Tara Teeling

Head Trip - Poem by Tara Teeling

Fast go, fast show,
with a motor-horse hum
and a savage cat roar,
the world is a
serpentine swerve.

Muffled music with
thumping, bumping bass
fools the listener with its
accidental genius.

Turn it up loud, bigger
than the rush of
highway wind, so
that freedom fills
the seats and hushes
the eighteen-wheeler
that grumbles to the right.

Red spatters on the pavement
turn the head and then the stomach.
The eyes focus sharp
on broken yellow lines,
steering clear of matted fur
and mans' vainglorious pursuits.

In every whizzing, left-lane car is
a baseball cap or heavy-browed scowl.
In the right lane is white hair
or white knuckles, or both,
close to the top of the wheel.
There’s no one in the middle.

Near the roadside gravel,
past the ditches and the
jagged, tattooed asphalt,
are the crosses and faded
flowers, wearing banged-up
names that no one slows to see.
The rubberneckers have
long since passed the wreckage,
forgetting what twisted metal
looks like or the scent of spurting

The seat is somehow numbing,
leaving nothing below the waist,
and there’s always a ruptured tire
by the side of the road.

We pass the defeated traveler,
averting our eyes,
so he won’t be there.
There’s no want for delay
or human complications.
The thumb of a wayfarer has
the makings of a weapon.
Be glad that our tires are
doughnut plump, and
the tank is filled past half.
Drive, drive, drive, and
skid from the transient hitch!

The mirror reflects nothing
but the slight glow of red,
and the occasional
headlight gleam
of others who
ride the snake.

A destination
is on the horizon,
as long as we keep driving.

Comments about Head Trip by Tara Teeling

  • (9/18/2007 11:49:00 AM)

    Like Whitman's 'Song of the Open Road', you make an ordinary highway drive into an extraordinary experience. When I see through your eyes, I always see something new! (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Alan Curtis (9/15/2007 3:46:00 PM)

    Speachless.10 out of 10!

    Peace, Alan
    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Monday, May 1, 2006

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