through the crash

¬¬~~”o0o”~~¬¬

 

My father left our family on November 2nd, 1967.   I discovered the brief-social experience of hitch-hiking when travelling back and forth to university in 1979.   I wrote this cluster of poems in 1980, loyal to the images despite the ease to see them as just tabloid.   By 2011 I had never crashed but realised that each of these are related.

 

¬¬~~”o0o”~~¬¬

 

     “Never,”
     said the Sandman

     he blinked
     as the overhead drizzling
          traffic lights
                changed

     yellow;

     jerking flib-flub
     of the windscreen wipers
     flapped in his stomach;

     the great wide
          street
          sspunnnn
     past

     I remember
     the deep maroon colour
     of his car

     flaked off the bonnet
          in the rain
          when he said

     “I’ll try again
      I’ll try again
      I’ll try again…”
     and the dashboard clicked
          blue

     blue-ink blood in the folds
     of my sweating palms

 

¬¬~~”o0o”~~¬¬

 

      “blck” “blck”
          “blck” “blck”

     the little green light on the dashboard

     coloured green blood
     from the little looped vein
     over his forefinger
     as the fuel-gauge finger
     rested in red

          (his hand jumped nervously
           on the steering wheel
           the gear stick wobbled
           and the road turned into
                 grey porridge…)

 

¬¬~~”o0o”~~¬¬

 

      “plink”
     go the raindrops
     from the grey jewels
          of glass
     of the windscreen
     “plonk”
     they “plup”
     on the green
     frosty
     hand
     of my father

 

¬¬~~”o0o”~~¬¬

 

          clown

          the rain blew at an angle
          across the motorway
     the leather-clad jackdaw
          turned his smiling face
     and hitched a lift
          from the double-glazing van
     the red lights silently screamed
          as the tinkling glass
          bled red lipstick
          spattered over the
          bridge pillar

 

¬¬~~”o0o”~~¬¬

 

     big cheeky smile
     the glint in his eyes
     of the long line of cat’s eyes
     the he’d just licked
     for twenty seven yards

     “stop it, stop it”
     cried the red-eyed posts
     on the left,
     the white eyes
     beamed back
     at the
     smiling hissing radiator

 

¬¬~~”o0o”~~¬¬

 

          midnight

     the
     blue
     van
     glided
     across
     the grey
     street –

     little pink feet pattered through
          his mind –

     under the lamp post
     blue blood diluted the pavement

 

¬¬~~”o0o”~~¬¬

 

     dawn

     the cabin
          loggy

                bacon-burger bar

     blumbered from the
          crackly radio

     flat fried eggs
     blupped onto the bonnet
     from the tree-lamps
     down the middle of the motorway

     and as the spikey-fine
          fir trees
     flinked some
          white silliness
     into my piping-hot tea –

     “Whappo” said the
          tatty tyres
     slapping the tarmac

     over the hills and far away

 

¬¬~~”o0o”~~¬¬

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