Thinking West with Marc Reisner

In the West, it is said, water flows uphill toward money. And it literally does, as it leaps three thousand feet across the Tehachapi Mountains in gigantic siphons to slake the thirst of Los Angeles, as it is shoved a thousand feet out of Colorado River canyons to water Phoenix and Palm Springs and the irrigated lands around them. It goes 444 miles (the distance from Boston to Washington) by aqueduct from the Feather River to south of L.A. It goes in man-made rivers, in siphons, in tunnels. In a hundred years, actually less, God’s riverine handiwork in the West has been stood on its head. A number of rivers have been nearly dried up. One now flows backward. Some flow through mountains into other rivers’ beds. There are huge reservoirs where there was once desert; there is desert, or cropland, where there were once huge shallow swamps and lakes.” –Marc Reisner, Cadillac Desert (p. 12)

El Portal Launch Party! (12 Sept.)

We’re happy to announce that the launch party for the Spring 2014 Edition of El Portal will be hosted on Friday, September 12th. The festivities begin at 5:00pm in Bernalillo Hall, so if you’re in the area we would love for you to attend!

ENMU students, we know you’ve been anxiously waiting to find out the winning entries. Come to the launch to hear the formal announcement, as well as to bask in the admiration of your peers.

Would you like to read an excerpt from your published submission? We love when contributors are willing to read from their work! If this is something you’re interested in, you will be allotted a maximum of five minutes to share your work. Photographers, if you would like to display your piece(s) please bring an enlarged version of your work.
****Please e-mail El Portal’s editor at el.portal@enmu.edu if you wish to present photographs or read your submission.****

 

Visiting West With Cormac McCarthy

The bloodred dust blew down out of the sun. He touched the horse with his heels and rode on. He rode with the sun coppering his face and the red wind blowing out of the west across the evening land and the small desert birds flew chittering among the dry bracken and horse and rider and horse passed on and their long shadows passed in tandem like the shadow of a single being. Passed and paled into the darkening land, the world to come.” — All the Pretty Horses (p. 302)

Thinking West With Robert Warren

For West is where we all plan to go some day. It is where you go when the land gives out and the old-field pines encroach. It is where you go when you get the letter saying: Flee, all is discovered. It is where you go when you look down at the blade in your hand and the blood on it. It is where you go when you are told that you are a bubble on the tide of empire. It is where you go when you hear that thar’s gold in them-thar hills. It is where you go to grow up with the country. It is where you go to spend your old age. Or it is just where you go.” — Robert Penn Warren, All the King’s Men (pp. 405-406)