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Sagadahoc to Hudson (Free verse) by http://mulberryfairy
Devising this fervid affair worthy of a scene in a John Irving book, we’ve pretended all the while we could not stop this: the finality of this rocking Greyhound bus, each mile lumbering nearer to our impending fate as adulterers. Though we both know, (married 6 plus years): We simply bore of monogamy’s monotony. I climb the textured stairs locating a window seat where I can lean my pillow against the moist draft, my cash and weed tucked securely in the pillowcase. It started so innocently, you getting my email address from the alumni office, us talking about schools, jobs, partners, children. Dawdling passengers at the station delay the bus while I shake my left leg of impatience checking my watch as the bus groans tardily from the lot. Eventually, our subjects changed, we shared mutual complaints about partners who don’t “give it up” enough. Finally, we are gliding over the interstate, the glow of streetlights far behind, the occasional trucker coasting by this public sleeping place. The conversation reminded us of the joy of our past casual sex, our deviant positions. I check my legs to see that they still are smooth from my careful job of shaving, lotioning, my clean thong and bra wait in my carry-on bag until the moment of arrival when I will endure the stench of blue chemical flushing agent in the midget-sized, wobbling restroom. This “love”, so inconvenient, two poor people living on opposite oceans, yet now we’ve constructed the chance of a year, a 14 hour layover en route to your solo work conference. We stop, and stop, and stop again at Greyhound terminals in every nook of New England. I stay on board, glowering at sleepy passengers who get out to buy mushy vending machine pastries and coffee that reeks of being on the burner too long. The bus was the best price, ninety dollars, round trip, from the Sagadahoc to the Hudson, I’d have to cover my heightsick eyes over each river in between. Then we are halfway there. Connecticut’s arrival is announced by arduous potholes which jolt the bus, arousing sleepers’ startle reflexes. Once we gave up pretending to be reluctant (faithful) we resolutely selected the date of a conference for you around my period, for maximum oral possibilities. Then there is a faint smell of smoke, a feeling that the we’ve ceased to accelerate, I look up from my Kama Sutra book expecting yet another stop but see only the blackness of highway, feeling the bus pulling onto the uneven shoulder. The bus driver turns on the inside lights, and makes his regretful announcement, not seeming nearly surprised enough. Fellow passengers squint and groan, pulling out cell phones irritably, I stare, mournfully, past my reflection through the tinted windowpane as southbound cars’ taillights disappear down I-95.

Down the ladder: The One and Only

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Arithmetic Mean: 4.857143
Weighted score: 4.96158
Overall Rank: 8478
Posted: August 9, 2003 9:22 PM PDT; Last modified: August 11, 2003 8:34 AM PDT
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Comments:
[10] DreamerSupreme @ 204.31.176.46 | 9-Aug-03/10:14 PM | Reply
Man.. that has to suck, doing all that for the hope to get laid, and your stuck on that highway. lol.. did you bring a dildo? heh. nice. 10.
[n/a] http://mulberryfairy @ 216.195.144.188 > DreamerSupreme | 10-Aug-03/6:40 AM | Reply
No, sadly, just a strap-on.
[9] Jeremi B. Handrinos @ 24.126.113.154 | 10-Aug-03/12:06 AM | Reply
A lovely tale.
[10] abecedarian @ 4.46.73.15 > Jeremi B. Handrinos | 10-Aug-03/1:33 AM | Reply
Except for the being stranded part. That was pretty tragic. Or was it?
[n/a] http://mulberryfairy @ 216.195.144.188 > abecedarian | 10-Aug-03/6:46 AM | Reply
Well, I thought about specifically saying that she, the narrator, was going to turn down a later trip on a different bus, but thought it'd be anti-climatic. I think, in spite of her planning and her full intention to do the deed, she was ambivalent, and she realized that too much planning had gone into it, it couldn't be as sexy and spontaneous as she'd hoped because of the spacial barriers involved (which neccesitated the extreme planning). So, it was almost better that she had an excuse for it not to happen, rather than have it happen and have the experience not live up to their expectations.
Alas, this is why it needs work, I shouldn't need a paragraph to explain it.
[10] INTRANSIT @ 205.188.209.14 > http://mulberryfairy | 10-Aug-03/8:24 PM | Reply
Not necessarily. I understood what was happening when it wasn't. what did I just say? First good read covered it. I'll read it again tomorrow and offer what little help I can. Unless someone beats me to it first.
[10] Lifeboatman @ 202.78.97.13 | 10-Aug-03/7:37 PM | Reply
lovely... 10
[10] INTRANSIT @ 152.163.252.72 | 11-Aug-03/7:06 AM | Reply
I think s-1 l-3 is unnecessarily long. s-6, (soon),finally, maybe? s-9 opposite coasts? I'm a truck driver and verified by my atlas: Sagadahoc county,ME, Auburn, Lewiston area. To: Hudson, N.Y., I don't think you'd see much of CT. More like Mass. I am aware that this may be fiction(though it sounds like it may have happened, parts of it at least), This is one of my few areas of knowledge. That's my (big) ding on this. S-12 startle(d). S-13 drop the paranthetical, make 'em look it up. also, why only oral? I would think one would want to "access all areas", especially trying to go through such nonsense. Finally, S-13 (accelerating), breaking pace again, maybe.

