Friday, June 20, 2014

poem of the day 06.20.14

if you see something say something

there are signs posted all over
the new york city subway system

if you see something, say something

like an empty handbag or briefcase or knapsack
some suspicious person wandering around
guys in turbans with long beards, perhaps

if you see something, say something

with a handy telephone number at the ready
a email address, a way to text away the terror

if you see something…

but not some tired-ass mother on the after work train
coming from one job and going to the next
because the rents are too high to live any kind of life

trying to feed her kids a fast food meal for sustenance

or the homeless dude camped out on the N train
stinking and rotting, continuing to be a public nuisance
because he’s failed to die

if you see something, say something

don’t be afraid
don’t be shy

tan-skinned people congregating in secret groups
prayers groups not praying to your god
a man of science reading one of those books

if you see something…

like hordes of teenage assholes terrorizing stiffs
blasting music and slapping each other with wet beach towels
calling each other names

failing at life

getting high on street corners in the morning
before the goddamned school day has even begun

and sexually harassing young women who are only
trying to go the hell home

while fucking, smirking, douche bag cops hang back
checking the shopping bags of tourists
like the good heroes that they are

if you see something, say something

it’s that easy in new york city to become a rat
it’s the american way

because we’re all scared here
afraid of being blown up again and again and again

if you see something….

like swirling puddles of piss
and human excrement smeared on subway steps

puddles of white foam lining the streets
and dead birds by the dozen along each scorching block

garbage men flinging garbage onto the concrete
bits of carrion and blood-soaked napkins
swirling potato chips bags shining in the sunlight

if you see something…
say something…for christ’s sake

even though there are cameras on every block
even though everyone has got one
and your neighbors are now world class spies

there is still a chance for you to become one of us

because this whole place as gone mad with heat
and murder and fear and violence and dunderheaded audacity

it is another cesspool summer here
waiting for the flood waters to rise again
and drown this hulking beast for sure

take us down to the depths of the ocean
for a cleansing

but if you see something, say something

tell it to the politician shaking hands
tell it to the fireman getting drunk as we blaze
tell it to your friendly neighborhood celebrity

whisper it into our ears
or shout it from the top of the empire state building
the top of the rock

if you see something, say something

because we want to know
because we’re always listening.


No comments: