Friday, February 10, 2017

Welcome to Jackie Chou!

Photo by Metro96

It's been wonderful to see all of the new contributors to The Song Is... this fall/winter.  Tonight I am posting California poet Jackie Chou's piece about not driving.

Riding the Pumpkin Colored Carriage

The night approaches
As I stand by the bus bench
Gazing at every oncoming large vehicle
With hopeful eyes and extended neck
Thinking, is that the one, the 266?
Only to realize, when it gets closer
That it is another bus or a truck

I am used to this kind of night
The Los Angeles city bus
My prized mode of transportation
Takes me to pivotal occasions
Then disappears into its station
Leaving no trace of my whereabouts

After twenty minutes
The blinking lights of the 266
Finally appear from a visible distance
I wave at it with all smiles
Like a beauty queen in a parade
Forgetting the wait
The cold I have endured

I climb up its rubbery stairs
A willing bride ascending the altar
Tapping my pass and thanking the driver
It has been almost twenty years
Since the Driver Safety Department
Revoked my license
For an extensive psych history

I was not always this gracious
In my twenties I drove a pure white Ford Escort
Had a father who put a twenty dollar bill
On the ironing board every other day
For gas and maintenance

With the convenience of a car
I went to every party I knew about
In delicate dresses and three inch heels
Not the coarse clothes and sneakers
I now wear to walk between bus stops
But still, I yelled at my father
And threw furniture out the window

My father passed away in 2003
I never got my license back
I am still walking and taking the bus
Only to go where I have to go
Not where I feel like going
And becoming humbler

More appreciative everyday

Jackie Chou studied Creative Writing at USC.  She writes poetry in an attempt to construct meaning out of everyday experiences, to defy ordinary perceptions, and as an alternative to “ranting” to friends on Facebook.  She attends writing workshops and has been published locally. 

Last weekend my husband and I saw an excellent documentary on Lee Morgan: "I Called Him Morgan."  Although I've posted his music before, I am going to include a few more songs tonight.  Enjoy!  I'll try to look for something from his California albums although I have to post "Search for the New Land."

"Something Cute" was the next cut on Charisma:

I'll finish with "Absolutions," which is live from the Lighthouse in California:

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