As I recover from a concussion (please visit my Go Fund Me to learn more) I thought this week was a good time to explore the audio files I have accumulated on my phone over the year. Often inspiration strikes when I am away from a pen and paper and I can’t type the words quick enough into a note. Recording observations as RAW audio free verse poems are satisfying for me. Background sounds are incorporated into the piece which, I think, adds to the impromptu performance. Also, there is a desirable amount of light pressure to form a creative thought in one take.
The fifth poem I offer up for this project is a desolate poem with the working title “The Middle Seat” recorded August 27, 2018, one and a half months before my bike accident. Riding the 1 bus through town it stops at the YWCA, then travels by The Lighthouse Mission before it comes to my stop, the plywood mill off Roeder. Every day there are people in crisis on this bus. It gets to you after a while. At times it scares me. I fear that, if I’m not careful, I could become homeless. Sitting in the middle of the bus one afternoon, I witnessed a rare perspective between the hopeful and the hopeless. I’m stunned.
I recommend listening to the audio file while reading the poem. I open Google links in Music Player for Google Drive.
I take the 1 downtown my nose is bombarded by the scents of the 1 I smell an overwhelming perfume of mental illness, poverty and piss
I hear the voices of hope three women in the front of the bus discuss low-income housing it’s options, what they’re like how much they ask for Two of the ladies are working to get out of the women’s shelter and one has one has gone into low-income housing she’s made that next step out of that poverty and they talk and their voices have hope I hear it also, its riddled with pain but they smile and they share information
Five people behind me reek of vomit and piss and liquor as if they haven’t bathed in weeks or maybe just since yesterday I can’t tell Bad breath Everything they have is dirty everything they touch is dirty their bodies are dirty These are people still on the streets
and there I am in the middle of them It feels like I’m sitting on the edge of a knife
I could be at a moments notice in one incident one health care thing one accident I could be on either side of this fence but I take the 1 to go to my job at the sawmill it’s depressed right now work is slowing we’re building up our stock There are rumors we are building up the stock right now to burn it
I’m drinking coffee and a breakfast cookie sitting by myself in the break room My body bombarded by the sound of the machines pounding wood