Saturday, 3 November 2012

Bus note 26

I'm sitting alone on the bus at the stop while
the driver sucks on a ciggie beneath the shelter.
        Outside: a cold that leaves
        the fingers and the face aching.
Stuck in quietness: magical stasis. Wait.
        And then, as the passengers
        step up and on one by one
a writing hand is disenchanted.
Words are placed in lines.
        This is now and we all know
        where we're going to but
don't want to talk about it thank you very much.



  1. "Shelter", of course, can be a misleading term, in the wind and rain.

    And the bus, when it comes, can also be a cold and lonesome town.

    For this reason I always try to sit as close as possible to the driver.

    Sometimes the drivers like to talk.

    As the blur of headlamps on the glass reflects an empire swirling down the drain.

  2. There are some wonderful drivers on the various routes around here who know how to talk. There are also a good many who are taciturn and afraid.

    The poems seem to have taken a darker turn in the last few months; anticipation of something ugly and final.

  3. Of course we each of us have our views (and trials), but I think I do know what you mean about the ugly and final thing. For me it now seems something that HAS happened, and that what we're in now is the wobbly errant shot-in-the-dark continuation of that something, that irrevocable breakdown in a system that would have been perceived as inherently evil and useless, a very long time ago, had not the mechanisms of human control (via marketing, media, the majority of social institutions), sustained it this long.

    The drivers here are very well paid, thank you very much. Each of course is an individual, and as you say, some find the burden of the job relieved by conversation, others not. Here the great majority of the drivers are black, which gives them a certain (cynical) insight into the structures of power and control. But they are no longer chattel, and that is a step up from the bottom. To be honest, I don't know how it would at present be possible to have any meaningful conversation at all with anyone who has no knowledge of what lies beneath the deceitful social/institutional veneer. The ongoing sense, following on the being run over in the street, of being made a plaything by institutions (medical, legal, pharmaceutical) has now brought home to me beyond any doubt that my only remaining place in the present form of society to be further used and exploited by it. It's made to eat the weak and the old. Thin fare, but then big fish eat tiny fish, it just takes a great lot of the small ones to make the arrangement go along.

  4. (In mentioning the institutions of control, I see that I have managed to unconsciously suppress the thought of the insurance industry, which in this country now seems to drive along and enable much of the dehumanizing structural imposition of redundant stress upon the vulnerable; perhaps, in that sense, the biggest fish of all, in these terminally polluted waters.)

    (Forgive the extensive comment here, perhaps proof of the adage that the internet is for whackos.)

  5. The last act does seem particularly grim.

    I seem to have caught sight of something good, frail and human in the midst before. I hope to do the same again.

    What passes for healthcare provision is perhaps the worse indictment of the US. We'll know precisely how this works shortly over here as the project unfolds.

  6. Thank you, Susan.

    I took a childish delight in typing out "magical". It seems a word one should never use.