"Scenes From A Roadtrip" Sonnet

And the road goes around the world. Stop
signs glowing in the headlights. All those
phone booths. Cracks in the curbs. Faulty
seatbelts. Noisy wipers. Stoplights that
linger on red. Well-disguised landfills.
A medieval amusement park. The wash cycle
in a laundromat. Striped awnings. Ditches
on both sides. An obsession with horns. Bugs
battered against the windshield. To drive
faster than the train. More thunder. Let's
try to spot a mountain from a molehill she
dares me from the passenger's seat. Sets of
elegant gates indicating mansions. A clock
tower then a small plaza. Of a hotel lobby.
Market stalls some closed. Birds prepared to
sing for bread crumbs. Backed by a lagoon.
To where the snow line ends. A light rain.
Gasoline over flowing its tank. Terra-cotta
roofs. Stains left by seeping oil. Still that
train whistle in the distance. Or maybe next
time a cruise ship at least as far as Venice.

Descriptions Of An Elsewhere

But all I remember     three stories of rooms
A ceiling fan       slicing overhead light
With a sack of apples    in her lap
Or like soap      floating in the bathtub
Of the sane mind     more so than the sensual mouth
Black ants      filing down      the window sill
Her radio on a country station       a cigarette lit
In her herbal tea       makes tuna sandwiches
No roads leading there      no parked cars nearby
And the flute plays my part       as background music
Her feather mattress rolled out       on both our sides
So I pull out the gun      & we oil it together
Sitting up stiffly      the first sight of the suit
Another man's suit      with a billfold in the pocket
But not one photo of the other man's wife   & busted
One picture of him      around the nose and mouth
Reminds me a little of Sam Cooke      shot in a motel
In a case of sexual madness      her rainy underarms
Skin as sensitive as a snail         which melts away odd
And the pie wasn't bad      never did mind leftovers

Maurice Oliver spent almost a decade working as a
freelance photographer in Europe. Then, in 1995, he
made a lifelong dream reality by traveling around the
world for eight months, recording his experiences in a
journal instead of photographs. And so began his
desire to be a poet. His poetry has appeared in The
Potomac Journal, Circle Magazine, Bullfight Review,
Tryst3 Journal, The MAG, Eye-Shot, The Surface, One
Forty Two Magazine, Word Riot, Retort Magazine(Australia),
Taj Mahal Review(India), Stride Magazine(UK),& online at,, & He lives in Portland, Oregon where he is a

2004 Underground Voices