'Commuter' by Alexandra Rockwell Lorenz is Poem of the Week

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The new Write Out Loud Poem of the Week is ‘Commuter’ by Alexandra Rockwell Lorenz. In a poem that is rich in images, including "forgotten train tracks" and a "slinking cat", these lines also stand out: “Where trash turns to gold, two worlds are joined … the poor and the rich walk side by side … looking at their faces, I’m not sure who to pity.”  In a Q&A interview with Write Out Loud Alexandra told us about her writing method, and how she modifies and skews words jotted down in a botebook to "heighten their meaning":


What got you into writing poetry?

Writing poetry became part of my daily life when I realised that it works wonders as a mood stabiliser. I hadn't written anything that even resembled a poem since middle school, but after encountering some health issues, I began to jot down condensed versions of my thoughts in my notebook. These thoughts then became what you could call 'poetry' when I started to modify and skew the words to heighten their meaning. I've been told that my poems are extremely personal, and have even been encouraged to write poems that are silly, but I feel that their serious tone suits my internal voice.  


How long have you been writing?

I've been writing in a more general sense since I could hold a crayon in my hand. I remember the delight that struck me when I spelled my name (albeit incorrectly) when I was three. It amazes me that human beings not only have the ability to verbally communicate complex ideas, but that we have such intricate systems of markings that correspond to our vocalisations. Being part of what will become written tradition has always excited me.


Do you go to any open-mic nights?

I haven't been to a poetry-specific open mic night, but every few weeks I decide to torture some poor musicians at a local cafe by interrupting their songs with my rather arrhythmic poetry.


What’s your favourite poet/poem?

My favourite poet is Benjamin Clementine, a young man from the UK, discovered in France. The way he combines words is absolutely mesmerising. He is also a musician and I am in love with the music he composes. Please listen to some of his music and look out for his upcoming book of poems.


You're cast away on a desert island. What's your luxury?

I'm getting into minimalism, so being on a desert island with no material objects sounds amazing. My luxury would be sunscreen, as my complexion isn't fond of too much sun.





by Alexandra Rockwell Lorenz 



Pink trees reach tall with bare arms

Spare tires piled to the moon

Old records shattered and covered in dirt

Forgotten train tracks crisscross the earth

Clouds mirrored in muddy ruts

filled with water from the drip drop sky

Profanities purple and bubbled on walls

Slinking cat curled up so small

In the car are silent bobbing heads

Gazes glued to glowing squares

My nose on glass, my breath to fog

Speeding now, it won't be long

Counting houses with rotting wood

roofs collapsed, bellies missing food

We come to the limit, the line, the point

Where trash turns to gold, two worlds are joined

Bobble heads leave the train and go on their way

ignoring the people they pass everyday

the poor and the rich walk side by side

elbows bumping, stairs are climbed

out into the air, to the Emerald City

looking at their faces, I'm not sure who to pity



◄ Write Out Loud at Stockport art gallery tonight

'With only a smear of water to keep them singing' ►


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Sat 18th Feb 2017 22:57

,A wonderful stream of imagery to coincide with the pondering of a journey in a sort of dream state. This captures the very essence of passive travel where the poetic mind is active.


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Alexandra Rockwell Lorenz

Thu 16th Feb 2017 20:34

You are all so kind. It makes me very happy to hear that my words have resonated or made some impression.

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suki spangles

Thu 16th Feb 2017 12:56

Hi Alexandra,

I left a comment when this was first uploaded and glad to see "Commuter" received POTW. A deserved win.


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Martin Elder

Wed 15th Feb 2017 17:33

This is easily one of your best poems so far Alexandra . Stu is right you have captured commuting so well and makes the reader want to read it again. So much rich description here. A really well deserved POTW.

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Stu Buck

Tue 14th Feb 2017 08:16

only just read this and instantly want to read it again. you have captured squalor so beautifully, in the same way kerouac or bukowski did. very evocative and a real sense of movement, of being on the train whistling by, the darkness fading behind you but never quite leaving.

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Alexandra Rockwell Lorenz

Mon 13th Feb 2017 02:25

Many, many thanks to you both. I am always appreciative when I receive comments from you two as they are always well thought out and kind.

I am very happy 'Commuter' was chosen. It is the first sort of rhyming poem I've ever liked that I've written. It is also a wider gazing poem than my usual introspective stuff.

Anyways, I hope you all enjoy reading it.

<Deleted User> (13762)

Sun 12th Feb 2017 11:51

a well deserved Poet / Poem of the Week - I've been a fan of your writing ever since your very first postings and am always filled with anticipation when I see you have left us your words.

I like the idea of interrupting musicians with arrhythmic poetry. I could think of quite a few that would get really annoyed at having their hallowed stage invaded in such a way but I'm guessing it's all done in good nature.

Congrats Alexandra. Keep listening to your internal voice and writing what means the most to you.


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Graham Sherwood

Sun 12th Feb 2017 10:33

I think this piece successfully conveys the almost mesmeric feeling of being conveyed on whatever form of transport one chooses. Minuscule fragments that flit by one's eye.

Pleased to see you getting POTW Alexandra.

best wishes


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