I can relate to Augé's idea of instability on trains, but in a much more literal manner: sitting backwards on trains makes me nauseated. On a train trip from Amsterdam Centraal to Schiphol Airport, only about a half an hour in length, my partner (I choose not to use the more common term “boyfriend,” because the second part of that compound word certainly does not apply in this instance) insisted that I sit in a seat that faced the back rather than the front of the train, although the carriage we were seated in was almost entirely empty. He told me I should face my fears, a statement that relies on the faulty logic that my nausea was caused by fear (it wasn't). When we arrived at the airport train station, I paid one euro to throw up in the washroom.
We feel nauseated when seated backwards on trains due to the conflicting signals between the direction we’re oriented and the direction we’re moving. Moving forward and looking backward is something that is not only physically, but mentally unsettling. This contrast between position and movement lends itself to Luz’s “other place:” not only does it combine qualities of both the departure and arrival point, but it does so in a way that causes our perception of time and movement to be “juxtaposed, co-existent and layered together” (Egger 253). We can see this directional anomaly in Bartlett’s narrative structure. Given the theme and formal movement of the poem, it seems as though we should be moving forward. The speaker, however, begins by looking back: “All the train trips I made in those years, alone, / along one province-to-province, through-the-night / route” (Bartlett 1-2).
Here, Luz’s idea of the corridor space, or a space that is created between here and there that "poses limits to free movement," is especially apparent (Egger 253). Through the creation of the compound adjectives “province-to-province” and “through-the-night,” Barlett grammatically reproduces these restrictions to free movement. Words in compound adjectives, rather than being able to be rearranged and replaced like traditional adjectives, are locked into their ordered combinations through hyphens. These hyphens not only recreate Luz’s corridor space grammatically, but also visually: the way the hyphens connect the words together create a train-track-like image. Ultimately, Bartlett's poem does adhere to this nauseating orientation: we detect, or perhaps expect, forward, linear movement in the poem, microcosmically represented by the train-track compound adjectives. However, we are also aware that the speaker is looking back, not ahead: the first line of the poem, “all the train trips I made in those years, alone,” references past rather than future experiences.