You are a full time cross country long haul trucker and you are trying to change your career to that of a full time poet. When you aren't hauling freight, you spend all day at a desk doing bookkeeping and tax returns for the family business. Your office is in the garage, and there isn't much room for anything else. > You say "My first poem starts like this : Pedal to the metal, wheels of steel , Truckers on the move, Diesel fuel burning, Ain't no stoppin' us now!" "Oh," says the man with the clipboard, "that's pretty good." You take your poem and post it on a poetry forum called : Poet's Den. It has an active community of poets who critique each other's work, and I would love to have you contribute. "Sure thing," says the man with the clipboard. You read the comments: *** It's a pretty decent poem, but the rhyming is a bit off. The meter could use some tweaking as well. The line breaks could be better as well. They're a little too abrupt. Overall though, not bad for a first try. Keep going! *** That was quite good. Not my style of poem, but I can tell you put a lot of effort into it. I especially liked the way you incorporated the trucker slang into the words. That was really clever. *** Not bad, but the poem didn't really go anywhere. There needs to be more substance than just saying what the poem is about. You try something new and write a haiku about eating alone at a diner during a snowstorm. It goes: Snow is falling. I am waiting. For company. But nobody shows up. You post it and are pleasantly surprised by the response. *** Ha! I like that. You also get a request to review his poems, but he never replies when you ask him for the link to the site where he posted them. You send a private message through the forum, asking if he wants you to review his work, or just to give feedback. A poet scout comments and invites you to poetry conference. You accept and are invited to the Poetry Conference, which takes place in Chicago. Your father will be thrilled with the invitation. You know how much he loves the city, and it's been years since he went back. You meet with the poet scout and reveal your troubled past. He is sympathetic, but says that he isn't interested in helping you become a successful writer, he merely wants to make sure you have a good time at the conference. You go to a poetry reading at the hotel bar and enjoy some drinks while listening to a local poet recite some of her work. You perform an impromptu cowboy ballad. It goes: The moon shines down on me Like a silver dollar My hat brim reflects the light I can't help but think That I've come To a fork in the road And I must decide Which way to go I'm torn between the two The road I'm taking Will take me to my grave Or the other path Will lead me to fame Or the other path Will lead to hell You use your truck horn as a backing instrument and release your poem as a song on Soundcloud . You get a few hundred views, but not enough to make it worthwhile. Your father is very proud of you though. You say to him: "Dad, I got a publishing deal for one of my poems." But the car horn industry is changed forever. Your father's company, which has been in business since the dawn of the automobile, goes bankrupt overnight. Your mother blames you. You don't even have a job, and you are now homeless. You end up living in your semi truck, wandering the highways a drifting poet. Your truck is parked at a truck stop off of I-80. There isn't much here. You get an idea. You take the truck out onto the interstate. You drive northbound. Years later, after death, my story is taught in schools. I'm revered. I didn't make any money. I didn't change the world. But I did get laid once. *** You're a famous author. When I was young, my parents were killed in a car accident, and I became a drifter, living on the road.
EP 452 – Story #3 – You are a full time cross country long haul trucker and you are trying to change your career to that of a full time poet.
Posted under Episode 452, Story On By Chief