Traffic Jam

a white sail hitch-boat floats up
[outside my rolled down windows]
in front of me [a canary-yellow
Honda] pumps the brakes as we
work together to stop a scheming
Lexus [coming in off the shoulder]
but now the lane with the boat is
suddenly moving and I’m passed
by a truck full of [oxygen tanks]
leaving just enough space to get in
[but no] there’s a battered [Camry]
showing no mercy [and here’s]
the Lexus [trying to get in again] as
the oxygen truck and even the
sail boat come falling back looking
to [squeeze in behind me] but the
Honda and I are standing our ground
as the lanes begin to clear [and
we’re moving again] as I shoot by
the Camry to get ahead of a black
SUV [with a family of stick figures]
waving from the [window] as taillights
come into bloom all over the road
and the [Camry] swings by with the
[oxygen truck] in full retreat and
the man with the [sailboat] is
cursing at the guy in the [Honda]
for allowing the [Lexus] to get back in
[but the Lexus] is quickly pulling away
with a smile in the mirror [and a
middle finger] for all

Cash Machine

pulling into a four-bay [split level]
neo-colonial ATM plaza [Katy]
and I are looking for twenties
[Andy Jacksons she calls ‘em]
as I’m shimmying the car past
the yellow battered [traffic pillar]
trying not to notch another
[scar] on the florescent cylinder’s
already pockmarked skin

“We’re all going to die,“
warns [Katherine] concerned
about the pseudo-random
[inevitability of death]
as I reach out to the lifeless
[touchscreen] not unlike God
offering a forefinger
to [Adam] as I enter my
[secret numbers] to
awaken the logic of desire
in a wordless language

did Andrew Jackson know
that he was alive? [Kat asks]
as those semi-solemn portraits
come flying like birds into
my friar hands [each one]
a crisp memory of [happiness]
but how do we know? [Kate
is asking] if he ever really got it

[there’s no going back]
other cars are waiting [Kathy]
wants the receipt before
the [window] closes down
and [she senses] that it’s
really over [between us]
as we drive out to rejoin
the network of nodes
in a police required system
of social control [Kitty]
sees me thinking this very
thought [grinning] that I
should be so mesmerized
by the light of failing sparks

Getaway Car

backseat Bill is singing
a last slurred refrain
of [“I Did it My Way”] as
Ginny McCabe is up
looking for air and a place
to heave onto these wet
Brooklyn streets with [my
mother behind the wheel]
finding her way back to
Queens looking for
an all night liquor store
[she thinks] she knows
in Jackson-Heights

unconscious beside me
[Big Mike] propped up
on my shoulder adds an
occasional bass note to
the [traffic lights] in perfect
nighttime synchronization
[mom] just breezing through
the empty boulevards
the shadows of street lights
glazing our faces [there are
no hours like this] no star
as welcoming as the Dunkin’
Donuts sign [I will sing
of this morning] always
[on Earth’s round wheels]
I will come to call this [my
song] and when I sing it
I will shout it from a car