Saturday, August 18, 2012

Poetics: Summer came, and all I got was this t-shirt

riverside, Branson, MO


'Ya'll should go to Eureka Springs,'
says the man by his van, another

hour and a half, after the sixteen
it took to get here, we just met,
when i asked about his Arkansas plates,
being nice, and all

'There's lots of weird people there,'
he doesn't dance well, backs up
as if just discovering the heat
of the as-phalt

'Not weird as in dangerous,
but weird interesting. you'd fit
right in.'

I leave him dangling on the line,
debate jerk-ing the hook, but
let him off with a grin & he tells me

Ghost Hunters found a full body
apparition - no hoax - lots of antique
shops as

'Well, you drive safe,' i shake
his hand & watch them
up the road, my son pedals
over on his bike, 'Do I

really look that weird?'
i ask

'Daaaaaaad,' his only answer
as off he goes leaving me
to my sandals---the sun,
side up egg, in the sky,
all popped and runny---

mopped up with toast---savored
with a dash of salt & pepper,
.

Over at dVerse Poets, we are wringing out the last bit of SUMMER---school starts here on Monday---so pull out you slide projectors & show us your SUMMER....this is one of the lost poems from my Branson trip...any way, see you at 3 pm at dVerse.

PS. I took a job with a school about 35 miles from home, so a little commute. Great team of teachers I am working with though. Kids come back Monday, so should be fun. Smiles.

89 comments:

Mary said...

One

kaykuala said...

We meet all sorts on the road,I guess! would take it as some diversions not to be seriously delved into. Nice take Brian!

Hank

the walking man said...

Good about the job.

Now you kind of get the Idea why I stayed on the road for 4 years. man there is just to many weird and wonderful people and places to see.

mrs mediocrity said...

A perfect summer snapshot of the things people say.... I love the sense of vacation and travel though, you nailed it.

Glad to hear the job is going well.

DJan said...

Only our kids can say "dad" or "mom" in quite that way, as if it's so obvious! You? Weird? :-)

Mary said...

I enjoyed this, Brian. I haven't taken a road trip in a while...I think I am due. It is true that you meet a lot of interesting characters at waysides, etc. This guy gave you a kind of 'back-handed compliment,' I think. Actually I'd take it that way...and good you saved Eureka Springs for another year (maybe). Smiles.

Susan said...

"'There's lots of weird people there,'
he doesn't dance well, backs up
as if just discovering the heat
of the as-phalt"
. . . and you start spinning your magic, fish hooks and all. It's this magic realism that astonishes, you know, when your attention to mundane detail becomes all yolk in the sky dripping, ending up in a good breakfast.
A bemusing Brian-style yummy poem!

happygirl said...

Congrats on the job. Hopefully your commute will keep the sun at your back so you don't have to squint on the drive. Good one. Don'cha love it when someone accidentally tells you the truth? :)

Daniel said...

A little weird? But we already knew that! (smiles). Hope the job allows you to do what you do best - touch lives. Have a great one.

Monkey Man said...

You paint such a great picture with your words...makes me want to hit the road :)

cheers

Christine said...

wonder what they say about the folks in my neck of the woods? beautiful weird people are everywhere, wish my kids were back in school next week, we have 2 1/2 weeks left, I still don't understand why kids need 10 weeks of summer holidays?

Pat Hatt said...

Well at least he wasn't a Deliverance sort
Needing you to run, hide and build a fort
Back two-three whole weeks before the kids here
That might make many peer
Sucks having to commute a bit
But sure you'll be a hit

Tabor said...

Weird. The opposite of common. Some days I wish I looked more interesting.

hedgewitch said...

Let your freak flag fly, Brian--people need weird, the good kind, so much more than they realize. Eureka Springs is well worth a visit--great scenery, intimate, old Victorian style B&B's and turn of the century natural hot springs spas with masseuses. And weird people. At least when I was there thirty years ago. One of the last places I ever went to church was in a little frame building there with a white steeple right out of a Christmas card. A perfect poem of a moment in time, a perplexing interaction, and what's important.

Claudia said...

love those short encounters with people we meet by chance and just for a few minutes, share a few words and yet, they leave us thinking, touch our lives just a bit and you've woven so much magic into this..lots of great lines...loved the leaving him dangling on the line stanza and that side up egg - mopped up with toast closure..smiling... smiles

PattiKen said...

Road trips are the best for meeting people you'd never find anywhere else. The vignettes are they provide are wonderful.

Helen said...

CONGRATS on the new job! The kids are lucky. Troy Polamalu is one of my son Carl's favorite players!

