Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Piano Suite in Pink Sharp Major. Image by Ruth Zachary.

Road Writer

A Centennial man0 0a writer00000000
Bryan J. McAllen, aged 28, was killed00 traveling on the innerstate000000000
Monday at about 12:30 a.m. Feb. 50 . driving out of his mind00000000
in a freeway accident on a ramp00 on an interchange of words0000
00connecting west bound 47000 and blinded by visions crossing
000southbound U.S.8500 expressway to forever00

0Lieutenant Tom Hardt said00 the poet police reported0000
0000000000000000000000McAllen,00driving under the influence of poems000
00000.had not been drinking.0 . Words tested in his blood.0000
He was not wearing a seat belt.00He wrote unrestrained.000000
He failed to negotiate the ramp00 and was writing in the margins0
hitting an embankment00 in a collision of ideas000
which caused him to be thrown00 in one last head trip000000000
0from the small Chevy S-10 pickup00 where McAllen was writing0000000
Hardt said his impression was00 McAllen exceeded the limit000

00000000000He might have lived00 Had he been writing more slowly or
00000had he remained belted in00 or left his powerbook at home.00
0000000It was a tragic end.00 It might have been different.
00Services were held Thursday00 A reading of McAllen's poems 0
for close friends and family00 was held at the wake.00000

This poem was written for a writing teacher who admitted that sometimes he scribbled lines of poetry in his lap as he was driving. ( A fictitious name here) I tried to add an element of humor to a serious subject, although I never finished it in time to give it to him. I like the phrasing, which is a collection of puns and cliche figures of speech for fun, and which I would avoid using in another poem.

The innovation in form allows each column to be read separately or as one continuous line
if read across and was finished a year ago. This is very hard to do in a blog. It requires filling the spaces with zeros to justify the lines with a centered gutter, and I believe the poem will print out the zeros with the text body of lines and stanzas.

Writing and images, unless attributed to another, are the property of Ruth Zachary.

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