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Monday, September 14, 2015


by David Chorlton

Investigators kept pressing ahead with leads about a string of Phoenix freeway shootings as authorities announced that a man questioned in connection with them is not the prime suspect. "This is an open investigation, and we are going to go where it leads us," Graves said Saturday. The shootings have left the city on edge for two weeks. Many Phoenix drivers have avoided freeways since the 11 confirmed shootings began Aug. 29, mostly along I-10, a major route through the city. Eight of the cars were hit with bullets and three with projectiles that could have been BBs or pellets. One girl's ear was cut by glass as a bullet shattered her window. —ABC News, September 13, 2015

There’s an Old West spirit about
the interstate today
where someone’s inner outlaw
makes him shoot at random cars
for no reason anyone
can fathom. You’re on the way to work
early in the day
and Pop, another round is fired
too quickly for its origin
to be located. Calling 911
is futile. Traffic keeps moving:
big rigs, sports cars, pickups
and jeeps are all created equal
along one route,
indivisible, on which
the exit ramp appears too late.
But most make it through
without a scratch, and for those
continuing beyond the city limits
the desert waits like the backdrop
to a “B” movie with horses, guns
and sunsets from the time
the West existed as imagination,
before we discovered
the guns were always real.

David Chorlton is a transplanted European, who has lived in Phoenix since 1978. His poems have appeared in many publications on- and off-line, and reflect his affection for the natural world, as well as occasional bewilderment at aspects of human behavior. His most recent book, A Field Guide to Fire, is his contribution to the 2015 Fires of Change exhibition in Flagstaff, Arizona.