Greenpoint, October, 2015

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Livin' on Chicken Noodle Soup and Wine

BTB's summer series, Poetry in Locomotion, begins today. We'll be rooting around (and underground) for poems for the MTA's Poetry in Motion series. There'll also some detours, but no derailments, we hope, for poems that celebrate (or excreate) the experience of being a subway rider. Thanks to onemorefoldedsunset for the idea!

As part of my research for the series, I asked a few people if they read the MTA's Poetry in Motion poems while riding the subway. A waitress in a cafe on East Broadway said she always enjoyed them. When I asked if she remembered any, she said, "Maybe the one about chicken noodle soup."
(Art: Amy Bennett, Heydays)
The closest I could find on the MTA's Poetry in Motion website is "The Good Life," by Tracy K. Smith (b. 1974):

While some people speak about money
They speak as if it were a mysterious lover
Who went out to buy milk and never
Came back, and it makes me nostalgic
For the years I lived on coffee and bread,
Hungry all the time, walking to work on payday
Like a woman journeying for water
From a village without a well, then living
One or two nights like everyone else
On roast chicken and red wine.

A nice poem, even if it is missing the noodles and the soup. But we can do better.

1 comment:

  1. I suspect the waitress of faking it.

    Tracy's poem isn't bad, though feeling nostalgic about not having any money is an emotion rarely indulged by those who don't have any money.

    "Ah, the good old days... how much I loved the Top Ramen for breakfast, Top Ramen for lunch, and Top Ramen for dinner!"