HOW ADAM GOT LIKE THIS
Born left handed, raised right handed. My natural habitat is a polarized environment.
Grew up on both sides of the world, in England and New Zealand, only to find New York City had been here the whole time. Airports were passing paradises for a kid with no home country, and they still are.
Lived on Greyhound buses for a year, sleeping in stations and dive motels, uncovering 25 States. Traveled alone, but I was never alone – teachers came and went, from every tribe and vibe. A novel insisted itself into being: In Like Flynn.
Tattooed in 5 States, but always in the same condition.
Been shot at twice, only hit once.
Saved from drowning and from a house fire… for this?
Saw water trickling up hill in the desert near White Sands, New Mexico.
Slept in a cave on the Hopi reservation, and woke up next to a rabbit, to see a herd of wild horses stampeding between the mesas.
Spent a half hour nose to nose with a hungry fox on a rainy night, in an abandoned farm yard on the coast of Catalunya, not far from Salvador Dali's place.
Stood at the end of a rainbow. It slithered down the Oscura Mountains, broke out across miles of desert - and stopped, to electrify a piñon tree in a vivid pink light. I ran out to it, crossing flooding arroyos, rain sharp as two inch nails, mud clogs glued to bare feet… but it disappeared when I got there. I thought it had moved on so I did the same – but when I turned back the tree was still pink. I didn’t look for gold, being there was the treasure.
Lived with a ghost called Maria and her daughter in Santa Fe.
Wrote my first poem aged 5, drew every night in front of the TV as a kid.
Volunteered on the Hopi reservation for the traditionalists of the tribe, helping village elders teach Hopi language and culture to the kids. Climbing around Second Mesa with 3 kids on you always… petroglyphs leaning over you, but never looking away. Everyone on Shungopovi sang a rain song outside each house, and after months of drought, a thunder storm… and ma’au vi, sweetgrass, ready for it.
Been to every place in the song Route 66.
Lived in Spain, USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand. But not at the same time.
Did a sweat lodge with a spooky Navajo guy. Fled. Couldn’t take the heat. Or was it the humidity?
Quit school at 14, went to the beach a lot, read a lot, wrote a lot of poems, made a lot of art. Went back to school years later, read the same books and got a BA.
Had lunch on the end of a spike of rock a mile high over the Grand Canyon.
Crossed a minefield in Los Alamos to see Oppenheimer's lab (didn’t know it was mined until we were half way out).
Been electrocuted twice. Both times I was thrown back a few feet, paralyzed up to the shoulder. Third time I'm planning to learn not to do it.
Hit by a car going 50 mph when I was 17. Broke a lot of bones. My bike looked like a corkscrew. I felt like a jigsaw puzzle in a hurricane. Still do.
Raised for a while in a fundamentalist cult. Read the Bible 6 times. Now I'm fundamentally a well read atheist.
Taught ESL and adult literacy for two years with Literacy Volunteers of Santa Fe.
Slept in Chaco Canyon among the Anasazi ruins.
Chain smoker for 15 years, 2-3 packs a day. Quit cold turkey. Never been into drugs. Was too much into Gin and red wine so I quit them too.
Been face to face with a Gray alien. The "I want to believe" stigma is absurd when you've actually seen one, and a bunch of UFOs. It took me years to accept that I really saw it, and now that I have, I want to write about it.
Albert Camus' philosophy of the absurd man has always meant a lot to me, so it blew my mind to find that adam burns is an anagram of absurd man.
Spent a lot of time with friends in the Jemez hot springs, New Mexico, naked as the day is long, snow falling on our shoulders through the steamy view and into our drinks, our smoke sailing up to be kissed back down.
Love New York City. A lady on the shore always looking for something new, a book in one hand and fire in the other, spikes like rays of hope. Everyone from everywhere lives here.
Love my wife Romy Nordlinger, actress, playwright, rebel, with more love to give than the world can take.
May passing friends, lingering love and laughter hound you till your dying day.