Friday, February 23, 2018

David Allen writes


And so it goes,
Rennie has blown up
and I left to ponder
the question of existence
once more.

What was weird
this time was
I wasn’t mad
that my ancient Renault
left me abandoned
on the highway.
Maybe it had something
about the Zen book
I was reading.

When the engine conked out,
making loud clanking
and whirring noises,
oil blowing its way
from the engine compartment,
soaking the hood,
splattering the windshield;
weird looking pieces of metal
sticking up from where
they didn’t belong;
I didn’t get mad.
Instead, I kicked the front fender
three or four times,
sat down on the curbside
and erupted in a fit of laughter.

Another roadblock
Challenging me.
But I didn’t fret.
I probably didn’t need
to go to the city
Renault R4 poster
 Renault R4 -- Petr Pereshivaylov


  1. Louis, Marcel, and Fernand Renault formed the Société Renault Frères in 1899 after selling their 1st car, the Renault Voiturette, late in 1898. Marcel died in an accident during the aborted 1903 Paris-Madrid race organized by the Automobile Club de France and the Automóvil Club Español. He had started the race in 60th place but was catching up with the leaders when he crashed. Beginning that year the firm began making its own engines, in 1905 it introduced mass-production techniques; due to the cars' new low price, and the adoption of a taximeter (invented by Friedrich Wilhelm Gustav Bruhn in 1891) by a car-rental firm, Renault sold 1,500 taxis from the firm. By 1908 it became France's largest automobile manufacturer and the best-selling foreign brand in the US and UK. In 1906 Fernand retired, and Louis renamed the company the Société des Automobiles Renault in 1909. The French army requistioned the renault cabs to transport troops from Paris to stop the German advance at the Marne river in September 1914, thus earning them the "Taxi de la Marne" nickname. After the German conquest of france in 1940 Renault refused to produce tanks for the Nazis (the firm had developed the 1st modern tank, the FT, during World War I) but, nonetheless, Louis was jailed for collaboration in September 1944, shortly after the liberation of Paris, and died in Fresnes prison in October. His firm was expropriated in January 1945 and renamed Régie Nationale des Usines Renault (these were the only factories permanently expropriated, though many of Renault's fellow carmakers were also arrested; it was not privatized again until 1996). In 1999 it entered into a cross-ownership arranged with Nissan, the Japanese automaker.
    (I wonder if David was influenced by Robert M. Pirsig's 1974 philosophical novel "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values." Its thesis is that, in order to truly experience "quality," one must embrace and apply it as best fits the requirements of the situation. However, he admitted that the book "should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It's not very factual on motorcycles, either."

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Yep, loved Pirsig's book. I am not sure, however, if it influenced this poet. Somewhere along the line I just learned that shrugged shoulders are better than angry thoughts.


Join the conversation! What is your reaction to the post?