They tell me any idiot can do it and I tell them
I’m not just any idiot, I am specific. Even when my lungs
are bursting – properly bursting
like things dragged up by that Russian deep-sea fisherman
I keep riding. I get tired. I just keep riding!
People who drive talk about how great it is
to get out of the city. They drive to new cities
so they can get out of those cities.
Cities coagulate around drivers to try to stem the wound,
stop them leaving. I could become a valued member
of the resistance. I could drive aggressively at the city
to make it move down, like a conductor yelling into a packed carriage.
I ride along the street outside your house
with my heart flapping loose and getting chain grease on it.
I’d just like to be able to pick you up from the airport
or drive a medium-sized dog around.
I’d like to buy some small trees and drive them home
in companionable fragrance.
What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people
and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing
asked Kerouac. That’s your conscience
telling you that you’re yet another problematic single-driver
automobile on the road
and you should turn around and let those people carpool with you.
Jack, let me attach a bike rack to your boot.
Fears coagulate around me to try to stop me driving.
A man flicks on his windscreen wipers at their most aggressive speed
to deter the squeegee bandits at the intersection.
I keep riding. I’m tired. I have to find
a good pole to lock this to.
Years coagulate around me to try to stop me leaving.
The world flicks on its high-speed windscreen wipers to deter me.
The only good ride was when you were on your bike too,
and we passed each other
and yelled ‘Hey!’ at the exact same time.
When I walk I imagine throwing myself in front of buses
to punish them for being late. When I ride I brace myself
for drivers to barge right into the shoulder
and plaster me into the leaves like a chip packet.
Why don’t I just cycle directly into my coffin and be buried
with my learner licence, which expired in 2011?
I yell that. I see drivers expand and shrivel and expand
like octopuses in motion and I envy them
being able to shapeshift deep inside their personal oceans.
I’d like to be able to pick you up from your new place
or take you there sometimes.
You can always make your own way from the airport
but I’d like to transport some small trees, a marrow, a table.
I’d like to have a table to stand on, to stretch up into a tree.
The small trees will grow into trees that overhang public footpaths
and slap my head good-humouredly as I ride under them.
A dog will hang its head out your window as you go by
its slow mouth saying something important to me in a dream, but I
It will be great to get out of the city.
Get to another city, pull ourselves free, get out of that city
and the city is watching us go, shaking its fist; but we’re just specks dispersing.