Commuting

I tend to write my stories on the fly
with wind and rain and potholes to avoid.
I wrestle with my words; I tumble them
like pebbles, hoping something will emerge:
a thing worth saving. Sometimes it’s just dust—
the slag and shavings of my scattered mind.
But sometimes I find gemstones, treasures worth
their weight in words, and lacking paper, left
without a pen, I memorize their shapes.
I trace each curve, each corner with my tongue,
and only when I stop I write them down.


A little blank verse for the yeah write poetry slam.

21 responses to “Commuting

  1. I really enjoyed this poem. My problem is that I always find good things to say – don’t have a pen – and have a terrible memory.

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  2. I sing them to myself, as well. I love this, Christine.

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  3. I should send you a little pocket journal that says “Live in the Moment” so those words don’t become worry stones. 😉

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  4. oh, love this. esp the lines, “i memorize their shapes… i trace each curve…’

    when i took public transportation, i too lingered over words in my mind, or sometimes scribbled in my journal upon a crowded train. now i have to drive (ugh) and i can’t compose the words as well when i have to pay attention to blind spots and stoplights.

    always enjoy your writing christine. =)

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  5. Jennifer G. Knoblock

    I love the metaphor–pebbles, dust, gems. I often find that the gems in my brain turn out to be plain rocks when I write them down–I don’t think you have that problem!

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  6. I like this poem a lot. I love the idea of tumbling words like pebbles. Very evocative and well written.

    I write my poems the same way. Sometimes I record an audio note so that I can remember the words for later.

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  7. I know the feeling. I have a super long commute right now, and sometimes I’ll get an idea and I’ll still have an hour till I get home to write it. Nothing worse than getting a great idea and then losing it before you can write it down…

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    • In some ways I’m thankful my bike ride is only 20 minutes – while it’s the only real “me” time I get, if it were much longer I’d completely forget everything by the time I parked.

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  8. YES! This is exactly how it feels to be showering or driving or pretending to listen in a meeting while I am writing inside my head.

    Loved every word.

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  9. Pingback: I'm drawing a blank here - a blank verse for this month's poetry slam

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