Tuesday, February 2, 2010

poem of the day 02.02.10

ode to a bus driver

bus driver
man, last week you left
me out in the cold for forty minutes
before you showed up
do you know how many other buses
passed me in that amount of time?
how many different routes went by
carrying people who were
going to get home on time?

bus driver
what you did last night was even worse.
stopping every block and just sitting there
for five minutes before announcing
“ladies and gentlemen, we’re not
going anywhere until this man pays his fine.”
what’re you trying to be some kind
of divisive force, turning man against man?

bus driver
we’d hang you if we could
if you weren’t protected by new york city law.
if seven years wasn’t such a long time
for stringing you up on a lamppost just as the sun set.

bus driver
don’t think for a minute that you’re above us.

bus driver
you smug prick
pulling the bus over again to the side
of the avenue and just sitting there
as car horns honk behind you
as old chinese women with their thousands of packages
get restless in their chattering packs
before you announce
“ladies and gentlemen, we’re not
going anywhere until this woman gets
behind the yellow line.”

bus driver
i put down the book that i was reading
i had daydreams about spitting in your face
especially when the bus stalled twice
and we all sat there in the dark.
i would’ve thought it was poetic justice, asshole
except that i was late meeting my wife at the bar
i had no way of getting in touch with her.
thanks for making my wife worry for the second time
in two weeks.

bus driver
have you no soul?
i have to battle other people’s conversations
their cell phones and their food.
i don’t want to hear your the best of america cd
as you’re careening the bus down 72nd street,
singing along to you can do magic
as you honk your horn and shout at drivers
who won’t get out of your way.

what’s the rush now, bus driver?
somewhere important to be?

bus driver
if i had money i’d buy a car
maybe one of those hybrid deals that you
can talk to on a lonely ride home from work.
i’d get some half-assed insurance on the thing
i’d put bumper stickers on the back.
they’d tell everyone what my favorite teams were
what my politics were.

but bus driver
that’s a pipe dream
i can’t get any car that talks to me
and has bumper stickers on the back
i’m stuck with you.
last week, this week, next week, next month
probably all the way until you or i die or retire.
so go ahead and sing your america
go ahead and yell at every motorist on the avenue
who won’t get out of your way
keep pulling the bus over and idling the fragile engine
for any and every small infraction
that us worthless humans make.

it’s your world, motherfucker.

we just live in it.

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