"No matter how terrified you may be, own your fear and take that leap anyway because whether you land on your feet or on your butt, the journey is well worth it."
-- Laurie Laliberte
"If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough."
-- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
-- Anais Nin

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bad Trip by Bruce Alford

Gratiot Avenue’s
throat throbs
The Loop
lifts us higher

We vanish
in hallucinogenic delight
in deadly terrors
thrashing machines

Stop rocking.  Sit still. 
Tow trucks buildings wings
swirl around us dizzy

scrawled against the windows
our weak watery eyes
amazed  the voice
of the angular-faced bus driver
explodes over the intercom

The city can
make  you blind,
make you see,
hear, feel things not really there

Chew the windowpane, swallow,
swear Windsor is holy.
Find icons, shrines everywhere
even in automobile
assembly lines

The bus driver laughs
like sobbing
tells us this

like a steam-saw
Steel shed
on the lake

You can see it
so clearly, so clearly
This... you... everything ...

wants to keep going
He seems euphoric
mumbles a tune
sounds like Thanks for the Memory.

Bruce Alford is a reviewer for First Draft, a publication of the Alabama Writers’ Forum. He has published fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry in journals such as the African American Review, Comstock Review, and Imagination & Place Press. He has also published a book of poems, Terminal Switching (Elk River Review Press 2007).

He received a Master of Fine Arts in fiction from the University of Alabama and was an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of South Alabama from 2007-2011.

"Bad Trip" can also be found in Bruce's book Terminal Switching.

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