TOMMY ALEXANDER

Sound Collage for a Bicycle Commute

Creative Writing | Poetry


Sound Collage for a Bicylce Commute

I’VE been trying to listen
as i zoom down market street:
bicycle mindfulness,
morning mélange.
i’ve been trying to listen
to honking and heartbeats:
the sounds of a city
waking up.

on the corner, a man
beats a drum kit of buckets,
and chants to the high-rises,
rhythm and rinds.
a bus gently screeches
to halt at the stoplight,
and opens its doors
with a hiss and a sigh.
a car engine rumbling
endless explosions,
impatiently waiting
and raring to go.
the clack of a trolley-car
changing its tracks
as it makes its way down
to the water and back.
i catch conversations
like snippets of ribbon
that waft in the wind
while their speakers are hidden.

this is the city:
the life and the living,
the frothing and frenzy
that well up unbidden.

i’ve been trying to listen
to everything happening:
all of the laughter
and all of the songs,
and the clicks and the clacks
that are spines to our backs
in the concrete, the rush,
and the fog.

i’ve been trying to listen
to become aware.
to understand
and make more clear
the choice i face
in every moment:
be the murk,
or be the mirror.
hold each heartbeat
briefly
in my ear
so i am really near it.
breathe, release:
the fathoms and the fears.
i am here.
hear it?

 

Enjoy more of Tommy’s work at medium.com/@i.am.tommy

Photograph by Elise Matich

Tommy Alexander
Tommy Alexander forges words and fosters community amid the colorful hillstreets of San Francisco. His creative work has been featured in The Catalyst, Arrow, and SunStruck Magazine, and he has published a chapbook: "Songs of Joy and Restlessness." He performs music and spoken word as Foggy Mornings, and he curates travel guides for AFAR.