Forced Poem Due To Lack Of Inspiration

Train to center city and the airport!
(clang thud clang)
Crestmont! Anybody need Crestmont?!
(rucka rucka rucka rucka)
...she called you a bitch...?, she said...
(slam slam thud)
Thank you, ma'am.
(unintelligible gibberish)
[Ok--I need material.
What's this woman's story?
She's scratching her crotch...
maybe she has crabs.]
(chuck chuck chuck chuck chuck chuck chuck)
[She's cute... in a trailer park sort of way.
I guess I'd do her under the right circumstances.]
Roslyn this stop--Roslyn!
(slam slam clank)
Ugh! Ugh! Unnnnnngh!!!
[Jesus! Sounds like this guy is giving himself a hernia.]
...she's ten dollars and you're twelve...
...round trip and receipt...
[What are these women behind me speaking?
Spanish? Russian? Hebrew?]
[Wow! This woman looks happy!
Why the fuck are you smiling like that?
You look like the Joker!
Did you eat some acid,
or did someone just lick your clitoris?
Maybe she's found the Lord.]
(rumble rumble rumble)
...if they would just get it through their heads...
(swish swish swish swish)
[You know what? Now I'm wondering
if this whole concrete poem idea
is really just fucking lame.
I wish something interesting would happen.
This is boring.]
(clatter clatter clatter)
Glenside this stop--Glenside!
[Goddamnit! Every time I ride this train
I overhear some weird conversation.
Today, nobody's saying dick!]
(chigga chigga chigga chigga)
...every six months he gets his hair piece re-woven...
[Now that's interesting!
I wish they would talk louder--
I'm missing every other word.]
...she doesn't understand...
...oh wow...
...a year after they were married he lost his hair...
...she loves him but it's hard...
[Ok--who are they talking about?
Damn--they're getting off!]
(slam clang)
Watch your step.
(shicka shicka shicka shicka shicka)
[Wait a minute! Didn't I hear someone
read a poem just like this recently,
with all the transit noises and random dialogue?
Fuck--I think I'm stealing someone else's idea!]
(incoherent babbling)
[Maybe I could just make something up.
Terrorists? Nah!]
(irritating vibrating noise)
[Let's see... what would be believable?
A woman giving birth in the aisle?
Someone shitting all over the seat?
Orange-robed Hari Krishnas
dancing and playing tambourines?]
(hoot hoot)
(whirrrr whirrrr)
...I'd rather get up at seven than have to...
[What can I pretend happened?
Hmmm... that bald guy's head
with the little wisps of hair is weird.
It kind of looks like a plate of chopped liver
or a sloppy joe.]
Elkins Park this stop--Elkins Park!
Go ahead...
Thank you.
(slam clang thud)
...the insurance will cover it...
[Omigod! I hate riding the train on saturdays!
It's always full of old people and little kids
from the suburbs, squawking and shrieking!]
(ricka ricka ricka ricka)
(clank clank clank)
[This guy with the high-tech gym bag looks shady.
What's he got in there? Heroin?
No, it's got to be something more imaginative.
I know--toads! Illegal toads--the psychedelic kind
that you lick to get high.
Or black market organs packed in ice--
pineal glands--harvested from Central American
teenage peasant boys by CIA-funded death squads.]
(raucous laughter)
(rumble rumble rumble)
(chigga chigga chigga chigga)
...and my daughter-in-law
ordered the broccoli with cheese on top...
[Why do old women insist on
poofing up their hair into puffballs?
This woman's hair looks like
one of those spongy toilet cleaning brushes.
You could just turn her upside down
and clean a toilet with her head.]
Melrose Park this stop!
(clatter clatter clatter clatter)
[Maybe I could make up some conversation. Let's see...
'...and then my daughter-in-law puked...
no--an old lady wouldn't say puked...
Vomited! My daughter-in-law vomited
all over her broccoli with cheese
and had to be rushed to the hospital,
and Bill was so upset
he punched the waiter in the face
and broke his jaw.']
(chickit chickit)
(rucka rucka rucka rucka)
[Ok--yeah--I should just make everything up.
People who think everyday life is interesting
are stupid! Thank god I don't have to
ride this train every single day.]
How far ya going?
Market East please.
(click-click click-click)
[ there were these teenagers throwing rocks at the train
really hard, and the old man in the seat in front of me,
who looks like the landlord from Three's Company,
was sleeping with his head resting against the window,
and a rock smacked the window BAM!
and it must have given him a concussion
because five minutes later
he was asking the middle-aged asian woman sitting next to him
if she was the receptionist
and he had an important meeting with Mr. Pfeiffer
and how dare they keep him waiting blah de blah de blah...]
Fern Rock!
Train to center city and the airport!
Watch coming up!
...say what?
...ok, take care now...
(click clank)
(click-click click-click-click rrrrrriiippp)
[ the Norman Fell-looking old man
is grabbing the asian woman's tits
and apparently she doesn't speak English
because she's yelling at him in Japanese or Korean or whatever,
and now she's slapping him really hard in the face. Yikes!
And now he's crying and saying he's sorry
and he really loves his wife and please forgive him
and she doesn't know what the hell he's talking about
but I guess she understands his body language
and she's patting his hand and making "there there" sounds...]
(rik rik rik rik rik rik rik)
(kabump kabump kabump kabump), Norristown is the R6--you want the R6...
[How am I going to end this?
Obviously it will have to stop
after I get off at market East.]
(chunka chunk-chunk chunka chunk-chunk)
(wif wif wif wif wif wif wif)
Wayne Junction this stop!
(squeeeeee squeeeeee)
[I always hear little snippets of conversation
as people board the train; maybe I could make some of them up.
'...blow me, punk...
...I can't feel my neck...
...this cheese smells like your ass... gym teacher has a tumor...
...last year I sold twelve chickens to a Mormon family...
...stop picking your nose--it'll make your septum deviate...
...dude, I'm not a girl...']
Temple University next--Temple!
[Shit! We're almost there!
I have to think of an ending.]
(wucka wucka wucka wucka wucka wucka)
[It needs to be dramatic...
The train explodes?
It get sucked into a black hole
and comes out in another world
where all sentient life forms
are purple, gelatinous and unisex?]
Temple University!
(wub wub wub wub wuuuuuuuuuub)
(clank clang clank)
(click click)
[Maybe I realize that we're all ghosts
on the train of the dead,
riding through purgatory for all eternity.
Maybe it's a magical flying train
taking us to the mountain top
for an audience with the guru.]
(melange of twittering in foreign languages)
(someone wearing headphones singing horribly out of tune)
[There has to be some kind of climax
to justify the rest of the poem.
Maybe it's all a dream, and I wake up at the end
and it's too late to catch the train.
Yeah--and if it's all a dream
I can have anything happen.
All the passengers' heads melt
and they turn into giant caterpillars
and an enormous fat man in a butcher's apron
lumbers through the train,
chopping up the caterpillars with a huge cleaver,
and the caterpillars' bodies spew out this hot pink goo
that melts holes in the train wherever it lands
like sulphuric acid,
and little cupids fly in through the holes
and sprinkle lime green glitter all over everything,
and the heaps of dead chopped up caterpillars begin to speak,
and they utter prophecies like ancient seers,
and they speak of the end of the world
and the transition to the fifth sun
when all matter will vibrate at a higher density
and women will grow a third breast just above the navel,
and human beings will live in giant towers
made out of recycled manure,
which will become the primary energy source...]
Market East!
Train to the airport!
Let 'em off! Let 'em off first!
Watch your step.
Train to the airport! Let 'em off!

David Aronson
October, 2009