, became the father of a real cute pup named Soda Pop, and is looking for a home for both of them in San Francisco.

For Cooper, the hardest thing about returning home was going back to dumb jobs and the daily grind. It was an incredible experience to travel the country writing and performing. The trick is now to figure out how to incorporate this ideal into everyday life. Cooper is studying welding in the hopes of ditching the cooking career to fund her life as an artist. She's working on a new chap book called "Ramblin' Man," and will be making some cool art for Sara Seinberg's one woman show in Feb. 98.

Rockford and West

Linda asks us for a ride
we're pumping gas at Texaco
somewhere in Illinois
she's trying to get to the next town
catch a greyhound
she's maybe old enough to be my
mother's mother
but it's hard to say
'cause trouble ages people
more than years
she's missing teeth, Linda
she stands patiently, gazing away
to the highway
while we debate our ability to
get her where she's going
Linda's hair is soft and grey and
a little wild around her face
small bright blue eyes, thick frame
pink lipstick departs her upper lip
abruptly like a skid mark off of
a road
there's scabs
face and hands
she turns down a bagel
but move eagerly towards grapes
her body moves faster than her legs
we get back on I-90
Rockford and West
Chicago and East
it's just better when your choices are limited.
she was waiting for an hour
trying to get a lift
people even refused her use of their
CB radios
to try and find a ride
it's a long story how she got stranded
probably a longer story
how she got those purple brown scabs
that travel her body like
stars that mark cities on
the road atlas we flip through
she says ok, ok softly and
plunges a tan hand, gnarled like a
treeroot
into the bag of whoppers
i offer
while my own teeth hum
with the sugar
quiet in the van
Hank Williams on the stereo
she is quiet, watching long fields
ripple past the windows
she's quiet and so are we
Hank is moaning, a mo wo moaning
the blues
Linda says her children's names:
Katie,
Damen,
Shelia,
Charlene,
Billy.
"Do any of you have
those names?"
no.
quiet again.
and safe.
it feels safe with Linda in the van
we pull off in Rockford
find the sign
"BUS" on top of a sleek grey dog
we open the van door
and Linda rolls out "THANKS"
body moving faster than her
legs
determined,
like a city bird moves toward
discarded french fries
Linda
are you ok for money:
"I got fifty bucks I think that's enough,"
and she's off again
disappeared into the world of greyhound,
and we are on our way again
riding into the sunset
cowboys
with our pistols loaded
gentlemen
signs inform us of our destiny
Rockford and West
and West.

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