Monday, September 6, 2010

Jerome Arizona Horror Vacui

Sculpture Garden, Jerome, AZ

Jerome, AZ is a mile-high old mining town that now gets by on tourism and art. I've been visiting her for more than 20 years, and have seen her various faces revealed and hidden behind the veils that places like Jerome employ to hide from the crowds, yet attract them, in order to separate them from their money, yet not go totally insane from the superficiality of the permanent 20% off sale of junk made in Asia. 

I've seen her smirk at me from the shadows. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of her gliding along the backstreets. I've heard her voice singing in the bar on the corner where the motorcycles park tail-in in long domino lines. And I've browsed the Puscifer store and listened to JMK's voice crooning/keening/moaning out of her shadows. It looks like a precarious existence, clinging to the hillside, scraping nickles off of day-trippers. At times her face looks made-up, false, put-on.

Yet at night, after the streets clear out, she whispers to me. Or at sunrise (I typed "sinrise", most excellent typo), looking over the Verde Valley, this morning the clouds were orange-lit, purple-streaked, undeniable. Can you tell that I love her? Not her things, her shops, her art walk, her precarious clinging hillside existence, but how she makes me feel. What I remember when I sit on the concrete barrier observing the madding crowd. Sitting there with my Dad ten years ago. Feeling the gut-thumping rumble of the long line of motorcycles. Rest after a long ride. Enough words. More pictures. Get up. Go ride.

Old Switchboard, Second Floor of the Jerome Grand Hotel

Host/Greeter, Asylum Restaurant

Side Yard



  1. Looks like an interesting place, but the asylum greeter made me sad.

  2. I hear you Big Clyde. It's a tourism thing--scare the kids, hook the gullible with tall tales of haunted hotels and unsettled spirits. It's one of those haunted house deals.

  3. I'm going to use the asylum greeter. Someday. It portrays how I feel on many occasions.

  4. I want to live in the Side Yard.

  5. Ali B. thanks for stopping by! The side yard has a lot going on, doesn't it? A few things would have to be moved around to make room to sleep. Or walk. Or squeeze in a single new molecule. But what a feast for eyes and mind. Anything goes in the side yard.


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