Casey Cyr Gash




The poet's duty, to poet.

As I contemplate how many days I could go without driving my car.
And I realize that my car is driving me. And all of you.
We've built lives that make convenice necessity.

The collective we, our railroad-tie chain-gang ancestors, building this machine for all the right reasons. To go west and find home. And our ancestors and us taking full advantage whenever possible. The oil companies and the gas stations taking advantage whenever possible.

Taking long car-rides, complicit and carefree. Piling in the station wagon. I could write some sexy poem about Route 66, but not now, nevermind that now. Our free-wheelin days are over now. I remember being 15 and a half, gettin ready to get my license, so I could be free, could finally be free to roam my neighborhood as I had never roamed.

But I thought gasoline had a particular smell, not that bad really. And it wasn't as obvious anyhow with everybody smokin cigarettes and sprayin our neighborhoods with pesticides while we played.

That's all over now as I become fully awake with all of you. As we wake up from our long car-ride, stuffed in the back seat with your brother and sister and maybe a lap belt not quite fitting as we stop at the 7/11 and cool off. As I wake up with all of you, here, now, as poets wondering how to help, what to say, how to be a part of the solution and not part of the problem.

Would I say write your Senators, Congressmen, President? Attend meetings, run for office yourself, vote? Would that do any good? Do we expect somebody else to do it instead. Yes, I think we do. A lot of times we poets think that somehow somebody else should be in charge because we don't ever want to be a part of representation in government. But I must say, as I watched Al Franken win, I remembered the days he was a comedic writer in NYC. Look at what he's doing now, it is quite nobel. I've already written several letters to OBama. I know that every drop in the bucket counts.

How the hell do we have a space program when we can't tend to our home? Who said they could drill in the ocean anyway? We have to draw the line somewhere. But first we have to understand our complicity. We want it so they make it. We demand it! Unfortunately because of our nature, our nature of immediacy and lust for being on the move as no others have ever moved, we don't know a bad idea until a big catastrophy occurs.

Wake up time. We can all wake up now, and decide if we are going to drive our cars. Or boycott Arizona. Or save the mountains. Yes, I think I will participate, here now, as poet to poet, simmering, boiling til I blow.

How about a one day no-driving boycott? Can we do that?
Perhaps we can carry signs throughout
our neighborhoods
which read:
Poet Walking.

But I have to pick up Lucy from the bus-stop in an hour. Today I am part of the problem.
Casey Cyr Gash