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Sam Shepard had a deep bond with Santa Fe, where he lived in the 1980s and again in 2010–2015. But Shepard had some nomad in him, and as he recorded in his Motel Chronicles in 1982, he spent as much time crisscrossing the deserts of New Mexico as he did living in any one city. As Shepard’s friend Johnny Dark said, “He lived in Santa Fe, but he also lived in hotels and on the road. . . . He might have been running away or he might have been running toward something.” Twenty years earlier, the artist Ed Ruscha, traveling from Oklahoma to Los Angeles, traversed New Mexico and created ghostly photographs of New Mexico gas stations. Together, Shepard’s writing and Ruscha’s images evoke a poetry of loneliness. —John Miller


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