F O U N D   O N   T H E   M T A

BY ROO JOBES


- - - -

You hold history in your hands. The Massachusetts Transit Authority, in conjunction with the Massachusetts Cultural Council, has sponsored "Rolling Prose", a series of poems inspired by, and written about, the Boston subway system. Patterned after the "Poetry In Motion" Project in the New York City subway system, "Rolling Prose" is a collection of poems written by MTA riders about their daily commute on the Boston Subway System. We try our best to give you the best commuter service we can, but only you can shape the culture of the MTA. We here at the MTA know that the "Big Dig" has inconvenienced some riders, and we appreciate your patience. When the "Big Dig" is completed in 2004, it will allow us to provide you with the world's best mass transit service. Please accept these poems with our compliments and continue riding the MTA. Great things are on the way!

Massachusetts Cultural Council
Massachusetts Transit Authority

- - - -


Pass Me
Betty Aldmanson, Concord, MA

My children are weeping
A sight
I have but, alas, few fleeting moments for them in the morning.
I have aged, I am wizened, and I am slower than I've been.
I make my children breakfast, and I dream.
I dream of their weddings, their children, their ambitions firing hrough me.
While I dream, the toast burns.
Today I shoved the burnt toast in the T Pass slot.
I rode for free! You should try it!

- - - -


Rain Shudders
Nick McGivven, Cambridge, MA

The rain has built a slope for me.
Slippery, tenuous, manic.
Long ago, I quit carrying an umbrella.
I hold truth on my heart.
I hold visceral experience as a compass.
When the rain beats down on me, as cinders, I resist and stiffen.
I carry no umbrella.
I take the rain, and the world, as my own.
Others, carry umbrellas.
Fleeting, dodging masks.
A man today kept hitting me with his umbrella on the red line.
If he doesn't quit it, I'm gonna take a big shit in his umbrella.
Stupid motherfucker got no manners.

- - - -


Oh Inspiration
Ruth Gladstone, Boston, MA

I, as a girl, fought the world and myself.
I am older now, and wiser.
I balance myself, and my battles, and the world.
I hear the young man talk about how he protests.
He is in the Capitol.
Fighting the WTO.
Beaten.
Arrested.
Carrying his struggles, in Boston, to strangers.
He tells this to a young woman.
And I stop and think.
I think that….
I feel that… reflecting back….
You're never getting in her pants unless you take a shower.
Dirty Beatnik.

- - - -


Firefly
Betty Whistle, Arlington, MA

I pass out the flyers by the landing.
I am born from the mother, this world.
I see us poisoning the water, the air.
I am a New World goddess.
I will go home to my mother.
I want to change people, to help them.
Many are reluctant.
Fear?
Cowardice?
Ignorance?
One man throws my flyer to the ground.
He says that I'm crazy.
A nuisance.
I kick him in the nuts and he rolls down the stairs.
I impact everyone I meet!

- - - -


Strictly Classified
John Dawly, Somerville, MA

It has three years, today, since my mother died.
She would ride this very train, every day.
To work, to market.
To care for us, to feed us.
I hold the rail and feel her, near.
She's gone now, and now I care for myself.
She is with me, every step of the way.
She rode this train, and got rich in a sense.
Rich in wisdom.
Rich in experience.
Rich in money!
She left everything to me.
I'm gonna get some cocaine tonight and tie-dye my underwear.
Fuck all you poor people, I want you destroyed!

- - - -


Breathe
Betty DuPont, Boston, MA

The man at the token counter refuses me.
Oh woe!
Oh human interaction and greed!
I need to go home, I say this.
I need to see my family, my old sweetheart, my old school room.
I have but fourteen cents, not enough, he says.
Not enough to see….
A Home.
A Family.
A Sweetheart.
A Life.
I hop the turnstile and run.
For my life, you see.
Screw that guy.
He's so fat, he couldn't get thru St. Peter's gate if a nun greased his ass.
Fat people are generally slow.

- - - -


Ladder
Steven Gibbon, Brighton, MA

Father would give me a nickel Sundays.
Save it, he'd say.
For one day the rain will come.
I want you to be, he'd say….
The wolf…the three pigs….
Build a home eternal.
Be safe, be safe with my love.
I saved the nickels, thru the years.
Kept them in my pockets.
The burden grew heavy.
It ruptured my legs, I limp now.
I take the elevator down to the train.
There are always people in love in there.
Count me out!
I read in the Globe you can get VD from just looking at people in love.
Father told me that.
Maybe tonite I'll go pee on his grave.
What a wacko!

- - - -


Out of Town
Steven Bressler, Allston, MA

I feel out of town.
I feel separated from the crowds on the train
We get pushed in close together during rush hour.
So close, yet we always avert our gaze.
I am a man, an animal, and a family member.
The human family.
You Ma'am, you Sir, you are my sister, my brother.
We walk in this world.
Yet you avert your gaze.
I am sad, confused.
Will you not walk with me?
Be family with me?
Your gaze says no.
And I say….
I'm going to Pro Wrestling School next week.
Next time you avert your gaze I'm gonna suplex you to next Tuesday.
Everyone on the subway needs to hit the weight room.
Killer Bressler commutes daily, motherfuckers.




OTHER McSWEENEY'S STORIES
- - - -

Cafe Au Lait: Our Reporter Goes Undercover to Investigate the World of Coffee Slugs by Sam Smilbone
I Wish I'd Never Gone Through Puberty by Tara Wray
Suite Crimes Unit Under Fire by Ron Singer
New Titles and Synopses for the Next Five Gor Novels by Bart Locart
It's Monday and We're Desperate: An Exercise in Seeing How Far You Can Get by Simply Knowing Television Executive's Names; A: Not Far (NB: An Overly Long Title Doesn't Help, but Perhaps the Ironic Self-Reflexivity Will) by 'Jim' Slade

ARCHIVES


 

Black dot denotes newish content

WRITE TO McSWEENEY'S
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
LISTS
ABOUT McSWEENEY'S
McSWEENEY'S-RELATED EVENTS AND VARIOUS TOUR DATES
THE McSWEENEY'S ALLEGORY CONTEST
ASK THE McSWEENEY'S CATCHPOLE
LETTERS TO McSWEENEY'S
IF YOU ARE REVIEWING OR WRITING ABOUT McSWEENEY'S
THE McSWEENEY'S CLARIFICATION