Friday, August 27, 2010

Lounge Car: Charlie

I bought a Volkswagen after my tour in Germany,
top speed of maybe 75. Just enough to keep up

with the autobahn.
The trains don't even chug
anymore, just sway. I say the most polished surface

in the world might be the top of the rails, which reminds
me of the bumper of that old Beetle
which reminds me

of the absence of cow-catchers on trains today,
which didn't catch cows so much as split them in half.

It must have been the chill of the water that did it, holding
out his left hand that looks like a fractured cup, that one

long fissure in the brown earthen mug that refuses
to part, fingers at permanent grasp around the palmed scar.

They don't give you a purple heart for washing dishes
but they do send you home with your gun and hope

you finish the job
––the war, some vendetta of the mind
against the flesh––yourself. He chuckles like the train wheels.

9 comments:

gautami tripathy said...

I like it. It made a great reminiscence. The italics worked very well..

designed patterns

robkistner said...

interesting work Nathan, slightly dark and very contemplative -- it was an engaging read...

...rob

Tumblewords: said...

Provocative piece! Much to enjoy and ponder.

1sojournal said...

I like how you jump from one association to the next, but then settle down for the ride and to listen and hear Charlie. Somehow, you managed to make me feel like I was on that train, perhaps your pacing of the lines, or the swaying back and forth to italics, whatever, I really like this one, Nathan,

Elizabeth

b_ said...

Nice character sketch. The two voices weave it well.

twitches said...

Love the way this poem circles around its subject, if that makes sense. Beautiful musical language as always.

Bloggin'withAmanda said...

This is so scattered that is is amazing! I followed every line and it made me smile. I love the part about the cow catchers I actually visualized those few lines in my head....

Wayne Pitchko said...

scattered indeed...loved it and thanks nathan...love those lounge cars

Cynthia Short said...

maybe they should have called them, "cow splitters"?
I love your thoughts and how well you translate them into peotry.