still sweating in the ugly bowels
of the new york city subway system
choked on trains with everyone else,
we are pushed off at the atlantic avenue
station to the sounds
of steel drums and keyboards playing
and the pumpkins lining brooklyn windows
haven’t even been thrown out onto the sidewalk yet
to rot into the pavement like dog shit.
people are humming along
and coats are held tighter,
as if the music has put a temporary chill and magic
into the scorched air of chemicals
and petroleum residue.
jesus christ, i think.
you’d expect this bullshit happiness
being trumped out so early
on the television or in the windows
of chain stores.
but musicians on a subway platform?
well, then i realize this season has become too much
we need the fake joy shot into us with the frequency
of a junkie.
what good was halloween anyway
with the cacophony of city neighborhoods
and the religious still duking it out?
i actually like halloween better than christmas.
it seems less put-on. real.
and i wish i could fall asleep november first
after a night drunk with the evening horror show
and wake up on january second
when the real horror show has ended.
maybe the cold weather will finally be here.
if nothing else, at least people will be
done with all of this good cheer and good will toward man,
and they’ll all be back inside with their bills and holiday regret,
fat and lazy like always.
and the musicians on the platform will get back
to playing something good, like coltrane or bach.