Friday, August 20, 2010

Lounge Car: Becky

The second time she ran away she ended up
in North Dakota, and works a quilt beside me
as we hurtle through the badlands.

The only time I ever followed my grandfather
down to the river, I first met a bear that was eating
out of his palm.
T-T-T-T-T go the telephone poles,

T-T-T-T-T go the shadows at a slant. He told me
sometimes friends shouldn't meet one-another.

The bowed grass and the flatlands convince me

that the bales of hay have rolled themselves.
The machines are all show. On the third night
the tree is tied with skulls at compass points.

The men, they cut, here
––she pokes my chest, left
and here, right, and dance until the horns break
through the skin.
Think about the forces

between passing trains, whether a bird flown
in between would feel the pull of east and west
and split, wing from wing, or if a balance

is struck between the points, and this bird (a starling,
probably, swooping over fresh cut grass beside the tracks)
could nest in the stillness of a storm that's all eyes.


Anonymous said...

Wow, this poem really speaks to me. I love the way the woman's words weave in and out of the writer's observations as the train hurtles through country (badlands) - and it's a lot like working a quilt, needle in and out and around, piecing scraps together.

Loved T-T-T-T-T go the telephone poles,
T-T-T-T-T go the shadows at a slant.

I did wonder whether something had been inadvertently left out of the first stanza? - puzzled me a bit...

Anonymous said...

I noticed too the weaving back and forth, in and out of a needle in deft fingers. But, as usual, I seem to catch glimpses but not full understanding. And, come to think of it, maybe that isn't necessary or even needed. Just like the sound and sense I feel in the movement of distance traveled.


robkistner said...

This is good stuff Nathan, very good -- creative and engaging... fresh sounding... cool!

Image & Verse

Deb said...

The layers of observation, conversation, images, and thoughts are incredible. I like the way each builds on the other, and the last stanza. Wonderful to see that starling in my mind, nesting in the rushing train's air, that girl whose on how many runs.

Terrific. Thanks for letting us read.

gautami tripathy said...

Very visual. I liked what it did in my mind..

dances of the zeroes

Tumblewords: said...

This one rolls over me in the clickety-clack of the travel track. Each word is heard and felt. Wonderful piece!

Cynthia Short said...

Very imaginative, new thought. The weaving together of the two stories was very good, the girls words had a frightening quality.