05 – Dad’s morning rap, traffic jam

frame by window frame passage of faces
crawl past in the traffic jam of hip-hop
weather reports all rock station beat roll
back to back like a score of music is
bar to bar windows rolled up air
conditioners blasting to beat the heat
that shimmers and twists between each
one of us travelling in our perfect self
propelled motel rooms

bounces from the street
life in the slow lane
cars keep cruising by just one roll
away from standing still
might as well chill, the car is like
a pill, it swallows you, encapsulates,
digestates you, reverberates you, you
anticipate the starting gate and anyone
who hesitates, makes you irate, you start
to hate, you remonstrate, drive to demon
strate you’re being real, behind the wheel of
your money turned to steel, this is not
impersonation, or surrender to road rage
frustration, the object is need to speed, not
communication, let us dwell upon the
implication of this isolation—as we all travel
alone on our short earthly vacation.

watch the faces in the windows go by
they are like bad drawings, everyone staring
out of the same Etch-A-Sketch pad, it’s a good
thing car’s only have one steering wheel not two
or everyone would be twirling these little
flywheels madly like German U-boat commanders
on an unwilling trip to the ocean floor
no, it’s a good thing cars only have one wheel
or no one would get anywhere, as it is
the only twirling anyone is doing is their thumbs
sit in your car and listen to the news warn you
not to use the road you’re already driving on
relax, because no one else is getting anything done
we all have the same excuse, “I was caught in traffic”

06 – chorus: tell the city to stand still

Sun raise one million buildings from bed,
make gold foundations of light beam and rent.
Saffron sky issue new bonds from a million tousled heads,
silver lines write speed upon blackboard highways,
day start like a car, full of poison and combustion,
purpose and accident.
Wind play scales, songs
of beginning, continuing, ending, prophecy, hard fact—
blow leaves and snow, warm scent of buds and now, relief,
as each breeze defines the edge and shadow of summer.

Harbour washes away each day’s sins, promises new treasure.

Transformed island, the city is never complete, loses, gains,
breathes into another stage, another million, another day,
what is left? the fire of belief, trial; making the mouth
that feeds upon itself, that challenges us to wield it,
to make the wild, make it stand still, make the world
stand still.