Posts Tagged ‘Poem’

They stopped on top a hill just outside Espanola. The car was packed with stuff but they squeezed me in anyway. They had started at Wisconsin and had just been hitchhiking themselves, across Newfoundland.  Apparently they acquired a car (I didn’t inquire) and were headed for Winnipeg.

The girl seemed tired but they guy was really friendly. Maybe too friendly, were they fighting?

There was a lot of stops at construction sites and I nodded off a few times.  The radio was droning away in a monotone, half AM talk-show half static, that no one was paying attention to, so I offered some tapes for them to choose from.  The girl chose my Mr. Bungle tape because the other side of it was labeled “Make Your Momma Puke Mix”, a mix tape a friend had made for me back in Barrie.  We listened to the whole Mr. Bungle side and they decided it was too weird for them.  I tried to explain the other side was a completely different style but they weren’t really listening due to their stop and go construction malaise.

As the grateful passenger I offered up full control of the music, my scissored and taped Pot o’ Gold chocolate box I’d fashioned into a compact, space efficient tape case and packed with used cassettes at a hock shop in Sudbury (I discovered I could fit in more by crammin them in upside down on the rightside up ones).  They chose Cypress Hill and played it side to side about five times until the machine inevitably ate the tape as we rolled into Sault Ste. Marie.  They apologized profusely but I didn’t really care.  I still had Billy Idol.  I offered the silver lining “Hey, now I got room for a NEW tape”.  They dropped me downtown Sault where I walked to a hostel as they went for dinner.  I ran into them leaving town as I strolled out of the hostel, baggage free-what a luxury.  Maybe I’ll run into them in Winnipeg……

This I wrote in Sault Ste. Marie:

Walkin down the Street

in my bare feet

Left my boots at home to cool down ’cause they were hurtin’ me

Hope you caught the irony

it’s what inspired me

To write a song about

the walk down to the

beach and back in agony

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I was walking up the incline of a bridge a ways out of Sudbury past Copper Cliff. I didn’t even have my thumb out (I liked to start walking if I didn’t get a ride after a while.  I’m the same way with the bus, it makes me late) but he pulled up beside me, beeping his horn until I took my walkman off and saw him. He was headed to Manitoulin Island.. something to do with his daughter, the details of which I can’t quite remember.

He dropped me off at Espanola then showed me some photos of wood carvings he’d done. They were amazing!! And huge! He stood beside them in his pictures as they towered over him.

My destination
perpetually
over this next hill

The sun bakes my skin
My sweat sets the baste
The sunblock starts to run
and drip down my face

My baggage weights more
as my shoulders get sore
My thirst gets worse
til my throat starts to hurt

Take my hat off
Let the wind blow through my hair
I’m always going somewhere
But I’ll never get there

I found that hitchhiking out here by myself really taught me was how to be myself.  No one who picks you up knows what your normally like, leaving you free to be whoever you like and ultimately leading to learning how you act when not obligated to fit into someone’s perception of you.

He picked me up on the entrance to the 400 as I sat playing guitar with a sheet of paper saying ‘Perry Sound’.  The conversation flowed steady for a good hour or two.  He was headed to the Yukon to hold an Indie Film presentation.  He recommended some good indie movies I said I’d check out but forgot about.  He also played in a punk band in T.O.  He gave me some tips having hitchhiked himself.  He dropped me off at the YMCA in Sudbury.  He even got out and made sure I got in alright.

As I wandered around in Sudbury I came to a park on a hill looking over the town.  I’m always writing lyrics to make into songs and this is what I wrote there:

On a road in nowhere

I sit and stare

to catch a glimpse of what I missed and come to grips

that I don’t care

I was so sad to let it go

but here with open hands I know

the sweetness wasn’t having it held

It was breathing it in a blowing it out

Perfected a futilely flawless routine

inevitably becoming monotony

Had no idea what to do, to do better

so I started my story on a fresh piece of paper

Now following the flow

in the unknown

I listen to the rhythms I’m given

to guide, to decide my direction

The passion is pursuit, not possession, of perfection

Vince, who I based the Van City Baby lyric on;  He didn’t drive to Penticton and I didn’t try to convince him to.  And I didn’t make any cash at Strickler’s.  But Strickler’s is in Penticton and I do need to get to Van City fast.

Vince only drove me to Peachland which I actually could’ve ridden the right bus to but it’s the thought that counts.  He was a christian and a young guy.  20 something probably.  He asked me about my religious orientation and I told him I grew up christian and my parents are big christians.  He gave me a god bless as he dropped me off and said he’d pray for me.  I told him my parents had been praying for me plenty and I’ve had good luck so far.

I don’t believe.  I think an open mind is wiser.  Christianity puts a lot of pressure on your condition when you die so that it’s better to die young and innocent.  I can’t buy into that.

I almost forgot!  Limping down Alberta St. “downtown;-)” Regina, carrying all my stuff, a girl named Ivy gave me a ride saying, “I’ll give you a ride if you promise not to hurt me or anything.” I thanked her profusely, having kinda been staring around helplessly hoping someone would help me out.

