Train Spotting

3 hours till sunrise / an impasse / a vision

1-hundred odd cars just moving rolling
going going now now now
Cranked up sturdy whirling wheels (some 7 8 9 hundred least)
piggybacking piles of Sacred Stuff—
the whole profound plastic mass of gadgets / precious gadgets

Manic-screaming engines shouting Howls of Truth
(miles upon miles upon counties upon states)
Green lites glowing /guiding—
just moving rolling
trekking this beautiful Christ-kissed land

Kingdom of Metal & Muck Material
crystal cage-facade erected by power-horny men
who pissed / who crapped / who died hard work

Darwinian-jawed beast of Lust & Money
Breed & Brag
America—land of the Need
home of the Want

Home of the free-will train of hope
just moving rolling / chasing nite
w/ rising smoke coughed from unknown holes
(exhaust of busy bawdy men)—
it hangs (industrial-incense clouds) in 3am neon April skies

Passing phantom platform-carts just moving rolling—
tremendous truck-trailers stacked in mounds to Heaven
Glorious flatbeds filled w/ shiny lead things
Fancy foreign cars in big bad crates & boxes boxes boxes

Nails & tape / staples / plugs (the multitudes!)
oil tanks / gas & purple poisons ooze
Rusty livestock bins a mess
(something moaning)
Claustrophobic cattle dragged cross endless landscapes

to be salted
to be chewed
to be flushed out by men of Big Balls
women of healthy breasts
children w/ psycho fits of Ritalin-woe

This magic freight just moving rolling—
the total perfection of mass-market-movement
the go-go-go-now-now-now
Towed cars throwing iron / grease—
orange/blue halo-sparks now struck
& tumbling down hills of brush & weed / scattered waste & gunk

The booming blast of insane horns approaching distant intersection-gates
the clank / the bang / the wail & shake
The raging force / the rickety rick- rack-rack of wheels wheels wheels
hitting lumps / riding grooves (nuts & bolts rumble-growl)

on straight-line track laid by sweaty workmen’s hands
big burly wet-mouthed workmen’s hands (sticky sticky American hands)
years past / before me / before you / your parents breathed an inch of life
Just moving rolling—
hissing brakes (a useless tap / a screech / a grind)

Just you—god you—just try to stop this billion-ton brigade
just moving rolling
w/ prophetic hobo hitching ride back end—
hazed in paper-bag-booze escape
exempt from day after day of wicked grind

I see him schizo simple smile—
he waves / he signals me in Soul / calling out w/ dirty-angel noise of
& Freedom

I see him always in my mad mush mind burned out / so gone—
just moving rolling / free of time / so free of time
so un-America
so Proud / so Real
so unlike me—a rat-race drone unfeeling

obedient / hollow / structured / bland
Waiting for a train to pass
that I may drive my go-go-go-now-now-now
path to Mediocrity & Woe…
dreaming of the Holy Hobo-Life I’d die to Lead

c b snoad
published in MiddleWestern Voice (spring 2002)
winner of the 2002 Carl H. Carlson Poetry Contest at Elmhurst College
edit 1-31-17


Medication (Middle) Management

In the Year of Our Lord 2006

life these days
it’s like playing baseball
with a bowling ball
our fast-food hands too fat to finger the holes

Google eyes bigger than our broadband stomachs
we consume & are consumed
natural born leaders of the free world
waterboarding the truth

& more money won’t make me happy
more sex & violence won’t make me happy
retail therapy won’t make me happy
only selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors make me happy

life these days
it’s like playing xylophone
with the Rolling Stones
at the Super Bowl halftime show

homeland security
homeland security
can’t take your seat on the plane
without spreading for security

& more customer service won’t make me happy
more booze & boobs won’t make me happy
my twelve-step program won’t make me happy
only selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors make me happy

c b snoad
draft 12-2-05
edit 1-30-17

Four Wheels Rolling

County Line Road


The whole world beside me
I have done all this before
Trees pavement sky & the long long drive
Just watched a game
At my sister’s place off County Line Road
It wasn’t the score that mattered
The salsa chips or soda pop no
But being there
For a moment
All my own


I’m in the driver’s seat
Returning home for toothpaste pajamas & dreams
To rest the arms legs head shoulders fingers toes lungs & mouth
The brain heart ankles feet hair skin & face
But not the Soul
The Soul sleeps but never rests
The Soul is full but never satisfied
The Soul is AWARE of its awareness


Still in the driver’s seat
The whole world beside me
Driving up & down
County Line Road
Up & down
County Line Road
AWARE of everything
Of this & that & so much more


I know my eyes are here but it’s not their seeing
I know my hands are here but it’s not their feeling
I know my life is here but it’s more than me


We anticipatory creatures of maybe
Oh how we struggle
All this flesh in the way


AWARE of the deer
AWARE of the moon
AWARE of the radio
AWARE of the distance
AWARE of the thin white lines
AWARE of the luscious curls of wind
AWARE of the world living through me


