Monday, August 17, 2015

Poetry From NYC Subway Cars By Adam Kluger

No More Love Music was written a number of years ago inside NYC subway cars. -Adam Kluger

When I read those words I was already in, as I spent an entire Summer riding the Rockford buses because I didn't have anywhere to go or anything better to do. These are a few selections from the Adam Kluger book No More Love Music, and a sketch titled Lady In the Blue Dress from 2015. 

What I like about this series of poems is anyone who has ever ridden public transportation can easily understand all the emotions and observations one goes through sharing a conveyance with fellow humans. You see so much and can go through such a range of reactions, everything from empathy to disgust in just a few moments. 

Lady In the Blue Dress, 2015, Adam Kluger
With Your Hands

Hold my face
in your hands
it's all I need
to go one more day
hold my love
inside a jar
with nuts and bolts and candles.
hold my life
within your hands
and don't let go
don't fly away
and leave me cold
don't be so cruel.
find me now, don't wait much longer
hold me
hold me
with your hands.

Monday Morning Blues

Monday blues
need new shoes
and howl
the work noose tightens
death to all us workers
bad coffee
pretty girls
oh pretty girls
make me forget
Monday morning blues
the subway shrieks
and spits out
bad smells
the cage opens...
to let
more suckers

The Zipper 

the train zips by
catch the train
its metallic thrust
invades your brain
and every day
the same
impersonal refrain...
there will be a delay
a delay
a delay.
the people on the
show the strain
of the panic in their
caused by smoke
and acid rain...
the machine is oiled
and ready to snap
a python stirs inside
his lap
the ride is long
and the day
too short
like prison bars
the train's doors
stay clamped shut
as it zips along.

Dog People

The dog people
are coming...
in fact, they're already here!
pulled by invisible leashes
work collars
fit snugly
on the throat
wigglin' their tails
yelping for joy
when simple things
like an air conditioned bus
happens by.
dog people
they are all over the street today
in different shapes and sizes
and pedigree
dog people
chasing after buses
enjoying their Scooby snacks
living for
the man.

Itchy Shirt

smelly crowded bus
itchy shirt
the daily news
a walkman
homeless woman playing with her feet
the "B" train
another "B" train
angry faces
empty platform
itchy shirt
where's the fucking "C" ?
itchy shirt
hard to breathe
can't understand that P.A. announcement
who can?
itchy shirt
a work day begins
-Adam Kluger

      Although it's slightly unusual, I identify with the theme of these poems a lot, so I wanted to share a few pieces of my own in this blog entry. Maybe we'll get some other art and poetry about sharing public transportation.

I Am the Bus

I am the bus
In this poem.
It is down to that,
A conveyance.

Are you already
Guessing the metaphor?
Are you already teasing
The punchline?

No, you are wrong.
For in this poem
I am the bus,
Making all my stops.
-Thomas L. Vaultonburg

By Jenny Mathews and Thomas L. Vaultonburg

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