“Too Much” 2/16/20

Day 13 of what I think must be the Covid.

Riding it out up in the mountains north of Spruce Pine. No way do I want to go to a hospital. I keep telling friends that I think I’m about to die, but they tell me about other people who also thought they were going to die and then did not.

When I shot this 6-minute video a week ago, I thought I had it licked. But then it came back really strong on Friday and I am way sicker than ever before.


My plan has called for me to ride out of here on Wednesday. I get my Social Security check and can buy propane canisters for the space heater in my camper van. I’m still planning to do it – one way or another. If I am strong enough to pull myself up into the cab of that Ford Econoline, I am going.

Governor Cooper opened up the bars in this state last Friday. If I come to Asheville on Thursday or Friday, drinks are on me – unless they’re making you prove you don’t have the Covid at the door.

I have been scrolling back through Facebook to remember what was happening a year ago. It feels like my whole life is flashing before my eyes.

On NPR Morning Edition this morning they were asking people what was the day they really got it about the pandemic. For me it was March 16. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that was the first day I took it really serious – before then it was mostly background noise for me.

That night I took a poem down to Jack of the Wood open mic, hopefully to collaborate with a guitarist coming down from Hot Springs. He called me to say he loves my poetry but does not improvise. He wanted us to work up a poem for another time. I hope I can find him in Hot Springs and that we can have another time.

There were only three or four people in Jack of the Wood that night. I believe they closed the next day.

I was on fire to perform this poem. I went home, put my doggie on the sofa, set up the video camera and rocked that poem just for her – and now I guess you also.

It’s called “Too Much”.

It is my signature poem, high-attitude – in your face. It is addressed to all the people who, over the course of my life, have told me that I am in one way or another too much – too emotional, too intense, too whatever.

If that has ever happened to you also, you can ride along with me on the poem.


The words of this poem have become only more relevant to me over the course of the last year, as I have gotten bigger and bigger.

I tell the story of “Majo and Pancho: two outlaw cowboys running the back roads of Appalachia during the pandemic” all through this blog.

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These days all of my identities are converging: whether I am offering a blessing in the grocery store checkout line, offering a prayer in a poem or experiencing the kinship with all life while walking my or a client's dog - it's all the same. It's all Life.

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