it’s that time of the year again

poetry

i’d like to hit the road,
and i’d just like to go
out into the roads of America,
where i could watch it all roll by
from the back of a pickup truck
or the passenger seat of a car,
picked up by whomever,
whenever,
wherever,
so long as i just go,
exploring,
traveling,
leaving
with only a bag and a whistle,
and perhaps a stick or two,
and a can of beans at night,
shared with a good friend,
met perhaps by chance
but still a friend for the night.

but there’s just one hitch in my hike,
that no one would pick me up,
but would instead see my lack
of matted facial hair,
or of straggly hair, blowing in the wind,
and of features made hard by the sun;
and i would be given just a passing thought
that i must be a serial killer,
running away from trouble back home.

a traveler’s treatise

poetry

i’ve seen a tiger in denver
caged and discontent–
why in God’s name must i see
one in every city in which i set foot?
will a parade of morose tigers
provide enlightenment?

all our cities
seek to be the same
practicing emulation to perfection

but when we travel
let us cannonball into
the unfamiliar

avoid highways
fill the tires of an old bike
lace up sturdy walking shoes
eat at a restaurant owned by the cook
swim in the nearest river
revel in the flora
seek out the fauna
bathe in the accents of locals
make them your friends
sleep under their roofs

then return
and–without photos–
tell me of your travels