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The Art of Catching Trains

Discussion in 'Brick Slayers' started by bobobi11, Sep 8, 2001.

  1. bobobi11

    bobobi11 Elite Member

    Joined: Dec 15, 2000 Messages: 2,807 Likes Received: 0
    I came through the clothesline maze
    of childhood
    in basketball shoes.
    Up from the cracked cement of sidewalks.
    Long hair blowing in the breeze
    from barber-college haircuts.
    I moved into the country
    knowing love better than long division.


    Tricking out with women twice my age
    we acted out our own French postcards.
    Dr. Jekyll in the schoolyard.
    Mr. Hyde behind the barn.


    After school the trians,
    Their whistles known by heart.
    Pennies flattened on a rail
    and dresser drawers with matchbooks
    from every northern town--
    thrown by unknown travelers
    who never waved back.


    I knew the U.P. right of way so well
    that gandy dancers called me toe-head
    till they learned my name
    and engineers would sometimes whistle
    down the scale
    on seeing my arm raised.

    Baseball's just a sissy game
    to anyone who's waved at passing trains.


    You learn from hobos
    the art of catching trains.
    Locomotives slow at trestles
    and whistle stops
    to hook the mail.


    Diving through an open boxcar
    you lie there till your breath comes back.
    Then standing in the doorway you're the king
    as crowns of hills and towns go by
    and nighttime eats the summer up
    and spits the stars across the sky.


    How did I come to know
    so many lonesome cities
    with only pennies in my pockets?
    I smiled a lot
    and rode a lot of trains
    and got to know conductors
    and railroad bulls by name.
    From Alamo to Naples is a ride
    that took me nearly twenty years.
    But here I am,
    my cardboard suitcase traded in for leather.

    Rod McKuen
    "Lonesome Cities"


    [This message has been edited by bobobi11 (edited 09-08-2001).]
  2. T.T Boy

    T.T Boy Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: May 18, 2001 Messages: 21,803 Likes Received: 41
    nice post. good photography.
  3. hipnos

    hipnos Guest

  4. bobobi11

    bobobi11 Elite Member

    Joined: Dec 15, 2000 Messages: 2,807 Likes Received: 0
    Thanks, however honesty makes me admit that these photos are all shamelessly stolen. I just liked this poem and wanted to have photos to go with it.
  5. other

    other Member

    Joined: Apr 6, 2001 Messages: 537 Likes Received: 0
    stolen or not, you still get a pound..
  6. brown twinkie

    brown twinkie Veteran Member

    Joined: Jan 6, 2001 Messages: 8,127 Likes Received: 0
    good shits.
    the first two
    flicks are real nice...
  7. Bare

    Bare Guest

    That really cheered me up, thanks a lot...that was dope
  8. boogie hands

    boogie hands 12oz Legend

    Joined: Feb 15, 2001 Messages: 16,059 Likes Received: 13
    nice....that second photo is breathtaking (im not being sacastic, that the only word i could describe it with)

    brick, brick ,brick...thats how i be up against your girlfriends ass...
  9. Ski Mask

    Ski Mask 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: Apr 11, 2000 Messages: 11,114 Likes Received: 209
    O Winston Link like woah.....nice post.
  10. eros

    eros Senior Member

    Joined: Aug 3, 2000 Messages: 1,033 Likes Received: 0
    I just got off the phone with my sister who was telling me she was going to frat parties at college. Needless to say the idea of my sister off getting drunk around a bunch of meatheads got me a little tense. Looking at your thread relaxed me and gave me a cheery feeling.


    very unique.. i think thast how u spell it.. i enjoyed......

    And he said... "Im goin to stab you in your temple".
  12. Pilau Hands

    Pilau Hands Guest

    i want to be in the first two places

    one of these days, weeks, months, years, i want to get up to new england where fall is Autumn.

    *ZEMONEDOE$ Veteran Member

    Joined: Mar 4, 2001 Messages: 6,137 Likes Received: 0
    truely a dying art form thatneeds presorvation
  14. BrokenFuckingLung

    BrokenFuckingLung Member

    Joined: Nov 2, 2000 Messages: 367 Likes Received: 0
  15. bobobi11

    bobobi11 Elite Member

    Joined: Dec 15, 2000 Messages: 2,807 Likes Received: 0
    Part Two

    Now a traveler
    under the gray-black winter sky
    moving down the mountain by torchlight,
    I've come to find a gathering of eagles.
    Not for the sake of mingling
    with the great birds,
    but just to justify
    a thousand streets walked end to end.
    Ten thousands evenings spent listening
    to the small sounds of the night
    in station after station.


    Not every town in Switzerland
    has a golden Gondelbahn,
    but there are other ways to climb the hills and reach the lonesome cities
    of the world.


    Riding friendly bodies
    you can inch your way to Heaven
    let alone the far side of the room
    and who'd deny that brushing elbows
    in certain street
    has not produced for every man
    at least one vision of Atlantis.

    For me old habits don't break easily
    I wait for trains.


    Sometimes I feel I've always been
    just passing through.
    On my way away, or toward.
    Shouting allelulias in an unseen choir
    or whispering fados down beneath my breath
    waiting for an echo
    not an answer.
    Everbody has the answers
    or they'll make them up
    for you.

    Just once I'd like to hear
    a brand new question.


    What about the trains you ride
    do they go fast or slow
    would I recognize your face
    clacking past the poplar trees
    if I were stationed on some hill?

    If I did I'd know you
    by the look of nothing in your eyes
    the kindred look that travelers have
    the one that says a tentative hello.


    If while riding down the rails
    you see a boy in overalls
    along the railroad right of way
    wave as you go by.
    Signal with a frown
    you too are going down
    the same road.

    Small boys need encouragement
    the freight trains in their minds
    will only take them just so far
    Be kind
    for small boys need to grow.