Never a beginning or end
Struggle & unrest
Bodies tied to infinite loops
Of struggle & unrest


Bodies bodies everywhere
And not a mind to think
Stressing bodies
Asking what we’re doing
How we’re doing
What we do for a living
Please the Doing will be done & yes
The Opportunity will find me yes &
Please the Moment will define me yes
For I am AWARE


Life is not a series of objects
To be moved from one side
To another to another
Progress is not living
Production is not living
Profit is not living


Oh the ways
The many many clever ways
We choose to struggle


Four wheels rolling
Up & down
County Line Road
I dream of a destination
Called home
Four wheels rolling
Up & down
County Line Road
Four wheels rolling
The way four wheels roll
I dream of a world
Beyond the beyond
Called home

c b snoad
draft 10-11-02
edit 1-29-17

Recovering Melancholic

Recovery Mode

I once performed mental
gymnastics upside
down on a tightrope over
the Grand Canyon

I once unzipped my flesh
and stepped out naked
in spirit astonished at
the jumble of my bones

I once rode a roller coaster
at a joyless amusement park
with my old friend vertigo
and a bottle of brine

yet here I am with my wits
about me and a new lease
on life ready to reboot
my drive in recovery mode

here I am with my wits
about me and a new lease
on life writing poetry
in recovery mode

c b snoad
draft 10-24-04
edit 1-28-17


Laugh Out Loud


digitized and downsized
we are the binary selves
some switches on
some switches off

we’re smart shoppers
cyber bullies
all God’s children
of divorce

the cement truck
of concrete reality
Amazon primed
to bury us in debt


“depressive syndrome characterized by
pervasive loss of interest
in almost all activities
or appetite disturbance with change in weight
or decreased energy
or feelings of guilt or worthlessness”

today’s prophet is a madman
howling against our plight
from the depths of the spirit asylum

the overactive mind
the sprawling mind
that yearns for solutions

teeming with thoughts
infected with intellect
deprives the body of feeling


now I lay me down to sleep
God is great
pledge allegiance to the flag
God is good


lingering between two worlds
neither here nor there
some switches on
some switches off

we twitter while driving
under the influence of text


“manic syndrome characterized by
hyperactivity or pressure of speech
or flight of ideas or inflated self-esteem
or decreased need for sleep
or easy distractibility or delusions
or paranoid thinking”

I tell myself
not to panic
in front of
the children


the lord is my shepherd
beautiful for spacious skies

the lord is my shepherd
the bombs bursting in air

if I die before I wake
post a notice
on my blog
in your own words


trolls are laughing
laugh out loud

the sky is crawling
on the ground

laugh out loud
laugh out loud

drones falling
in a forest
make no sound

laugh out loud
laugh out loud

dance like nobody’s
in the clouds

laugh out
loud laugh
out loud

c b snoad
draft 10-13-09
edit 1-27-17

I Wrote This Poem With My EpiPen

Anaphylactic Shock

I’d been working all morning
on a fifth grade science
project at my friend Paul’s
house when his mother served
us soup for lunch, forgetting
to exclude the cup of milk
she’d added countless
times before.

Seconds after eating
a healthy spoonful
I knew it in my gut.
My face swelled like
a hothouse tomato,
lips turned marble blue.
My throat rebelled
against my lungs,
refusing to let air pass
without a fight.

I rushed sneezing out
the front door straight
for home, afraid I
wouldn’t make it.
Paul would have to glue
Styrofoam Neptune
and Styrofoam Pluto
to the poster board solar
system we created
in an unfinished basement
on the day of the week
God famously rested.

You know how bee stings
sometimes kill innocent
children at amusement
parks or backyard barbecues
on the Fourth of July?
That could be me but
with pizza, frozen yogurt,
french silk pie or Fun Size
Milky Ways any day of the week.

That must suck, says
everyone I tell.
They can’t live without
mozzarella sticks, Frappuccino,
buttered popcorn
or Cool Ranch Doritos.

Some of us are sensitive
souls with glitches
in the spirals of our DNA.
To survive we bring our own
buns to hamburger joints,
spread soy margarine on plain
baked potatoes, make friends
at kosher bakeries and pray
to God the dopey Applebee’s
waitress reminds the cook
to clean the grill
and hold the cheese.

c b snoad
draft 3-9-13
edit 1-26-17

According To Plan

According to Plan

got your plans in place
got your life in order

everything’s fine
no really you’re fine

think real hard
debate debate

got your plans in place
got your life in order

everything’s fine
no really I’m fine

think real hard
debate debate

got my plans in place
got my life in order

there’s a logical reason
a cause and effect

just think real hard
debate debate

I feel just fine
when everything goes

according to plan
even though

it all goes wrong
the harder you try

to make things right
in the end

c b snoad
draft 11-15-07
edit 1-25-17