There is no question that Southern California is a car culture. Visitors who come here for the first time are often amazed (and frustrated) that it’s almost impossible to get around the city without access to an automobile. Until I moved here, I managed to survive quite nicely without owning a motor vehicle. My favorite poet has escaped from the auto-centered life style to Paris, a city that provides excellent means of mass transit, and where he now resides without that California icon, the car. However, before departing from here, he penned the following poem, capturing the flavor of that favorite youthful pastime,  going out for a spin.




a little red hatchback gleams like a scarab in the desert

burning through the Alemeda corridor

down the freeway-wide surface streets

with Gothic-steel factories pluming white into the white

afternoon sky,

white that the falling sun will soon ignite into stained glass

yellows and oranges.

but for now the car cuts through the enfolding haze

then out of the industrial and into the lower-rung commercial

with liquor stores and blacks and Mexicans crowding the bus stops

marginalized, problematized, by money or lack thereof.

it is late summer afternoon on the western side of LA County

where the asphalt meets the ocean

and the red hatchback dodges smoothly through thickening

rush-hour traffic

like a ruby sifting through gravel

flashing under the California sun.


p. ferenczi

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9 Responses to Riding

  1. Lost in says:

    Paris is a city in which being carless is easy.And after having spent maybe an hour watching with fasination the ballet of cars circulating the Arc de Triumph, I feel safer on public transport than driving.In fact it is possible to walk between many of the major points of interest, which is an even better way to get arround the city.

  2. sweeti's says:

    the idea having no car here in Belgium is a night marewe dont have bus here or tram so we need cars …Lil village lolif i want to go to office with bus….well i think i need 2 hrs…lolwith car ??? 10 minutsJorge the mountainbike weekend was awesome but after that i was daily busy with organising the quizwhich was a great succes.Im one happy person Jorgehows work ???still busyhere in hospital we had to let go some employes…but now its getting back to normalcya Jorge love for u and ur familyMJ

  3. Patricia says:

    "going out for a spin"…so long since I\’ve heard that phrase…

  4. Holy says:

    definitely like a scarab in the desert. Poets have a way of suspending time and shapeshifting space such that the only reality apparent is the the phonic, ironic and iconic. He\’s definitely a truth seer.TC!

  5. Stephen Craig says:

    Jorge, Very good poem and could almost feel a breeze with top down to sniff the ocean scents of Mexican food.As ever be well

  6. Beth says:

    A great poem. Please thank the author for us.

  7. PJ says:

    Good Evening Jorge,First of all, thank you for always stopping by for a visit. It is much appreciated. The poem is delightful and having lived @ Malibu Beach and Hollywood, I certainly understand the means of transportation being a necessity to commute to and from work. I despised that freeway and still do to this day. LOL. (No nightmares, however.) ;)Until next time…Keep Smiling. Paula

  8. Charlotte says:

    great poetry… amazing how other places have lots of transportation without driving…. hope you are having a wonderful fall day. hugs, lottemae

  9. Cheryl says:

    Liked this post and sure wish we in the states had public transportation. Houston is like CA….we have busses but the square miles of the city is 650 miles. I live 50 miles out and there is no public transportation here….If you don\’t have a car you don\’t go anywhere…

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