Love when you write about Branson, Arkansas and everything that they represent. I have MANY fond and funny memories of that part of our world.

Dana Dampier said...

Encounters like these is what makes vacations interesting!

I'm glad you are enjoying your job!

Nessa said...

I'm thinking no weirder than him. I loved the feel of this - the pacing WAS like dancing on hot asphalt.

Good look with your teaching gig. I'm sure you'll be fantastic and have a great and lasting impact.

Daydreamertoo said...

LOL Laughing at the guys comment: 'Weird....You'd fit right in' SMH (Shaking my head) They have no clue sometimes of what it means to be subtle, do they! I'm so glad you are so good natured you just grinned, then asked your son for confirmation...how lovely that you value his opinion. ;)
Great news on the job!~!

Valerie said...

Interesting encounter, brilliantly described.

Interesting job, too, by the sound of it. All the best, Brian. What's 35 miles when there's money at the end of it...smiles.

Eva Gallant said...

Wow...school starting early where you are!

I like the way your son avoided answering your question!

Jyoti Mishra said...

moments like this make vacation much more fun..
interesting read..

Good luck with new job..
kids r too smart these days :P

Geraldine said...

Big congrats about the job Brian, I hope it's a perfect fit for you, in spite of the commute. They are lucky to have you onboard!

Happy Weekend,

http://www.myreallifereviews.com/2012/08/a-mr-cheddar-review-innova-dry-cat-food.html

Laurie Kolp said...

Love this... especially the ending. Hope you & your boys have a great year & CONGRATS again to you!!

ladyfi said...

Good luck with your new job!

Loved this piece of writing.

farmlady said...

Really well done. Love this.

CiCi said...

What a riot. A strange man thinks you are one of the weird people.

The school is fortunate to have you teaching their children.

Poet Laundry said...

I leave him dangling on the line,
debate jerk-ing the hook

...clever! This one made me grin. Glad to hear about your job :)

flipside records said...

"the heat
of the as-phalt" ... This is what I like to call brilliant hyphenation, my friend (ass fault).

P.S. You need to bump over your apostrophe in y'all at the beginning. Believe me, that's one thing I have to know how to write correctly. It's required when you live in the South. It is a bit weird down here. :)

'Not weird as in dangerous,
but weird interesting. you'd fit
right in.' ... Ha ha ha! That's hilarious.

"jerk-ing" ... I love it when you do this---create double meaning with your hyphen play. And you do have to debate calling (thinking) someone a jerk. Usually, there's a reason. That's why you're a counselor. You see that in people---the under-lying "why" of a person's identity and behavior.

"let him off with a grin" ... You are precious. :)

Great line layering/lead-in/overlap here: "lots of antique
shops as
'Well, you drive safe,'"

Very groovy description: "the sun,
side up egg, in the sky,
all popped and runny"

I love your dangling "period" at the end. Great way to end a poem and a thought-process that leaves you wondering about yourself, about others, about the idiocy of mankind (self always included in the group, of course) ... period. Just drop it, eat your eggs, bike around, and hang with your kid. Introspection and examination of others often turns in circles, in upon itself, useless in the end. Sometimes living in the moment---breakfast, fun, face-to-face interaction---those are the things we can really get a handle on.

Excellent poem, Brian. Very thought-provoking and meaty in few words.

The Empress said...

Tears in my eyes from this, B. The words as much as the picture.

This is my last summer with my boy at home.

Already, the only song I hear in my head, is "What'll I do when you're so far away, what'll I do..."

The Empress said...

P.S. WOuld love to know more about your job. Can you tell us???

Susan Daniels said...

Brian--love the sun as a sunny-side-up egg. Awesome poem.

David F. Barker said...

Love the poem Brian and well done on the job - at least 'gas' prices are cheaper there than in England!

manicddaily said...

First - double congrats on the job.

Second, you don't look that weird. (But--ahem--weirdness is in the eye of the beholder, perhaps).

Third - I had my own runny egg.

Fourth - lovely poem. k.

thecourseofourseasons.com said...

Brian - yea for the job - congrats! You know I love this poem - so perfect a take on a few of us down here. : ) Kathleen

adan said...

congrats! on the new job, and as usual, great writing including the youngun's ;-)

esp ESP liked,

"'Do I

really look that weird?'
i ask

'Daaaaaaad,' his only answer...."

oh yeah, gotta grin on that one ;-)

Glenn Buttkus said...

Good things sometimes come to good people,
and you fit the simile, sir; congrats on the job
and the tiny commute. This poem does sizzle; like the lines /the sun, side up egg, in the sky, all popped and runny/. We ran the blue highways like road runners in the SW; great trip; saw some bristle cone pines.

SueAnn Lommler said...

What a colorful description...most people would not take notice!!
Hugs
SueAnn

Polly said...

A very different take on summer ~ I'd love to experience a road trip like this ~ one day perhaps :)

Archna Sharma said...

That was such a fun read, especially the way you let us savor the sear and hiss of summer's sun. 'Weird', without the dangerous, is totally awesome, no need to think otherwise. :) I've enjoyed the snippets of your MO adventure.

Congrats on the new job, such fulfillment in working at a school. My husband goes down the hill for work, his commute is frustrating at times, but we all have kiddos to feed and have to accept our blessings as they come. Blessings to the newness in your life.

poemsofhateandhope.com said...

'you'd fit right in' had me in stitches...because I could just imagine this kind of situation (I've found myself in a few similar news- some people are genuinely odd aren't they- which makes it ironic that they think YOU are odd)....really love the narrative style in this....and the cute interaction between son and father- I'm just trying to picture your puzzled face once the guy had driven off!!! Very very cool capture of the strangeness of strangers!

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

You probably just looked like a tourist. :)

Congrats on the job. Is it full time?

pandamoniumcat said...

I love weird makes the world interesting, and that dancing on the asphalt ouch but funny... lovely write

Victoria said...

For a start: Congrats on finding a job so quickly, Brian. They are lucky to have you even if, in the eyes of some, you're weird. That's a great poem...love the characters you meet and describe. Enjoy those kids.

Anne said...

I've danced on some summer asphalt in my day and the jig was an awkward one. And traveled well and truly from place to place and wonder now what people made of my strange passing through their town.

Congratulations on finding a job Brian. I can now cross you off my prayer list. There's about 4 other bloggers out there still looking. Tough times indeed.

sonny said...

loved how it began the max....the pauses and the innuendo's seemed perfectly placed...

i guess what i am saying is...it flows...i like poems that flow...

wanna share something...:)...am trying to grow my hair and while driving my girls to a dance class...i put it up in a french knot...so my 10 year old says.....ma..you look....weird...
i said..." people look pretty, people look bad...how many do u know , who look weird...i like weird..."

so the 6 year old from the back of the car says...i know mommy ! like the man who comes to buy our old news papers and ...beggars on the street....they all look weird...i like them !

grins...

Suz said...

good thing come to good people and you are one
I adored this write...loved your description of the sun...I will never look at it the same way again......Best to you at the school....you were meant to go there....door closes window opens
blessing Brian to you and yours

Steve E said...

this is my 12th day on the road--REALLY! And boy, you sure nail down the bonuses of a 2-3-week scooter ride

A day does not slip away during which I have not met only one, but a dozen such peeps, couples, or families. The minutes or hours spent are the dearest of my life.

Those moments during which are imparted--in both directions--some wisdom, some humor and some true human (or Godly? Hmmm?) love for fellow mankind.

My faith in Peeps--that more good is out here than bad--is restored daily, hourly, on the asphalt, in Starbucks,
wherever "two or more are gathered"

AIN'T LIFE GREAT?!!!!

Paula Wanken - When Words Escape said...

Love the enjambment. :)

Betsy Brock said...

it's the 'hawk, you know... :)

Gloria said...

I know Im weird and I accept you know weird is different to others and sometimes is only be yourself lol
Im soooooooo happy by your wirk.Blessings:)

Alice Audrey said...

We still have a week and a half until school starts. Now that my kids are older it isn't quite as big a deal.

Vicki Lane said...

Congratulations on the new job! They're lucky to have you.

Your end of summer harvest of poems is outstanding, as always. You see so much...

RMP said...

personally, I consider weird a compliment--who wants to be normal? granted I also believe everybody is weird, which technically would put everyone in the norm. a bit of a conundrum really.

kudos on the new gig. can't believe you start so early; I get at least another two and a half weeks before kids start roaming the halls. of course, that's when all the good fun starts.

Enchanted Oak said...

Still composing solid poetry, I see. Blessings on your new school session.

Kristina said...

DO you look weird? That's kind of funny. Congrats on the job!

Susie Clevenger said...

I love Eureka Springs. I have gotten the weird comment myself. Can't imagine why..lol

Sharp Little Pencil said...

Love the commentary from the Arkansan. The road is filled with interesting types!

Brian, I'm so glad you got a job working with kids. I know it's your calling, and you will be an asset, I know it.

Loved this sweet, sincere take on that odd moment in any trip. Your son is a hoot! Amy
http://sharplittlepencil.com/2012/08/19/sunburn-for-dverse/

She Writes said...

YAY!!! on the job :).

