Centrifugal | Poem by Douglas S. Jones

Here’s a delightful poem by Douglas S. Jones about a bicycle rider sharing his bike with a spider. Jones lives in Michigan and spiders live just about everywhere.

Centrifugal

The spider living in the bike seat has finally spun

its own spokes through the wheels.

I have seen it crawl upside down, armored

black and jigging back to the hollow frame,

have felt the stickiness break

as the tire pulls free the stitches of last night’s sewing.

We’ve ridden this bike together for a week now,

two legs in gyre by daylight, and at night,

the eight converting gears into looms, handle bars

into sails. This is how it is to be part of a cycle—

to be always in motion, and to be always

woven to something else.

 

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2011 by Douglas S. Jones, whose most recent book of poems is the chapbook No Turning East, Pudding House Press, 2011. Poem reprinted from The Pinch, Vol. 31, no. 2, 2011, by permission of Douglas S. Jones and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2012 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.