For my submission to text, I went through the 14 vignettes I currently have (it’s an ongoing project), and picked out six that I felt best achieved the vision I had in my head when I set out to write these. These six are able to be read independently as separate poems, but also together as one poem in six parts.
I love it when I accidentally stumble upon poetry in my poetry, it’s quite a marvellous experience.
The Bus Stop Vignettes were first conceived after I read a few xiaopinwen (小品文) or vignettes by Chinese writer 張岱, who wrote beautiful short prose pieces that read like watercolour paintings.
I was enamoured with the form, as the focus of a vignette is to present an instance or a scene of something filtered through the perspective of the speaker. There is no formal beginning or ending for a vignette, and no set rule for content. This is very similar to the aesthetic of my own poetry.
To bring the vignette to the contemporary urban world I inhabit, I have often thought about writing poetry in the transient spaces we drop in and out of every day. The bus stop is a place of temporary rest, but it often is the site for many different things: a place of waiting, of departure and destination, of impatience, of solitude, of habit and routine…etc. The bus stop is a place full of stories to be found.
The setting for all these poems is of course, the bus stop. Some are personal experiences, some are witnessed moments, and others are imagined scenarios. Whichever way, the end goal was always to highlight the quiet significance of what is often an extremely mundane aspect of urban living.
I hope you enjoy reading this poem built out of other poems.