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A poem from near the beginning of my verse-novel "On The Verge" which introduces the characters and main themes of the story.

Diary Poem 3

Imageby Tim Ellis19 Jul 2014

The driver’s the biggest fucker
I’ve seen in all my life
- Michelin Man incarnate, lagged in flab.
“Thanks mate!” I shout. I’m lucky
- could’ve been there all night.
I lug my bulky bags and boxes of books, my laptop, CDs, guitar and a didgeridoo up into the cab.
The truck’s the most sensational
I’ve seen in all the world.
There’s three articulations
and more than thirty wheels.
The logo’s a charging rhino with rocket flames.
“Where yuh headin’ mister?”
He joins the inside lane.
I tell him, “Nowhere special...A to B.”
It’s true - I’ve been a drifter
since graduation day,
surviving on chips and kipping on settees.
He muscles into the tussle.
We cruise like a battleship
steaming through the twinkling English shires.
The oncoming lanes are tinsel,
our’s a hot ash strip
where ruby tail lights glow like sparks of fire.
“ ‘name’s Tom.” “Mine’s Arno,”
the corpulent driver confides.
I tell him, “It’s a fuck of a wagon you got!”
“Well...welcome aboard The Freemarket,
Mr.Crusty!” “Much obliged,”
I answer, wondering, “Is this a nutter or what?”
He talks of his daughter, tearfully,
and his wife, who he loves a bit,
and boasts of goods he’s trucked through foreign borders
- like landmines and guns to Liberia,
snow leopard skins from Tibet,
and then starts banging on about law and order
- mostly gobshite and ever-so
far-fetched truckers’ yarns
that make no sense, but fuck!..I don’t wanna argue it... how he used to deliver
rockets to Afghanistan,
and coolers, fridges and freezers to the Inuit.
His neck’s tattooed: a baby
with “Maggie” inscribed on a sash
and next to it, a love-heart captioned “Mum”;
below, a naked lady
- a fantasy of flesh,
erotic smile, pneumatic tits and bum.
He gives a little chortle
catching me looking at that.
“’got ‘er done in Brazil back in ‘94.”
There’s LOVE on his right knuckle
and on his left is HATE,
and both hands hold The Freemarket on course.
“What took you to Brazil?”
“He says, “Transportin’ logs,
then I worked on that Amazon ‘ighway, truckin’ crushed granite.”
This gives me a chill.
I say, “That road’s a pig,
some people call it a wound in the lungs of the planet.”
Arno just laughs.
“What are you? Some kinda hippy?
’s just a jungle! ‘tsa fuckin’ wilderness
what needs developin’ fast!”
I’m not happy
with his manner nor tone of voice, but let it rest.