Monday, September 20, 2010


I fancy the suicide seat, splendid hazard,
without seat belts. Out of the immensity,
he shifts up, from drive to dance, fast.
Tires squeal. This guy has street smarts
Lee Van Cleef would envy. I've been told
he’s one slim customer, fag intense
in his lips, like holding a gun,
only more powerful.
I contemplate a roulette ride
across the eternal front seat,
tuck the professional virgin
in the glove box. Chance falls to his knees,
pending miracles, as the keynote gallops
a wheel of fire. Second glance speaks,
Only the weak need both belt and suspenders.
Jesus, he can’t even trust his own pants.
Sometimes I pray for love
and laugh when I get it.

Tess Kincaid
September 2010

The Tenth Daughter of Memory prompt "suicide seat"
photo borrowed from google images


  1. Wow. This brings back some memories, especially that "eternal front seat"...

  2. Do any cars have the eternal front seat anymore? I like that last line very much. We could probably all laugh at some of the "loves" we've had.

  3. Sliding across the front seat, feeling brave in the suicide seat - life is safe but a little dull now ;-)

  4. Yet again, "I don't really understand modern poetry, but I like your's".

  5. A splendid picture constructed out of carefully chosen words. As always Willow, you paint with words.

  6. I felt these words

    "he shifts up, from drive to dance, fast.."

    in my tummy - oh, that great feeling!

  7. Wow, this is very Tarantino, with a splash of Dashiell Hammett for good measure.

    Full speed and no belts, sounds like fun.

  8. Dear Willow, Oh, the thrill of a dangerous lover and how well it is captured here!

  9. Well... now...

    You were wearing a Zhivago hat, right?

    I suddenly feel the need to go cruising.

  10. Okay, this goes back to high school and dating someone old enough to both smoke and drive a car....thrilling and forbidden.

  11. Haven't heard the word naugahyde in a long time...genuine, authentic vinyl.
    The cruiser must have been a Republican with the bumper sticker : )

  12. The only think I didn't like about this was the "Nixon" bumper sticker. ;-)

    Very nice imagery. Loved the crack about belt & suspenders.

    I'll be checking out 10thDoM, too.

  13. Wonderful poem, Willow. My favourite part is the last two lines. There is something marvellously ironic and witty about them, but those words are also very poignant and often true.

  14. Me gusta volviste a la vida algunas palabras demode.

  15. Duh. The "only thing," not "only think," obviously.

  16. Martin H. nailed it in tone,
    Dashiell Hammett through
    a Tarantino lens, but several
    dashes of Mickey Spillane,
    riding raw and dangerous
    with the young Mickey Rourke,
    and yes, it takes we boomers
    back to leaded in hoods,
    fuzzy dice, dual exhausts,
    laying rubber, feeling that
    your ride was still something
    sexual, something personally
    expressive, macho, so very
    sensual, that naugahyde feel
    on bare thighs in those short
    skirts, and cruising through
    those mean streets without
    the seat belt, even if that
    car had one, you bravely sat
    upon it, daring the fates to
    make you into a lyric in a
    Jan and Dean song, some chick
    who was launched through the
    windshield on a deep curve.
    /fag intense in his lips/
    one hopes this is the cigarette
    as fag, and not something
    (sic) effeminate /like holding
    a gun, only more powerful/
    and oh how I recall that feeling
    in my loins when I had a four
    speed hooked to 300 detroit
    horse roaring. And the best
    twist for me was your humor,
    how you shifted from tough
    chick mode to philosopher
    in the snap of a bra.

  17. ((snap)) Glenn, you make me laugh.

  18. Lovely poem. Those were the days of love and danger. You capture them well.

  19. Silver Fox, I thought the Nixon bumper sticker was perfect for my belt-and-suspender driving character!

  20. Great post. Nixon was on the ballot in the first presidential election that allowed me to cast a vote. Love the Dodge Valiant photo, too.

  21. I love that last line...(though i love the whole piece)..but the "sometimes I pray for love and laugh when I get it"...that made me smile....for the truth of it...bkm

  22. Poetry in action -- cool and fast -- like a fifties greaser. -- barbara

  23. Two things confused me: 'the immensity'; and, 'keynote gallops a wheel of fire'. These don't give me any information. My problem, I realise that.

    I will have to google 'naughahyde', too ... something to do with vinyl in cars.

  24. Julie, I take that as a compliment! I like for my readers to think about my words for a bit, for my pieces to be multi-layered.

  25. I understand bits and your readers fill in pieces but you are, I suspect, as layered as the rings of an ancient oak...or should that be willow?
    I like you and the way you do it.

  26. nice post, willow....

    enjoyed it


  27. I think I dated that guy. About the "Jan and Dean song" comment Glenn made: We never gave our safety a second thought. There were no seat belts in the cars the kids drove. And besides, we were invincible, immortal. Weren't we??? OK, I guess what we were was lucky.

