15 July 2011

18 across

walking through a four car train on an eight car run in an oblong full

of the suited and booted, the margins of their manners

slimmed and tenuous, I stitch my way through the carriages like a clumsy ballerina

like coarse twine trying to thread its way through silk

I dink the corner of a boutique paper bag

its owner clasps it to her shins

surreptitiously smoothing

its freshly formed creases 

I shuffle my feet around laptop bags and briefcases, I notice zip pocket pen holders

empty of pens, I press my work boots down

onto the toes of a woman staring studiously at her crossword

she turns her head

her grey flecked fringe sways

pen still pressing on the black and white squares

I touch her shoulder and say sorry, a muted sentence falls to the floor and flinching

she retreats 

back to 18 across

at the end of the fourth car, into the rear cab, I join a resting driver

he unfolds a seat from the wall, tapping it with a hand full of sovereign rings

I sit, looking out

of the widescreen window

watching track

roll away from me

as if I'm 

rewinding myself somehow

we talk about death at 90mph

about signals and fag breaks

the hegemony behind us



Judge Whisky said...

This was an excellent way to describe what most would find a mundane commute.
You certainly have a poets eye.
I would ride the train with you anytime.

Brian Miller said...

yeah most def...some of my fav writes...and the play on the cross word is great...

Diana Lee said...

This is absolutely one of your very best. Your storytelling is like like watching rough stones being tumbled and tossed until they're all smooth and beautifully tinted.

Luna said...

love the way we waltz through our days, catching snippits that take us on wild journeys... glad I saw Diane's post of your poem...
really great flow .. a beautiful dance to read :~)

Madame Sweetcheeks said...

Love the movement of this piece--the linear and detailed journey of you (a "clumsy ballerina"!) and the strange rush of travel, through space, time. Telling this story could have been so boring (if even told at all) without your keen observations of the ordinary. Love it!

Brian Miller said...

smiles. appreciated it a second time through and great to see you at dverse....

Claudia said...

this is excellent - felt like in a movie...crossword movie...

Pat Hatt said...

Wonderful play on the cross word lines, nicely done.

cat said...

Thanks Brian & Claudia, I know it's a repeat but I wanted to offer something for Dverse's first day, looking forward to the adventure! said...

rewinding myself somehow
we talk about death at 90mph

A meditative and engaging poem.

avril yospa said...

My favourite poem of the night. Loved it, I was rapping it out loud.

Joanne Elliott said...

Cool...pulls you into the scene.

Daydreamertoo said...

It;s real, it's exactly how it is on a crowded train, too.
A great write and a great read.

marousia said...

Great rhythm

hedgewitch said...

"Like coarse twine trying to thread it's way through silk.." a perfect tactile image for that crowd scene you paint so meticulously. I love the treasured boutique bag, the retreat to 18 across, but most of all the camaraderie and warmth of the ending. Fine writing.

signed...bkm said...

makes me want to jump on a train and watch the world go by....bkm

RMP said...

I think you wove quite elegantly through hegemony. I am curious though, what was 18 across?