By Thomas R. Flynn
On September eleven, 2001, journalist Tom Flynn trigger on his motorcycle towards the realm exchange Towers now not realizing what he used to be driving into. Bikeman is one man's trip again to the horrors of that day and to the humanity that by some means emerged from the dirt and the loss of life. either heartbreaking and haunting, his phrases will stick with you love that 'forever September morning.' —Meredith Vieira, NBC's Today
Tom Flynn brings to his topic 3 useful attributes: the attention of a pro journalist, the soul of a poet, and his lovely, first-hand adventure of that bad day.
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Additional resources for Bikeman: An Epic Poem
I’ll sit down at noon and eat. When I’ve ﬁnished I won’t bury the scraps. In the late afternoon a red sun will spread its ﬁre and show me no matter how hard I look for the track I know, no matter how far I go I still won’t reach the main path that gets me out of the forest, into a past that once had a future. I saw the wind’s laughter and a faithless earth sprout with buds. I’m going back. This morning I’ll walk through familiar land. 15 p oetry swa l low e d Every poet thinks sometimes he’s the last poet in the world.
This book is a paper rag, letters like ﬂies—and you are a rag of ﬂesh: you eat dust, ooze blood, stare at it, and snooze. 27 friends Friends come and talk, they talk and you talk and eight, ten, fourteen eyes hover ﬁdgety, desperate, gnats in their search for honey, jam, anything sweet, anything sticky for the soul. They sit they get up they drink with long-practiced hope. And the soul, juice drained out, begs to be sweet. Somebody gives you a look as if passing a note: and you put the note in your pocket, with a glance that opens a door.
And only the ferry, I suppose comes close tonight as it did on that evening to the feet of the cliﬀs melting in the moist dark. 33 isa a c ’ s story A violent story about the boy call him Isaac one day Isaac went looking for work since it was the summer break and Isaac was supposed to ﬁnd work and work was found for him in a spinning mill where Tel-Aviv runs into Jaﬀa between a seventeen-year-old worker who fastened an old smock over her breasts and panties and a mouse in the shape of a man named Eliahu who would push his hand between the two halves of her buttocks every chance he had and the loom is a hellish instrument that doubles the time and triples and septuples it to destroy you the loom’s caught in your mouth between your teeth and you’re between its teeth and between the teeth of mouse Eliahu and between her panties which show from time to time ﬂoating on a sea of desire churned in a haze —terrible especially after the noon break dragged back to the loom in a rasping tin halter Isaac stands in a damp undershirt longing to be a thread oh a thread in her panties and Mister Levkovitz in ex-British mandate khakis complete with kneesocks complete with a sort of khaki safari hat with air vents like some goddamn explorer in Africa comes by and digs his ﬁnger into the damp undershirt and hot ﬂesh to the core of his belly and asks how it goes with my servant Jacob may dogs lick up your blood and harlots wash themselves in it and here’s the true story of Isaac’s ﬂight through summer dust and chariots of soot on Salameh Road 34 in his checked shirt stuck to his undershirt stuck to the skin to the ﬂesh to the bone to the marrow on foot to Moshavot Square where Zionism is laid out at the crossroad like an open book and Egged buses ride over it and via Petach Tikva Road to the Maariv newspaper building where the smell of the air-conditioning streams out of the entrance like the smell of a lie from the mouth of a liar heading for the junction of Petach Tikva and Hamasger Roads and Hasmonean Street where a motorcycle goes oﬀ the road and brakes and rattles next to him its rider a weasel-faced man with sunglasses and a drooping cap and soggy shirt and a pair of shorts bulging over his belly and the arms and legs naked something thick and heavy and ﬂaccid and twisted and damp and the weasel face asks Isaac in a hot drawl where he’s going and Isaac answers he’s looking for a summer job and the weasel face points to the back seat of the motorcycle that will take him to a job because he has a driving school and an ofﬁce and Isaac on the motorcycle that stirs summer wind out of nothing and rattles south to Lilienblum Street across from the old Eden movie theater and the man leads him into a yard full of dust and stones and rusty pickle cans children are playing with and through a piss-soaked back entrance Isaac follows a pair of legs that seem boneless to the top of a ﬂight of stairs up to a toiletlike door with a sign driving school and in the room 35 as wide as the big window with its ﬁlthy curtain and about twice as long a table with two drawers and one chair and a framed license to run a driving school for motorcycles and an unmade bed and over the bed in a gilt frame the heavily bearded, sober face of a Sephardi rabbi and his wife in her headband and earrings unbelievably the parents of the weasel-faced man staring in faded sepia forever and the room too narrow for their gaze and the weasel face takes a stack of Ministry of Transport virgin forms out of the drawer and a faded notebook and stamps with an ink pad and he tells Isaac to sit on the chair next to the table and ﬁll out every form with names and details from the notebook and sign them with the stamp at the bottom and that’s the whole job Isaac is uneasy I have lots of work for you promises the weasel face and Isaac with perfect penmanship page after virgin page makes entries in green ink with a stamp at the end what’s easier thinks Isaac now taking it easy in the room’s coolness when the hand that has dropped as if by accident on his knee slides over the smoothness of his thigh and into the ﬂy of his shorts a steamy damp hand touches him there and a hot breath in his ear whispers don’t be afraid and Isaac not taking ﬂight just then and something sticks to his neck and says it’ll be worth your while I’ll pay you lots and Isaac doesn’t move and a hand grabs the curve of his buttock and a voice says sweetie I’ll give you great pleasure 36 and Isaac’s straining eyes cling to the heavily bearded Sephardi rabbi and his wife with her earrings and headband and Isaac’s young hard-on like a young gazelle in the room leaping because he’s already without pants and the snout of the weasel sucking so piously at his feet and a short time after in the street and in his pocket ten liras and in his underpants like a wet kitten 37 ca l l -u p So they’ll call the Little Prince stick a submachine gun in his hand and say: you might have come from another star but now you’re here and that’s not an elephant you see from under the painted hat, but a tank.
Bikeman: An Epic Poem by Thomas R. Flynn