Selections from the first volume of BJ Omanson's memoir, Three Years on the Nowhere Road is currently being serialized online at The Milk House, a collective of rural writing based in Ireland.
Part 1 is introduced by the following paragraph:
What follows is a selection from the opening chapters of BJ Omanson’s memoir Three Years on the Nowhere Road in which he recounts the strange and haphazard road that led him to a life of poetry— a life of inadequate means, manual labor, wilderness solitude and— as he was a high-school dropout— nothing whatever to do with writing programs or academia.
In November of 1972, married scarcely a year and having lost his job as a tree trimmer with the Rockford Park District in Illinois due to being on the losing side of a labor strike, with winter coming on and no prospect of comparable work before spring, Omanson made a drastic decision. He packed his uncle’s WWII seabag with a change of clothes, a blanket and some books, took five dollars from the household nest egg and announced his intention to hitchhike out to the coast of Washington State, where there was said to be a logging boom in progress and work to be had by anyone who could handle a chainsaw. We pick up his story several days later, on a deserted two-lane road in an Oregon forest, sometime after midnight:
Continue reading at The Milk House: