I wrote a poem this morning. It made me giggle and think of a few of my favorite paintings. And, as much as I hate commuting, it has proven to be a (slow) steady font of inspiration.
The best part is the pacing. I love how, like sitting in traffic, the narrative gets angrier and angrier. That’s what it’s like in my head if I let my focus linger too long.
I hate the way you congregate
And take a slower pace.
I loathe the left-ward change of lane
That stills a forward place.
I wish death on those who chug along
And never let me pass —
For miles and miles you’ve blocked the lanes,
You mother-fucking ass.
And what the fuck is up with those
Who zoom to cut you off
Then break real hard and slow you down
But feel you shouldn’t scoff?
Oh, fuck the world and fuck you all
And fuck this highway too:
This bird I throw, this honk I blow,
It’s aimed at fucking you.
I felt so connected to the painting this morning (though now I go the other way). Snippets of song dance along the highway as commuters start their day.
14 is acrylic and paper collage (strips of song lyrics make the freeway).
Foot to pedal
Pedal to floor
Running from rage
Running out the door
The engine spins
And screams release
Running on empty
Running on fumes
Yelling at strangers
Belting out tunes
Behind this metal
Fit to explode
Connected till I
Become the road
The last few years I taught in public schools, I commuted over an hour each direction from my urban apartment (heaven for this country-raised kid!) to largely rural and rural/suburban communities in the desert. The landscape in the morning was always filled with potential. Here, I’ve captured the golden light of the rising sun as it stains the mountains. Below in the shadows are the jumbled, directional thoughts of those passing by on the freeway. At such speeds, we must seem like passing thoughts to the cosmos.
Fourteen curves is acrylic and ink pen on canvas. This piece has appeared in numerous locations, most recently in Location 1980’s Celebrating California exhibition.