Tuesday, October 11, 2011

He Took A Cab by Mather Schneider

Mather Schneider was born in Peoria, Illinois and currently lives in Tucson, Arizona where the inspiration for this collection was born. The city of Tucson contracts and expands with every breath as Mr. Schneider navigates the streets and outskirts delivering a colorful array of characters to their varied destinations. I happy to share a sample of poems with you:


A purple El Dorado nearly runs
me off the road
then gives me the horn and the
Fuck you, I whisper.
I’m driving my taxi
and there’s an old woman in my back seat.
I’m taking her to church
on St. Patrick’s Day morning.
She will sit in the front pew
and she will sing “Danny Boy”
at the end of the service.
I will sit in the parking lot of the church
in my taxi
and listen to her sing
out the open church doors
in the morning sun.
It’s the most important thing
in the world:
I’m driving a little old woman
in a green hat
to Our Mother of Sorrows,
and I’ve got to get her there safe.

I like the juxtaposition of the cab driver silently swearing and the old woman in a green hat going to St. Patrick’s Day service at her church. The cab driver is being respectful and the old woman is unaware as she prepares to enter the church. It’s a wonderful snapshot poem of daily life.

My Very Good Friend

He had a red plastic cup of something
in one hand and
a half sandwich in the other
and he came running up to my cab
while I was supposed to be stopped at the red light.

Shit, I said, get in.

He climbed in and spilled some of his drink
on the gray vinyl.
He looked like he was from India.

My friend, he said, good day to you.

He was slightly out of breath.

How ya doing? I said.

Can you please take me to university? he said.

Sure, I said.

I only have one problem, he said.

What’s that?

I don’t have any money, he said.

What’s that?

I don’t have any money, he said.

Get out.

Wait, he said, I have
a little money.

How much?

I have 10 dollars.

It’s 25 to the university.

Wait, he said, I think I
Might have 15 dollars.

25 to the university, I said
and pulled over on a side street to
let him out.

Tell you what, he said,
because I am tired and
because I am already here, I will
pay you 17 dollars.

Get out.

He got out and stood there.

Ok, he said through the window,
for you my friend
I think I have 20 dollars.

Jesus Christ, I said,
let’s go.

He got in again.

I’m gonna need that 20 now.

Of course my friend,
he said,
my very good friend,
of course,
I have it right here.

Can you break a hundred?

This poem made me laugh aloud, I have met more than my fair share of people like this one no matter age or race. There’s one of these guys in every crowd if you ask me and I love reading the conversation between the driver and the guy who thinks he’s slick at negotiating price only to reveal his hand at the end.

The Measly Subtraction

Cab drivers will lie about anything,
especially money.
“I made two grand last
As if this explains
the holes in their
the fact that they can’t afford
a razor
and have breath like
a maggoty rhinoceros.
I always wonder why it is so important
to impress the rest,
when we all have
to go home alone
and count our greasy bills
and do the measly subtraction
of rent and electricity
and food and beer.
They lie and lie and the
world goes round
like godless miles through
the city
only to end up back
in the same hole.
We all want to be respected
even by those we no not respect
and even those who nobody respects
want the same thing and
feel the same pull,
the same question
of the self:
what will
my brother

I like that this poem brings up that common truth of wanting to be acknowledged, respected, and the typical human nature of trying to impress others even if there is nothing to impress with. It takes the human struggle and places it in the cab driver’s perspective yet anyone can relate to this poem, everyone knows someone who tries so hard to impress others and fails. The truth is in the details here, the holes in the shoes, the unshaven faces, the same cluster of people all going home to struggle on their own yet still wanting to outshine each other in some way, even a small way. I like this poem.

If you enjoyed this sample of poems, you can snag a copy of this book you can pick up a copy of He Took A Cab by Mather Schneider yourself for $14.95 at:


or at:


To learn more about Mr. Schneider, you can visit his blog a:


Thanks always for reading, please click in again tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

No comments: