A Taste for Speed

By on Feb 18, 2013 in Poetry

Snowy road with blur


                                                                               Hitching: 1968 

     Easing their spines on post-marked
ends of property, the road-worn   

      sag, sink, recall or forget some other lives    
in meaner contexts, 

     a bag or bedroll dropped, just far enough
a moment’s rest comes easy,     

     even this blow-by yes,  as January  
tears toward 

     narrower, narrowing

     and     new


     Two like yourselves maybe, between    
refreshment and live music, 

     consider their heated lives, in sweats    
and markless courtshoes, 

     unable to speak a word of this, but    
sharing their taste 

     for speed, for the candied fruit
they pass, 

     slipping by the cruisers, for this
once upon a time                                                       

     they confuse with sanity,
their futures, 

     depending,     as


     Not on this snow, snow-fencing, no, and
not on the scraps,
    scrub, on these hints of wheat,
spring, or electronic 

     calendars, but on this truce of sorts two build,
    nights at home, the neighbors
with guitars 

     and combs and squeeze-box instruments,
with ballbats
    and marked score-cards, but not
a diamond 

     anywhere, only such looks as troubles
    flashing through snow, through
this snow, 

     falling for now, and  


     Two like yourselves, let’s say, schooled  
by extremes,                                                                 

     search clouds like resignations passing over,
like catalogs 

     of known facts, starting the star-gazers,
ballplayers in, mid-sentence 

     in, so that a room seems everything, and
the scarves ( ripped off ) 

     accessories all over, fires they burn
and burn again, 

     until the bags, the bedrolls bid,
until two stand, 

     stretch, setting the tones
for days,    

     and the tones for


     So long as this fine-blow eases some,
eases to dawns     

     seen through the thumbprint sides
of emptied 

     goblets, through lifetimes then, like breath    
the breathless 

     take apart in neutral corners, they’ll
wait, until 

     winds again allure, and tracks
of their own                                                                                           

     appear, then     — just
as cleanly — 

     make     to


Robert Lietz is the author of eight published collections of poems, including The Lindbergh Hal-century, Storm Service, and After Business in the West. Nearly five hundred of his poems have been published in print and online journals, including recent publications in Istanbul Literary Review, The Pittsburgh Quarterly Online, Avatar, Contrary, Terrain, Valparaiso Review, Salt River Review, and Lily. Several unpublished collections are currently finished and ready for publication, including West of Luna Pier, Spooking in the Ruins, Keeping Touch, Character in the Works: Twentieth Century Lives, The Vanishing, and Eating Asiago & Drinking Beer. Meanwhile, he keeps active writing and exploring his interest in digital photography and image processing and their relationship to the development of his poetry.