Saturday, 29 December 2012

Bus note 34

Remembered woman
two seats in front
reads her large pink Christ Triumphant book
        with thin nose set
        in powderwhite, describable face
        making for a near perfection.
        Across from her
        structure, her gleam,
Mother makes her boy's very dark hair unruly;
forget time and weather,
reasons and others, signals.
        They all leave the bus two stops
        before I do. Almost alone now.
Black hair. White face. Pink book.
My dry red hands.


  1. And the ride continues. Nice work, WB.

  2. The golden stitch in the weave holding this together for me is the SET/perFECtion/FORGET/WEATHER rhyme.

    Ah, if only we could.

    Those (subtle, often internal) sound repetition patterns continue to strike me, and leave their (I mean the poem's) mark -- almost as though this were still to be however nostalgically regarded as an art form.

    And -- The poor woman, we come almost to know her. I too have been guilty of these strange fits of bus ride x-ray vision transgression of the mysterious opaque character shells of total strangers. Perhaps, in fact certainly everyone else on the bus must be doing the same thing always. Increasingly becoming the object of such distancing gazes as one grows old and lame and halt and thus curious (not in a good way) oneself, the high drama of the occasional cruelty of this sort of transaction now is almost more than can be borne. Though the day buses, which bear tensely the traffic of those who are still able to work for a living, are an actual Gethsemane, the night are oddly less painful. I think then: is it not likely that, in the grand loop of things, in the posthistorical narrative, the Evening does indeed Belong to Jesus? At night He gets to come down from that awefull Cross and become real, at least just that wee tortured bit. In his remorse, our familiar. -- and surely Christ Triumphant ought not be pink but gold leaf, perhaps going off a bit with the mould?)

  3. Thank you, both. And to TC especially for drawing out that golden thread.

    There's always a risk of looking too hard (seen in some quarters as a formal request for a punch to the head) or saying too much when writing the notes.

    Important to remember her consolations matter to her. I had to have the decency to make my presence felt in the text if was going to work up her picture.

    if Jesus is going to show up anywhere, it's on the night buses, breathing that stale air, in that yellow light.

    The pink was very impressive in its grand cut-price way. But flaking gold would have been lovely.

    Today, there's been at least four hours of crystal sharp sunshine. A reprieve!