John Schouten

Sixty-five Type One Convertible

 International Journal of Research in Marketing,

Vol 10., No. 3, (Aug), 1993, p. 339.



Every time I slip the clutch
in first this car
gives a little shudder.
Respectful of the road it creaks
and rolls forward,
bears its quarter century
with the hard-shelled dignity
of a tortoise.
In it I feel a link
with iron-rich soil,
with black petroleum bogs.
The spirit that dwells in stones
and moss lies too
in the springs and joints
and steady cylinders
of this offspring
of earth and human labor,
this Volkswagen,
ready at any time to open up
to you and me and the whole sky,
to be drunk in,
to be hot and cold and laughed
and made love in
at the end of some road,
some night,
in the deepest wood we can find.




 Consumer Culture Theory Conference

Boston 2008

A bus token jingles
against the nickels and dimes
in the pocket of his Pendleton coat
as he lingers at the door
of the Salvation Army
bookstore and wonders, if he enters,
what new thing will happen to his soul?
Will it fold itself up like the city map
now lined more with creases
than with the streets he’s yet to search
for someone who might know her
who might have seen the face
that haunts him like a shadow of the one
reflected in the storefront glass,
looking back with empty eyes
through words that spread
like ink across his brain:
all romance twenty-five cents



The bathroom mirror is the window of the soul

 Consumer Culture Theory Conference

Boston 2008

In the window of the shave and the flossing of teeth
I see my soul’s reflection.
I expect no surprises from the old baby blues.
I commit no introspection. 
Red-rimmed and moist — 
Could this be an infection?
Some lapse, perhaps, of hygiene?
Some dereliction
Of proper sanitation?
Or maybe it’s an allergic reaction
To the cat that keeps them red and sore. 
Yeah. It could be the cat.
I never cry, so it couldn’t be that.























































































































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