Poem: "Car Stereo"

A man in a business suit and tie sits and reads a report while riding in a crowded commuter train on the northeast corridor.

Dvořák strums his fingers on the dashboard,
a melodic lilt to the tune of lips.

Bells ring successively, a resonant thud that
dispels the cold (morning), an evocation
of circles in disturbed coffee,
stained Styrofoam forgets about the lingering smell.
Empty cans shift near the axles by my feet.
I stoop to catch one before the exposed tram
wheel slices my hand from my wrist,
(my body parts would’ve been strewn there. music dissonant)

as Praha descends and ascends,
sucker green-licked traffic lights,
the handicap tick, tick, ticking –
A.I. good Samaritans –
and Rita stares as Brahms plays on her RCA;

she massages her left leg, her mind returns to plans,
abuse and peanut butter –
Olivia coos: astonishment over the frigidity
of her utilitarian security

Dvořák strums his fingers on Praha
like the rhythm of the Communist-planned subway.
The dashboard’s littered with defunct bills -
theatre tickets, plastic, Aspercreme, and hosiery –
the lusty (morning), an evocation of
lingering dichondra. The music is a chorus
of malcontent girls and boys.

The car stereo statics, shifts
to the arrangement of cobblestones.

The music is a chorus of digested notes,
garbled eruptions, masticated syncopation,
uniform stares.

Rita’s listless, schizoid hands fixed
on the vinyl seat cover, fixed
on unfinished plans.
The security belt
warms Olivia’s skin; Blue emits from the tracks; 
Dvořák drives by
thinking of sex and royal fudge
as we all sit and relax,
trammeled by the astonishment of evocation,
snow collecting, rotting – a wolf in the thicket,
the tolls of Saint Vitus evoke in my ears.
Image Source: © 2001 Zachary Morrison