Issue 29: AuthorName

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Inspector Kane: Thank you boys.

                 Where will you be when I need you?

Police Driver:     Right here.

Inspector Kane: Okay.

                         — The Stolen Jools, 1931.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Oh, you pretty

absolutely worn out Ford,

warm back of a Renault,

the 1911 Grät and Stiff Double Phaeton,

a Lincoln Continental,

the 1934 Fordor Sedan from Topeka,

Count Louis Zborowski race car,

caught at the forever palindrome.

Oliver Hardy, Leopold Lojka, Bill Greer,

young Barrow, do they know where they are?

They make appearances

in our minds.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

is an old song.

Officers take Renault taxis

of the Marne back to Paris

chit for the weekend

fun with the ladies

they are being led up stairs.

My engine runs

I am the Renault


a ten year old

watch a trailer rock in the dust

blue and white car going away

back seat comes alive

with smells.

Or do I make that up

being or not being the trapped one?

The back window

is a place for flies

thin lines on glass

it’s becoming a container

a detector holds lives

all up in the air.

You turn everybody’s head today.

Trailer bounces -

you turn everybody's head today.

Trailer bounces -

blue and white

in me forever.

The day breaks

everything out of place -

the woman I love is up in the air,

empty shoe stands on the pebbles.

Feel knees on the back seat 

rise ten and a half inches,

drop to the ground.

Your seats are a feather bed

Laurel and Hardy caper,

the hierophany

of car energy 

bouncing out

across the dead auto-body parts.

Across the leaver of Gräf and Stift,

Lojka seems to have trouble getting into reverse.

A young man steps into the street,

the street Mary Ann steps on

to take a picture of the Lincoln

finds herself in a new place

Bill puts his foot on the gas.

Why are the cars

kept in museums?

They are something

we can walk away from

with our sandwich.

Parker and Barrow

drive on a ‘Z’ road.

They know the broken down truck,

it lures them to pull up

before you can say anything

stink and zing of bullets.

The truck doesn't become anything

like the death car,

people come to the roadside

handle the car roughly

some say

they take pieces away.

Will you come to the wreck

of the Renault?

Take me piece by piece?

Everybody has a car.

See them on google:

two parked at each house.

Stable objects on the road

the beginning of films

say the cars

if cars can say anything

which they can’t

their AI has not reached that far


but one day?

Your childhood is spent in us

going here going there

chitty chitty bang bang we love you

One day going home

you are surprised

pheasants walk across the road

suddenly the swerve

and the killing

a hen pheasant lying there…

car door open -

the car engine heated

motor runs.

That is the start,

a car used as a weapon

changes everything.

Ploughing in to crowds…

and bollards are put up

in western cities

big blocks of concrete,

or giant plant pots.

Our fine four fendered friend.

30,000 parts to a car

a bit more than a model T Ford in 1931.

Stan don’t pull the switch

come and sit with me

outside the house

in the time before the accident

look in my side mirrors

see the past road

in the future

going another way

because I already laugh

with you

at the whole thing.

Give all of us a minute

there driver

to let the dust clear

and the screaming begin.


[Mark Lawlor is a visual artist and writes short fiction and poems. Recently his work has appeared in Cyphers, Skylight 47, the moth, Magma and Chasing Shadows.]



Copyright © 2022 by Mark Lawlor, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.