Posted on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 by Lindsey Westbrook
Grind Show Editions, 2013
Paperback, 172 pages, $14
Western Roads is a semiautobiographical tale of wanderlust, friendship, and murder by CCA alumnus Michael Walsh (Individualized Major 1995). The story follows Walsh and his confederate, Othello Bolen, who flee Minneapolis after an incident in St. Paul. They meet a few years later in California and boil toward the climactic finish. The work is experimental and urgent, like a bebop jazz solo. It depicts the multifarious characters Walsh meets while rambling, his hatred of institutions and societal control, his struggle with depression, and, above all, his insatiable desire to "see what's out there, "to move," whether it be by hitchhiking, train hopping, or driving a dilapidated Mustang. "The tar roll was my sanctuaire. My Muse. My mentor. Passage to the bright midnight's pageant of actors, scenes -- and I got to play a part."