Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bus Poems

I don't have a car. Either I hitch rides from Patrick or I take the bus. I started writing poems about my experiences on buses a few years ago. They form a sequence titled "Bus Poems." After a long period of silence, in which I wrote no poetry, I have returned to the sequence.

Also recently, I have been reading a collection of Adrienne Rich's poetry. Her work in the sixties has the tense, angry, edge-of-sanity quality that my poetry of the time did, though hers is better. It occurs to me that I ought to be writing similar poetry now, because we living in a scary time with a terrible, unending war and a government that seems to be very much an enemy of the American people.

So I am trying to find my inner rage and craziness, while writing about what happens on buses.

Here is one example. I overheard a woman say, "I have a daughter in Arkansas," and go on to describe the rain down there: it doesn't sprinkle, when it rains; it pours.

This led to the following poem:

I got a daughter in Arkansas,
Prettiest girl you ever saw:
One eye blue, the other green,
Hair the color of aubergine:
And the rain falls down like rain.

Pistol in her panties, razor in her boot,
Can she cut, and can she shoot.
Can she sing, and can she play
The low-down blues on a rainy day,
When the rain comes down like rain.

Fish in a barrel, frog in a well,
The rich on a train to the bottom of hell,
Me on the platform waving goodbye.
Gonna sing and dance until I die,
While the rain pours down like rain.

I don't know what to say about it, except I'm happy to have gotten "aubergine" in.

It would make a good song for a story about some gritty future. You know, the obligatory bar scene with aliens, guns and guitars...


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