  28. "Professional virgin"...weren't we all? This is a "hoot and a holler"!

  29. Alan already put it so eloquently, you paint with words, with the bold strokes of a master.

  30. "Jesus, he can’t even trust his own pants." That is so funny!
    I could never trust a guy who drives a 1960's Valiant either!
    @ Glenn, I never could get the hang of undoing those damned hooks! Not enough practice!

  31. Oh this is nice. I've been that chick in the car...all caught up in the heat and the speed and the danger...not caring that I'm breaking every rule my parents have made about boys and cars and such, and caring not that he had a girlfriend, his age, and I knew I was the side, the blip, the flirtation. But oh the joy, of for one day, riding in his red-hot restored old mustang, tunes blaring, his hand warm on my neck. Thanks for the memories. Fabulous last line.

  32. @Willow: Oh, yes, the bumper sticker was quite an appropriate illustration; sorry if I implied otherwise. I only disliked Nixon himself!

    Speaking of Tricky Dick, there's a lengthy but fascinating article about Nixon and media manipulation at

  33. Silver Fox, yeah, I think the Tricky Dick reference, although not actually in the piece, works well with the "trust" element! Thanks for the link, I'm off to check it out...

  34. pure art...if you're out to win this with verse than look out for that chicken crossing the road! i have no idea what that means.

  35. It better be a rubber chicken.

  36. This is so fun. Lots of memories of the good old days.

  37. Beautiful car. I was proposed to in a 57 Ford truck. It was red, it had a very broad front seat.

  38. Best Line:"Jesus, He can't even trust his own pants"! That stayed with me most of the day...thank you! still smiling.

  39. Now that was a wild ride... oh, the memories...

  40. best last two lines ever! funny, i drove a 73 monte carlo in high school where the front seat swiveled to the side to let people in the back. the boyfriend liked that, oy!

  41. So ... immensity = the ether, possibly

    keynote galloping = the song he is singing, seduction, heats up

    I admire the glovebox line, especially on the assumption, that you wear it again after this encounter. The hypocrisy of the young is evident. I like that.

  42. Beautiful. And what a set of responses. It's ironic that the older generation often tut tut about the behaviour of the young of today while forgetting or ignoring the truth of their own youth.
    You had much sexier cars in the USofA. We had to be content with two door Holden Monaros (my dad had one) and Holden Panel Vans ('shaggin wagons"). ("if the joints a-rockin don't come knockin")
    The bench seats got a good workout even though they were probably less than eternal. I rode a motorbike which had its own naugahyde though I'm not familiar with that term.

  43. Potent stuff, Willow. I love the Joni M-like imagery in this one.
    I've known those belt-suspender guys!

  44. Very fun--great language, great rhythm!

  45. Really really good, Willow! This made me smile, like, BIG! There is much "naughtiness" woven into this, and the kind that gave us butterflies in our stomachs back in the day. "Jesus, he cant even trust his own pants."

    That just cracked me down!!


  46. A rather racy number, Willow!

  47. I remember being thrown in the back seat with a whole bunch of other kids while my father drove around with the top down. It's a miracle none of us were ever hurt.

  48. Willow, a wonderful write! Thank you.

  49. Willow, again and again, you have a way of mixing and layering mirth with danger. Here you take a nostalgic drive back in the past while ruing and laughing at answered prayers. Very evocative. I will probably read and reread until the naugahyde wears thin.

  50. I agree with Alan, you paint with words. Exquisite.

  51. Love the last very true.

  52. A response to Naugahyde:

    SLip SLiding Away

    I luv the squeaky sound
    your'e bum makes
    SLip SLiding Away,
    Before you know it you've
    hit the accelerator
    SLip SLiding Away
    and then your over the cliff
    my dear
    SLip SLiding Away
    always wanted to
    fly,I did
    SLip SLiding Away

    Good to back Willow.Thanks for stopping by.

  53. Slip Slidin' Awaaay-ay! It's great to have you back in the bloggyhood, Stephen!

  54. hi my dear can you email me?

    hope all is well

    Moonie smiles

  55. Excellent. I'm happy that I found your blog. You write beautiful posts.

  56. "I contemplate a roulette ride
    across the eternal front seat"

    Such a fantastic image.
    Enjoying your lovely blog.

  57. awesome, this baby packed some crazy strong punch.

  58. Carefully constructed, at first glance, a chaos of thought, on further examination, depth and feeling. Forbidden memories, put to eloquent writing...well done.

  59. Some of the phrasing in here is absolutely delicious--"roulette ride" for instance.

  60. Willow,

    I drove a Nash Rambler. But all the smart girls liked me!

    The bumper sticker shot through my system and sent me poeticizing myself. (If interested, it's a current post).

    (I think we share a wavelength -- should my therapist talk to yours?)


  61. You bring great style to this muse and I like the humor in the last few lines.

  62. oh i can feel that naugahyde. and i'm in awe of that eternal front seat.

    wow wow - so much to love about this.


Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)