Friday, January 9, 2015

For The Road


For The Road




He bought me a car
so I could drive it for him,
the Drunken Master, the Blind Buddha
high school wrestler with a karma
stronger than the Eight Immortals.

So I worked for my license,
drove my teacher (Eddie Sneath) to drink
with the stickshift stall and rollback of 
 San Francisco hills,

learned the caress and nudge of a tight clutch
the tap of foot/ hand glide/ accelerator slide,

but still, I always knew
it was easier
than learning to fly.


~January 2015





posted for    real toads

Challenge: Road Trip!
Corey Rowley (Mexican Radio) asks us to travel back in time to our first ride.


Process Notes: 'Eddie Sneath" was an alias and alter ego of a friend. The car was a '64 VW microbus named Ruby, purchased by my first husband. (She had the white and turquoise paint job pictured above, so Ruby described her personality, not her color.)When I was put behind the wheel one foggy morning on Van Ness, I had never driven a car in my life, but I learned. 
The flying, that was harder.






Optional Pop-Psychedelic Musical Accompaniment






Images: Authors unknown. I have slightly manipulated both. 







22 comments:

  1. We take our chances where we can and it is easier than flying. I think this did not clip your wings.

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  2. Oh yes.. those micro-buses was a cool thing to drive (my parents had one, furnished so you can live in it).. Borrowing it was fun :-) But just the thought of driving such a thing sounds quite close to flying actually.. BTW that music seems to be close to flying too...

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  3. Ha. A bit of Janis comes to mind. Very clever and cute too. I especially love the drove him to drink line, in this context, and the whole double entendre in the best senses of the clutch and slide. A lot of fun, and great pics. The process notes are their own poem. k. (PS - it is so frustrating as Blogger will not let me use WP and I guess my WP is giving the blogger people trouble. Crazy.)

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    1. Thanks, k. I think WP and blogger are having a turf war or something right now. I have to be careful with my own posting at WP sites or they periodically get eaten. I routinely copy to the clipboard any comment longer than a single sentence. I don't understand why it has to be this way--can I blame windows 8? I think I will anyway. Thanks for reading and glad you liked.

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    2. I am an Apple user so please go ahead and blame Windows! It is a lovely and fun poem. I think part of the issue is that blogger wants to claim anyone who uses gmail and makes it quite hard now if you are signed into gmail and want to comment from a WP blog. So maybe WP is fighting back. I've thought of changing over as I still don't know how to put pictures on my side board thingy--widgets?--but it feels like a fairly long history to switch. Have a nice day. I am working, agh, but am thinking of poem for this prompt, sort of.

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  4. Wow! What a terrific story you tell! Those VWs were everyone in the day! Glad you finally traded the bus for your wings!

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  5. We all drive stick shift here - it can be nerve-wracking for a young learner driver. Those VW vans are icons of their times, aren't they?

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  6. i am not at all surprised to learn that you were a San Francisco girl (i was in Phoenix about the same time) and the VW microbus perfectly suits my image of you. {both meant as compliments from this former flower child.}

    and you learned to fly higher than the sky, sweetheart!

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  7. Great spliff of 60s hemp here, a bite of the dog that made ya ... The road is an initiation, asphalt trails and trials characterized as much by the lovers as the cars that drove 'em, for better and ill. That you were put behind the wheel of a cantankerous VeeDubbya bus on scary hills outside San Francisco by what seems to be another of the devil Buddhas makes this rock like old roll. Is this how you earned your broom wings? It's surely where you learned how to shift. Dang.

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    1. Yes, been a hellsnake on my trail a long time, and what a trial its been. ;_) There is no debbil like a buddha debbil either. You can't even spray for them, because their offspring persist rolled up in impervious imp-cases in your brain. Thanks, B. Just some fun here--loved your skullmobile and the rocknroll anthem of a ride down the early stages of a road that hit deadman's curve just one too many times.

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  8. I loved the VW Bus. Never got to drive one but my friend had one and we tooled around in it.
    "The flying, that was harder." my, that speaks loudly.

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  9. Sometimes we learn to fly by using our wings on pavement. Great piece!

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  10. You're flying quite high these days I think. How did I know it would the micro bus for you...lol. Big fan of the VW of all types and the personalities that drive them. Great fun Hedge, thanks!!!

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  11. Oh my. That photo at the bottom - did the tree (hopefully) grow up through the bumper later????

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  12. Perfect vehicle for you - always wondered what they looked like inside. I learned on a stick shift -

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  13. ha. its cool. i scared my dad working the clutch, so i got mine on an automatic...lol
    hope you did not rest it in that tree....smiles.....learning to fly (when you aint got wings)
    is not so easy...and as the great prophet once said....coming down is the hardest thing

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  14. I lived south of SF for 14 years and can't imagine learning to drive a stick shift on those hills! I do remember the clutch and glide of the VW's shift though with a visceral memory. Love the wrestler with karma stronger than eight immortals- great line.

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  15. San Francisco Girls! I love that song, and the guitar bit in the middle. (Full disclosure: I only first heard it a about ten years ago!)

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  16. This is perfect, perfect! I love driving stick, but I can't imagine trying to learn on those hills.

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  17. Enjoyed this drive down memory lane! I learned on a VW bug and definitely remember the "stick shift stall and rollback" sensation...

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg