Saturday, December 8, 2012

Poetics: Saturday morning CarTunes

Cole, Bristol, VA

'I am growing up,'
my ten year old son says,
an inarguable point---from the back seat,
my thumb pinched tight under
the steering wheel, fingers drum
drum-drumming to Christmas songs

A white four door, maroon
van, car after car after---a couple million people
alternating between gas & brakes, hurtling
tons of steel toward somewhere to be

the bypass off ramp bends right
& i follow, click-click, click-click, click-click
turn signal morse code for keep

'This time next year, I may have a beard,'
he adds, grinning ear to ear & chest
puffed in the rear view mirror

'ha, i think you're safe,'
i answer

a man, more bush than face, the top
shoved in a stocking cap, cardboard
epitaph in hand says 'I AM here'
subtitled 'need food'---stands in the grass
where the road straightens by the mall,
a cop, as well, pointing him on---
tail lights fLasH

'yeah, and then you'll get pit hair,'
my youngest digs

'eww, no i won't
& won't wear deo

'oh yes, you will
whether you want to or not,'

we laugh, traffic breaks,
i suck Garlic biscuit & black coffee
off my teeth from breakfast---not
the taste you want

to start the day with,
but we don't always get a choice
when it comes to our
daily bread

'you'd stink too,' again
his brother, but he's moved

'how much longer til we get home?'
anxious for the next thing

'sometimes it's better
you don't ask, just enjoy the ride,'
a V of birds crosses the cotton ball sky,
rain polka-dots the wind-
shield glass.

Over at dVerse, Fred has us writing first person narrative poems...not too hard for me as i do that quite often...he'll be opening the pub around 3 go, get writing. Smiles.


Laurie Kolp said...


Laurie Kolp said...


you brought this to life for me... sounds a lot like my boys conversations sometimes... love the beard part

Mary said...

Ha ha, Brian. I wonder what your boys would think of this poem. A nice first person slice of life. And yes, enjoy the journey.

the walking man said...

Tell the kid he is right never use DEO it changes the bodies acidity levels (Ph) and clogs pores. Either I am so massive or mean looking and have been for forty years but I have never had a complaint about my smell.

Showering is fine and don't forget to tell him there is no law that says he has to wear underpants either.

Manicddaily said...

A very sweet story and well-told,great interstices of outside. I love some of the comments too. K.

ND Mitchell said...

Great snippet of real life. Love all of this especially the ending. It's funny how when we were young we wanted to grow up fast just like your boys. Remember taking my father's razor before any beard growth and pretending to have a shave-the cut under my lip is still visible 30 years on! Really enjoyed this.

Grace said...

I always enjoy the snippets of your life Brian ~ This reminds me of my conversation with my daughter, she is growing up fast, too ~

I also like the car sounds and the last scene - birds in the cotton ball sky - beautiful view ~

Pat Hatt said...

haha fun to hear their thoughts
And yeah the stinky pits suck lots haha
Millions on the road?
Damn, you better get good at morse code

Brian Miller said...

mark....that is a battle often...i have been 'free' for nearly 20 years....and the boys want to be like dad...smiles.

DJan said...

Oh this one is really filled chock full with images. The ten-year-old is becoming hirsute as we speak! :-)

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I like the style of this particular poem Brian. It filled me with a bit of nostalgia as well, harkening back to my childhood days haha.

Jannie Funster said...

You boys sound absolutely delightful, and fun! So many smiles from converations with them, I bet.

Black coffee, eh? I like mine creamy and a bit sweet. And it's about that time now. Been lying here reading blogs for the past hour, I plumb forgot to make the coffee!

As always, a treat to read you, Brian!


Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Brian,

This post reminds me of my younger days when I wanted to grow up fast. To have hair on my hands,to wear full pants,to go to adult movies and so on. Now that I have become old, I want to be young again, those carefree wonderful days. Those lovely days haunt me now. The adventures,thrills.excitement,the energy, I miss them all.

Your post also reminds of Christmas when my children were small. The time spent in decorating the house,buying Christmas presents, the laughter in the house. I miss them all since they are grown up now and are on their own.

Enjoy the wonderful time you are having with your children.They will never come back.

Wish you and your family all the best,

RMP said...

I do enjoy these trips, especially when the boys are along for the ride. kids truly do have the most interesting thoughts; although I suppose even adults do as well, but with age tends to come a filter.

Gail said...

A wonderful story of you enjoying the ride.

It was sad, but good, how you sneaked in the picture of the man in the middle of such enjoyment.

JANU said...

My son is 14 and you don't want to know what he has to share. Nice tender moment here.

Claudia said...

love how you switch from the things you see..the traffic, cars, birds, cotton ball sky to the conversation..smooth transitions & i feel like i'm in the middle of the son by the way shaves his arm pits - in the bathroom sink!!! &%§"$&/%QW($%WQ) - ha..smiles

ladyfi said...

So wonderful - I may have a beard by next year. Love it!

CiCi said...

"You'd stink too" puts it into perspective the way young folks say it like it is. Nice visual in this poem, you and your boys, safe in the car and just jammin'.

farawayinthesunshine said...

Learning to enjoy the ride has to be difficult for a ten years old, don't you think? I'm still having a bit of a challenge with it sometimes ;-)
Happy saturday and thank you for playing Brian :-)

I hope you are writing a book, I really do !

Myrna R. said...

Love this. True we don't always chose our daily bread.
So cute, the banter from the kids.
I know this prompt posed absolutely no challenge to you. You are always able to include dialogue in your poetry in a masterful way.

Have a great weekend.

hedgewitch said...

Day in the life. The inner and outer I/eye--and love the sense of humor that kids can dig into so easily--they don't have to try to be clever, they're just naturally hip to the absurd.

Geraldine said...

you and your guys must have so much fun together. I bet they think you're a very cool dad!

You're definitely a cool dude. ;<)

Hugs and Happy Weekend, G

Tabor said...

Nicely done and this goes in the archive that you bring out years from now when they look back.

Kamana said...

love how to capture the snippets of daily life in your poetry

Other Mary said...

Great slice here Brain. You say way more than you say...if you know what I mean.

Betsy Brock said...

I know I've said this before, but I just love that age...the 9-12 age of boys. So very fun to hear them talk. :)

Susan Daniels said...

Wow, I was in the car with you guys and simultaneously tasting garlic coffee. Vivid, fun, and aside from garlic blended with coffee, delightful!

pandamoniumcat said...

I felt I was driving along with you, that click click, nice others have said a great slice of life...

Chic-Cherrie said...

Ahhh Brian, kids are a wonder aren't they. Too smart for their own shoes too, and the knack of stating the obvious. Lovely read.

Polly said...

Love the sucking the teeth part ~ heh-heh ~ so real :)

Fred Rutherford said...

love the details in here. Along with dialogue and distinctly unique and vivid imagery. Fantastic write Brian. And let him know, that if he want's a beard lol, by that point next year I'll probably have enough to spare ..smiles

Marbles in My Pocket said...

Awesome write, Brian. I love that line toward the end about moved on to the next thing. Seems that's life these days, and it's not just the young'ns that are quick to change course and mind; if you know what I mean.

Tara Miller said...

I love how you capture the moments surrounding these conversations as well (the man with the sign, sitting in, click-click). Our boys are quite the entertainment.

Gloria said...

aah Brian I think your boys are really cute always I say and love this age I remember I talked with ditol a lot at this age but now is not easy sometime.
Also always I say: enjoy your childs:))

Natasha Head said...

Fantastic, Brian! States the fly you've been trying to get rid of since summer from her corner of the rear window. And to end on such a vital life is indeed better sometimes, not to ask. Hope you remembered your deo...the garlic would be hard enough ;)

Chris Lawrence said...

narrative , poem , character all distinct even confessional it breathed and moved and became it's own being and i loved it but definitely will need the deo at the teenage stage, all the best

Nilanjana Bose said...

'This time next year, I may have a beard,'...killer line there! Sounds very much like my son :) sometimes its better not to ask but just enjoy the journey, so very true.

Daydreamertoo said...

Love your little slices of real life. Kids do say the funniest things, even though they don't often know it themselves.
Pit hair... ewww...LOL
Loved all of it

Nara Malone said...

The little details between dialogue: taillights, garlic bread between the teeth, birds in a cottonball sky, bring this to life for me. I feel as if I'm in the car.

Susan said...

"'This time next year, I may have a beard,'
he adds, grinning ear to ear & chest
puffed in the rear view mirror"

Got a huge laugh from me, as did beards without body odor, so I almost missed how much this is about time, noticing and not, and being here now. Gas/clutch/brake: life is like a car on a road going somewhere. It's good just to cruise or park and rest a bit.

Cloudia said...

"Wish I could drive my car."

Dad, on his death bed

Aloha to YOU from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral

~ > < } } ( ° >

> < 3 3 3 ( ' >

><}}(°> ~

Mama Zen said...

This lives and breathes. Excellent write, Brian.

Victoria said...

There is so much to love in this, Brian. The whole self-awareness thing of Cole, the teasing by his brother and your musings on the whole thing. Garlic for breakfast...okay!

Poetry and Icecream said...

Love the last stanza Brian. Nicely done :)

The Empress said...

