two bucks for the bus

from by peter j hochstedler



when i was a boy
i made birds out of clay
they flapped their feathered wings
and flew their merry way

and how the preacher crooned
and the rattle of the snake
how these sounds are still now,
still here, still the same

and how this city's shell
still rumbles like the sea

and i'm mapping out the space
at the end of all the lines
with a wrinkle in my page
no prophet's vision could unwind
i've got two bucks for the bus
blind man at the wheel
i ride blinded drunk from turning
all this spittle into wine,
to the end of the line

armies underground
and rumors of war
how they pound out the rhythms
of the radio sound!

it's a desert on these streets
desert in my mind
lord, i believe how the sparrow
soft twitches on the ground

or how this sweet bottle
breaks its oil at your feet

i made a lady from a whore
cathedral from a seed
been pulling tricks out of my ass
no one of good faith could believe
now elijah's on the line
his vision's growing blind
and his bus ain't making shit, darling,
just burning oil into wine
to the end of the line

when i was a girl
i made people of mud
o, jerusalem, how i long
to gather my brood

jerusalem is built
of sweet applewood
we pluck its memory down
and taste and it's good

it grows on the tongue,
the blossom and burn

i've got two bucks for the bus
to the end of the line
where the wrinkle in my page
maps out the wrinkles of your mind
i make dirt from a bird
shoes from a child
and suck mercy from the apple
of a dying man's side,
it's open wide


from sketches around a city, released September 4, 2011




peter j hochstedler South Bend, Indiana

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