a taste of ‘My Life in Cars’

from My Life in Cars, the poetry collection by Ed Ruzicka, published November 2020

My Life in Cars also features photography by Charles N. deGravelles.

My Life in Cars has been called “a ménage à trois between desire, America’s highways and the wizardry of words.”


ISBN (paperback)  978-1-922427-10-6

ISBN (ePub)  978-1-922427-11-3

ISBN (Kindle)  978-1-922427-59-5

to purchase, click here for  paperback  /  ePub*  /  Kindle

*ePubs can be read on Apple devices, and all eReaders except Kindle)


It was a thirty mile drive to Oak Park for pastry, / thirty back for a six a.m. open. / from Two Box Loads of Sunday Pastry

As we razored down an Alpine highway, gas gargled in the Peugeot Junior’s carburetor. / from A Right Then a Left

The full tonnage of the horse lifted to skid / over the hood and half way through auto glass. / from Black-eyed Susans, Stallions, Crows

Granny got a Caddie. / Got a hold of gold keys given / by her doctor son one Christmas. / from When Cars Were America

We drive on into even more jagged terrain. / Stop at a well lit bar in a village / suspended on a cliff’s edge. / from Postcard From the Amari Valley

Load into a pickup, an Electra, a bronze Impala, / Feel gears mesh, vibrate through floorboard. / from When Towns Worked

When I was a boy beside cornfields in a Buick Eight / I’d put my hand out the open window, palm flat, / from My Engines

… laughing, gabbing / on the ladder works behind billboards / while interstate motorists hurdle by. / from They Say They See Him

Back while he lived on the Bayou, worked as a derrick hand, / Nick had a Chevy Silverado, clean as a sword. / from Chevy Pickup, Loaded

This time with desks, mattresses and couches / stacked in a U-haul to bring my other daughter, / the eldest, back home where she can start again / from To Savor

… slumped out / in the back seat watching the Green Mountains sweep by / from In a Gravel Lot

I rode down side streets between brick and mortar / then stopped in dead winter to hoist myself up, peer / into a cavernous foundry, see its charred ceiling / from Man Sans Car

I saw how expertly she pivoted / the hose handle back in its holster. / Punched a gas-pump keyboard twice. / from Time and the Wheel

Every few blocks they picked up / sisters out to shop, a gringo, or a pin-striped lawyer. / from I Want To Get To Havana Before It’s Too Late

I have to get on my back, work / the spare from under the chassis. / from We Broke Down

Fat flakes in constellations on the windshield / melted by the time the wiper slid up / from On the Loose

So Marty tools his cashmere brown tank / up to the bank teller’s drive-through, / from Caddy Daddy

Though I cart old problems, stubborn issues / up the same old road as yesterday / from Dawn’s Breath

Had noon sky on wheels / that set a dark slick inside a shade skirt / from Into the Blue

My monstrous Chrysler was bronze. / Had fins fit for a shark at the back. / from Wheels of Desire

Lucky that I never got out of my sad Toyota. / from Wild, Wild Horses

Read a guy who says a parking lot is damn near the best place / on this wide, wicked globe to pen a poem / from Cracking It Open

The air in the parking garage / is soft and moist like breath / from the muzzle of the old mare / from As I Leave the Hospital

I woke up shivering. In the Sierra Nevada / I slipped into the back seat of a Dodge / parked for repairs outside a mechanic’s shop. / from White Knight Talking Backwards

Took four days but there I sat next to an off duty cop / in a Buick ’98er at ten p.m. / from In ‘69

Mechanics I could afford would fix it well enough / to last a month or two. Then it would go back / from My First Car

Pickups, eighteen-wheelers tear past. / Sharp valley wind, stone cold in August. / from Elk

When a Jaguar or a midnight blue sedan sit idle / there is still an animating agent / in how wind bellies down on the hood / from Sunday

A few months later, living together / in the sacrament of our hope, / her Volvo’s brakes started to squeal. / from Bad Work

My sister’s first car was an Olds or a Buick / that tilted on shot struts and shocks rounding / any street corner. / from A Very Big Car, Then a Small One




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