Pantoum: Mass Transit

The sun was starting to get a little low
when I parked the car in a parking deck
in Jacksonville where I took Southwest to Oakland
We stopped somewhere in Nevada

When I parked the car in a parking deck
I left everything but a suitcase behind
When we stopped somewhere in Nevada
I bought sunglasses to replace ones I forgot

I walked along rolling a suitcase behind me.
I boarded a bus to get to the rail line
I had bought earbuds to replace ones I forgot
I went down the stairs to the long tunnel

I boarded a bus because the rail line
only took me within a mile of my hotel
I’d walked down the stairs from the platform
The sun stung my eyes when it left the tunnel

I was less than a mile from my hotel
when I started walking along the sidewalk
The sun stung my eyes at the intersections
I checked in and changed to a tux

When I started walking along the sidewalk
to go to the banquet I’d come for
I checked the windows for the change a tux made
A San Franciscan with a Pentax took my picture

I’d arrived at the banquet I’d come for
All the miles behind me at last
The event photographer took my picture
I took a cigarette although I don’t smoke

All the miles behind me at last
I was seated with seven people who don’t know me.
I took a cigarette although I don’t smoke
and I waited at a bar when it was over

I was standing with four people who know me
I took a cigarette even though it didn’t fit the form
and we waited at a bar after it was over
talking about Jack Kerouac because it’s what we do

I smoked a cigarette and I talked about form
over substance at a party where no one gets along
and recited Allen Ginsberg until they took me home
in a cab which saved some tedious doubling back

I read a USA Today for four hours in the airport
in Oakland where I took Southwest to Jacksonville
by way of Love Field, Texas
The sun was starting to get a little low

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7 thoughts on “Pantoum: Mass Transit

  1. love the way you penned this. Every line a virtual complete sentence, an action upon action. A true example of a traveling poem, and the two references to Kerouac and Ginsberg were very nice touches. Thanks

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