Um, no. You were obviously visiting with a narrow man who oddly believed he was widening your horizons. At least there was salt and pepper to take the sunny side up down :).

Fred Rutherford said...

Really nice piece. Love the way you brought back the theme in the end, circling the piece together again, really like how you've been doing this particular aspect so well lately. The guy you met, I've met so many like that through my southern travels, just brought me back, I love southerners, they are some of the most real people I've ever met. Your son's response is perfect too. Great read. Good luck on your opening day next week.

Gemma Wiseman said...

Love the "cooking egg" element in this! Perspiring dialogue can only muster a basic connection! Great casual beauty in your narrative poem! Like a real life, wryly comic skit!

wayside word garden said...

Congrats on your job. The comment from your son-- just perfect,just the way kids say it. I like how you take an everyday interaction and transform it into something interesting and thoughtful.

Chris Lawrence said...

Great wordplay and a fascinating set of lines that made for great reading glad all is going well Brian all the best

Dave King said...

Full body apparition... no half measures here, then! Strong write, sums it up beautifully.

Lorraine said...

that's funny Brian, you excell at all brands of writing....'good about the job' the walking man says, have I been that much out of the loop?

Marbles in My Pocket said...

A New Yorker in Branson? You shoulda fit right in! Haha! Great write, Brian.

John (@bookdreamer) said...

Dads are never weird except from when they are 10 to 21 and then we become quaint!

Luke Prater said...

side up egg, in the sky,
all popped and runny--- great imagery man... summer goes on for a while though huh? Just that the kids are back in school?

Cressida de Nova said...

Well it's great to hear you are a weird interesting person. It's also great to think you were contemplating decking that jerk:)

Wander said...

Brian you crack me the f up...good poem, and I hope you fit in just fine...

Do right by those kids, expose them to art, give them hope that someday (maybe soon) life will get better... maybe, just maybe you will nurture the next Clemons or Therau...

Wander

Sue Judd said...

Like this, great imagery and as so often in your poems, those great hyphenations!

Rebecca S. said...

Hello Brian - I know I haven't been here lately - summer and all, but here I am enjoying your poetry once again.
The line about 'debate jerking the line' was great - really grabbed me with the image. My kids have until after Labour Day when school starts. We have a couple of weeks left to fill... :)

ds said...

Ha ha. Glad you didn't "jerk" the line too hard...
Congratulations on the job! Does this mean you'll have the same vacation schedule as your boys? ("hey, guys, I'm off today too!"." Daaaaaad"... ; ) )

zongrik said...

i like the second to last stanza a lot in terms of the "summer assignment theme" for some reason, that really had a sense of summer, but i'm not sure why ;)

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

really look that weird?'
i as 'Daaaaaaad,' his only answer
as off he goes leaving me
to my sandals---the sun,
side up egg, in the sky,
all popped and runny---
mopped up with toast---savored
with a dash of salt & pepper..."


Hi! Brian...
You have captured the last "wrings" Of Summer very well in your [poetic] words [and children response to question(s) that they have no answer for too!]

Tks,for sharing the photograph too!
deedee :)

Margaret said...

Word interesting. Ha. Not so bad, there are worse things. I love your son's response

Lydia said...

So happy for you about the new job. The commute is not great, but sure could have been a lot worse! First thing you must ask your new students is:

'Do I

really look that weird?'


Hah!

myheartslovesongs.com said...

you ask your own child if you look weird? you know that puts them on the spot! {smile}

congratulations on the new job! sorry about the commute ~ no texting or reading/writing poetry (OR comments!) while driving, young man!

seriously!

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

Well done! And congrats on the new job!

kkkkaty said...

A typical summer day with no expectations and then it happens...an unordinary conversation of ordinary proportions, or vice versa...it felt like a hot day..superb..

Tara Miller said...

The guy you talked with seems like he fits right in with the weirdness of his town....you, you're not weird. Except when you want to be....hee hee ;)

jane hewey said...

savored with a dash of pepper. nice write, Brian. you do such a fabulous job of seeing life in tiny vignettes.

Goofball said...

Yaaaay on the job! super news. 35 miles is doable.

Did you scope the egg from the asphalt? that would be a little weird, yes

Sue said...

Hope there's no traffic!

=)

Teri M said...

My kids think I'm weird! :-) Congrats on the new job!!

ayala said...

A great capture of summer and people we encounter ... So happy you are working alongside a good group of people :)

Magpie said...

Well, Brian, Sweetness...it is obvious you're not trying to look like everyone else. :)

Cheryl said...

Congrats on the new job, Brian! Sounds like it's going to be helluva ride.