Monday, July 23, 2007

BikerPoetry Comes of Age

BikerPoetry Comes of Age
Or ... In the early days ...

by MarySusan Williams-Migneault
RoadHouse Press (

In my communications with other Bikerpoetry editors/ publishers a question has come forward more than a couple of times asking about how to reach more Bikerpoets in order to bring their work to light? This led me to remember the early days, when I first met Peddlar and Bikerpoetry was already on the move, and while there are more BikerPoets riding down History lane with us, the ride itself has not changed.

I think what helped to bring this ever growing number of Bikerpoets to our attention and off to a modest gallop around these parts is that Peddlar (AKA K.Peddlar Bridges) and a handful of other Bikerpoets have been standing at open mic poetry readings, both in community readings and Biker events as well, for quite a few years now -- as far back as the 1980s in my own recollection, but the facts might bring it back much further. Years have a way of blending into other years in my mind's-eye view and Peddlar is always correcting me, because when it comes to Bikerpoetry -- he knows the exact minute that something happened. And then Sky will have a whole other set of dates, because when it comes to Bikerpoetry -- he knows the exact minute he was there.

One date I know for sure, because I was there.. is 1987! That was the year a friend of mine invited Peddlar to my home to read poetry at my birthday party. I can remember thinking, "Geez.. he sure is scarey looking -- are you sure he writes poetry?" That was my introduction to Bikerpoetry, but Peddlar was already an Editor for a Poetry Magazine, Columnist for the Motorcyclists Post and was regularly featured at poetry readings.

By 1990 Peddlar and Colorado T. Sky had already founded the Motorcycle-Poet club, the "Highway Poets." Besides reading at poetry gigs, Peddlar brought his Bikerpoetry to the Stage to benefit the community's homeless population. Slowly but surely, with each local community event and each road trip to other poetry readings and Bikerpoet events, more and more Bikerpoets joined the Biker-Bard ride through these early years of Bikerpoetry.

Peddlar and I have bumped into Bikerpoets in all kinds of strange and sundry places, like when, several years ago (circa 1989), he brought me along to a 'civilian' academic-type community poetry workshop in Cape Cod (MA). Peddlar had run out to the car to get his camera, leaving me sitting amidst the poised and polished librarian-like citizens (who were already a bit jumpy by Peddlar's Biker presence) -when this big ol' pirate look alike, Motorcycle Poet, Colorado T. Sky stomped in!

Even I, who was traveling with a long-haired, scary-looking Motorcycle Poet called The Peddlar, was startled when Sky sat in the only other empty chair at the table - the one next to me! I laugh every time I think of it. Peddlar on one side of me, Sky angled in on the other, almost kitty-cornered to Peddlar, making up verses on the spot along with the citizen poets sitting around the table. While Peddlar remembers the seating a bit differently and he says that Sky and him eventually were in seats across from each other, what is for sure is that their Bikerpoetry shot sparks back and forth between them both and bounced across the table like lightening striking water, jolting the citizens sleepy-eyed stares to life. And there I was caught between two thunderous bolts singeing the academic cobwebs in my brain, right side, left side and then sometimes colliding dead center in the middle of years of academic sloth.

Another year, Peddlar was given a gig at the Comedy Connection's "To Catch A Rising Star" in Cambridge, MA. Peddlar not only hosted this weekly open mic venue for the poetry community, he would blast his Bikerpoetry across the audience, leaving them hooting and hollering for more. Although he was not specifically promoting Bikerpoetry, the very presence of Peddlar hosting and reading his Bikerpoetry, with Colorado T. Sky showing up on occasion, sometimes with them reading side by side with Stone Soup's Poet Master -- Jack Powers,(Cambridge, MA) put Bikerpoetry in the limelight.

One venue led to another venue. Peddlar had first met Jack Powers at a Kerouac Festival in Newburyport, MA (Circa 1987)and was invited to read on Jack's Stone Soup Stage right then and there. In a very short time, Peddlar was inviting Jack to read on his stage. And so it went and so it still goes today, only today - the number of BikerBards standing at the mic has grown, not only in New England, but across the nation and across the ocean in other countries. And Peddlar is still standing right there on the stage at the mic with them!

Peddlar's mission to bring BikerPoetry, not only to the poetry community and the academic community, but to the community at large, was given a ten-finger boost when his Poets' Cafe (Cable) TV program hit the air! After taking the local cable televison course on how to produce a Cable-TV show, he created The Poets' Cafe, which was taped and then aired on a couple of different time slots on Cable TV. He would interview the featured Poets in an informal cafe stage setting before they got up to the mic to read their work, along with one or two musicians, who were invited to play a set in between readings. Peddlar's vision and dedication brought the Poets, the Bikerpoets and the Musicians from The Poets' Cafe into the livingrooms of the cable community, but more importantly, Bikerpoetry had set its sights on another horizon ... the TV stage.

Today the printed page and the ePage is the venue that Peddlar works on most, although he still hosts open mic readings and attends them in the community and at Bikeweek events and other Biker venues as well. He also googles Bikerpoets and if he likes their work or something strikes his interest about the Bikerpoet then he emails them and tries to make a connection. A lot of these eConnections are born out of something he is presently writing or researching, like when he began researching and writing about the roots of Bikerpoetry reaching down into Cowboy Poetry, he bumped into BikerPoet Bumper Smith in cyber-land, which led to Mountain Man in Canada.

After one such afternoon surfing the web, Peddlar found Wild Bill, the Alaskan Bikerpoet, who recently sent me an email about that eConnection with Peddlar:

"..Frankly, I doubt Midnight Sun Rider would have ever left the ground had I not received that email from him. Further, I doubt I would have written any more bikerpoetry. Peddlar helped me back into the saddle."

