Monday, May 23, 2011

facing the morning

squeal~hiss, brakes release as the cross town bus drags its feet on the way to getting us somewhere, picking up more people headed the same place we are, somewhere, no where, now here. the windows bear marks of faces pressed to the glass watching those passed and past places that once meant something, now buildings abandoned or refurbished to house someone, hide the bodies of the systems latest victim.

left, right, left, the maze we weave through the streets, faces join us, faces leave. we are all characters in this morning story. a man, tan skin creased, soul patch beneath his lips carries a case-less guitar and periodically picks a string with his ring finger, without even noticing, but the woman two seats over cant stop focusing on it, by facial expression, but says nothing.

its a buffet, where you choose whose life to taste by the seat you pick, but the one next to me is empty. we roll on stop, by stop. faces come and faces go. in po-town, projects, we pick up a few ladies just finishing work as the sun rises, their legs pearlescent lies'n books laid open til spines broken, well read & dog eared, barely disguised in short skirts that leave little unexposed to the elements of imaginations.

he boards behind them, silent as he cases his options prowling taut down the well trod rubber ribbed aisle. what skin visible, an inked canvas of muscle to the knuckle & below his eye, indigo tear eternally. sliding in beside, huff'n blow, he's ready to go, phone rings & shows a little brown haired girls picture & he thumbs the slide, passing the caller over.

yours? i ask, curious

mi hija

dos hijos, i touch my chest

and for next five minutes, regardless of where we been, culture, circumstance or language barrier, we are two dads on a bus, flashing pictures in cell phone pixels, heading somewhere, no where, now here, where faces come and faces go and a man strums a guitar, without even noticing.


linking with the Poetry Jam.

67 comments:

happygirl said...

Buses are so different from trains. I'm glad you wrote about the bus. I hardly ever take them anymore and this felt like being back on the bus. Thanks

California Girl said...

sometimes I just love you. this is one of them.

Helen said...

'.. characters in this morning story ...'

riding a bus has limitless possibilities for creating a great story - as you have.

Daniel said...

I really felt the vibe of this one. Gritty, real, raw. Good addition to your library my friend.

lorely said...

"it's a buffet where you choose whose life to taste" apparently you chose well...that was the line which spoke to me...

David Allen Waters said...

we are all just people...beautifully expressed my friend

LauraX said...

"its a buffet, where you choose whose life to taste by the seat you pick" BRILLIANT line Brian!

Sue said...

Beautiful.

And for me, nostalgic.

Thanks.

=)

Christine said...

It's been years since I took the bus, you've captured this "buffet" world so effortlessly. Loved that word you used, I used to watch people and wonder who they were ALL the time.

ayala said...

"it's a buffet , where you choose whose life to taste by the seat you pick" love this line... Nicely done :)

Scott said...

Ah the bus: cyclic like life. You're partaking tin the life of others, as you said, but then others are doing the same to you. And you'll be on both sides of that coin if you ride the bus long enough, where someone will always board before you and someone will always board after. Good read.

Felicitas said...

Meeting new people who might never otherwise cross your path is one of the things I have always loved most about the bus. Every day is an opportunity for a new adventure!

hedgewitch said...

Great short piece with elements of story and poem--love the skirts that "leave little unexposed to the elements of imaginations"--you've caught that city vibe--if you're on the bus, you ain't no millionaire, and poor folks may have poor ways, but they are pretty good at tolerating the rough edges of life.

KB said...

A bus ride can introduce us to people we wouldn't usually meet. Very nice.

Hilary said...

I love the idea of the bus buffet.. and your connection .. father to father. Beautiful, Brian.

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

Hi! Brian...
I know that every reader, take away something different from your poem(s) [words]

Brian said,"and for next five minutes, regardless of where we been, culture, circumstance or language barrier, we are two dads on a bus, flashing pictures in cell phone pixels, heading somewhere, no where, now here, where faces come and faces go..."

What I'am picking-up on is a very well-written and very vivid description Of a bus ride and no matter where we go or what we do people are basically, the same.

(In other words, We all basically, have the same concerns, love Of family, and friends, joys, sorrows, and problems in this world.)

Thanks, for sharing!
DeeDee ;-D

Pat Hatt said...

Oh how I loathe the bus so much
All the things you have to touch..lol

But yes the people that can be met
And the possibilities you've yet to get
Can make for an interesting time
But I'll walk over the bus any day, way or climb

blueviolet said...

My daughter rode the bus to school last year and she told me stories. So many stories to be found on such a short ride.

Jen said...

My bus rides were never that exciting.

Margie said...

Loved it and especially this:
*it's a buffet, where you choose whose life to taste by the seat you pick*
Wonderful story!
I do love how you write!

Margie :)

Kate Hanley said...

Isn't it cool how people can make connections so easily? Great writing, the words flowed like scenery going by.

Kate Hanley said...

Isn't it cool how people can make connections so easily? Great writing, the words flowed like scenery going by.

Mama Zen said...

The description of the ladies is just brilliant.

rosaria said...

A bus buffet! How clever is that!

Helena said...

We all seem to like the same line! Buffet...I haven't rode the bus in years, but you took me right back in time...I love this one Brian, I felt like I was in the seat behind, watching you.

emily wierenga said...

oh, brian, LOVED this, every word.

tracy said...

Until you met the man with the picture I had a vision of one of those videos that are made with pictures so it looks like everything moves really fast and jerky. Then it slowed. way. down.

AmyLK said...

Its amazing how you describe a bus ride. Lovely!

