By Louis Owens
During this subtle prose, Owens unearths the numerous timbres of his voice - humor, humility, love, pleasure, fight, confusion, and readability. We sign up for him within the fields, farms, and ranches of California. We stick with his look for a misplaced brother and give some thought to besides him outdated family members photos from Indian Territory and early Oklahoma. In a last part, Owens displays at the paintings and theories of alternative writers, together with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Gerald Vizenor, Michael Dorris, and Louise Erdrich.
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Additional resources for I Hear the Train: Reflections, Inventions, Refractions
The winter and spring had been particularly wet, and forage was rich and thick. Nature had responded to plenty with plenty, and rabbits were everywhere, coveys of quail exploding from every chokecherry and wild-grape thicket, wild turkeys flocking with crowds of scurrying clucks. All over the White Mountain Apache reservation on this trip I'd seen does with late-born fawns, sometimes twins. The abundant coyotes, like the large, dark male on the hillside above, were fat and sleek. The vignette I was witnessing had taken place uncountable times and would, God willing, take place uncountable more times long after I was compost.
Spring in the Salinas Valley was warming up with orange poppies, blue lupines, red and white paintbrush, and a vast sea of wild oats on the hillsides. Flocks of blackbirds rose from alfalfa fields to darken the sky and settle again, and mourning doves cooed in the shade all day long. Nearly every morning on my way to school, if I looked just right, I could see a bobcat sitting well back in a clump of poison-oak brush beside the road, waiting for rabbits too slow to evade a speeding car or truck.
It took a few minutes before the first to flop down on the cots began to notice the bedbugs. None of us had ever seen or been 22 REFLECTIONS intimate with a bedbug before. Cans of insecticide powder were issued that afternoon, and we sprinkled it liberally under and over our mattresses, into the sheets, between sheets and blankets. It took a couple of days for the lice to surface, but within a week we'd cut each other's hair to quarter-inch stubs with a shared pair of scissors someone dug up. A skinny white man with a tiny mustache, wire-rim sunglasses, a new straw cowboy hat and polished cowboy boots, jeans, and a pearl-snap shirt came in and explained things, standing just inside the open door.