Photo by Beorn DuPont

Breakfast beating at the hunger hour. The cobbler ate clams and drank Meritage, and Charlie from California called us all ‘homies’ while the phones kept buzzing. Bzzz, and Tim with his mandolin and Levon with his grooving views on duty and Dao while the ball of sun-dried tomato/basil whipped butter sat there wuwei… They were billy goats gruff and I coveted their lack of sensibilities. Merv, that ancient free spirit of a shoemaker, wandered town as a troll at SnowDown and asked around about “them hill-billies.” 

He said it’s all art. “It’s all good in the end.” Talk of the God fearer. And he’s right for his taped up bodhisattvas hanging around the leather shop, lacquered and curled at the corner-tips, letting the sugar-glider play hide-and-seek in his quiver in the night, riled up and ready, his coffee and beans and cigarettes, and for what he said next. Once, he fished the Dolores between the town and Rico, the fish biting hoppers –the easy flies to cast– when a bus load of tourists pulled over to watch the iconic fisherman. They could see the fish from their vantage point on the road and called to him where he ought to cast. In my head I thought, how intrusive to a moment of solitude on the river, but he ended up saying something contrary to my novice mind.

“That was one of my finest moments in fishing. It wasn’t just me and the fish and the river anymore. There was something higher. Something real.” His heart was validated by the world then. Do you know how rare that is?

God, I know you’re not real but Sensee, would you pull a pensee for me out of your kimono pocket and rock it till the moon draws back the sky and the stage is exposed and all the little dancers on tippy-toes perform their synchronized miracle?

©2012, Amaya Engleking



  1. inigo rey · February 27, 2017

    A comment on ‘Cobbling’. Reminds me of another intruder who called out to some fishermen telling them where to cast…

    best wishes,


    • Gospel Isosceles · February 27, 2017

      Yeah but in Merv’s case it was a welcome ‘voice from above.’ Thanks, Inigo.

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