Slamdunk said...

Makes me want to go ride and explore the possibilities that I have let go by in the past.

lori said...

Ok, favorite line is, "it's a buffet, where you choose whose life to taste by the seat you pick..."

That is a brilliant line. What I like so much about your work is that it inspires me to write better. I mean, c'mon! I so wish I had written that line :)

Thanks for sharing your creations!

Tara Miller said...

A buffet where you choose whose life to taste...such a vivid description of riding on a bus. Though we may have many differences, we are all also very much alike, which you discover as you connected with another dad. It's neat to find how just a single thread can connect and create a bond.

Raven said...

Such an ordinary thing made so vivid and expressive. You never cease to amaze me. Oh, how I'd love to crawl around in your head for a while.

ladyfi said...

How wonderful - such vivid description of life and what binds us.

ds said...

Love this. "Somewhere, nowhere now here..." Very clever. How the heartstrings touch in unexpected ways and we remember our common humanity. You are a one! Thank you.

Enchanted Oak said...

I like your syntax and language, a little herky-jerky reflecting the bus ride. Nice work.

ethelmaepotter! said...

"dos hijos, i touch my chest"

This touched my heart. And I think I heard faint traces of Simon and Garfunkle singing America in the background.

Zuzana said...

Oh, this was beuatiful. I recall when i traveled to the university and later to my first employment by buss, for about two hours each day. I too would look at faces of strangers and after a while familiar faces, that would greet me each morning or on the way home. I even met my first serious boyfriend in that buss.;)
I also recognize that moment in time, when language poses no barrier between two people connected by life itself - no matter their geographical or cultural background.
Beautiful and poignant piece, one of my favorites.;)
Have a great day dear Brian.;)
xoxo

A Daft Scots Lass said...

well said, Bwian

Lorraine said...

so often wanted that to see all around me, but I could never take the bus...I can only look at life behind a cloister... I love this Brian

Alan Burnett said...

There is a fabulous Stacey Kent song called "Breakfast on the Morning Tram". Your piece reminded me of it in many ways. (And the lyrics are by Kazuo Ishiguro so it is good company to be keeping)

Sam!! said...

Lovely post Brian..thanks!

Take care

Vodka Mom said...

i heard there was a yard sale over here.

the walking man said...

Nicely done Brian. Your execution of the buses atmosphere was spot on perfect.

Baino said...

At least you spoke to the guy on the bus. I went into Sydney for an interview on Monday and nobody even looks at each other. Full of iPod buds and laptops. Very unfriendly and everyone dresses in black, seriously no colour in the business world.

Titus said...

Wow! Wasn't expecting that. Pleasure to read.

Chef Kar said...

Boy oh boy have I missed reading you. So grateful to "click" on you this morning. Wonderful, as always, Brian. Hoping to get back in the flow soon. Touching words painting a picture with grace and beauty...always a delight.

annell said...

I like this one. I love to ride the bus....sometimes just for fun!

Valerie said...

Loved this, Brian. I used to love riding on buses but not any more; you brought back memories.

The Bug said...

Well told tale. There usually is some common ground in all people. My Magpie/OneShot (posting tonight) tells a simliar story. In a VERY different formate of course :)

TALON said...

I was right in the moment, riding the bus and smiling at the dad exchange, Brian.

jabblog said...

I felt the relentless drive of the bus, the mix of passengers and the final communication between two dads - beautiful!

Maggie May said...

Lovely post.
I think people are the same all over and just because they might look a bit different or wear different clothes, they are just like us when you get to know them and they get to know us.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

5thsister said...

a touching vignette. I find I meet the most interesting people when in similar circumstance, be it a bus, a plane, a coffee shop... A very nice snapshot of the human condition.

william said...

excellent interpretation mate, I also wrote a poem about a bus lol, catching all the characters aboard, well done ;)

Claudia said...

oh i almost missed this...ha you see...even with google friend connect...smiles. glad you can't blame me for missing your posts...ha
and so glad i didn't miss it because it's so beautiful and warm-hearted. love the idea of choosing whose life to taste by the seat we pick. used to commute to work by train for about two years and know exactly what you're talking about

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

:) LOVE!

Magpie said...

If we could just see each other in such basic ways...no country, no government, no religion...what a happier place this would be.

Joybird said...

set the scene, then move the characters, the move my heart...just 2 dads under it all

secret agent woman said...

A lovely image of how we are all more alike than we are different.

slommler said...

Wonderful verbal images!! A slice of life...quick and satisfying
Congrats on your POTW
Hugs
SueAnn

Out on the prairie said...

What a nice passage, I need to ride that bus more.

texwisgirl said...

that was beautiful.

congrats on your POTW!

lucychili said...

lovely =)

Dave King said...

A great and modern take on the prompt. I loved it.

Barbara Shallue said...

I'm behind on my blog-reading, so I'm happy Hilary awarded you a POTW so I didn't miss this one. (Congratulations!) I rode a city bus for the first time earlier this year (jury duty) and had such similar thoughts as yours. It was an opportunity to connect with people I never would have otherwise and I loved it for that reason.

Stranger said...

Fantastic! Are you publishing this stuff? Are you doing live poetry slams yet?

poetpeteet said...

"legs pearlescent lies'n books laid open til spines broken, well read & dog eared, barely disguised in short skirts that leave little unexposed to the elements of imaginations. "was the most memorable line in this fine buffet for me as it sets up the "father of daughters"moment so well.A nice breakfast in the clear morning light.