• Caleb Parkin

Notes on the Pedal Post-Mortem


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This poem’s been rattling around my head for a while, so I made myself get on with it for a bike zine (on the theme of ‘wheels’) which is being produced tomorrow for the Juliana’s Bike Festival – hosted by the great Culture Vulture blog.

A month or so ago, I took my bike in to the Pedallar’s Arms (an amazing place always staffed by wonderful volunteers) as the pedal (appropriately) was making an alarming screeching noise. Several hours later, with a functioning pedal, realised how complex and surgical the process of fixing a pedal is…And that’s what inspired this (perhaps a bit e e cummings-like) poem…(It may or may not end up in the zine! Depends on space and time, as does everything…)

Notes on the Pedal Post-Mortem

or, The Wheels are the Feet

the wheels are the feet

are the pedals are the feet

are the wheels are the

ache in my treads screech

each orbit when feet meet

rubber of skin / tarmac of air

joints of the race break

red-pink fractured link

mechanical ankle / bone machine

the hands are the grip

are the brakes are the grip

are the hands are

the workshop crank of surgery

momentum from metallurgy

tweezered bearings / threaded limbs

ring-road of recovery

stitched white line a cut between

cycling the city / the city in me

the wheels are the feet

are the pedals are the feet

are the wheels are

#bikepoetry #thebody #CultureVulture #feet #thecity #JulianasBike #PedallarsArms #creativewriting #Yorkshire #poetry #poem #Bikes #cycling #surgery #Leeds

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