My (beloved) Tucson favors the (ridden) bicycle

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I thought I’d share this one with you – especially those in Tucson.  I want to do a full color coffee table book that would retail for about $135… but you know, life got in the way.  To get a, um, taste for it go to google maps, streetview of:

1604 S. 9th ave.  Rotate to the SW corner.  This poem will take you there, by bicycle.  The beer:  Earned.

Tucson is like a diamond.  There are many, many sides to it.  Each neighborhood has a story.  I’m not being cliche.

It might look like a shithole from a car… My Tucson favors the bicycle.mesquiteleaves

Senna’s Tucson – Part 1

West of Oracle, I’m on Flores street:
where I remember
holding a bike frame in a box on my back.  Riding cantered
One arm up
fingers in a folded over hole
to the Post Office in Barrio Blue Moon.

From Feldman, west, where the Mansfield Park
has a ball court with a roof, never played there
I just stayed on the crab grass stretching, watching
dark figures jumping and running.  I remember
holding her there.

And down to Dunbar Spring, where Stone and 1st
always has  a puddle.
Down Queen, I lean.  I stop, stem in hand I  walk, and knock.
Pea stone gravel on my cleated shoes.  The ever present noise;
It drives me.  I sit on a green Tucson bench
to pound down some water and pick out the stone with my finger.

I go downtown.  Ripping past stopped cars I enter the tunnel
they’re gunning, it’s a thrilling fear, and eerie,
the noise of their motors much louder in there
I’m to the right and in the sun before taken over
I take the lane and the green at Congress.  I cut through
on 9th to Church.

Past the Convention Center, never been in there
and don’t care
I turn on 17th and open up, free.  My hands go easy
There’s I-10 full, glassy and real
in the afternoon, from 18th st
and broken bottle in the tunnel, the shade
such a brief break from it.

Soon, losing little noise
along the mighty and dry Santa Cruz
South to where I saw a camel and a man walking
wondering why I wasn’t doing just that.

At 29th I’m back in combat.  Under the highway
“Move! Move! Move!  Get past that freeway frontage road!!”
A black-death spewing White truck belches careening past.
“Ready!” he commands internal, walking along my inner pool:
“Drown proof!  Down!”
One breath held hard…. and heavy O2 demand.
Hurt.  Through more fumes.  Fading.  Still moving.  The last push:
Death. Left!

Along light colored sand
she said: “Brown becomes the aesthetic.”
Only four years later, I get it.

A rail to lock the rig by a south side grocery
LA PRIMAVERA –  26th and 9th.
Pacifico Clara  bottles in the front wheel bag, cold
6 bought  and one drank on 10th ave to 42nd st.
And * I * Feel * GOOD on mural-ed, ex-tra wide
10th ave, where I’m always left alone, going home
cutting my carrots so close to the door and the noise.

Memory of 2006, written 2010

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About littlejar

5 - Learned to ride in paved alley behind liquor store in Lowell. 16 - Road bike riding alone while peers do soccer practice. 18 - First new road bike bought with winnings from Project Graduation. 20 - Burlington VT. Nuff said. 22 - Joined the Air Force. 23 - Joined team Fair Wheel in Tucson - rode the Shootout. 24 - Rode El Tour in under five. 26 - Toured to Quebec City 28 - Toured Oklahoma to Vermont 30 - Found my dream bike - a 1989 58cm LaBan (#22) 32 - Experienced Minneapolis and saw BIKE CULTURE. 34 - Building my first bicycle frame, with a self made jig. USA

3 Replies to “My (beloved) Tucson favors the (ridden) bicycle”

  1. Reading this was a perfect nightcap to a night of boozing and biking. Shithole from the car. I’d literally die here without my bike. Word.