The Abramiad, Part Three: "Alice Abrams Sings Songs of the French Foreign Legion" (excerpt)

Transient
Transient

"How do you become the Ambrose Bierce of songwriters? she wondered as she headed back to L.A., hauling her books and chair and futon in a driveaway car, across the smaller highways of the Plains states, skirting Pine Ridge and the Sandhills of Nebraska, making a vacation of it, it seemed her first real American trip.  Well, start by fighting in the Civil War.  Alice had no use for chesty Hemingway advice about writing what you know, but face it, Bierce wasn’t Bierce without the war.  She would have to make do with sympathy and imagination.  What she got was Bosnia.  What the world got was Bosnia, in richness of detail to match depth (or shallows) of indifference.  Could she write songs about rape camps when it was all she could do to read the testimonies?  No, and who the hell would want to, or want to listen, especially when Leonard Cohen seemed to have gotten it all down in The Future, months, or maybe even years, that mystic pervert and now prophet, before it became murder.  She supposed it had always been just a shot away."