POEM 040/100

November 8, 2012

Whenever the train enters a tunnel

I can see silver fingerprints on the black window


Maybe I’ll get drunk tonight

POEM 039/100

November 7, 2012

Directly in front of me

is a vacant subway seat


I long to feel that way


POEM 023/100

July 8, 2012

It must say something about this city—

I only find solitude

reading a book

on the subway

Things you see in the subway station

September 8, 2010

Three maintenance workers in orange vests are attempting to release the girl from the stainless steel cage. She’s trapped inside the St. Clair subway station turnstile gate. She wouldn’t be trapped if she hadn’t somehow managed the improbable act of bringing her blue bicycle halfway inside with her.  Two of the men are working with tools and the third appears to simply be talking to the girl, keeping her laughing, maybe trying to keep her from descending into a hysterical episode fueled by panic and embarrassment.

Things you see on two separate subway cars

May 20, 2010

1 : The voice coming over the speakers of the TTC subway car announces a service disruption between Jane and Islington stations. There are, however, shuttle busses running, never a comfortable alternative to the already barely comfortable transit experience.

Yet the train is still nine or ten stops away so none of the passengers seem overly concerned. Most likely their stop is either far in advance of Jane or they’re confident, however naively, the problem will be cleared before long.

About a half-dozen faces, perhaps less, express a resigned chagrin at the situation—they are probably in for the long-haul to Kipling at the end-of-the-line and have a realistic expectation the disruption will not be cleared any time soon, based on previous experiences when a shuttle-bus was involved.

Still, no one is outwardly concerned. Except one young man.

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TwitFic #9: AWOL

February 19, 2010

Asleep, buffeted by the twin silver waves of the subway tracks, her head bobs on her uniform’s blue shoulders like a buoy on the dark sea. It’s almost seven bells and evening, judging by the sky’s hue whenever the train breaches the surface.

She’s slept through her watch again.
It’s not a cause for panic. She’s set herself a drift in a landlocked city in order to sleep. This is her third day sleeping on the subway. Twice a day she’s watched human tides roll in and out of the car, swirling like frothing eddies around a beached whale. Around her.
A thought washes upon her: When the whole world is an ocean, there’s no going AWOL from yourself.

Things you see on the escalator

November 10, 2009

The old man at the foot of the escalator gripped the moving handrail. He’d take a step, move his hand up and it would slide down with the backward movement of the black rubber. As his feet took a step up and forward, the metal stairs would move down and backward. He was remaining absolutely stationary while climbing the escalator the wrong direction.

People were craning their necks to watch him, muttering to each other speculations of whether he was confused or crazy. He had a look of determined concentration which lead me to believe his action  was intended. He was using the escalator as a Stair-Master. He was not confused or senile, but people might have been correct to speculate he was a bit crazy.

Just before getting on the train, I looked back to check on his progress. He was still in the same spot but an audience had formed a circle around him.

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