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Dennis W. Brezina

Dennis 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 alumanon@iopener.net


Butterfly maps --
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
Political correctness.
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:

Paul Revere
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,
Popular hangout
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
Not later.

Brushes with danger?
A scorpion above the bed.
Bicycle track
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,
Cement, asphalt,
New, pot-holed or patched.

From Wichita Falls to Seminole; Jefferson, Lubbock,
Around to Abilene; biting winds, scorching heat -- tell of
"Hard Travelin' Times:"

The cowboy
Who nips
From the saddle

975 --
The average rate
of beer cans and bottles,
randomly discarded,
Per mile of road per year.
Split 50/50 --
Teens to adults.

Stepping over, around
Dead armadillos,
Splattered rabbits,possum and deer,
A bob cat, coyote or two.

Data orchestrated,
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.

Across America
It's much the same --
"Over there -- not here!"
"Those senior citizens... tourists...
German Americans!"
"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:

Beer-on-the-road minors
Stake a claim
To busted

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,
Finger Lakes,
And TVA.

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
Wasn't littered
With bottles
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,
Magpies play,
And Scissor-tailed Flycatchers perch.
Where elusive Three-toed Woodpeckers
Scale cedar trees
And White Admirals
From flower to flower flit.

Discarded cans
And bottles of beer --
Wing tip to wing tip.
Irrefutable proof
Of a distorted American Dream.

  Big Cats in Snow Tuesday, July 11, 2000