Friday, January 30, 2015

Riding With the Pros

The Bike That Needed Me
 —Photo by Kevin Jones
—Poems by Kevin Jones, Elk Grove, CA


Saw it in the thrift store in early spring.
A J.C. Higgins frame and parts
From at least six other brands
That I could count, all held
Together with thick Caterpillar
Tractor paint.  A dead person’s
Bike, a dead homeless person’s
Bike, I was sure.  It wanted
A home, but not for three figures.
I watched the price go down
All summer, to where I could
Finally afford it.  “We knew
You’d be in for it,” the clerk
Smiled (Is my bike lust
That obvious?).  “It needs
Me,” I explained.

 Curbside Comfort
—Photo by Stacie Sherman, Orangevale, CA


When the Tour of California
Had a Sacramento stage, teams
Would practice on
The American River Bike Trail.
Brightly costumed teams
Would flash past me as
I plodded on my cruiser;
Rabobank, Liquigas, Team Mobile.
And that guy in the yellow
Jersey—Lance, back in the day?

Always thought it would be
A great coffeehouse story:
“You know, I once rode
With the pros,” I’d say.
“I don’t think the ten seconds
It took them to pass you
Really counts,” she’d say.

 Happy Cow, Nevada City, CA
—Photo by Stacie Sherman


Was a bright fall Friday in San Diego,
A great time to rent bikes and ride
Around Coronado Island.
Just out on the beach path,
The fog began to roll in,
Dampening and lowering
Visibility on six weddings
That I could count, till
It got too thick to ride.
I’m sure it’s written somewhere
That a foggy wedding day
Is very good luck, though
None of the brides looked
Too happy.  When we
Could still see them.

 Double Phallacy, Rattlesnake Bar, Folsom Lake
—Photo by Stacie Sherman


Bulky waste day is upon us,
And a truck trolls
The neighborhood, slowly
Filling with bicycles and
Parts as the day progresses.
I want to ask, “Schwinn Phantom,
A Raleigh Tourist, in there?”
But it would be no use.
The bicycle scavenger
Only has eyes
For wheels, frames.



Had a friend who liked to ride
So much, he biked from California
To New Jersey, then turned
Around to ride back again.
He paused to admire the view
In the mountains
West of Denver.  Pickup
Got him.  Probably should
Have heeded the rule
Of Sacramento mid-town
Bikers: don’t stop.


Our thanks to today's fine chefs, and also to Trina Drotar for the heads-up about Sac. News and Review's article about aging that included two of our area poets: Kathryn Hohlwein and Martha Ann Blackman (see Kathryn will be reading at Sac. Poetry Center next Monday night, Feb. 2, by the way, along with Alexa Mergen.

Thanks also to B.Z. Niditch for his J.M.W. Turner poem yesterday, which inspired me to hunt up some Turner art. Coincidentally, the movie, Mr. Turner, is playing locally (including Folsom, Roseville and Tower Theater on Broadway). Check that out at Another recent "artist" movie that might be intriguing (though it's not playing in our area yet) is Big Eyes, about Walter and Margaret Keane and their stormy relationship, which included him co-opting her art. Interesting...


Today's LittleNip:

Life is like a ten-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.

—Charles M. Schulz



Foot Fetish
—Photo by Stacie Sherman