Author: Theresa Smalec

In the Idiom: All Cars & Trucks (dealer + by owner) by Jeff Derksen

This third installment features car-themed poems by Vancouver-based Jeff Derksen— taken from the idiom of car sales in Craig’s List. Derksen is interested in the particular language (and class aspect) of how older cars are described for sale. And also in the way the car culture persists in cities and suburbs.   In the Idiom: All Cars & Trucks (dealer + by owner)   1988 audi needs a new deceleration valve but with that it will run fine brand new battery it doesn’t run right now, like i said it needs a deceleration valve but i would be willing...

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DRIVING by Bird Williams

In this second installment of “Car Poems,” Bird Williams recalls a car that was her partner in quest and part of her journey to freedom. *** DRIVING By Bird Williams We rode those streets in search of something more than another night of six packs in my car. We rode those streets like we’d been there before. In a rusted-out Camaro bought cheap to restore we crossed the Georgia line in search of bars and rode those streets in search of something more than the endless TV gray inside the door of one more mill-town evening, too familiar to...

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A place for unfinished things and Forty-some-odd on by Joe Amato

Cars are vehicles of memory. This inaugural installment of “Car Poems” features two poems by Joe Amato, written roughly forty years apart. Amato considers the gifts that others passed on to him by means of cars, and ponders the future of such transmissions. *** A place for unfinished things c. 1974 If looks could kill that day would have killed me. It was cold out our refrigerator was half empty and as full as it had been in months and my fingers were numb. The garbage can was singed around the outside my fingers were numb and nearly black...

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Car Poems: A Collective Vehicle

Call for Poetry “For nearly all of the first century of automobile travel, getting your license meant liberation from parental control, a passport to the open road. Today, only half of millennials bother to get their driver’s licenses by age 18. Car culture, the 20th-century engine of the American Dream, is an old guy’s game.” –Marc Fisher, “Cruising Toward Oblivion.” “I’ve never seen myself as a ‘girl driver.’ I’m just a driver.” –Danica Patrick “I wasn’t reaching for it.” –Last words of Philando Castile, 1983-2016 Like the intersections implicit in Politics/Letters, cars perform at the crossroads of America’s aesthetic,...

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