Where is the Jim Crow section
On this merry-go-round,
Mister, cause I want to ride?
Down South where I come from
White and colored
Can't sit side by side.
Down South on the train
There's a Jim Crow car.
On the bus we're put in the back—
But there ain't no back
Saturday At The Canal
I was hoping to be happy by seventeen.
School was a sharp check mark in the roll book,
An obnoxious tuba playing at noon because our team
Was going to win at night. The teachers were
Too close to dying to understand. The hallways
Stank of poor grades and unwashed hair. Thus,
A friend and I sat watching the water on Saturday,
Neither of us talking much, just warming ourselves
By hurling large rocks at the dusty ground
And feeling awful because San Francisco was a postcard
Traveling Through The Dark
Traveling through the dark I found a deer
dead on the edge of the Wilson River road.
It is usually best to roll them into the canyon:
that road is narrow; to swerve might make more dead.
By glow of the tail-light I stumbled back of the car
and stood by the heap, a doe, a recent killing;
she had stiffened already, almost cold.
I dragged her off; she was large in the belly.
Last Night I Drove A Car
Last night I drove a car
not knowing how to drive
not owning a car
I drove and knocked down
people I loved
...went 120 through one town.
I stopped at Hedgeville
and slept in the back seat
...excited about my new life.
An Old Life
Snow fell in the night.
At five-fifteen I woke to a bluish
mounded softness where
the Honda was. Cat fed and coffee made,
I broomed snow off the car
and drove to the Kearsarge Mini-Mart
before Amy opened
to yank my Globe out of the bundle.
Back, I set my cup of coffee
beside Jane, still half-asleep,
The Dog Lovers
So they bought you
And kept you in a
Very good home
A deep freeze
A very good home-
No one to take you
For that lovely long run-
A Day In The Life Of - Me!
I wake up in the morning and pull back the curtains, wide,
And look out through the window to view the world outside,
To see if the sky is blue or grey, sunny or with rain,
And see if the postman's on his way with letters that contain,
News of family and friends, and more 'bills' by the way,
Attempting to motivate the mind, and start another day.
With all the jobs I have to do before we leave the house,
To get the breakfast going, for self and for my spouse,
To put clothes in the washing machine, make sandwiches for lunch,
Making A Fist
We forget that we are all dead men conversing wtih dead men.
—Jorge Luis Borges
For the first time, on the road north of Tampico,
I felt the life sliding out of me,
a drum in the desert, harder and harder to hear.
I was seven, I lay in the car
watching palm trees swirl a sickening pattern past the glass.
My stomach was a melon split wide inside my skin.
How agreeable it is not to be touring Italy this summer,
wandering her cities and ascending her torrid hilltowns.
How much better to cruise these local, familiar streets,
fully grasping the meaning of every roadsign and billboard
and all the sudden hand gestures of my compatriots.
There are no abbeys here, no crumbling frescoes or famous
domes and there is no need to memorize a succession
of kings or tour the dripping corners of a dungeon.
No need to stand around a sarcophagus, see Napoleon's
'To Speak Of Woe That Is In Marriage'
'The hot night makes us keep our bedroom windows open.
Our magnolia blossoms.Life begins to happen.
My hopped up husband drops his home disputes,
and hits the streets to cruise for prostitutes,
free-lancing out along the razor's edge.
This screwball might kill his wife, then take the pledge.
Oh the monotonous meanness of his lust...
It's the injustice... he is so unjust-
whiskey-blind, swaggering home at five.
My only thought is how to keep alive.
Here on the Hard, you're welcome to pull up and stay;
there's a flat fee of a quid for parking all day.
And wandering over the dunes, who wouldn't die
for the view: an endless estate of beach, the sea
kept out of the bay by the dam-wall of the sky.
Notice the sign, with details of last year's high tides.
Walk on, drawn to the shipwreck, a mirage of masts
Philip Le Barr
Philip Le Barr,
Was knock down by a car,
On the road to Mandalay.
He was knocked down again
By a dust cart in Spain
And again in Zanzibar.
He travled at night
In the pale moon light
Away from the traffic growl
O Winter! bar thine adamantine doors:
The north is thine; there hast thou built thy dark
Deep-founded habitation. Shake not thy roofs,
Nor bend thy pillars with thine iron car.'
He hears me not, but o'er the yawning deep
Rides heavy; his storms are unchain'd, sheathèd
In ribbèd steel; I dare not lift mine eyes,
For he hath rear'd his sceptre o'er the world.
Lo! now the direful monster, whose 1000 skin clings
A Hymn To Venus
O Venus, beauty of the skies,
To whom a thousand temples rise,
Gaily false in gentle smiles,
Full of love-perplexing wiles;
O goddess, from my heart remove
The wasting cares and pains of love.
If ever thou hast kindly heard
A song in soft distress preferred,
Propitious to my tuneful vow,
Sonnet- To Science
Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art!
Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
Why preyest thou thus upon the poet's heart,
Vulture, whose wings are dull realities?
How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise,
Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering
To seek for treasure in the jewelled skies,
Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing?
Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car?
And driven the Hamadryad from the wood
The Lucky Ones
stuck in the rain on the freeway, 6:15 p.m.,
these are the lucky ones, these are the
dutifully employed, most with their radios on as loud
as possible as they try not to think or remember.
this is our new civilization: as men
once lived in trees and caves now they live
in their automobiles and on freeways as
the local news is heard again and again while
My Friend, The Parking Lot Attendant
—he's a dandy
—usually sucking on a cigar
he tends to lean into cars as he
first time I met him, he said,
"hey! ya gonna make a
The Young Housewife
At ten AM the young housewife
moves about in negligee behind
the wooden walls of her husband’s house.
I pass solitary in my car.
Then again she comes to the curb
to call the ice-man, fish-man, and stands
shy, uncorseted, tucking in
stray ends of hair, and I compare her
to a fallen leaf.
Down the road someone is practising scales,
The notes like little fishes vanish with a wink of tails,
Man's heart expands to tinker with his car
For this is Sunday morning, Fate's great bazaar;
Regard these means as ends, concentrate on this Now,
And you may grow to music or drive beyond Hindhead anyhow,
Take corners on two wheels until you go so fast
That you can clutch a fringe or two of the windy past,
That you can abstract this day and make it to the week of time
That boy I took in the car last night,
With the body that awfully sagged away,
And the lips blood-crisped, and the eyes flame-bright,
And the poor hands folded and cold as clay --
Oh, I've thought and I've thought of him all the day.
For the weary old doctor says to me:
"He'll only last for an hour or so.
Both of his legs below the knee
Blown off by a bomb. . . . So, lad, go slow,