Monday, March 5, 2012

Descanso

The road weaved off ahead like the 
messed-up
more adventurous friend
who says, come on, let's pick the lock,
snap the chain,
and goose the gods who brought the rain.

This road is the place
where the one I was
met the lead-foot driver of who I would be;
and you know what they say--
women drivers
no survivors.

Oh, little tornado-heart,
shed that leaden skin.
Let the poison out, let the Jesus in.
Honey, a red car is the only car--
no you anymore, but only us...
I'll carry the best of you fast over asphalt and tar,
and leave the husk with these crosses
in the roadside dust.

_____

for Real Toads OLM

 

27 comments:

Old Ollie said...

Tight poem - you have real lyrical talent.

...and poems from the road...nice

Brian Miller said...

ha nice rhythm to this...

i have a weird mixture of tracy chapman and van halen running through my mind...

leave the husk in the dust by the roadside cross...nice...

Lynn said...

Women drivers, no survivors - never heard that one. :) Good poem, Shay.

Marion said...

Awesome poem, Shay. There are elaborate Desacansos on almost every road I travel here in Louisiana. I passed one yesterday and was explaining the word "Descansos" to my daughter and grandson (Spanish for place of loss). Synchronicity. xo

PS: Fabulous site here:
http://www.descansos.org/

Marian said...

i never heard that before, "women drivers, no survivors." huh.

Mark Windham said...

very nice. 'Goose the gods', I like that.

Kerry O'Connor said...

The ironic tone of the poet is heard loud and clear above the devil-may-care tone of the speaker. A remarkable poem with a strong message.

In my search for beautiful gardens, I came across the Descanso Gardens of California. I did not know the word also meant a roadside memorial or shrine. I love to learn something new :)

hedgewitch said...

The conflicted narrative here is lyric and ambivalent, yet strong and determined regardless of its perversity. The shrine for the ones killed by the road, the road that is also the way out, the vehicle, a mix of spiritual, sensual and material, salvation and destruction, and on top of that, a love poem extraordinaire. Amazing what you can do in a few short stanzas--and I like the way you get the lead out.

Mama Zen said...

Every line of this is like a bullet. Wow!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I especially love the part of the road where the person the character was met the one she would be, the lead-foot driver (love it!). Love "little tornado-heart" being implored to shed the leaden skin. Wonderful writing, as always, kiddo.

Susie Clevenger said...

This is a strong poem...lyrical with a punch...nice work!

Mary Ann Potter said...

Loved it! And Bob Seger --- real Detroit rock, old school and fabulous! (Seger, Motown, and Mitch Ryder made it great!)

turtlememoir said...

Brilliant, bold with imagery and punchy lines - love the way the rhythm carries me, fast and faster...

TALON said...

The movement is matched by the desire. I really loved this, Shay.

razzamadazzle said...

Loved this! That phrase "goose the gods" made me chuckle.

Abin Chakraborty said...

fine blend of wit, irony, sarcasm and heartfelt anguish...esp the last stanza. kudos!

Mary said...

I read this over a few times..trying to decide; and after the third read I decided that they died...especially based on the second last verse!

Herotomost said...

Hits pretty close to home in a few ways...that photo of the mustang...my aunt drove a Mustang into a canal at age 16 racing it the day after she got it....great sense of feelings in conflict in this one. It is what it is.

Kay L. Davies said...

How I ever survived, I'll never know.
In your poem, I can see me when I was young and crazy. Even when I was older and shouldn't have been so crazy, but my brother bought a Mustang Cobra and, suddenly, there I was with my foot reaching for the floor...
What is it about cars anyway?
K

Kateri said...

I had to look up the word Descanso, since I had not heard it before. Beautiful strong poem...

Hannah Stephenson said...

Very Neko Case-esque (another redhead to adore).

xo

HermanTurnip said...

Terse and slightly schizophrenic. Had me bobbin' and weavin' like I was in a relationship of Chris Brown. I didn't know which way to turn. My kinda poem! :-)

myheartslovesongs said...

imma not gonna say nothin bout women drivers, particularly me.......

your labels are better than my poetry!

{don't you have to go back to work?}

♥ {mumbling under my breath as i go to your next f*cking awesome poem!}{oh wait! that's your last one... yay!...um, i mean, oh! i am SO sad that is the last one i hadn't read on this page! heading over to coal's now.}

Lydia said...

Absolutely sublime, Shay. I loved this. It was a real trip.

Mystic_Mom said...

With some strong road music this is an anthem...of sorts. I love how you pulled this all together! Really well done!

Lolamouse said...

I couldn't stop reading this one. I love "little tornado heart." I know that messed up friend all too well. Geez, I love this poem!

TexWisGirl said...

i can relate to the need for some speed!