Big Bridge #10

Export: Writing the Midwest


John Doe


On the Road with Doe: 3 Poems and a Song

a waste of gun powder & sky
--Aimee Mann

canít go to sleep
canít get rest
watch keeps ticking
sky rockets roman candles
a car w/ two wire hangers for an antenna
the fish rotted on a washed away beach
old man wind breaker
ninety degree sun
short steps to the corner
leaning into the windless afternoon
turns around & walks back
a tiny fish jumps from an endless lake
a woman yells at a puppy to COME HERE !
that makes you turn away
to walk back to a hotel room
to hide in the bathroom
guilt twisting in yr. guts
or just flip channels
one to the next & the next
to run away & hide
amidst the screaming
sky rockets & roman candles & baseball on TV

                               (7/4/95 asbury park, N.J.)

if the sun is hung up in the sky
I could drive forever
the wind would come pouring
thru the windows rolled down
warm & fast
like a lasting love
I could see yr. hair
flipping around yr. face
& smell evergreens & burning brakes
head down that Oregon 6% grade
drive forever
see everything as ideas
not as something real
85 mph thru the window
cleaning my brain
cleaner by the mile
lighter by the mile
hundreds & hundreds & hundreds of miles
& the flat, flat farm lands
w/ rows & rows of grape vines/fruit trees
towed behind a motor home
where you donít do the work
life is funny like that
profundity is not profanity
having that luminous dusty gold glow
that makes you want to drift off into nowhere
                               (north bound hwy. 5 btwn cal. & ore 11/99)

faraway (from the north country)

around this rented car
snow blows faster
than I'm driving
far away   far away
I might as well stay
a plastic grocery bag
blown against a highway fence
blown away   far away
the light starts to fade
I go faster, you go faster
we get faster gone
I don't care who is wrong
big blue pill that's hard to swallow
the sky's a dirty cloud
little window
yellow distance
must be warm in there
far away   far away
I might as well stay

                               (indiana, thanksgiving 2002)

Note: faraway (from the north country) is used with the authorís permission.
It is one of the songs featured on Doeís album Dim Stars, Bright Sky


slipped right through my hands

nose of the car pointed north
keep driving through the oleander
like a green & white canal along the asphalt
the flat, valley floor before me
the one straight highway to you
surrounded by a wall of white flowers
I could sink into
just like you
just like folding into you

there's a moment when all the resistance
all the strength in yr body releases
a moment where everything gives in, gives way
& you sink into the wall of white & it's soft & fragrant

not even half an inch
from your mouth to my ear
you whisper, "kiss me"
a stranger walks by &
you look up
a shaft from a lighted street lamp falls across yr eyes
as you scan the parking lot

I open my hand &
you slip like a coin onto the street

                               (san francisco, 2004)

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