Award-winning writer, teacher
and scholar

Velocipede Abels

Our bikes have watched us all our lives. They bear our load. With great patience, moving past short-lived babbling fads like treadmills, big screen TVs, and big box stores, Laura Madeline Wiseman’s bikes (which are our bikes) help us to both remember and predict our own road stories. Likewise, Wiseman reminds us that just as the bike needs us, so does the poem. And, with Wiseman’s bikes, each experience is just as real. We have the best seat in the house! It’s our world speaking with us, it’s “the white hot crumple of metal and flesh,” and along the path of “cornfields and muscle, hog lots and sunburn, road cracks and thirst,” Wiseman is waving you over, inviting you to begin to feel—to paraphrase Frances Willard—that you plus the bicycle equals you plus the world. This is just a wonderful world of intimacy and endurance, and I want to live in it.  Wiseman has convinced me that I can.

– Scott Abels