Monday, January 14, 2008

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Ripping Someone Off

This poem's form was inspired by Matthea Harvey's The Future of Terror series, which I wrote about yesterday. But more importantly, it was inspired by the trigger over at read. write. poem. You should run over there to check out other wonderful poems, written about "Traveling Companions."

On the Bus

Babbling babies drool in mommas' laps
buried beneath
layers of blue fleece blankets.
Sour, end of day bad breath

crowds the aisles, shared
carbon dioxide clinging
to our closed mouths. Cacophony
of overloud cell phone conversations,

diluted digital music streams
murmuring from dislodged iPod
ear buds. Dank lighting
drained of all color, but yellow. Don't

evade eye contact, don't
erupt into edgy rage. Never cross
the equator of your seat
even on days your coat's too long,

or your bag's too full. Forget
the time time table, finish line
of your final destination.
The faint whisper of Fuck, fuck, fuck,

from the gelatinous grandma up front,
her grating whine. Gracefully
embrace the gorge of the aisle
as the godforsaken bus shudders

to a halt. Here is your escape:
hop over the gray snow bank,
hear the hum of diesel engines,
hurtling down the street.


gautami tripathy said...

This reads very well. I could visualise it in my mind.

Jo said...

right there with you, you painted it all so well

...deb said...

I haven't started reading her, but based on this, I can hardly wait. I *love* the alphabeton (or whatever it is called.) (Why'd you skip the "a's"?)

This is one terrific bus ride.

Anonymous said...

She has me interested in the abecedarius too.

Your poem is a fun ride, full of unusual and surprising words. Too bad we can't choose the folks we ride with on the bus.

I liked the equator as a dividing line on the seat.

Linda said...

Very cleverly done! The words are wonderful to chew on!

susan said...

Some of the word combinations are bumping and halting for me, much like a the ride on a city bus.

I don't know the essay or writer you mention. Thanks for the post. I look forward to giving it a closer read.

Jessica said...

Thanks for stopping by, RWP-ers. I've been remiss and haven't had a chance to catch up on everyone else's work, but I will be stopping by soon.

...deb - I skipped the a's because the first image/letter that occured to me was b. I think it's harder to do repeated vowels than repeated consonants. Matthea Harvey only goes from G to T in all of hers, which I am curious about as well.

susan - thanks for stopping by! Matthea Harvey is this month's Poetry Book Club author. We're reading her book Modern Life, and "The Future of Terror" is a series of poems in that book.

Here's more info.

BB said...

"Never cross
the equator of your seat
even on days your coat's too long,

or your bag's too full."

Love these lines and the whole idea of this form too ~ so cleverly executed! I may be sincerely ripping off this form soon...