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Thursday, 31 May 2012

Wooden Boy: Bus notes 4


Guy Arab on the Pear Tree Estate, Rugely 1976: photo by Walsall 1965, 2 May 2010

We were moving slowly up Cape Hill.                     
............A double jointed girl
............bent her fingers back
for her baby brother
who looked hard with wide eyes.
............When she had stopped,
he turned to look at me.
............I smiled without feeling anything
............but a quiet desire to hold the gaze.
He turned away
and grabbed his mother’s thumb.
............I felt the muscles in my face and made them the movements one more time.
Is this a way of making something really said?
............The double jointed girl was watching me.
I looked up front and felt the engine heat.

File:Travel West Midlands bus 703 Optare Excel S703 YOL in Wolverhampton, West Midlands 31 March 2009.jpg

Bushbury bus at Hanson's Bridge, Wolverhampton. Travel West Midlands Optare Excel 703 (S703 YOL), on route 598: photo by Roger Kidd, 31 March 2009

File:Buses, seen from Birmingham Snow Hill railway station - DSC08884.JPG

Buses on the A41 St Chad's Circus Queensway as seen from Snow Hill station, Birmingham, England: photo by Green Lane, 18 August 2010

Wooden Boy: Bus notes 4, from The Little Wooden Boy, 25 May 2011


TC said...

Wooden Boy is an excellent poet who rides the buses in the West Midlands and as a fellow sometime bus rider I feel an affinity. Bus notes 1, 2, and 3 by the same author are also recommended. These works and others of quality may be found at The Little Wooden Boy.

ACravan said...

I was totally unfamiliar with Wooden Boy and you're right -- this is terrific. It feels exactly like non-conversational, intense, multi-leveled experience. Having the congruent, sympathetic images resonating makes it even better. Curtis



"moving slowly up Cape Hill," The Little Wooden Boy has figured something out, how to make the muscles in his face "do the movements one more time," "a way of making something really said." What a nice find!


grey whiteness of fog against invisible
ridge, hummingbird hovering above fence
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

effort of making this color,
having seemed another

think of numbers in physics,
form seems, distances

grey white of fog against top of ridge,
whiteness of gull standing on sandspit

TC said...

The other thing that drew me to this poem (apart from it being ineffably brilliant that is) is the fact that I am afflicted with Ehlers Danlos syndrome, a curiosity which has come back to haunt me much as a hound in the mists of the West Midlands.

This made me feel her gaze as the gaze of one who will come to know suffering, and as such a gaze of penetrating judgment, and that made the whole bus ride so much more deep for me -- but in truth these nights every ride is starting to feel that way.

But to speak of it and keep it real -- I stand aside, a fossilized Rubber Man.

gamefaced said...

yes.yes.yes. wooden boy is a wonder.

Anonymous said...

Great question: "Is this a way of making something really said?"

Susan Kay Anderson said...

All the intimate bus lingo. It is intense and mostly silent but not supposed to be. Once, I brushed my hair on the bus in Germany and got some drastic frowns. The bus is not an o.k. place to do this, the look said, not a place to live in but a place to pretend you aren't in.

Wooden Boy, wow, what insight into the looks and looking.
Thanks for posting this and finding this poet, too, for the fans.

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

Wooden Boy is definitely not Pinocchio--thanks for pointing him out, Tom.

Nin Andrews said...

I love this! It reminded me of how I used to be double jointed and loved to show off.
As did my one sister. I remember that feeling of showing off in a bus or on a train, and the watcher both wanted and not wanted, our private world being somehow sacred. He really captured the moment here. Amazing.

TC said...

I agree with gamefaced, a wonder he is. And it is indeed gamefaced who introduced me to WB, and it is time also to render props to the place where we met, her fascinating and various site Bong is Bard. (Permanent link now to be found in margin here, neighbour to The Little Wooden Boy).


The reverberations of that great and subtle line are still echoing here.


Know what you mean about the intimate bus lingo. On the late bus here (if it ever makes from Oakland), the rule is, keep your eyes to yourself. But then this is a town of monads and nomads in a nation composed largely of same.


Yes, we've been seeing him as the anti-Pinocchio, too. (But does that make us the anti-Gepetto?)


"The watcher both wanted and not wanted" always does and doesn't want to be watched.

The eyeline vectors in this poem make a marvelously delicate geometry.

As a kid, I thought it cool to be able to bend your thumb back to touch your wrist (almost typed "wits"!), turn the back of your hand into a cup, touch the floor with the palms of your hands, pinch your skin and pull it out to stretch like that of the India Rubber Man, etc.

The collagen mutation responsible for doublejointedness, however, can express itself in other ways, and degrees.

In my family this genetic fluke resulted in some serious problems for some.

In later life I learned that a late issue of the condition in its full parchment bloom is "paper skin", which tears open upon touch and when opened, will not heal... forever.

The recent serious surgical wounds after the car hit have confirmed this in a way that is.... not so cool.

gamefaced said...

hey tom -thanks for the shout :)

also, the paperskin sounds horrible. the women folk in my family have that sort of thing, maybe not the same but close, usually affecting their hands.

Sandra said...

some people are able to see that...:)