In the late Sixties I was hitchhiking home from someplace and stopped in a small town
where there was no bookstore but they had a newsstand, a bottom shelf of thick daily newspapers
and a rack of books, mainly bestsellers, and somehow, and someway, someone either made a mistake or knew precisely what they were doing because in that newsstand is where I picked up a copy of Rothenberg's masterpiece of assemblage Technicians of the Sacred. It was an Anchor/Doubleday huge softcover with a mysterious earthly and heaven cover and I spent all my money and walked out of the newsstand floating with my book, my backpack and an exhilarating feeling others had come before me and others would come after me and on every page there was a song.
I have purchased all later editions, continuing the travel, as each book gets itself refurbished and fluffed up, and now we are up to the third edition and Rothenberg is still at work like all good cobblers. And I sift my way through the new rooms of the longhouse but it's that original book that has my heart. I see silly boyhood ink marks where parts were very favorites in that book and I have no idea what that boy must have been thinking. All sacred.