This is what it comes to

October 12, 2010

This is what it comes to:
train doors open;
life’s cornerstones become:
the Exercise from walking down
the escalator and
the abstract lust for stranger’s faces
still dazed by morning

On the underground
where
the loud magic of trance music
from a librarian’s earphones
garrotes your laughter

The minutes of wasted life
have fallen slipped through
The hole in my pocket
into the lining of my coat
to join my change

I am not vain enough to say
that beggars or fools
are richer than me,
It is only my envy
that has no boundaries or shame
and I will cane it
with the sound
of other people’s
telephone conversations
in the communal cell
of an open plan office

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18 Responses to “This is what it comes to”

  1. wkkortas said

    There is a palpable (and well-expressed) world-weariness here, even a feeling of fin-de-siecle. It’s something of the love child of The Waste Land and subway schedules, and I mean that very much as a compliment.

  2. This is great, you have boiled city life down to its tragic minimums.

  3. forpuck said

    Thanks guys. It’s not even about minimums, there are weeks where this is all there is to it. For me, it’s cowrdice, stuck in a job I do well enough, and the comfort of a paycheck and a city I love at a distance from the inside… Not everyone will break out.

  4. Jingle said

    compact and compelling piece.
    fabulous write.

  5. Claudia said

    love this:
    The minutes of wasted life
    have fallen slipped through
    The hole in my pocket
    into the lining of my coat
    to join my change

    into 4 lines you manage to pack such a difficult to locate feeling

  6. tuberider said

    Just how much dreaming is done on the underground? Nice one.

    “the abstract lust for stranger’s faces” I can’t count the times I’ve fallen in & out of love on the underground. Great line.

  7. poemblaze said

    Thank you for sharing this.

  8. forpuck said

    Since I travel on it every day, that’s where life happens… It’s big city life and all that.

  9. brian said

    wow. vicious imagery…the loud magic of trance music
    from a librarian’s earphones garrotes your laughter, very nice…the caining to the ground…pow…great one shot!

  10. dustus said

    “It is only my envy
    that has no boundaries or shame”
    Of many great lines, that one gets me in the gut. Excellent One Shot!

  11. There is such a sense of futility.

    The minutes of wasted life
    have fallen slipped through
    The hole in my pocket
    into the lining of my coat
    to join my change

    I like this image.

  12. Gay Cannon said

    The sense of futility is offset with the beauty or perhaps I should say the clarity of your initial images–the tube trip in, lusting for faces, and for their stories, the feeling of confinement caught quickly and concisely. Well written. Thanks, Gay @beachanny

  13. forpuck said

    Thank you everybody for your kind words.

  14. Eric said

    Very gray, with just a hint of despair and a nice, piquant bouguet of imagery. A good One Shot!

  15. betweenhearts75 said

    I so very much agree with Claudia on those same lines, incredibly well done! ~April

  16. writersisland said

    Invite you to try the prompts at Writer’s Island

  17. Christina Cronk said

    You’ve captured my exact work situation… or should I say, the daily drearies of anyone who’s every had the misfortune to work in a cubicle. In all seriousness, I love your poems. You have incredible talent.

  18. forpuck said

    Thank you very much everybody, again.

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