The Ratlue Diaries is a fictionalized memoir of “the Rocking K War,” a five-year battle to save the Rincon Valley in Tucson, Arizona. An old cattle ranch, the Rocking K was under threat of being transformed into two luxury hotels, golf courses, and 25,000 new houses.
The tale is told (in both poems and prose) by two poets, one of whom is the author’s alter ego. In spite of vastly different personal histories, the two men forge a sometimes strained but deep bond as they take on a ruthless real-estate cabal. They mobilize resistance, raise hell at public hearings, mount a referendum, and endure blowback from a millionaire land-shark— and of course discuss poetry and life.
The book has the hair-on-fire gonzo-journalistic style of Hunter Thompson—satiric, profane, rapid-fire, and filled with righteous anger and despair. The poems alternate between raw political diatribes and lyrics celebrating the harsh beauty of the Sonoran Desert.
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Published by Stephen F. Austin University Press