Driving Test

Weather: check.
grey ambient striated with echo-shine, a sheening mist
waving in on the wheeled capsule that contains me,
a dull ache in the car’s bones, prankster wind tapping
the car’s shoulder and hiding, shoving from behind,
then slamming with both fists the car’s face; sunshine is
the bigger prankster, like a dull child waiting it out for
hours or days just to jump out and shout surprise;
drivers beware the startling childish light!

Pedestrians: check.
uncle Bunk is cracking brains with the junk he sells
there by the petrol station looming up and flying by;
gaggle-girls are gagging on fake-tan fumes and spotty
choppy boys ogle the bleach and dye and overfilled fabric;
that one’s mind is a tree sprouting from his brain, so
obvious to everyone but him; this one’s heart explodes
in a scattershot of men’s eyes as she cries it out; dogs
are leading owners and little children circle in on their
victims; the timeworn old ease on at a pace unseeable.

Other drivers: check.
loud sleek muscle revving up alongside, booming the
system’s capacity for beats-per-minute, all that energy
and style useless and pointless in this little no-place;
crisp all-business success-mobiles proliferate, sharp new
family movers too, oozing class entrenchment, rusting
the rest of us; beefy beasts chug away in dogged bulk,
the rumble of modernity-maintenance felt through
every rolling tire in proximity, a comforting nuisance.

Awareness is the key. Stay alert!
things are all that they seem and so much more in
every pore and pock; in very contour a chasm lies
unplumbed, all portals are wide open and universes
are bleeding into every single object, the road is not
mere concrete, nor mere metaphor, but an unspooling
ribbon of existence that begins and ends in poly-ontic
swamplands of ecstasy and terror from which emerge
all beings that you encounter on your automotive
journey; open the apertures of your mind and of the car’s
skin or you will die in a rainbow of undiscovered blood,
a storm of gleaming bones you could not have guessed;
you have been warned.

Awareness is the key and its hardest part
is that you must,
with the same piercing sight as you give,
be seen by other drivers.

‘Where you can’t be seen, such as at a hump bridge,
you may need to use your horn.’
Proof that we are coiled
goring beasts
at the very least.

(photo by Flannery O’Kafka)


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