One BikerPoet always leads to another BikerPoet somewhere!

Having a forum to bring this all together is a great way to highlight Bikerpoetry, but make no mistake about it, Bikerpoetry is being written every time a Bikerpoet mounts his steed and chases after the wind. RoadHouse Press and Peddlar's RoadPoet eMagazine strives to document Bikerpoetry history and publish the Bikerpoets we can catch up with, thereby giving Bikerpoets a place to keep their poetic ride rolling on down the road -- be it in hard copy that goes from hand to hand, cyber-space that goes from eye to eye or radio shows and compact discs that go from ear to ear.

This venture would be a lesson in futility if we were to take something of this size on all by ourselves. That is why we are forever grateful for the generosity and dedication of: hard copy publishers, Don Clady of CT Cruise News Newspaper and Leo Castell or the Motorcyclists Post and the ever growing list of ePublishers/Editors that highlight Bikerpoetry in their eZines and websites, such as Jodi Lipson of motorcyclegoodies. The list of Bikerpoets that maintain websites, eZines and newsletters in order to ePublish other bikerpoets and to showcase their own work as well are too numerous to list in this article but will be highlighted in future chapters of BikerPoetry Comes of Age 2007.

If you would like to see a sample of some of these go to,,,, where you can find some great links as well.

It is most exciting that Bikerpoetry is beginning to stand on its own in the academic community. Like the Lost Generation and the Beat Generation before us, Bikerpoetry seems to have a life of its own and a following of those who can hear the drum it beats. Bikerpoetry has its own poetic form, its own the cadence. Just as is true for the Cowboy Poets who thrive on the gallop and/or the prance of the horses hoof, riding forever out towards the horizon that calls out to them and forces their pens to the page, so it is with BikerPoets and their poetry. Bikerpoetry is the very breath of the BikerPoet.. but the rolling thunder, the chink, chink, chink of the gravel, or the lure of the steel pony is always there pushing the Bikerpoets hand to mount the page and write on down the road.

Unlike the Lost Generation and the Beats -- Bikerpoetry is not a generational phase to be drowned out in consumption or debauchery or time changing time. Although these forces have their way with many a mortal Bikerpoet, "The Ride" is the muse that will always beckon the Bikerpoet to its siren call to go on down the road and that road does not end at a stop sign, the road is the poem that beats on in the Bikerpoets blood, racing through the mind, forcing its way onto the page, swirling around in hearts of those who dare to listen.

My great fortune, as Editor, Publisher, Founder of RoadHouse Press, Inc., has been to play a small part in the coming of age of this genre by publishing or editing Bikerpoetry as it chases after the wind, from one horizon to the next.

If you would like more information about Bikerpoetry, or if you have information that you would like to share on Bikerpoetry coming of age.. drop me a line at

Before closing lets take a ride with Peddlar ...

If I Only Had A Nickel
by K. Peddlar Bridges
CT SuperSunday (R) Expo BikerPoet Laureate 2004-2007

If I had a nickel
For every little town
I ever rode through
Trying to forget,
Trying to shake the blues,
If I had a nickel
For every time I dialed the phone
And then didn't let it ring

If I only had a nickel
For every Tony's Only Pizza shop
In every back road town
Where I've sat and stirred coffee
With handle-bar tired hands
And road-wearied, sad, lonely eyes

Ya! If I only had a nickel
For every old, fat-bellied
Panting-tongued dog
I've seen run across
A dry yellow lawn
In the twilight of the afternoon
Setting sun
That reminded me of an old dog once
Back home

Ya! If I only had a nickel
For every South Main or Maple Street
Where I've sat waiting for the light
To change --
Not knowing when it did change
Was I going to hook a left or a right

Ya! - If I only had a nickel
For every lonely girl's eye I've met
As I rolled my bike up to the light
Her sitting on a porch or a step
Dreaming of somebody coming
And sweeping her up
And taking her away
As my bike idles, our eyes dance
But nobody's got the guts -- the gall
Or the gumption to make the contact
So when the light turns
Our fate rolls on

But I know there'll be
Another town
Another time
Another girl
Another light
Because if I only had a nickel
For every girl's eye, every cop's eye
Every punk's eye
Every cursing driver's eye
I've ever stared into

Ya! If I only had a nickel
For every cold mile,
Every lonely night
Spent in a damp tent
Under a rainy sky
With unwanted memories
Like fallen stars and snapping dragons
Singeing and nipping at my heart

Ya! If I only had a nickel
For every foot
Every inch
Every mile
I've spent pounding out
Trying to shake these blues

Ya! If I only had a nickel
For every stranger's face
That reminded me of some other
Stranger's face - someplace else

Ya! If I only had a nickel
For every little house
That reminded me of some other
Little house -- someplace else

Ya! If I only had a nickel
I'd have a pocketful of dimes
A fistful of dollars -- But still
No reason to stop!

(all rights reserved/K.Peddlar Bridges)


If you would like to possibly be published or featured in one of our columns, please drop a line to:
Peddlar at
or MarySusan at

If you would like to intern for RoadHouse Press, Inc. please send an email to MarySusan at Internship is a great way to begin to develop your skills as a columnist, editor or publisher, and serves the Bikerpoetry community by promoting Bikerpoets. Since, RoadHouse Press, is a strictly a volunteer press there are no monetary compensations from RoadHouse Press.

** Editors note: RoadHouse Press and Roadpoet eMagazine are not exclusive to Bikerpoetry, but are inclusive of all Road Scribes, be it motorized or not. If you love the road, the ride and are drawn to the pen and page and you would like to come along for the ride -- drop us a line, send us your work.

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