a city bus pantoum

 

we keep the wall between us as we go*
we can no longer ride the city bus
our mouths are too stiff and our gait too slow
but this sidewalk will be the death of us
 

we can no longer ride the city bus
the construction workers wolf-whistle us
but this sidewalk will be the death of us
every step’s a monument in snow
 

the construction workers wolf-whistle us
our mouths are too stiff and our gait too slow
every step’s a monument in snow
we keep the wall between us as we go

 

 

 

miz quickly’s #2 | *from Mending Wall by Robert Frost | process

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7 thoughts on “a city bus pantoum

  1. The pantoum is among my favorite forms. The wolf whistle line struck an immediate “stop looking at me you arseholes” chord deep in me. The rhythm works beautifully in this piece. This line is a favorite:
    our mouths are too stiff and our gait too slow…

    It kind of reminds me of “the bigger the better, the tighter the sweater…” but then that brings us back to the construction workers. *sigh*

    1. thanks, brenda!

      I always seem to go back to the pantoum. I like the construction (no pun intended :D) of the thing; putting together (sometimes) random lines then wiggling them back and forth.

      putting some iambic pentameter to it drew the rhyme out of me, it seems. must be all those elizabethan plays rattling around in my brain. it is almost like breathing.

      1. funny that you picked that line — I almost axed it completely. I didn’t like the way the rhymes were coming out, so I flipped the first verse around and decided to keep it. then right before I hit “post…” I ended up switching “legs” to “mouths.”

        guess it was a good whim to follow. πŸ˜‰

    1. oh, thanks pamela!

      it’s not a *strict* pantoum, as I didn’t carry the abab rhyme all the way through — but I did like how the rhyme ended up mirroring itself in the last two stanzas. sometimes there are more stanzas, and sometimes an ending couplet.

      here’s a description that’s pretty much how I approach them — http://www.baymoon.com/~ariadne/form/pantoum.htm
      I don’t follow rules well, so I like to give myself wiggle room. πŸ˜€

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