From “Today in the Taxi” by Sean Singer

Under the Same Black Sky

Tonight in the taxi on Amsterdam Avenue I was pulled over to the left side waiting for a passenger, hazard lights flashing, which is routine, but a car behind me was honking like crazy and I motioned to him to pass. He pulled over next to me screaming and cursing and then started punching my car. I said nothing.

The keys to good driving are smooth steering inputs and smooth braking inputs. When he left there was a gust of air, like a pause. A poet said “The yelling is stifled, but how can one avenge one’s silence?”

Paterson (dir. by Jim Jarmusch, 2016)

Today in the taxi it was the usual. I only drove in Paterson a few times before, either on my way to or from Newark, or somewhere. When the driver Paterson drove in Paterson, he kept noticing twins and then he made his poems.

A new road might reveal an answer, or the driver might find one, and then he could make a change, and shut off the ignition, and shift gears, so to speak, to do some other thing, but there was a long, many miles road ahead of them, and it might be both difficult and impossible; it was the beginning of a day with promises and cars, motors and ways eroding, to doors, roaring storms, or—or—a song for him only.

Sean Singer is the author of Discography (Yale University Press, 2002), winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize, and the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America and a Fellowship from the National Endowment  for the Arts; and Honey & Smoke (Eyewear Publishing, 2015); and two chapbooks, Passport (Beard of Bees Press, 2007) and Keep Right on Playing Through the Mirror Over the Water (Beard of Bees Press, 2010). He drives a taxi in New York City.

Image: “Huron Motel” by ©Chuck Miller

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