An Anthropology of Cars

December 27, 2017

Have you seen those bullish automobiles

Bearing down as their predatory figures chasing speed

For driver-junked adrenalins; they slope forwardly low

Crouched, just as are their animals, concentratedly.

Have you really looked to notice how so crabbedly

Their drivers hunch, so as to shift a gear

Then pull ahead like tautened tiger-springing?


A thing


Observable to riders and pedestrians;

It takes a hold of them as do possesive chunky tyres

Bite greedily the road

A pure blind tense anxiety of identity

Of man (usually of man, but often woman)

And his machine.


A feral team.


And vehicles are designed as such to be as so?

Adapted and atractive and addictive

Consensual with the mental connotations fictive

Of latest heroes/heroines; run pursuivant

Hot in the fast lanes


Amongst their fired brains


Possibly unawares unconscioulsy;

Riding the stallion, goring with the bull,

Blowing away loosed-tresses, negatives from ‘no-go’ days

Released the dream machine to burn off potted octanes


Built manufactured styled designed and made-to-look

The part, the vehicle of one’s heart; a diadem

Or broadsword. All point its lines one-way, and all

Apppointed in one way; so styled to kill; its look

The catcher of allurement; ‘whom I want to be’

‘The kind of drive I want myself to be’




Those forward-sloping flashes, long length of bodywork

Aspire; push passions frontwards, cautions

Behind their backs. Those trucks with monster wheels,

Progenitors, begot this first dry thirst for arrowed thrust

Intensity to be the driver of a car’s temptation.


Once understood a vamp wheeled out across the nation

And Britain smitten ardently in months by jive

Immoderate and laded on the TV screens

‘A man is not a jaguar without a racey car’

  • Says Riley.


And wryly


The new fast-breed of car a fit, exact, with sympathies,

Enacted and impacted by made manners, regimens,

As packaged and delivered as being ‘what the people want’ (sic)

Accompted content media supposes suitable


But a burden led and bled to exponential series

By the good old boys of business buying beers all round

These the market leaders, the day’s bottom-feeders, call all plays

Shove out a fierce and fast deal labelled; ‘irresistible’


Calling the tunes is what they do; lars incontestable;

Since - it’s the darling power their dower they all adore

So what might war-torn vehicle drivers hanker for?

And why were roads not racetracks all the sooner?]