01 September, 2017

An Autoerotic Poem… of Sorts

The Boy Racer

The leather shift knob in his feverish palm
Grows hot, having once itself lived (though, never
This much). Last month he installed a dual exhaust
And an intercooler — thrills and chills. The turbocharger's whine
Is his ecstasy given voice, as the two clutches in a single year
Worn out, the three torn tires, and that rubbed-raw shifter
He's so fond of jerking before punching hard through
Corners — that rush of gravity! — can all attest.
The boy fills with only premium.
He spends Saturdays massaging
Mink oil into the black fleshy seats
To keep them supple, tender as a lover.
And lovers, his ladies, titter at first, then take offense
When he doesn't let them light their cigarettes
And dust up the ashtray, maybe burn a little circle.
The girls are soon enough replaced; the car's his true darling,
Responsive recipient of his ministrations. Her specs are
To his fine-tuned ears poetic: octane rating, degrees
Fahrenheit, revolutions per minute, foot-pounds….
And he's thinking into the distance, half-fantasy,
About running with a sexy ten-speed tranny,
Because he's fueled with a lust, adrenaline combusting,
And will go until the wheels come off.

* * * * *

"The two are mutually exclusive," a friend responded to my rhetorical question, but why should there be such incompatibility between an interest in motorsports and an interest in literature? A guy who takes his car to the track, on weekends, can spend Monday through Friday writing novels. Surely there exists a crossover demographic (tiny niche though it must be) of NASCAR fans conversant with the works of Baudelaire. I can't accept that my own appreciation for the written word, combined with the fact that the exhaust note of a well-tuned V-8 can give me gooseflesh, makes me some kind of unicorn. And yet, I have never met anyone else who shares such a love.

Whether or not my friend's notion of exclusivity holds true has, obviously, nothing to do with "The Boy Racer." This just seemed as good a time as any to revisit the subject. The poem's about a young man's monomaniacal, fetishistic fixation on his car. That is all it's about. Well, that and giving me an excuse to conflate the shared slang term for transmission and transvestite — how could I pass that up?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Lacking computer access of any kind, Byron cannot respond to your comments but is relayed them and appreciates your kind remarks.