Loved the dialogue in this one, and I could've been sitting in the passenger seat, or between the both of them.

Very nice.

Reglandus White said...

Nice read Brian...takes me back to when I sat in the back seat as a kid on rides with my parents...looong time ago. :-)

darsden said...

:-) Cute & Happy Weekend

Bodhirose said...

Really like this, Brian. I love what kids come up with...thanks for sharing.

Daniel said...

Love the slice of life presented today.

poetaviator said...

like the motion this took me to.

Kelvin S.M. said...

..ha, i laughed at 'you'll get a pit hair..' ... very enjoyable & fun to read Brian... conversations like these are what i really missed...i'm 21 now and no longer talk 'bout things of this kind... i'm on my own already try'na have a living away from my funny dad, vivacious mum, naughty li'l sisies & teasing bro... aww.. i liked what you left in the end... 'sometimes you don't have to just enjoy the ride..'.. smiles...

jane hewey said...

i would tune-in to a daily radio station with you reading poetry. your poetry.

Syd said...

Cole growing up....kinda sad in a way. But it just happens doesn't it?

Raajii said...

I wish I was as good with poetry as you are :-)

Anders Woje Ellingsen said...


A child in car
is never far
from playing rear
seat passenger.

Celestial Dreamz said...

I always get fascinated with your poetic style ... loved it :) how are you?

Joanna Jenkins said...

'This time next year, I may have a beard,'
You left me smiling from ear to ear.
Cheers, jj

Lady In Read said...

wonderful, again, as always, Brian.
It is hard to keep up with kids as they talk, they move on so fast. and you expressed this so well here.
And the beauty still present in this real-life snippet..
a V of birds crosses the cotton ball sky,
rain polka-dots the wind-
shield glass.

Lorraine said...

I just sit back andyou enjoy your family as you tell it...and I love it

Valerie said...

'A white four door, maroon
van, car after car after---a couple million people
alternating between gas & brakes, hurtling
tons of steel toward somewhere to be'

A salutary note in a descriptive scene, the only section that brought a touch of fear to an otherwise ordinary car ride, wondering what was coming next. I loved this slice of real life. Happy Sunday, Brian.

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

A delightful poem about a delightful conversation!

SueAnn Lommler said...

This brought a huge grin to my face..,I had this convo with my grandson about two years ago! Ha
He was so upset about underarm hair and groin hair. We all laughed in unison! He was not pleased with us. Ha Ha!!
Hugs and well done'

Sabio Lantz said...

Good pic of the boy -- mine is becoming a man too -- loveit.
He loves his hair and stink -- just like his ole man.

Like this expression:
"hurtling tons of steel toward somewhere to be."

Your closing 'stanza' was cool -- like a Haiku -- no judgement, just the image to accent the previous flow.

Nicely done, really enjoyed it. (am I getting use to Brian?)

Dave King said...

Wonderful script. I was especially struck by this verse:-

a man, more bush than face, the top
shoved in a stocking cap, cardboard
epitaph in hand says 'I AM here'
subtitled 'need food'---stands in the grass
where the road straightens by the mall,
a cop, as well, pointing him on---
tail lights fLasH

Grandmother said...

You make the whole scene so immediate. Your son is lucky to have you listening to him, we're lucky to have you sharing these pieces of your life with us. Thanks.

ayala said...

Love the details...anxious for the next thing's so funny how kids can't wait to be grown up and later we miss being children. Tell him not to rush :) enjoy his childhood :)

Zuzana said...

Got to love child's perception of time.;) I recall when a year was an eternity.;)
Hope you have been well dear Brian and will have a great week ahead.;)

Wolfsrosebud said...

amazing how that want some of the burden but not all... about age 25 reality steps in

afterhisimage said...

great conversation, Brian. it made me chuckle. the biscuit and coffee metaphor is great with the daily bread. I had a large chocolate bar once with grapefruit juice. the chocolate didn't bother the juice any, but...

rumoursofrhyme said...

Hi Brian,
I love the way you weave stories from your day to day life into your writing - lifting the ordinary and seemingly unimportant to new heights. The first person voice is such a natural way of telling these stories and you use it well.

dsnake1 said...

such detailed imagery in this work. always love to read your poems. :)
is that a NASCAR racer in the picture?

A Cuban In London said...

I loved that "poetic conversation". Yes, I can recognise the situation. :-) Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Alice Audrey said...

Ah, the deo argument. They really didn't want to do that and nothing I said made a dint but the first time someone of the opposite sex said something they were begging for it.

FrankandMary said...

They may be growing up, but I also think they keep you from growing old. ~Mary

Sue said...

I always love your slices of family life.