Lit.Org - a community for readers and writers Advanced Search

Average Rating

(1 votes)

RatingRated by

You must login to vote


1 o'clock in the afternoon
I kiss my mother on the cheek
and leave Toledo, Ohio -
70,609 miles on the odometer.

@ 70,680
a one-armed man in bib overalls
sickles weeds
near Edon, Ohio.

Passing thru Indiana,
I slow down.
Why go further?

Chi-town! Dan Ryan Expressway!
Rush-hour traffic comes to a halt -
on the pedestrian overpass,
I see up the dress of a girl on a bicycle!

Ouisconsin -
sun sets on white silos,
barns the color of Indian blood;
the corn plants are knee-high.

Turned back the clock 1 hour;
orange sun thru barn slats.

@ 71,052 miles, 10 at night,
a barbecue & Coke in Black Earth, Wisconsin -
a cherubic blonde curb-girl in tight black outfit
& nickel-plated coin changer!

71,143: @ Emily's in the Ocooch -
Ariel & Aimee: I give them
a bird that whistles
a bird that sings
a plastic bird with water -
it does not compare to the sweet tweets
that come from their little hearts.

71,446 miles on the odometer,
just past TeeCee, Minnesota -
should reach Fargo @ 71,655 -
thursday night/ it is now 8:30
don't see any poems
I smoke a doobie.

Whatta ya know!
Passing near St. Cloud, it begins to rain.
Lightning rips through the big night sky.
A semi passes;
everything disappears into water.

A long, shooting star over Fargo -
crossing the Buffalo River
@ 1 a.m.
I imagine bison
& what the river looks like.

20 minutes later, a rest area.
Under half a tank of gas.
71,681 on the odometer.
A blue Volkswagon pulls in.
A big guy gets out looking real whipped
& staggers to the john.
I sack out.
The moon is round above a hedge.

$5 for gas
in Cleveland, North Dakota -
c'mon Bismark!
Show yo' yoogly face!

Cruising thru Bismark -
on the landscape
housing developements like pimples.

95 degrees
car is running hot
me, too
this country is fucking butte city
all day
running hot to Billings.

60 miles from Billings
a rainbow appears -
I think of children
I think of me.

Crossing the Big Horn River
I turn the clock back 1 hr.
& almost clobber a grouse
pecking gravel in the road.

Following the Yellowstone River for miles;
finally pine trees!

Overpass Hotel/ Billings, Montana
I meet Mrs. John Arp
whose son served recently in the Coast Guard
in Toledo, Ohio -
she says he never writes.

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho -
2 guys on a sickle
all wet & cold
cruised across Montana
goin' to Eugene, Oregon
a great concert
Grateful Dead
they say,
"you oughta go!"

Midnight -
Moses Lake, Washington -
I stop at an all-night carry-out
to score some beer -
at the check-out counter
2 strange looking guys with B.O. -
they buy:
a can of Spam
Wonder Bread
Dinty Moore Beef Stew
2% milk
2 packs Pall Mall.
Saturday night in Moses Lake
& everybody's drunk -
I get out of there fast.

2 a.m.
15 miles to go -
above the Naches River
the moon is a cue ball
rattling down the chute.

The taste of death in a mountain stream
like headlights beneath the porcupine stars
a radio tuned to fading music
late at night
arriving home
after all these years.

@ 73,159 miles on the odometer,
I turn the ignition key to "off."

Related Items


by gomarsoap

Thanks for the comment. I submitted this piece in the poetry category but for some reason it showed up under haiku.

I really like reading "road" poems. Do you like any of yours well enought to post? Was Dead Horse Gulch one of the group you refer to? That remains to me a really excellent and memorable poem. I even remembered the title and it's been awhile since I read it. That's a rarity.

( Posted by: gomarsoap [Member] On: October 31, 2004 )

I liked the craziness coming across in this piece. "Road weary" should really be called "road crazy", don't you think? But it gives us a good chance to be collecters of fine imagery, personalities and circumstances. This has a sense of whimsy and perspective that is yummy. I like it a great deal!

( Posted by: GibsonGirl [Member] On: November 1, 2004 )

I used to commute the US23-I80-I94 zigzag a lot. The mileage seems correct, I wish I had my logs.

This is a lot better than "On the road with Charles Kuralt."



( Posted by: Teflon [Member] On: November 14, 2004 )

nice trip
You mean you made it all the way to Moses Lake and you didn't come see me, here in Seattle? The last time I made this same trip, I didn't bring any psychological aids. Don't know what I was thinking.

Nice poem too, Bob -

( Posted by: johnlibertus [Member] On: November 23, 2004 )

Bob's Road

Searched the site for Ohio and found this one. Really glad I did.

The sun through the barn slats, the noting of the height of the corn (heard of "knee-high by the Fourth of July?"), the reminders of mortality and danger interspersed with the trance-like awe/fatigue of the journey. Good stuff.

I like the expressions of time and space in the resettings of the clock, the odometer readings, and the invitation to another possible destination (Eugene, Oregon for the Dead & Santana).

Great road poem.

~ John

( Posted by: Flonigus [Member] On: August 20, 2006 )

Add Your Comment

You Must be a member to post comments and ratings. If you are NOT already a member, signup now it only takes a few seconds!

All Fields are required

Commenting Guidelines:
  • All comments must be about the writing. Non-related comments will be deleted.
  • Flaming, derogatory or messages attacking other members well be deleted.
  • Adult/Sexual comments or messages will be deleted.
  • All subjects MUST be PG. No cursing in subjects.
  • All comments must follow the sites posting guidelines.
The purpose of commenting on Lit.Org is to help writers improve their writing. Please post constructive feedback to help the author improve their work.