Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Poetry in Motion

Where’s the moon?
Where’s the moon?
If the globe at Columbus Circle
is the Earth then the moon is
63rd Street West
And that’s a simple test
Of spatial reality.
How did you do?
How did you do?

This weirdly wonderful spoken-word poem came from a particularly colorful subway crazy sitting next to me on the 2 train this morning. He got on at Nevins Street carrying about 50 plastic bags and wearing a hat made of buttons. I wish I had really taken in all of the details (I'm sure his buttons were awesome), but the thing about subway crazies is that you can't risk looking at them for too long or you might make accidental eye contact and become the focus of their attention.

As soon as he sat down he fished in one of his bags and took out a piece of paper. I'm not sure if he was reading directly from it or not, but for the next fifteen minutes he recited and repeated a number of phrases that could probably have passed for published work, had they been read by someone not wearing a hat of buttons:

The scarves that women wear
The scarves that Muslim women wear
Great video

4 to Brooklyn Bridge, 2 to Chambers
See the writing on the wall
At the African burial grounds

Caught in Satan’s snare in Lincoln Square
How much did the bookkeeper owe?
How much does he owe?

5 million others
Check it out, look it up
Who are the 5 million others?
Check it out, look it up
Who will say their names
give their titles
and reveal their fame?


1 comment :

  1. Anonymous10:11 AM

    I've seen this guy! On my train ride another crazy fellow got on halfway though my journey and the two of them started doing a sort of poetry duet!


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