The Cynglish Beat: Coconut, Vanilla & Roadkill

Folks, today is a two-fer. Since the first poem is such a shorty, I’ve tossed in the next one in the series for free.

Coconut & Vanilla was inspired by being on a city bus during rush hour when all of the white-collar ladies were on their way to work and their clean scents just overwhelmed me in the most interesting ways.

30 seconds in Iowa

Killing the Road in Iowa

Roadkill on the other hand, is a true story about the ugliness of road trips. We had already driven from Calgary across Canada to Toronto and saw the occasional bit of animal flesh after the wee beasty lost the race to cross the highway in traffic, but it wasn’t until we crossed over into Michigan at Sarnia, Ontario, that the number of roadkills skyrocketed. Either they had more animals they we do in Canada, or they are much slower to clean them up than we are. I opt for choice number two, though there were a lot of lakes & forests in the region of Michigan we drove through, so maybe beastly population plays a part as well.

So, enjoy.


Hawaiian Tropic Scent

I like to ride the bus

First thing in the morning

Surrounded by that soft, feminine scent,

Just stepped out of the shower — that clean, washed, coconut scent,

Drifting through my senses and heightening and lengthening my awareness of life.

Except on the school bus, because then it’s just creepy.



5000 miles of Homer-less odyssey.

No Bart or Marg or Lisa either. There was a Maggie, but not for long.

Roadkill beyond number.

Roadkill too horrific to count.

Interstate shoulders paved with fur, fleas and flies.

Raccoons, skunks, muskrat, crows…

Rabbits, deer, coyotes, fox,

And at least two Bambis,

Lost to their mothers, leaving Thumper to fend for himself.

Each and all in different stages of Gone — crushed, splattered, tumbled and spread — eyes closed, brains disconnected, tongues lolling for passersby to pity, nauseate over, ignore and pass by.

But in Wyoming there was this cat who’d used up lives one through nine — all blood-on-fur felinity.

He was still deceased, passed on, retired and croaked, but not like the hundreds of others.

Felix was eyes-open, claws-retracted, paws-up — fending off and defending against enemies overwhelming and long gone.

Wearing an expression of shock, like he’d lost count of his lives —

Lost count at six or seven or even eight…

Then was shocked-to-shit when the ‘93 Chevy punched his clock…

…and took away life number 9.


Ciao for now,


(Excerpted from The Cynglish Beat by Tim Reynolds, due out in early 2010 from Cometcatcher Press.)


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