Bus to CA, poetry from my book “Tar and Gravel”

29157_397937423370_2677846_nfrom tar and gravel

bus to CA

There’s something beautiful and comforting about grey vomit stains barely scrubbed from velveteen seat backs and

something about the dense air and useless frustrated wanderlust of the greyhound station and the greyhound itself, this universe of breakdowns

in Pierre North Dakota and Weed, CA that makes me calm. Patience. It makes my mind shut tight and arrange itself compulsively. checking

repeatedly for wallet, keys, ticket, the automatic functions of the reptile brain fully involved;

Making sure nothing is lost, nobody touches me, children don’t climb and I

in the meantime have killed the upper brain.


Feet automatically avoiding the sprawl of wild loud children with sticky fingers and dirty pink too-tight shirts where they sit on the floor at the entrance

to the terminal; thirteen slightly torn and stretched garbage bags full of towels, clothes, toys, no books but I can see the handle of

a cast-iron fry pan

clearly outlined in the plastic, spilling around the children is the detritus of people who don’t


realize that frying pans are available at thrift stores in duluth as well as southern california.