Greenpoint, October, 2015

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Slow Dreams of Pleasure

Longish for an entry in our alternate Poetry in Mutation series but a fine subway poem. The first in Paul Blackburn's early book Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit: A Bouquet for Flatbush from 1960. All five of the poems in this small book from 1960 are about riding on the subway. The other titles are: "Clarkson Avenue Ramble," "The Once-Over," Clickety Clack" (for Lawrence Ferlinghetti), and "Meditation on the BMT." Here is the cover of the first and only edition from Totem Press, whose address is listed as 402 W. 20th St. Gone, of course, as is Blackburn (he died in 1971). But the Franklin Avenue Line (now Shuttle) goes on. Intermittently.


at Park Place
or Dean Street
decaying open platforms with their whitened wood
waves of weathered greenness down the line
waves of somewhere unimaginable blossoms blowing
a late spring to tired faces                in this half-
    forgotten     slow    half-empty train
passing in the rain    in slow dreams of pleasure
                          toward the spur's end where
vaguely    in-
decisively        train and rain
come at the same
    to a measured 

1 comment:

  1. A great selection! I hope the MTA is taking note ...