10 July 2005

Waiting Poems

Some of you already know about my ongoing poetry written while waiting for someone or something. Two examples of these poems are the one I wrote while watching my younger son's pony ball game, and the other I wrote while waiting in line for Star Wars: Episode III. Both were written using the technique of clipping from overheard conversations.

The idea to write poems of this theme came to me while spending countless hours waiting for loved ones. I would sit there and consider all the millions of other things I could be doing, writing poetry for example.

Now, this is what many a university professor like to call synthesis. I hit upon the novel idea that waiting provided the perfect opportunity to write about the life going on around me. I started with a short one about waiting for my wife to get her nails done. The approach centers on the images breezing past the gazebo in which I waited. Unlike the approach I took to "Waiting 2" and "Waiting 3," I returned to the image-centered poetry in this latest installment:

Waiting 4: Bus

Walk — Run — Ride — Drive
(all in a row, that order too)
Ride — Stop — Go — Stop — Go
(joys of bus rides)
Stop — Go

Crackalating aged blonde (as indicated by her pink tank top)

Love-smile kiss waits on faces closing in on each other
Can't see his face but hers steams deep love

Little teeny
short pin-striped skirt phony flower in her pony

No pigs today

White tight knit straw cowboy hat
black banded with fishing lure

yellow, red, and spotted

tie-dyed pantskirt from light cloth
an adjustment and dirty look
for my breast-struck gaze

Crazy anal-retentive put-together old man

Near empty bus with mildly off fatty
and some hip young fella
with more regulars waiting at the grocers

Bus turned off
silence but for the rustle of shopping bags
YMCA parking lot conspicuously empty
clouds rolling in with threats of lightning
but hopes for rain and mild temps
two crows play air tag before claiming
crust from cake crumbs

[end of poem]

This particular poem will take some time and will probably change over the years, because I do a fair share of bus riding. It's rough but not as rough as the original; I revised as I scribed.

A few things are going on with the poem: a description of the glossed-over images, actions and random characterizations, and a detailed description of nature meets human progress. I guess my task here is to find what I want to do.

Do I want to describe the feeling of waiting, interacting, watching?
Do I want to make some social commentary?
Do I want to detail the sites and/or people I see?

I've seen many poems about riding the bus, the characters who ride buses, and heard a few songs about waiting on public transportation. The forms all matched well. No hurry to find such form though. This project will take some time, but I'd love to hear what my readers have to say about it based on what you just read. How do you recommend I best proceed?

No comments: