You bought some doughnuts; it was so fun
when you called me your honey bun,
then took me in your sharp-finned car
the night dark blue, the stars near far.
The seats were cold and rough to touch–
the car smelled like you smoked too much–
but you wrapped me round with one taut arm
that felt so lithe and live and warm
that soon the clammy stink of ash
flew from the window like the trash
you tossed out your side–crumpled sack
tattooed with doughnuts’ greasy track,
then lifting your arm’s weight a bit
dug out a bottle, took a sip.

Your breath like fire, wrongness too–
it somehow wired me to you.
You leaned, you kissed, you made me feel
a heat that steered me like a wheel.
You didn’t care what people thought–
oh, I wanted what you’d got.

And then, still driving, came a thump,
it was like the car had hit a bump,
only not, just not, it was not like that,
blackness squirreled inside my lap.
‘Oh shit,’ you said, your head turned back,
‘Goddammit all,’ not turning back.

Mad, you drove with both hands on
except for swipes of light-trapped palm
that wiped your face, the hair that tossed,
your forehead fisted, double-crossed
as any two-lined two-laned road–
all that hot now grown so old.

In light beam’s mutter, light beam’s glare
in the flashing stutter of my stare,
I caught remembrance, glittered blip–
bristled sugar at your lip–
but the only rounds in this holed world,
were tires that whirled and whirled and whirled
and a mind that skittered, tried to care
but only could come up with scared–
no honey bun, no glaze of laughter,
just things that we kept secret after.

Here’s very much of a draft poem (also a bit crazy) for Kerry O’Connor’s prompt on With Real Toads (http://withrealtoads.blogsopt.com) to write a poem using the line “there were things that we kept secret after.”

I am sorry that the drawing is a little recycled. I am hoping to do a poem a day in April and will, I’m afraid, likely have to use recycled visuals to keep up. (Hence, my excuse for starting now!)

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16 Comments on “Ride”

  1. Excellent! A tale well told, and emotionally strong.

  2. The rhythm of this poem is so entrancing – it began as a light-hearted and even whimsical piece which rapidly descended into a nightmarish recall of wrongs hushed up.

    The intensity of the fear and surrealism is in juxtaposition to the tiniest details of sugar, after the doughnut (and innocence) is gone.

    I am constantly inspired by the strength of your work.

  3. Marian Says:

    yikes! what a story, smoking, drinking and DRIVING, throwing trash out the window, and that’s just the start. i bet this guy is the one who throws McDonald’s trash in my yard. who knows what happens when he gets clean outta town. love how this sounds, almost like a jumprope rhyme. excellent!

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Ha. Yes. It may also play well for another generation! As I agree all of the above is terrible but may not have been so instantly objectionable to an older generation! k.

      On Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 11:40 AM, ManicDDaily wrote:


  4. What a story.. so scary and so real.. I think you captured the feeling when things go bad. A secret like that will eat you from within… and I guess that’s the end of it.. reminds me a little of Therese Raquin.. real scary stuff.

  5. The rhythm of this poem makes for a nice ride, but as we race toward the end (anticipating a crash) we feel the exhilaration of going too fast. I like the play on holes, rings and sugar.

  6. hedgewitch Says:

    Your novelist’s eye(and pen) seems to sneak into this one, k, and give us not just an old school rhymed ballad, but a story, characters, a page-turning plot far in excess of what is actually shown–really tasty, for me, as any doughnut (one of my personal forbidden fantasy foods) I especially liked how you summed up so much about the couple(and implied their youth) here:

    “..You didn’t care what people thought–
    oh, I wanted what you’d got. …”

    Also was impressed by how you made me forget to look for the prompt line, so that when it came, it was on its own, and all the more effective. Looking forward to an April full of drafts and recycled art very much. ;_)

  7. Mama Zen Says:

    This is at least six kinds of awesome. Wow!

  8. Steve King Says:

    This prompt was a great launching pad for you…wild, high energy, original voice…all the good things one can say about those original writing. Great job.
    Steve K.

  9. Brian Miller Says:

    more than a little scary…i have been in the car with those drinking…mostly in my younger days…when that turns south…that bump…the cold sweat immediately after…the sobering up of the moment…ugh…

  10. Helen Says:

    … Incredibly vivid, love the positioning of Kerry’s line.

  11. Brendan Says:

    If this is draft, I’m almost terrified of what finished might be — what a raw knifing dorsal of a shark of a poem, viciously present in the past, celebrating the rawest edges of a passion deep in a past. The sugar on that dangerous lover’s lip “the only rounds in this holed world.” Costly, costly, but one of the most valued gems perhaps in the vault of the heart. At least, for the writing. Lead image is priceless, too. Great work.

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