Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Alabama Truck Stops (A Poem)

We drove for nine hours,
Humidity cloaking our windows
Like the horizontal designs of a wedding veil
As our exhaust mingled
In the whispering kiss of dandelion.
I do not remember what conversation
Carried our car south like
white matter in the center of the universe,
Only that I sat amidst it,
Legs crossed like a good girl,
Floating away from the stifling everyday
Of Nashville parks, of soups and subs,
Into the star-shine of an Alabama sky,
Our car whisking us past Birmingham
Rich in it’s night clubs and 3am DJ’s,
Two skyline voyeors in an orange time machine.
The long drifts of twisted trees,
Mangled by last Springs’ tornadoes,
Spun in their roots as if by
A giant, God of thor, the one eye Cyclops,
Then the spinning gin of dust devils
That lolled me off into the drunken dreams
Of sugared sand and jelly fish.
Four hundred miles dissected between
Hurried exits, stop lights and roadway signs
And the nowhere open-all-night
Convenient stores where
Middle-aged women with bad teeth
Spoke to you in ‘darlin’ and ‘baby’
as their too-fat fingers dipped
Into freezers full of stale bread and old eggs,
Up to the sweat of their wrists
Into the desperate wallets of old men
Stiff in their worn pants,
Truckers and troubadours alike,
The after-party of middle age.
All the while I snuck past
The private dinner parties of their blind dates
And into bathrooms smelling of piss
And four-day-old tampons,
Holding my breath while pissing
And then looking into grime-streaked mirrors,
Thick in the car-leather smell of my own skin,
Eyes shot of too much caffeine,
Mind bent upon runes and the words of Keats,
Skinny in my beads and jeans,
The star-chasing, tarot reading Goddess
Of some ignorant man-boys dreams. 

Written from a prompt at Poetry Jam.


  1. So vivid... some of those restroom stops on road trips are enough to make you want to wear a diaper.

  2. hahaha tarot goddess of some man boys dream...oh i howled a bit at the end...ha, what a trip...road trips are like meet the most random people and have the most random your freedom...this was a lot of fun...

  3. Wahoo ... what a slice of road life here!

  4. Wow, that was quite a journey, quite a trip. One definitely does run into the most interesting people (with bad teeth...yup) when one drives a distance. And the bathrooms one encounters make one choke, for sure. You described the 'joy' of visiting them SO well. A very vivid write, one I could picture and smell and almost taste!

  5. oh my...I've been on that road trip also! Memorable moments and forgetable rest stops.
    ps do think about dumping out of the indecipherable captcha as this is my 3rd try to comment

  6. Eyes shot of too much caffeine - i love this line, so alive and the poem is so vivid. Great work.

  7. Such sharp images and oh those rest stops! Travel on!


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