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I don't drive; it's one of the many ways in which I am deficient. Consequently, I spend a lot of time on trains and buses. A few years back I thought I'd put that extra time to use by writing    a book of poems written exclusively during my commutes.  That's the rule I gave myself; the only poems I'd include had to be at least drafted while travelling.

I never got around to printing the    book but I wrote down a lot of words.    Like, a lot of words.  What follows is a sample of my    commuter poetry.

What if the train doesn't move but the stations do?

That would certainly change the meaning of “stationary.”

                                                  -Emmanuel Cant

Bah Hamburgh

Bah Hamburgh was a town that outlawed

Christmas after

A Salvation Army Santa made off with the mayor's wife or horse.



I'm keeping my eyes open


Rail riding rappers and raconteurs

I'm maintaining a sharp


Watch out for

Angelic sinners and

Drunken angel lyrists

On the prowl



Both the idly prolific

And the productive idlers

Searching the stations


Scribbling scribes and

Wriggling writhers unaware

Of their own insane arrhythms

I'm looking


Scott and Brian.



BAH Hamburgh

What Am I without a Longing?

I've fallen in love with both of the women on this train;

Tired bundled beauties in puffy ski jackets.

Not as deeply as I fell for the bicycle mechanic who came into my bar

Tonight, drunk but absolutely lovely.

There's something about a woman

Who cycles, beyond her

Tight thighs and taught ass,

That convinces me to ruin my life for her.

It'll take days to get her out of my head.




A rubber band that snaps,

Unfocused and untraceable,

When an idea struggles for form


Stretches across patience,

Thinly taught,

When a bladder is full

And the train behind schedule.



I Met A Lady

I met a lady on the Rapid

Who was so attached to her


She referred to all other


As uPhones or theirPhones.

She identified with it so much she began to use the word


In regular conversation:



Went to the store,” or


Don't think you should be using your banana that way.”


Once she said she looked in the mirror

And swore she saw a little white


In her eye, which needed a corrective lens;

She downloaded an


And now it's fixed.




Marry Christmas

Marry Christmas

If you love it so much,

Why don't you?




Do camels always have the uncomfortable feeling that they have to pee?


That would be awful for the camel

I bet they'd prefer to be a horse.


Once I saw a camel with a leak.


Her rider always had wet pants and the only way people

new it was water from the camel and not the man

Was because the camel never spit


And was perpetually asking for a tall glass of lemonade.

Friends tried patching her hump with an inner-tube patch kit

but the rubber cement wouldn't stick to her fur.


Eventually the desert ran out of lemonade and and she moved to Florida.

Her rider stayed in the desert and bought a new camel.




Quiet Hunger
To rediscover the lonely

Rhythms that drove the saddest alone


Those far-gone burnt hours spent watching

Through the window the shadow

Of an oak wasting from right to

Left across horsenettle and burdocks

With an illustration unaccomplished

Pleading from the desk

An unconnected whirring hard

Drive searing a blank pale glow over ink-stained carpet

A strung and tuned guitar silently humming

Chords unstrummed



To Know Her is to Find Her Agreeable

To watch her move, A slinky

intangible sort of delight, is

to have painted the Mona

Lisa with broken fingers.


To hear her speak,

Nasal and pedestrian,

Is to have felt the fantastic-

Ally mundane; she gives voice

To thoughts enthralling to

Inebriated reptilian. To


Gaze upon her face, beautiful;

As are we all

At 22, is

To glimpse a taught-skinned numpty.


To feel

Her lips upon mine

Would be analogous to an activity I think

I would find some pleasure in.




Rail Systems

The Cleveland rail system looks like

A chicken's foot. The national rail system looks like

The nation with a sea in the middle. The NYC subway looks like

A brier patch. Chicago looks like a star whose rays extend

Across the country in every direction

(There are eight).




How to

You need to have a good opening line- maybe it comes last, because a closer is most important

(either way it begins with a smile or an unspoken greeting writ in a glance). Next comes a frantic snipping of content; no one has any use for ineffectual words. Sleep on it. Question it. Doubt it. Cut it, regret it. Return

to the encounter and start again; pawing, biting, and running. Settle on the best you can scent with

flowers and cum and close the book. How else to make a poem or a love affair?



What am I
I Met a Lady
Marry Christmas
Quiet Hunger
To Know Her
Rail Systems
How to

Nothing from Nobody #6

Everyone wants something

For nothing and when they get something they think no one gave them anything

           and resent anyone who has nothing.

Everybody's taking but nobody's giving

and I'd rather have somebody's nothing than a nobody's something, 

Can I have some?


Nothing from Nobody #2

Nobody wants to be treated like a nobody by anybody but everybody

Can't be somebody. Let's face it,

Some bodies really are nobodies.

I'd rather be somebody's nobody

Than nobody's somebody.
You're somebody to me

             But I'm not anybody.


Nobody 6
Nobody 2

Dylan '04

              You said you would

              Nap under the long shadow of a late afternoon elm

              Don't set a clock     you instructed     let the mosquitoes wake me at dusk

        A bead of sweat ran between your shoulder blades and disappeared behind

        Your bra strap     I brushed an ant from your knee but you said it was cute

        I apologized and was certain you wanted me

        To kiss you     I didn't of course     but closed my eyes


                          It wouldn't be fair to say I pushed

                          You     but I did force you down

                          The stairs     I was gentler than I would have liked.

                                       Not like your tiny hands

                                       Around my throat or curled into tiny

                                       Blooming fists     nor the river

               Rainstorm that made us turn the canoe

               I gave you my floppy hat before hoisting us up

               River     you said     this is romantic     I thought

               It wasn't quite as romantic

                             As when you wore the homemade dress I could see

                             Up     Dylan Cleveland '04     you weren't wearing any panties and when I drove

                             You home I was a perfect


                                     The way you were just after I sunk

                                     My first sailboat     you made a scrapbook out of the ship's

                                     Log with photos I'd never seen

                      Before     I hid a tear and you said     I'll get another one soon a bigger one

                                         And at that moment     kissing

                                         My bruises     I never loved

                                         You more do you remember how I could

                                                      Never say     No     to you or any other

                                                        Woman     we had some real

                                                      Knock down fights about where I was catching

                                                      My late night buzzes     some nights you'd hide

                                                      Razors under our pillow while you waited for me

                                                                You never intended

                                                                To use them     I know     you just wanted

                                                                To show me you were thinking

                                         About their sharpness     and it was all my fault.





The Rapid's punctuality

Is direct-

         Ly proportional

         To the in-

                 Verse of my own;

Thus, I am perpetual-

             Ly left


                        In the cold.




Bar Poem

My bar is a home for those who live alone;

A place to go when a bed and a bath, while fine,

We will not permit to name things to be left untied.

When the glass never empties, the stool is a mother shown

The son who fast, won't stray.

With the bar maid a wife and the bottle a babe,

Love here is a patient pot on the stove.


One May


May be

The loneliest number,

But twenty-one

Is the sexiest number that you'll ever do.


Bar Poem
One May
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