Saturday, 29 September 2012

Bus notes 21

The bus goes steadily along,
carrying our reluctance, variegated.
        Sometimes there's no longing,
        no urge to anything. We stop,
        start up and move along again
        the routine way.
White, almost, of sky
makes looking a given business;
nothing weathered and no brightness
to speak of, no shining signs. Nothing.
        What I resent is us being
        on our usual form, dead common
        (even the pretty one or two).
We're tricked into a dull humanness,
made to sit still and be bored
for the duration, all samey without thinking.
        Even a little hurt, some small vile turn,
        wouldn't go amiss.
No chance of bliss, though.
        Press the bell in time and off you go.


  1. The all-samey-without-thinkingness of the situation is of course socially imposed. Here the rules are even stricter. Don't look at other riders. As the oldest, whitest, lamest and most weatherbeaten of riders, I find this rule a good match for current social rules in general. Existing in another dimension, sink into yourself, become a sack of dead weight. Looking out the windows makes things even worse. All that's out there is the dying society that devises these rules.

    Of late, it's only desperation drives me to wait indefinitely in the weather for these buses that are never on time.

    But that is here, and there things are not the same. Presumably there are people in the West Midlands who actually don't own cars. In California, no car means no place in the society. A "good news bad news" situation.

  2. It's true that there are people who are dependent on the buses here. Although there are plenty of households with two or more cars, enough to fill up every breathing space on the streets.

    I'm glad to have written this particular Bus Note. It's closer to the usual experience, the boredom and unfreedom. I know their textures very well.

    The breaking in grace found in some of the earlier poems is a rare thing.

  3. Yes, those blest bright moments do stand out against the general predictably bleak backdrop -- the "texture" as you call it.

    It's for this reason the series of Notes has the value of affording a view of the thing, the bus-riding, "in the round". One comes to it on different occasions in different moods. Always hoping for the best but always careful not to let that bit of hope peep out through the mask of absence.

  4. I think you've come to the axle of the poem there, V, a point that looks fearfully still.