Dennis W. Brezina
Brezina held several positions in Washington DC, including six years
on Capitol Hill with the Congressional Research Service and later
as a staff member of the US Senate Committee of Government Operations.
He then worked for Senator Gaylord Nelson on education and foreign
policy issues and as a part of the legislative team crafting the
first Earth Day (April, 1970). He achieved a Master of Arts from
Harvard after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy. He has also
operated a bed and breakfast in Maryland and done extensive volunteer
work with families confronting alcohol problems. He has directed
Aluminum Anonymous, Inc. for four years (see sample Map to right
or download PDF). His publications
include Congress in Action, The Free Press, and about 50 articles
on various topics.
Contact Dennis at email@example.com
WING TIP TO WING TIP
Butterfly maps --
Tuesday, July 11, 2000
Data colorfully compressed --
Competing with an electronic world,
Spiral from littered roadsides
To gleaming corridors of power,
Alight on Governors' and Senators' desks,
Lolling on piles
Of incoming mail.
An adventure of 28,000 miles
Across 44 states
Begins with a lot of confusion
And fuss well before
The first step.
Never a journey
Planned to challenge
Yet, postmodern male heroics --
Expose the car as place,
The roadside as landfill.
From Lenox to Worchester; Amherst, Concord to Leicester;
Around the North and South Shores:
Drank no beer
On his midnight ride.
More than guard rails to hug --
America to braille.
An archeological take
Of littered cans and bottles of beer --
Flotsam of the floating barroom
And mobile drug den,
For teens on the move.
From Maine to Washington State --
Wing tip to wing tip --
The message is clear.
Motor vehicles, well-oiled,
Play host year round to
Lubricating drivers and riders.
From Poteau to Bartlesville; Claremore, Muskogee to
Chickasha; passing through Dust Bowl yesterdays:
The drinking driving Sooner
Meets his creator
Brushes with danger?
A scorpion above the bed.
Down the middle of my back -- almost!
Spit on twice
For wandering near a drug sale.
Dogs have come running,
A coyote and crazed emu, too.
Along interstates sprouting
Four leaf clovers.
County and state
Two laners, four lanters -- no brainers -- (laners)
Divided or not,
New, pot-holed or patched.
From Wichita Falls to Seminole; Jefferson, Lubbock,
Around to Abilene; biting winds, scorching heat -- tell of
"Hard Travelin' Times:"
From the saddle
The average rate
of beer cans and bottles,
Per mile of road per year.
Split 50/50 --
Teens to adults.
Stepping over, around
Splattered rabbits,possum and deer,
A bob cat, coyote or two.
Successfully parlayed into
Program and policy
From grassroots to law makers,
Federal and state.
From Carbondale to Mundelein; Mattoon,Watseka, LaSalle;
From the Trail of Tears to the Corn Belt's Buckle:
A few beers
On the road
Can turn a "toddling town"
Into a tottering state.
Minnesota has its "road cruising,"
South Carolina "cruiser lines."
"Binge sites" in California
And "roaders," a rite of passage
In the Granite State.
It's much the same --
"Over there -- not here!"
"Those senior citizens... tourists...
"Not any of us!"
Even Tom Brokaw of NBC
Had his say.
So the Star-Ledger, Advocate and Tribune,
Monitor, Observer, and Dispatch.
From the Kennebec Journal
To the Tacoma News-Tribune --
Wing tip to wing tip.
From Fortuna and Eureka to Barstow; San Luis Obispo to
Tehachapi; around Visalia, Redding and Petaluma, too:
Stake a claim
In the shadow of Montgomery, Denver and Madison;
Olympia, Albany, Raleigh;
Near Sacramento, Concord and Cheyenne.
Down upon the Sewanee,
Across the wide Missouri,
The mighty Columbia
And Ole Man River,
Again and again.
From Conway to Franconia;Nashua, Ossipee to Laconia;
Skirting Mount Washington and Lake Winnepesaukee:
Better a poem
By Robert Frost
Than a frothy beer can
From the car tossed.
A ribbon of aluminum --
Mostly beer --
Framed in shards
Of familiar brown glass,
Adorns Big Sky Country,
The Painted Desert,
Embroiders the Eastern Shore of Maryland,
North Woods of the Badger State,
Accents coal plants in Appalachia,
InDixie, pulp and lumber mills.
From Klamath Falls to Pendelton; Brookings, Coos Bay to
Astoria; along the misty seacoast and high desert:
The Oregon Trail
And cans of beer.
By cotton fields, tobacco fields,
And spinach farms --
Brocolli to artichokes.
Near the "Beer and Bottoms Bar"
And "Last Lap -- Nude Dancing Saloon."
Where golden eagles soar,
And Scissor-tailed Flycatchers perch.
Where elusive Three-toed Woodpeckers
Scale cedar trees
And White Admirals
From flower to flower flit.
And bottles of beer --
Wing tip to wing tip.
Of a distorted American Dream.