• Seth Van Camp

Poetry Mill #1 - The Driver

Updated: Feb 6, 2020

Before I begin, you're probably wondering what the hell a poetry mill is. Well, a poetry mill isn't actually a thing. I am the poetry mill. Mills make things. I write poetry. You get it. I consistently write poetry about weird and dark topics, so this is going to be a series. Here is part 1 of that series.

The Driver

Fear drags its feet through crusty rubble upon which sits a small cracked pickup truck.

Its, like, one of those trucks that looks older than it really is.

A lack of care has taken its toll and it shows.

It's one of those trucks that's barely old enough to buy a beer, but doesn't ever get ID'd, you know?

The truck sits isolated on a gravel off-ramp beside a desolate field, surrounded only by night.

The quiet is stirring.

It seems to grab you by the shoulders, but disturbingly says nothing. It makes you feel vulnerable.

Fear walks up, seemingly out of no where, opens the door, and tries to insert the key into the ignition.

He's routinely attempted this for years, but the key doesn't ever fit.

I mean maybe once and a while he'll get in.

A drunken weekend here, a panicked decision there,

but the locks always learn by the next day.

This carries weight though, there's something... something's different.

He moves with purpose. He wants in. Like, he reaaaallly wants in. Fucking badly.

The key shakes into place to Fear's surprise. The first few attempts produce a whirring hesitation. But eventually, a simple turn of the wrist scares the engine on.

He shifts into gear and begins driving, if you can call it that. Now some of you probably know this, some of you may not, but Fear is a fucking terrible driver;

I mean, he's definitely driven before, but

he hasn't even gotten his learners yet and that's not for a lack of trying.

Yet, he continues to grab hold of the wheel, nonetheless.

The overwhelming excitement shape-shifts into fright and confusion.

He's like a dog chasing cars. He doesn't know what to do now that he's caught one.

But fear persists.

Defiant of the trucks wishes, fear drives on.

The truck feels helpless in its plight.

Fear dictates the roads in which the truck's tires roll and does so without considerate thought.

Fear is a pleasure seeker.

He makes choices based on what feels best in the moment.

The Carpe Diem bumper sticker on the truck just fuels Fear's fire.

He takes the truck offroad. Uncharted territory.

Fear knows the truck has no shocks and it's dimpy 25" tires can't handle the abuse.

But god damn if it doesn't feel good to do something you shouldn't.

So fear presses on throughout the night.

As the sun begins to lift itself into the sky, Fear decides he's had his fun. But the night will return, and with it, Fear. He leaves the truck right where he found it, battered and bruised, but not written off.

It can still get from A to B.

Things will get better.

But only when the passenger door is left unlocked. Only when the truck realizes that fear is a great navigator, but a shitty driver.