Friday, September 19, 2008

Another poem from one of my several ms.

I got something in my head that's slipping gears at the moment, I'll get to it, after bit. I'm putting another poem on here. The way to make me stop is to beg for them until I run out (there's only a couple of hundred left). Then I will have to go into seclusion (which means a bar with cheap draft and a bunch of other garrulous old geezers like myself) to write some more. This one's for my pop (note: The price of gas is, obviously, from those dark days when that criminal Clinton's treacherous perfidy was still hobbling the profitability of the energy sector). Delta 88 "Want to go for a ride?" he'd ask. My father liked company on his drives to the store or the post office. I really think any of his kids would do. But he especially seemed to enjoy the rides we took together, It was like sanctuary on four wheels. The place we did not fight. The place where we could, briefly, almost, be equal. My dad drove a lot, it was a part of his job, the part he loved. He grew up in a little town; Del Rapids, South Dakota. Limitless skies, countless pheasants, good black earth. He traded it for city living, but you cannot take the farm out of the boy. He spent 10, maybe 15 years, criss-crossing Nebraska and parts of South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas. Selling was the excuse to get behind the wheel and point the car at the horizon. He flew when he had to, drove when he could. 400, 500, 600 miles in a day-- 1,500 in a week. A tankful of .19/ Gal gasoline, 2 packs of Philip Morris Regulars and a thermos of strong coffee. He favored Olds Delta 88's; massive, powerful, sleek and comfy. He loved to put his hand over the speedometer and with a voice full of mischief say, "let me know when you think we're going 75." I would wait then, knowing I was wrong, I'd give the signal. He'd take his hand off the speedometer and I would be watching the needle flicker at 100, 105, a bit more. The car rode like it was on rails His car was a refuge, the one place where, even though it was always in motion, he felt grounded. We had very little in common, so few areas in which we agreed. Two things we shared were a 7-3/8 hat size and our love for the road. I drive a compact truck, gave up smoking and drink de-caf: I love to get in the car and point it at the horizon. Gas is about $2.00/ Gal and there are very few places you can just put the hammer down. But the car is a refuge, a movable sanctuary. An altar to the idolatry of mobility, perhaps. I pull on my 7-3/8 fitted baseball cap and shove an Orbison tape into the deck; I look in the rearview mirror, Dad smiles back. 6/1/01

7 comments:

Sharon said...

More, please!

I can relate, except that when I look in the mirror I see Mom.

mutzali said...

Very nice, demo. Except now you've got me all teared up over my Dad, and I have a whole day's work to pretend to do.

Joe Visionary said...

Gawd, am I ever delighted to see you have a place in your mind where there's no politics, no external noise, nothing that imposes on that too-often feared silence within one's own head, and that you know how to enjoy that stillness.

I find this to be a much richer measure of a man's worth.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, that's ok too.

democommie said...

Joe Visionary:

I think I do know what you're talking about.

Writing poetry is a very different thing than writing the rants or the comments on other's rants.

Back some years, before I knew that I had ADD, I used to self-medicate with likker and sit in bars surrounding myself with smoke and noise so that I could concentrate.

There is actually a part of my heart that is poetic and political as well--but it gets less exercise.

Thanks Joe, sharon and mutzali for taking the time to read and comment.

Dave von Ebers said...

Demo, it wasn't quite the same riding in the front seat of a 1972 VW Microbus, but it had a certain level of cool because they only came with manual transmission back then -- so that, like, trumps most cars on the road, right there -- plus it had a Porsche engine in the back with duel carbs ... which, truth be told, barely got the damn thing up a hill; but the thing was, my dad would tinker with that Porsche engine all the time, and I'd sit in the garage on up-turned pail and we'd talk about stuff while he tinkered, which was cooler than driving, anyway.

The old man knew his way around an engine, which is more than I'll ever be able to say.

Dave von Ebers said...

(By the way, I think that last comment is what a friend of mine would call "stream of conversation.")

democommie said...

Dave von Ebers:

Or in my case "Streaming unconciousness"!