last rides (20170314)

one of those here-today-gone-tomorrow
carnivals, set up on the green lawn
right next to the rec center

never let anyone tell you carnies
don’t know how to market themselves

small affair, few rides, few games
a couple of food booths
long before everything was deep fried

lucky if they have hot dogs or nachos
with cheese sauce from those industrial-sized
barrels like it had been sucked out
of the earth

one ride makes me realize
i will never go to space

the hammers

twin metal cages on long
pole arms
on either side of a column
thrown together from
some kind of adult erector set
they rotate
spin toward each other
probably so you could wave
at the idiots in the other cage

I didn’t have time to wave or
even look at anyone else
all i felt was g force
quarters flying out of my pockets
bouncing like meteors pinging
and ricocheting off the metal grills

it’s the first ride i’ve
ever just wanted to stop

with empty pockets, i stagger out
of the little metal box
and my stomach wants to empty out
and i can’t even look up
at the stars i will never fly to
because the vertigo spins the ground
like an lp around the axis
of my feet


dVerse ~ Poets Pub
Poetics: Amuse me! Take me for a ride!

31 thoughts on “last rides (20170314)”

  1. I feel you! Haha!! That ride is noxious. Excellent description and also how you call out the stars 😀 A crow who flies but not in circles or high up into the sky, I gather?

    1. I had saved those quarters for weeks. I’m sure they had someone come along and use a metal detector to pick up change and loose fillings.

    1. I remember going to a county fair as an adult and hearing deep fried snickers, etc. it was one of those attractive/repulsive feelings.

  2. I stopped those rides decades ago. But I still love walking about the carnival and smelling, tasting, hearing the screams, watching people playing games. My husband and I go to the county fair every year and do the same things year after year after year. It never gets old. We don’t do the deep fried things except for the funnel cake at the end. fun write!

  3. ….oh smiling I am! So MUCH about this is so right on!
    “thrown together from
    some kind of adult erector set” GREAT line! The smirk and sarcasm drip off the words.
    “one ride makes me realize
    i will never go to space” — ah, the astronaut dream of a little boy dashed in one quarter-ripping metal “ride.”
    The spacing of the just ride is absolutely perfect and the final lines, icing on the cake….although I shouldn’t write that as that might nauseate you more! 🙂

    WONDERFUL post for the prompt!

  4. Fabulous, if nauseous, description…why do we torture ourselves? I feel a little queasy at your image of the lp spinning!

  5. I hated the Hammers (called the Zipper here in the Us.) Those things used to bang me around and I used to get hurt. I quit them because of that. Not much fun for me and I love rides.

    1. That ride had a lot of names. You can find videos on YouTube of versions with long cars that hold maybe a dozen people each. Mine held two of us in each car. I remember being banged up too. Not sure if I was buckled in properly.

Comments are closed.