Monday Poetry Train: Home


By popular demand, Roadie Poet returns:


It’s hard to sleep.
The bed’s still.
Doesn’t vibrate like the bus does
There’s no motor noise
Sleeping going on
Behind vinyl curtains
That hide faces
But nothing more.

is Mom’s place
The apartment where we’ve lived
Since I was a kid.
My cross-country trophies are here
And my FBLA shit
From the days
when Mom hoped
I’d be something more
Than just a roadie.

My bag’s still packed
I’m ready to go
As soon as that call comes.
They said any day.
Go home.
A week, at most.
Two days, more likely.

And then I can have a new bunk
Hopefully on the top
Middle’s okay.
Bottom sucks.

My bed’ll vibrate
No quarter needed
And once again,
I’ll sleep like a baby.


Here is Roadie Poet’s debut, in case you missed it.

Hope you’re all reading for the Summer’s Hidden Treasures Contest, and that those of you nutty enough to Sweat for Seven are doing nicely. Me, I’m working on some edits that ought to lead to no good…



  1. Camille Alexa

    July 8, 2007 8:33 pm

    Nice “guyly” voice, Susan.

  2. Susan Helene Gottfried

    July 8, 2007 8:35 pm

    Damn, you’re fast, birdie. BR/BR/I can’t decide if RP is a guy or a girl.

  3. Ann

    July 8, 2007 9:35 pm

    great poem. I’m doing the 70 day sweat, so far so good (I should be able to say that it’s only day 1 *g*).

  4. julia

    July 8, 2007 9:44 pm

    Hmm, that’s interesting. I was reading the Roadie as a guy. I’m liking the Roadie, Susan! Another good one. Such a strong voice, I immediately connect with this person.BR/BR/I especially like both the beginning and the end:BR/”Home.BR/BR/It’s hard to sleep.BR/The bed’s still.”BR/BR/and “Ring,BR/Phone.BR/Ring.”BR/BR/I like the short, compact thoughts of the narrator. His old cross-country trophies, his craving for another gig on the road, his no-frills musings give me an image of someone who needs to be doing something at all times or he’ll fold. Thanks for giving us another Roadie poem.

  5. Michele

    July 8, 2007 9:59 pm

    I agree with Julia that Roadie has a strong voice. My initial reading of this poem suggested rawness and an almost abruptness in the language. My second reading allowed me to see that the language reflects the voice of the character and your choice of repeated single lines hints at the quickness of Roadies life and thoughts. BR/BR/Yes that is only my opinion. However, it is my opinion that allows me to like a poem or not – this one I do. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Rhetorically Sterculian

    July 9, 2007 1:31 am

    Ms. West of Mars,BR/May anyone contribute a poem?BR/If so, here is oneBR/BR/BR/BR/Hole MakerBR/BR/Dear Diary,BR/November 25, 1996BR/BR/An aching heartBR/empty of lifeBR/void of feelingBR/BR/small glimmers of light,BR/but they aren’t meant for meBR/no, not for meBR/BR/Only happy people allowedBR/even if the grin is pasted onBR/glued in placeBR/BR/What happens when the grin is goneBR/what will I do without itBR/I can’t find it anywhereBR/BR/Once again, she lashes outBR/all faults are mineBR/why? How can she manipulate me like thatBR/BR/Something is wrongBR/I never should have given her my heartBR/So in reality, the fault IS mineBR/BR/Like a sinking ship, with only a bucket to slog away the deathly watersBR/anchored into an existence with no escapeBR/you can’t sail away, you can’t mend the holesBR/BR/Afterall, how do you mend holes that you don’t makeBR/the patches never fitBR/the holes are still thereBR/BR/she sees the holesBR/pretends they aren’t thereBR/tells me I’m crazy, there aren’t any holesBR/BR/then she picks up the bludgeoning wordsBR/and makes a few moreBR/points at themBR/BR/Look, you made another holeBR/What’s wrong with youBR/she saysBR/BR/you’ll ruin us all,BR/making holes like that,BR/better grab that bucket, try to bail us all outBR/BR/Hole MakerBR/BR/unreliable, she saysBR/BR/Hole MakerBR/BR/can’t depend on you for anything, she saysBR/BR/Hole MakerBR/BR/the silent tears unansweredBR/filling the ship evermoreBR/BR/there must be another bucketBR/somewhereBR/somehow

  7. Susan Helene Gottfried

    July 9, 2007 7:46 am

    Figures, Rhet. The one week I forget the link to Rhi’s joint, someone needs it.BR/BR/I’ll leave the link at your place. This is too nice to not be an official part of the train!

  8. Joy Renee

    July 9, 2007 8:12 am

    the part where he returns ‘home’ to where his mother hangs on to all the symbols of the future she once hoped for him. but he is not ‘at home’ enough there to even sleep.BR/BR/my poem is about the source of inspiration–again! there is something about that theme that brings out the poet in me i guess.

  9. T.A.Chase

    July 9, 2007 8:21 am

    Wow, Susan. RP does a wonderful job of describing what the life of a roadie would be like, plus how hard it would be off the road.

  10. Anna J. Evans

    July 9, 2007 9:13 am

    Roadie rocks!! And I love anyone who puts the word ‘fart’ in their poetry, lol.BR/BR/Great poem, Sus,BR/BR/anna j evans

  11. gabriella hewitt

    July 9, 2007 9:28 am

    That part about home really resonates. My bedroom in the home I grew up in had all my books and my varsity letters and awards. Then in college my folks moved to Calfornia. Home has always been where my parents are especially since I live overseas. But it’s never been the same now that my room is no longer around.BR/BR/You really touched a chord. Thanks.

