Via Email, December 14, 2015
In New York City we come together on the subway or through the community of listening to the radio. We all struggle, hustle for work, experience small pleasures. Though we speak different languages, have different places of origin and tax brackets, we are still very much alike.
A few weeks ago I received this:
I heard you on wnyc 2/3 month ago.
Can I email my ny subway poem for posting?
I am an immigrant in ny for 20 years, I study poetry myself, I must jam my poem into your NY Subway Poetry Movement.
In further correspondence Laijon wrote:
I love NY, learned, experienced a lot, been a young independent new immigrant struggled a lot too…currently I hold a mail order job at a small import company. it’s good for me I can listen wnyc daily.
Here’s Laijon’s jam:
New York Subway – A Ride to Dream
Now, For 7 Line Riders
The Far West Side is
No Longer Far.
Morning 5-6 o’clock
new immigrants on the train
half asleep, half conscious
some of them on their way to work
others off long hour night-shift to home
their stressed expression, wrinkled shirts
worn out working boots and uniforms…
they speak my language, mixed English and…
poor grammar short sentences in strange accents…
they never have time and energy to learn
they don’t give shit, that’s how they can stay and survive
young students with backpack
immigrant and native kids with New York accent
on their way to school
to see what their nation has promised them
they ride upbeat and know their metro system
better than their textbook and changing neighborhoods
their baseball hats, football jerseys, and basketball sneakers
all that their parents paid for them
Native residents, career successful office people
in their brand name fashionable dress and suits stand on the train
they never have to rush to punch their time cards
bury their faces in new york times and expensive glossy magazines
they seem in control of their time and work
their parents built the subway
their parents or great grandparents rode early morning train
trains rock from stop to stop
there are finance, luxury shopping, and entertainment districts
there are new immigrant concentrated and crime neighborhoods
train rock from station to station
passengers get on and get off
going somewhere, in this great multi-culture megacity
going somewhere in their own worlds, in their own heads
going somewhere like the NYC Metro routine, on schedule always
to that forever unreachable destination