Claustrophobic Rut

Is it crazy to tell off the sky?
Shake your fist at the clouds moving by
Pin your yourself down for 1-2-3
Past vice built walls
Over mountain misting seas

There is no elevator to heaven
Maybe a sandwich break
Thought escalation
Thinking through bodily sensation
Left eye twitching
When most alone
By myself
Returning home

Lightening at sunset
A cigarette in spring rain
Dog tired and alive
Already I have changed

Fear falling free
The worst of it is me
Self-made peace
Self-respect beyond grief
Seeking a spacious garden
Destination reached
Not the channel alley
Asphalt valley
Where cover’s steam
Below drowning aqueducts
Sewer rats, healing cuts
Fresh air I breath
And dream
To leave
This claustrophobic rut
Hitting bricks
Working out my luck

Care to hear me read Claustrophobic Rut?
The above poem was written for One Stop Poetry’s Sunday Picture Prompt Challenge. Scott Wyden took the amazing photo. Outstanding lines and composition. He is the interviewee today over at One Stop Poetry.

36 Responses to “Claustrophobic Rut”

  1. ah, really felt the emotion in here…

    loneliness.. just wanting to break free. great work Adam, as always.

  2. did not notice it when i first saw the pic but now looking at it, it feels like the walls are closing in…asphalt valley…nice…wide open spaces…i get that…glad you are moving in a good direction my friend…

  3. “Lightening at sunset
    A cigarette in spring rain
    Dog tired and alive
    Already I have changed”
    The verse really got me

  4. Hearing this affected me more than reading it – and made me read it again. Your voice and the poem’s voice work in harmony. I love that I get to hear you read it.
    ‘The worst of it is me
    Self-made peace
    Self-respect beyond grief,
    This really struck me – the difficulties inherent in modern living and the adjustments we make to survive. Powerful.

  5. There are so many things to be said about your interpretation of the photo, but I would like to single out the opening lines of each stanza. They have such a powerful message in themselves and lead the reader into the stanza with high expectations of an incredible piece of writing, when taken as a whole.

  6. Adam, this is excellent. I really enjoyed it!

  7. great writing and just looking at the picture makes me feel quite queasy thank you

  8. do i feel catharsis in here…good and emotion filled write adam – yeah – breaking free..loved the channel alley/asphalt valley rhyme – very effective

  9. This is excellent! I really enjoyed this.

  10. Escape while you can? This is a wonderful picture of what a city might do to a person and a beautifully creative use of the picture.

  11. ‘Self-respect beyond grief
    Seeking a spacious garden’
    ~ how you so captured that hemmed in feeling, trapped within emotions, longing for breath and space ~ time away from the sewer rats ~ but then that cigarette in Spring rain ~ and the spacious garden ~ lifting out from the detritis of life ~ moments of refreshment ~ such brilliance Adam ~ and your voice again ‘dream to leave’ ‘working out my luck’ ~ Hmm ain’t it so ~ so so incredibly powerful ~ hugs Lib ~ @Libithina

  12. You captured the feel of the city perfectly. Great poetry!

  13. Really like this one, adam. The poem jumps from thought to thought, image to impression, smoothly, inserting the little needles under the skin for acupuncture or tatoo?, making the thoughts burn, and then the excellent resolution. Esp like “..The worst of it is me..” and the final lines, where the best of it is also ‘me.’

  14. That sliver of sky can be the sense of freedom above – or the river to escape below. Good poem, Adam.

  15. Powerful emotions held down as escape and freedom so far away

  16. Strong response to tightness of space. Short phrasing, chock full of images…tight.

  17. Really felt this one. Nicely written, pulling the need for nature, watching so much become asphalt jungles.

  18. Hi Adam, love it when I get to hear the actual voice . Vice built walls, such a good one. And great pause between no elevator to heaven and maybe a sandwich break… I liked that.

  19. Like how you took the reader from the bottom to the top. Nice write,,,

  20. Always felt so closed in when in NYC….can see how one could feel that when living in a city…photo good match for the poem.

  21. You create a feeling of stifling oppression. Very effective poetry, Adam.

  22. Not much sky to tell off from that point of view. A country drive would do that feeling wonders.

  23. Edgy feel to this one…I am quite partial to your third stanza, that one I wish I had written (I certainly can relate (and it isn’t helping my desire to have a smoke!). Excellent prompt…good to see your poetry, again ~

  24. I love the first two stanzas of this poem scaling the heights but unmasking the hollowness of it, the “tightness of the rut.” I love how the poem slowly descends as if in calculated crescendo in submission to a destiny of nothing but…Great take, Adam!

  25. Liked the feel and voice to this. With a strip of sky so thin, doesn’t give one much to argue with other than themself.

  26. Very emotional. I can literally feel the claustrophobia.

  27. hitting bricks instead of hit THE bricks…nice nuance. I don’t live in the city rut but I imagine the cement is always smoother on the other side.

  28. brilliant … as always ….

  29. Claustrophobic Rut. I can relate to that. Very very good.


  30. I could relate to that poem, which captured its title emotion beautifully.

  31. Laying here, looking up into your photo and listening to you recite this poem I got a waft of the “Pit and the Pendalum”. I remember that same fear feeling.

  32. Frightening, especially with the photo. I felt quite hemmed in.

  33. Enjoyable, clever, urban work.

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