Thursday, March 30, 2017

Backseat World by Peter Dabbene

I learned about the world in the rear
seat of my parents' car. Not
the way you're thinking, you
dirty bird—age six or seven, feigning
sleep, eyes shut tight, but the insides
of my eyelids bright as we passed orange
glow streetlights.


"It's just not working out."

"The doctors say there's not much they can do."

"Can you believe what she said to me?"

They rarely listened
to music while driving and our world
was sealed, self-contained except
for the odd honk. If ears closed
as easily as eyes, would they?

The secret language
of adults made me glad
to be a kid and fearful
of the future; now,
in the car, there's always music.

Peter Dabbene’s poetry has been published in many literary journals, and collected in the photo book Optimism. He has published the graphic novels Ark and Robin Hood, the story collections Prime Movements and Glossolalia, and a novel, Mister Dreyfus' Demons. His latest books are Spamming the Spammers and More Spamming the Spammers. He writes a monthly column for the Hamilton Post newspaper. His website is