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condoms on the handlebars of a rusted bicycle by Mark James Andrews | Word Riot
Poetry

November 15, 2010      

condoms on the handlebars of a rusted bicycle by Mark James Andrews

Listen to a podcast of Mark James Andrews’ “condoms on the handlebars of a rusted bicycle.”

three sneakers are dangling
from the braided fiber optic line
parabola pole to pole in the sky
as we crash over pothole craters
in the pod of a restored rear-engine
Volkswagen Beetle on a back
street that looks like Dresden after
World War 2 as we disembark
into a forbidden quadrant to poke
gingerly with salvaged pool cues
from a fire bombed corner whiskey
bar at burial mounds in this artifact
rich free garage and yard sale
in abandoned homesteads and hulks
of chop shopped automobiles
recalling biblical Noah with his white
dove and olive branch but drunk and
naked in a tent at the end, while
we separate clothing from data
cable, cobbles, and condoms on
the handlebars of a rusted bicycle
in glory where the grips should be.

About the author:

Mark James Andrews is the author of Burning Trash (Pudding House, 2010). His writing has appeared in many venues with appearances in 2010 in Hiram Poetry Review, Shaking Like A Mountain, Clutching at Straws and upcoming in Short, Fast, and Deadly. He has worked as a gravedigger, inspector at a now defunct auto plant, jail librarian and library director at a quaint metropolitan Detroit area library. He lives in Harper Woods, Michigan.

    5 comments to condoms on the handlebars of a rusted bicycle by Mark James Andrews

    • Steve Gulvezan

      Mark’s images of a trip into the detritus of an urban landscape are as vivid as one of Dali’s nightmare visions put down in words.

    • Cecilia

      This is haunting and beautiful. I love it.

    • Allyson

      Steve, I agree with you, but if you are going to choose an artist to depict this poem I would choose Frida Kahlo.

    • Michael Thomas

      Invigorating, like hitting the inner “refresh” button.

    • Keesha

      You are all correct. This is a beautiful, haunting poem. It is the best poem I have ever read in my life. I think it is like a painting of Van Gogh and Leonardo Da Vinci combined.

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