Monday, April 21, 2008

Writing while driving

What follows is an experiment in creativity. I am trying to challenge myself to write in ways that force me to get out of my habits. The thought is that one can create new kinds of work if one gets away from old habit. This was written while driving on I-70 headed West from Columbus to Dayton.

Doing two things at once

Prism of my cracked windshield refracts
Across the pages, a slash of colored light
Layered like spilled fruit juices
I turn the wheel and it disappears.
A red rabbit blurs by.

Sun glares intensely on the starred
Rear window of the white car ahead,
I can’t make out the driver.
Moving snake of ink tracks
Across the page, making a road,
Where time stops thought;
Pours content like concrete
Into the void of the page.

I accelerate to 60,
While writing: sumac, locust,
The bony white body of a sycamore
As they loom up then zoom
Peripherally, like roads going off;
Like the road my hood is eating, all part
Of the blur of blooming that retreats to
The black at the back of my head.

The splash of light is back, quite
By accident, the road winding to the right.
I am now doing 52, behind a white-haired man
In an old white car. Here are two black men
In a big blue car. A black couple in a silver
One. They have all lived on the road while
I scrawled words at the wheel.

Boats across the green median, pulled by blue
Pickups and in the sky; a red-tailed hawk floating
In another time. A canoe overturned on the roof
Of a green Barracuda strains against its bonds.
The prism flickers on the back of my hand,
Moves up to cuff my wrist, crawls up my arm
Into the shadow of the visor and is gone.

Suddenly slowing, the traffic grows so thick for a time
I have to close the tablet and put the pen down.
Hay in cylindrical bales, fields of soybeans yellowing.
It is easier to write at 55. Not to mention the savings.
I notice that I mistook the white-haired woman in the white
Car for a man. Distracted, I suppose. Lost focus.

The prism lies quiescent on the journal.
I pass the woman again and come up to
The couple in the silver sedan. They have
Two children who wave. I wave back and
Pull around them, accelerating. The prism fades.

Black and white cows in an open green field,
Car-high corn fields, green blades fluttering,
Traffic closing in and braking down, 40, 30, 15,
A wreck burns on its back, a red rabbit in flames.

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