Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Deaf While Driving (Poem)

Deaf While Driving

I know how a tablespoon
of gin can make the stems

of the paperwhites erect
in their red shallow bowls

but not how to free you
from the obligation to see

how low my candle burns
while you, in traffic, thumb

your Blackberry and curse
damned weather. The channel

you're turned to is always loud
enough to drown me out,

because, you tell me, you can't
hear. I mind raising my voice

and shout anyway, imagining
the hum my words must make

as they travel, hit air, so many
charged particles of meaning

seeking their unknown heat
source. It's not just the radio

interference I fear is picking up;
it's more than the effects

they say a cell phone can have
on the brain's short waves.

© 2012 Maureen E. Doallas

14 comments:

Andrea (Andee) Beltran said...

I love the picture you paint with your first two stanzas, Maureen. The imagery is powerful in this poem.

S. Etole said...

such a relief to get home ...

Divalounger said...

The tension is so palpable--your imagery is powerful and clear--

@AudreyHowitt

kd sullivan said...

as they travel, hit air, so many
charged particles of meaning
I love these lines. Your poetry is so full of meaning and imagery.

Brian Miller said...

ugh...the ignoring or not just noticing..hearing...all of it...is far too real....felt verse maureen...

hedgewitch said...

Sparse and simple delivery that could never be mistaken for anything but nuanced and subtle as well--how hard it is to be heard when the static and ephemera of life get all the attention. Excellent piece, Maureen--you know I love your couplets work.

Hannah Stephenson said...

I agree with Andee....it's an interesting switch in the beginning of this poem. It makes me feel yanked into the poem (which works well).

nance marie said...

tuned-in and tuned-out...

Matt D said...

... so many excellent images conveyed, and I especially like this at the end:

imagining
the hum my words must make

as they travel, hit air, so many
charged particles of meaning

seeking their unknown heat
source.


Well done!

Kathleen Overby said...

What Brian and Nancy said. A poem, screaming.

Peggy said...

I second what everyone else has said. Your sharpness of attention (to words, to life's moments) is a gift for all your readers.
And I had fun reading your "labels" (tags) for this poem: the list read aloud sounds like a poem itself!
--Peggy Rosenthal

Semaphore said...

A self-imposed tinnitus, a barrier of sound - as impenetrable as the Berlin Wall - between two people. Well-imagined, well-executed; one of your best.

Cad said...

A disturbing, thought provoking poem.

jen revved said...

So chiseled, and a powerful sense of intention in this poem-- really gorgeous, Maureen. I especially love:

I know how a tablespoon
of gin can make the stems

of the paperwhites erect
in their red shallow bowls

but not how to free you
from the obligation to see

how low my candle burns
while you, in traffic, thumb

your Blackberry and curse
damned weather.


Wrenching, exquisite.

xxxj