Claiming Insurance When Your Car is Written Off through the Carelessness of Aliens

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Nike Sulway posted about an online MOOC she and Boo are ambling their way through:  How Writers Write Poetry  The course is free and fabulous and presented by Christopher Merrill and Camille Rankine, via the University of Iowa.

Lesson 2 is about where you put stuff on the page. And why. I’m still very stuck in poems that tell a story.

I was driving home from the pub

I heard a weird humming noise

Lights stabbed down from above

I swerved to avoid the green man

I crashed into the tree

I was driving home from the pub

I’d only had a few

I obey the rules

I’m a good person I really am

Think before you drink before you drive was my childhood mantra

So why did this happen to me?

I was driving well

As well as I usually do

I heard a weird humming noise

I thought it was the car

I knew something was wrong

Bone deep and dizzying

I get that at work sometimes when the underground carpark doors activate and I can feel the vibration right through the whole building

The world seems to tilt

It was like that

Like bass notes too low to hear properly

Like when dinosaurs growl softly

Or like being on a ferry and you can feel the engine note through you

Or the resonance of the water against the side of the boat tells you how deep and cold and dead you’ll be if you fall in there

Lights stabbed down from above

Sci-fi lights

Too bright and making stark shadows

I’ve only seen lights like that when I used to take acid in my teens

Shadows that are unforgiving and don’t have soft edges at all

I’m a good person, really I am, I experimented like all of us

The light was everywhere and I didn’t want it to touch me

See my skin is still raw and red on my hands

Where the light came in through the windscreen I could see through my skin to the bones

I threw my head back and see here

It got me on the top of my chest here

I was screaming and crying – I didn’t know I could react so fast

And in the middle of all that brightness

There was someone in the middle of the road

Little, green, like a child dressed up for Hallowe’en

I yelled, “Moron!”

I yelled, “Mother!”

I yelled, “No!”

I didn’t know I could react so fast

And I hit the tree.

At first I thought I’d hit him

When I opened my eyes it was dark

It was gone and I felt safe and leaned my head on the steering wheel

A car pulled up

The police came

Then an ambulance

I couldn’t let go of the steering wheel

I couldn’t stop remembering seeing the bones in my hands

Yes, I threw up

Yes, I shit myself

No, I hadn’t taken anything or drunk too much or hit my head

The airbags deployed

I don’t know who or what

I just know that if I hadn’t swerved he would have died.

You’re not going to pay out the insurance are you?

He

She

It

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