joke on the road (20160828)

the street runs through
a good, quiet neighborhood
though cars drive too fast
zipping through crosswalks
where stop signs should stand

amusing themselves
two boys took an orange cone
and placed it in the center
of the street
then evacuated to a spot
out of the radius
of incrimination
to sit and watch

i remembered as a kid
laying double-sided
swaths of masking tape
in the street and waiting
for cars to hit it
then slow down
the sound mimicking a flat

as a pedestrian i laughed
with those boys
and as a driver
i swore at them
but then i just felt bad

only the first handful of cars slowed
and through some kind of
group psychic message
cluing in drivers to the prank
a swarm of cars barely
slowed at all

they left after a few waves
their cynicism confirmed
or the laughter unsatisfied
or their disgust getting
the better of them

Poem 20151004

i rest my thumb
in the valley of your spine
above your waist
as we cross the street

not so much to direct
as you know the way
and not so much to protect
because there’s no real danger

but in a sense
it is to protect something
–different than moving you
out of the path of an oncoming car–
to direct you
–not in a direction you
are not already going–

but more
this thumb
that vertebra

Poem 20150326

there’s something wrong
with a road made of concrete
that forces you to drive
in a single
straight direction
as fast as you dare

–faster than the driver in
the lane next to you because
by god, he’s not going to beat you

in spite of the fact
that you don’t know him
and you have no idea
or interest in where he’s driving
or when he has to be there

there’s a lack of freedom
on a freeway
with its straining arteries clogged
by lipid, adiposian cars
all racing toward
one giant cardiac event