[This is great fun for me to read out loud.]

Reading Poems at Grand Central Station

So my buddy Bruce he says to me,
he says, hey, didja see about this poetry corner
they set up at Grand Central Station?
It’s right next to the waiting room
but you don’t even need a ticket to sit there,
just go and read, or listen. Always open.
Sounds like fun. Let’s go.
So we get on the bus and go.
Seventeen people when we get there
most of them guys with dirty coats and bad shoes
sitting, looking at the ceiling
drinking old coffee with no steam coming off of it.
Bruce and me, we sit and listen.
This young lady, skinny, all in black
yelling at her father.
How could you do that to me,
sweet little girl, your sweet little darling
dressed up all in pink chiffon and blood.
She finished, two bums look up and clap.
Old lady says, Right on, sister.
Two fat guys get up together
read poems about Pepsi so sweet and bubbly
and Fritos corn chips, so crunchy salty yummy.

A couple of bums get up and go
a couple more arrive.
Guy walks in with this crisp black suit on
starts reading these CEO blues
about nobody understands him
when he has to fire a guy they caught stealing books
even though the writer said hire him back. We laugh.
After a while Bruce gets up
and pulls a crumpled sheet out his pocket
and starts to read about when he was a boy
and went fishing with his Dad
and didn’t catch anything but hell.
I didn’t know he wrote that stuff.
Halfway through a voice on a speaker
says something I can’t understand
trrk frr ttt frr wssscsss dbbb frrrr
and three people get up and go
reaching in their pockets.

Leslie Gerber 6/5/03

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