  12. Karen

    July 9, 2007 9:34 am

    Happy Monday…BR/ugh.BR/(Oh, and I’ll echo what the others said about RP’s voice)BR/- A HREF=”” REL=”nofollow”karen/A

  13. Red Garnier

    July 9, 2007 10:31 am

    This guy is just brilliant! And you’re more so, Susan… =)

  14. Rhetorically Sterculian

    July 9, 2007 10:46 am

    Thank you, but it is a tad personal and for your little group only

  15. sage

    July 9, 2007 1:42 pm

    funny poem, love the line about the bed not vibrating like the bus, which reminds me of hotels we stayed in when I was on the debate team in high school–I think we broke more than one vibrating bed as a dozen or more of us would pile on for the ride.BR/BR/I’ll try to get my book review up tomorrow, now I have to figure out what your challenge is all about…

  16. Marcia (MeeAugraphie)

    July 9, 2007 1:44 pm

    I’d forgotten they had FBLA in school. Guys voice, I thought, although not so much it couldn’t morph into a girl of fewer words, I mean she is hanging around a bunch of guys.

  17. Anne Douglas

    July 9, 2007 1:54 pm

    My bed’ll vibrateBR/No quarter neededBR/And once again,BR/I’ll sleep like a baby. BR/BR/HAHAH! I’m so having visions of bad motels with scratchy porn and a vibrating bed with a stack of quarters beside it

  18. Camille Alexa

    July 9, 2007 4:18 pm

    I think RP’s a guy. He’s very guyly, like I said (and I’m a tomboy), and in a good way.

  19. Lisa Andel

    July 9, 2007 4:43 pm

    Waxing poetic about farting. Something very down-to-earth about that. ;)BR/BR/Uh, RP better be a guy. I can’t imagine many women that miss the sounds of farts to fall to sleep by.BR/BR/I could be wrong.

  20. MarciNYC

    July 9, 2007 5:14 pm

    Stupid question here — what’s FBLA?

  21. Susan Helene Gottfried

    July 9, 2007 5:18 pm

    Good call, Lisa. BR/BR/Marci: Future Business Leaders of America. Otherwise known as the Alex P. Keatons. (did I just date myself?)

  22. Sparky Duck

    July 9, 2007 6:20 pm

    Lovely, though one would think he would want to be home just for laundry sake.

  23. Jenny McB

    July 9, 2007 7:17 pm

    Even in high school, this guy was a team player, doing his job for the good of the team. I am seeing him in loose jeans, black tshirt and pecs..probably shouldn’t have read Lisa’s first.BR/BR/I like the comparisons between home and the bus.

  24. Amy Ruttan

    July 9, 2007 7:26 pm

    Nice manly voice. I agree, I always pictured Roadie as a man.BR/BR/Although that’s kind of sexist of me … there were plenty girl roadies at the Gwen Stefani concert.

  25. Rashenbo

    July 9, 2007 8:26 pm

    Roadie Poet is awesome. Hehehe 🙂 The jiggling bed would rock anyone to sleep… or would it *wink*? :)BR/BR/Happy Monday to you!BR/BR/Cheers.

  26. Thomma Lyn

    July 9, 2007 9:25 pm

    What a great voice for Roadie Poet! I loved it right from the opening:BR/BR/IIt’s hard to sleepBR/The bed’s stillBR/Doesn’t vibrate like the bus does/IBR/BR/Gives us a lot of insight into Roadie Poet, his/her concept of “home.” He/she is a true nomadic spirit, though he/she is paradoxically wistful when it comes to the concept of “roots”. BR/BR/And ya know what, my friend, I picture RP as a girl!

  27. Dewey

    July 9, 2007 10:17 pm

    Oops! I forgot it was Monday! Well, next week. BR/BR/I was wondering if RP was a guy or girl, too.BR/BR/I’ll email you soon with that info! I’m sorry I’m so slow.

  28. Nymeth

    July 10, 2007 7:17 am

    Hi Susan BR/BR/I wanted to say that I got your book package today – thank you so much! Although I’m a big fantasy fan I am not very well-read in science fiction, but just a few weeks ago I was thinking I wanted to start exploring the genre, so the books you picked will be perfect. Thank you!BR/BR/Also, I agree with everyone else – great poem.

  29. BreadBox

    July 10, 2007 8:08 am

    Hello, Michele sent me: interesting poem! But others got to the parts I’d comment on more cogently. And more to the point, first!BR/BR/N.

  30. Rhetorically Sterculian

    July 10, 2007 12:44 pm

    Erm…BR/Ah…BR/It’s Tuesday now in the Canadas.BR/What happens here on Tuesdays?

  31. Susan Helene Gottfried

    July 10, 2007 12:52 pm

    No rules for Tuesdays, Rhet. Just Mondays and Thursdays.

  32. MarciNYC

    July 10, 2007 5:25 pm

    Aha! Alex P. Keaton – we’re of the same generation, then! (But we knew that right?)BR/BR/I guess my high school was behind the times – we only had FFA and FHA. Neither of which I grew up to be.

  33. Finn

    July 11, 2007 10:50 am

    Well done. I like this voice. Simple but elegant. And real.BR/BR/Michele sent me today; I’m going to thank her now.

  34. Susan Helene Gottfried

    July 11, 2007 10:51 am

    Wow, Finn. Thanks!

  35. Rhian / Crowwoman

    July 13, 2007 6:03 am

    damn – that was awesome!!!

  36. Alice Audrey

    August 11, 2008 12:41 pm

    Poor Roadie. I hope his phone reings soon. 🙂

  37. West of Mars » Blog Archive » Thursday Thirteen #74 — Roadie Poet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *