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Crouched low before a fire, his professorial tweed jacket in tatters, Cormac McCarthy frantically scribbles ancient runes into the hard-baked earth with a broken shard of a large mammal’s shoulder blade. Across the fire, Tom Waits. Chanting in tongues cut with razorblades, eyes rolled back, he tosses a rusty steak knife from hand to hand. Its gaze fixed upon the blade, the goat’s eyes grow with fear.

The bleating ceases. A low, steaming hiss emanates from the fire. A pillar of black smoke. From the crackling coals arise the spirits of Townes Van Zandt and Edgar Allan Poe, mounted atop bulging demonic steeds. The foursome douse themselves in sotol, howl at the moon, and do such bitter business that the night quakes to look on.