On a positive note, I really enjoyed this, and I think poetandknowit has a challenger in the poetry/prose arena.
[n/a] http://mulberryfairy @ 216.195.145.128 > INTRANSIT | 11-Aug-03/8:42 AM | Reply
Thanks for your detailed feedback, I used some of it in my revision. In this poem, the Sagadahoc and the Hudson are rivers, not counties, but I've altered the poem slightly to make it more clear because of your expert truck driver feedback. Man, I would love to be a truck driver for a month or two, think of all of the stories you can tell, and all of the music and books on tape you could catch up on. I had a boyfriend who was a truckdriver years ago, and I appreciated his tales from the front, what an interesting subculture. I can understand your screenname better now, too.
Anyway, there is something called a "startle reflex"- it is what makes babies spread both arms suddenly, so it is not that the passengers have startled reflexes, the jolts have aroused their startle reflexes (like when you are sleeping and think you are falling- My startle reflex always goes crazy on bus travel).
As far as oral possibilities go, oral is the only kind of sex that would be hindered by a period, don't you think? These two would definitely have all other forms of intercourse in spite of period blood. Thanks for your compliments, too.
[10] INTRANSIT @ 205.188.209.14 > http://mulberryfairy | 11-Aug-03/10:00 AM | Reply
Yes, Cheers. You might like "Tingling". It's in my archives. Feel free to snoop.
[6] EAger to Offend @ 65.95.241.147 | 11-Aug-03/10:42 PM | Reply
I find this to be a little messy for you. But the storytelling shows promise. Judging by your comments here you know just what needs working.
[n/a] http://mulberryfairy @ 216.195.146.64 > EAger to Offend | 12-Aug-03/9:24 AM | Reply
Yes, I agree it needs work, and though I know what I'd like to see different, I am currently at a loss for how to make it better. I know it is too much information, but I just can't bear to remove any of the details that seem important to me (a writer with a dangerous predisposition to be wordy) Ideas?
[n/a] god'swife @ 67.73.32.228 > http://mulberryfairy | 12-Aug-03/3:57 PM | Reply
they this is written I get the feeling you are trying to justify the reasons for your actions. The reason is the justification. I see a hint of that insight. The impulse of sex, the satisfying drama of a real good fuck, is one form love takes. Our culture deems it immoral.

I think it's important to wonder at your own brashness, your overtly erotic life. Slash away at the lies about sex and loving, but lines like

...oral possibilities...
...regretful announcement...I mean these same lines are in a poem about sexual objectification, and exploits of the nasty kind. These lines are too shy and nerdy for this poem. Don't be shy, just write it.

"Fellow passengers"???????? Do you speak this way to your friends or at home?

"And then, my fellow passengers broke out in song"

arduous potholes which jolt the bus(this line sounds convoluted)
[n/a] http://mulberryfairy @ 216.195.145.161 > god'swife | 12-Aug-03/8:30 PM | Reply
I don't feel like I am trying to justify the sex- you might have noticed that I don't care about societal constructs of morality. beauty, taboo, etc. I gave the background in alternating stanzas so that you could see the affair building up just as the bus was breaking down.
If I were at home, I would be calling my "fellow passengers" my "fellow proletarians, who are gonna rise up and start a revolution"- I am very into this "fellow"ship of poor people (see "Performer" in archives- a completely TRUE story not unlike "my fellow passengers broke out in song").
God's wife, is it really so unsalvageable in its present form? Would it help the raunchiness if she packed the "Morning After" pill? Damn, this poem is driving me crazy. I felt sure you'd have a few quick fix suggestions!
[n/a] god'swife @ 67.73.18.3 > http://mulberryfairy | 13-Aug-03/6:05 PM | Reply
But I can't see the forest for those analytical trees. Stop explaining, just tell. Either I get it, or I don't, but don't spoil the poetry/insight with (for lack of a better word)sub-titles. Funny, every time I want to explain myself to you I start speaking in personal little analogies and it just comes out muttled. It must be a sign.

Let me think.

In the eleventh stanza, you create this fabulous rythm in the first 3 lines;

The BUS was the BEST...
NiiiiiinTee dollars, RUOOOOOOUUUND trip.
From the Sagadahoc to the Hudson(great sounding line, really top-notch, and it's the Title, perfect)

and suddenly I'm dumped into the cold river of

I'd have to cover my height sick eyes.

