Caveat: 10 ways of looking at a city bus

A sensuous mother’s hand strokes her daughter’s brown back, a sort of innocent, pure eroticism, unconscious, formless, concrete.

10 ways of looking @ a city bus (after W. Stevens which I just was reading)

1. A boy is kissed by his girl
@ a bus stop on Figueroa St.
By the taco stand. A bus pulls up.
And struggles away in a cloud of exhaust.

2. A child watches the red & yellow bus,
all angular, be-wheeled giant,
irrelevant to his life
He watches from the window.

3. Rural, inter-city county bus,
bound for the university
A column of eucalyptus trees flips past
College students look out at the lumber stacked in rows

4. 11 pm on Washington Blvd.
A man waits, stomping to stay warm
Almost dancing on the icy sidewalk
The 16A doesn’t come.

5. Two yellow and brown buses
careen down Avenida Insurgentes @ 2 am
their drivers are racing.
The passengers doze, or are drunk.

6. The newspaper headline says
the buses are overcrowded.
The state orders the transit authority to buy more buses
one man asks “Where’s the money going to come from?”

7. An old woman clambers onto a bus,
Somewhere along 6th Avenue – the 50’s, I think.
An impatient young man flicks his burning cigarette into the gutter
And reaches for the handrail to climb aboard.

8. Somewhere near St.-Germaine-des-Pres
a bus disgourges its passengers
The rich, intoxicating smell of diesel fumes
Still makes me think of Paris in January.

9. Accelarating passionately
the rural bus swings into opposing traffic
To pass a donkey cart
An old woman who boarded @ the mercado hugs her chicken protectively.

10. Sgt. Jones was impressed, when I knew
which bus to board – I decifered the hangul.
We went to the modern art museum
South of Seoul, amid luxuriant green trees.

I went to a meeting this morning – early, for the thing on deep ecology. I talked more than I expected. And after, two ladies & I talked about Quaker schools, & the decrepit situation @ Pacific Ackworth. No sé.

Yesterday, after counseling, where Jeffrey was the dominant subject, I drove to Pomona, walked around in the desolate desert, hot. Saturday morning ‘ closed. Decrepit 2nd tier urban core. Then I ate lunch at Dennys, which reminded me of Michelle and her cravings.

Then I came home. My pen ran out of ink the end…

[The “retroblogging” project:  this is a “back-post” transcribed from paper on 2013-06-08.  I’ve decided to “fill-in” my blog all the way back.  It’s a big project.  But there’s no time limit, right?

The above was written one Sunday afternoon – my journal entries of this time period were very precisely dated and time-stamped. I was probably in a Starbucks in Pasadena or another in downtown Burbank, or else a Java City location in Glendale I was hanging out at a lot during that period – I tended to migrate around these places depending on what other errands or tasks had me doing at the time.]

[UPDATE: I re-published the poem enclosed in the center of this post as poem #1799 of my daily poem series, on July 4th, 2021.]

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