Poem-A-Day: Bucky Rea

And as promised, I’m still posting a poem today.

Bucky Rea, another staple of Houston’s diverse poetry scene, has shown such commitment to the thriving arts scene in Houston over the years it makes me proud to know him and to be part of this city.

Our fair city has a lot of options for public transportation, but we still have a heavy car culture, too, and the public transport options don’t get nearly enough love. Part of it might be that Houston is just too enormous for public transport to serve everyone in as timely a fashion as we would like. Or maybe we have some Texan need for independence in our DNA. Maybe it’s something else, no idea. But this poem is great.


Zen Deep

Riding the bus
in Houston is one Zen
goddamn experience. It means waiting
in a town without wait. Everything
is in progress, going
someplace–and to wait
is to go no place
Nothing just is
at the bus stop but is becoming,
there on the curbside of commerce.
Opportunity elbows right past feet.
Fat pockets, metro day-passes
and a pocket full of quarters
slow you down on the hunt.
Black rubbers, inflated with purpose,
roll you down. Velocity and focus
blur the eyes of conquistadors
who ride Broncos and SUVs
first to the kill. This city—
this city eats its pedestrians.
Between a plexiglass kiosk
and the parking garage,
office malls and A/Cs rise
like fortresses against the heat.
From their corner spires, power suits
eyeball the lava flow of customers.
Outside, pavement wraps your ankles,
socks bloat, and your arms stick
to ribs beneath your shirt.
Against the crawl of blue hot sky
you beg a tree for shelter.
But it will not listen
and it brings in the heat
through its leaves.


photo credit: Anna Lee, Alternative Houston, https://www.alternativehouston.com

Bucky Rea teaches history, economics, and government in Texas, mostly at cross purposes with the state mandated curriculum. He cohosts “Living Art,” a weekly arts show, on KPFT-90.1FM and is the Founding Penguin of Invisible Lines, a theatrical poetry troupe.


Featured Poet: Bucky Rea

One of the more interesting and off-beat (in the best sense) poets I went to college with is Bucky Rea. He wrote the kind of poems I admired — sometimes funny, always thoughtful, their unpretentious depth a pleasure. He is also responsible for one of my very favorite lines of poetry of all time. We were assigned in one of our workshops to write a poem based on a fairy tale, and his, written about “The Three Little Pigs,” contained this sentence I will never forget: “It is the season of teeth and judgment.”

Bucky Rea is a Founding Penguin at Invisible Lines and the Events Coordinator for the Houston Poetry Fest.  




Every poem is ekphrastic, conversing
with God’s art of sea tides,
flowers, emotions, or the evil
he puts in our hearts.

Every song is ekphrastic, celebrating
the artifice of sex,
the sculpture of seduction,
the architecture of orgasm,
the tie-dyed skies in the morning after the storm, or
the wars God uses to paint the canvas of earth
with nations, glory, and mud.

Every painting is ekphrastic, capturing
the improvisation of time as
it consumes
my sunlight,
the symphony of creaks
and pops in my aging knees,
and the ballet of violence
these laugh lines
carve on my face.