First of all, what is, and why, a Heightsick? It's an obscure image/reference, but most importantly, it's an ugly-sounding word. Find a substitiute, get back in the flow.

Stanza 12, you don't need the word "then" at the beginning. At this point you're reminding yourself of the details, but the audience is distracted by unimportant things, like the word "then", it explains to YOU a sequence, but to the reader it just bores him, breaks up the rythm... well theres just no charm to it. Maybe that's just a personal thing.

I'm glad you think the bus just absolutely had to breakdown. Now think about why she couldn't stop it herself? Why did fate have to intervene? One reason maybe because sex is a force of its own. Now explain that to me, how the bus saved her because she would never be able to save herself. the thing is, you have to tell me the truth, your very own truth.

There is no quick fix here. You are old enough and experienced enough, good mother, to really explore. But on your boots and pack your knife, confront the fucking beautiful tragic reality of being human. It may take time, but you'll come back intact, and ready to tell me a story.
[n/a] http://mulberryfairy @ 216.195.146.144 > god'swife | 13-Aug-03/8:31 PM | Reply
God's wife, thanks for all of your thinking on this sad poem. I will take it back in and try to nourish it to health with your feedback. That height sick thing was added recently to try to point out that the Hudson and the Sagadahoc are rivers, because INTRANSIT thought they were counties, and thus commented on the unlikelihood of the route this poem's Greyhound took through Connecticut. I will take it back out. But I do hate to go over a bridge when I can see over the rails. Thanks G's Wife, you are so good to me!
[n/a] god'swife @ 67.73.18.86 > http://mulberryfairy | 14-Aug-03/10:34 AM | Reply
You see darling, here is a perfect example of what I mean. You trying to accomidate INTRANSIT because he didn't get it, so you came up with a way to make it clear, but what you came up with was forced. And then when speaking to me you say "I do hate to go over a bridge when I can see the rails" WOW there's a line there's an image that ties right into the meaning of the poem! She can see over the rail, and it's a long fucking way down, and she's just so ready to jump off. Plus you introduce the bridge for INTRANSIT just the way you wanted. Let your natural voice, which has all the insight necessary for poetry, be the poem. You are a poet.
[n/a] god'swife @ 67.73.18.33 | 12-Aug-03/10:41 AM | Reply
I think if you called it, A Letter to Hustler Magazine, it would work. A comburesome poem. If this really happened then try to write with the erotizism you felt. If you made this up then ditch it intil you have a real lowdown nasty experience then take that nasty feeling and write with it, because right now it's too long and unsexy.
[n/a] http://mulberryfairy @ 216.195.145.161 > god'swife | 12-Aug-03/8:20 PM | Reply
Well, I have had all of these experiences in isolation, but I stuffed them together into one story. I know it is unsexy, but I kind of wanted it to be because the point is a consciously pre-meditated affair just has to be unsexy. It is harder to justify this kind of affair, where the participants knew they were going to all of this trouble just for a fuck, rather than having their passion catch them unawares and overpower their goodness. That is why the affair couldn't happen, the bus had to break down, it just could never be what they wanted it to be.
[n/a] god'swife @ 67.73.35.71 > http://mulberryfairy | 13-Aug-03/7:30 AM | Reply
First of all I want to tell you I respect you a great deal, for holdding to your beliefs, for having the self-esteem and self-awareness to take whatever critism comes you're way with an incredible amount of humor and class.

Don't make the poem unsexy, even if in the end you come to the revelation that a good fuck isn't worht all the turmoil and guilt. "It's harder to justify this kind of affair" vs. being caught up in passion? Neither has nor needs a justification. They just are. Our inner life is so complicated we do many things we cannot later explain, we shouldn't pass judgement, I think. Try writing it completely bare-boned and see what it look likes. Got to go I'll be back in a few.
[n/a] peaceseeker @ 24.97.224.6 | 12-Aug-03/2:18 PM | Reply
I think your emotions need to be clarified - are you nostalgic, horny, guilty, I can't relate to what you're feeling unless I know what emotions you're experiencing. Or is that the whole point? The confusion? No judgement meant to your situation, but, if you're bored or unsatified in your relationship, don't think that cheating will help the sitution!
[n/a] -=Dark_Angel=-, P.I. @ 81.128.135.31 > peaceseeker | 12-Aug-03/3:26 PM | Reply
Emotions are important, aren't they? If the youth of today had to have a single role model, to the exclusion of all others, who would you choose out of Mother Teresa, Rolf Harris, The Queen Mother, Mother Teresa II, or Mother Teresa with an assistant?
[n/a] http://mulberryfairy @ 216.195.145.161 > peaceseeker | 12-Aug-03/8:12 PM | Reply
Well, it is all of the above, that is why she is resigned to her fate of not going when it happens. She isn't one emotion, she's completely ambivalent.
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