I had gotten off the bus at nowhere and started backtracking.  My foot’s been killing me and I’m walking with a pretty noticeable limp.  It’s been a long couple of past days…  Sweet pity’s carrying me across Canada when I’m too tired to walk.

She drove me to the Regina hostel while I regaled her with my story.  Even though I’m shuffling around in pain I can tell this is a beautiful town.  It’s all city like but sometimes it’s dead silent.

Dumb luck is the purest form of luck.  Getting good at life has something to do with paying attention to the rhythms your given.  The key is predicting where the rhythm will modify.

Very hard to define, but easy to recognize….

What sweeter ride than a newfie truck driver, going exactly where you want to from the depths of the deadest hitching spot in Canada.  You may not know this but Northern Ontario is as far across as all the prairie provinces put together including some of BC.  Throw in some hash and good conversation and that about sets it.  Never got his name, no matter.

He was concerned about my adamant decision to stay in Winnipeg, offering the opportunity of going straight to Regina that night.  But I don’t wanna skip anywhere.  I guess I could have done without Thunder Bay.  God knows I could’ve done without Ignoranabrook or whatever it’s called but I’m probably just bitter from having to sleep under the awning in front of the library.  And no one would give me a ride from 6am-noon.

But anyways, the trucker picked me up sitting by some lights at the bottom of a hill in Dryden.  He said he usually only picks up girls but I was right about to get rained on.  He was talking about how he smoked half of his weed stash before leaving and, consequently, ran out before Quebec.  I was very appreciative of the ride so I offered up some hash from my little ball,  even littler now and getting smaller all the time.  So we pulled over at a rest stop, packed Sally (my pipes name) and smoked it up.

He was probably about 50 I figure, with a short grey mustache and a shock of red hair.  He told me his hair was long, hippie style, just a couple of weeks ago.  I say 50 ’cause he said he had 30 years truckin’ experience, putting to rest my fear of him having any trouble operating that monstrous machine under the influence of a couple of pipe hits.

Passing a weigh station that was closed he told me how his load was overweight and that he’d missed every weigh station so far since Quebec.  There was only one more from here to Winnipeg that, if it was open, would be open until 11:00 pm or so (landing me in Winnipeg a ‘lil too late to get into a hostel there).  We stopped at a restaurant to get some chips and he noticed one of his tires was getting ready to blow but if we made it to the Husky in Winnipeg we’ld be fine (AHH!)

As we approached the weigh station he called passing trucks on his CB asking if the station was open or not.  It sure was!  shit.  At least 5 different trucks couldn’t be wrong right?  The trucker decides he’s going through anyway and if he gets busted so be it.  Only a $500 fine and a four hour stop to unload on to another truck.  “We’re screwed if the lady’s working tonight.  She’s a real bitch!”  It wont be open, I said to myself.  That’s just how my luck’s been going.

Weigh Station.  No lights…  Everyone going east is getting checked but we speed right through, thanks to that bulletproof luck that’s been keeping me between raindrops all day.  Now if that tire holds out we’ll be fine….

As we loop through an extensive detour on a Winnipeg overpass he goes over the precautions I must take in order to live through the night in this den of thieves.  “Cab it straight to the bus station, lock up everything you can fit in a locker, find that hostel, don’t make eye-contact with anybody, sleep on top of every possession you have with you with that butterfly knife you have there in one hand and whatever other makeshift weapon you can find in the other.  But if you’re lookin’ for a party, downtown’s the place to be!”

Whether this is the den of thieves

I’ve been led to believe it to be

remains to be seen…

A strange fellow driving a Honda Civic.  He proudly showed off the McGyvering skills he had used on his steering wheel, which had the top chunk cut out so he could see his speedometer, and sunroof, which he kept held on with plastic fasteners.  He told me stories about how he lived in a large TeePee (at first I thought he said he had a TV.  25 feet!!  Holy Shit!…and you lived in it…?)  insulating it for the winter with stuff from the dump, carpet samples, couch cushions and heating it with a stove.

He wore glasses, had a shaved head and a mustache trimmed short.  I wouldn’t say he was a skid per-say but definitely not your average joe.  I guess you could say he had his shit together, relatively speaking.

Though the car was fairly packed we passed another hitchhiker with a “Room for one more?”  I said sure, keepin up on my karma, and we pulled over.  I squeezed into the back with deals of alternating spots at stops.

Peter was the mans name and Jamie was our new passenger.  Jamie’s Dad makes and repairs guitars.  “Magnets for fixing cracks?  I’ll have to remember that.”  Peter was headed for Edson near Edmonton to drop off his car.  Jamie to B.C.  These are the things I learned about them, the details I didn’t.

The trip to Thunderbay was long and drawn out by short nod offs with long dreams.  We all stayed at a hostel some distance from town-which I tried to walk to the next day(see next time)  Peter made chowder with melba toast, Nutella, peanut butter and trail mixx for us and Jamie smoked us a joint.  We sat in the hostel’s common room and watched “Man on the Moon”, a movie which I later saw in a laundry mat, like one of those things you notice and then you see it everywhere.

This looks like something I’ve seen in a dream

Like deja vu, I wonder what it means