Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« John Kerry Locates Spine | Today the Stranger Suggests »

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Stop the Poerty Bus

posted by on February 28 at 10:59 AM

Not only must we contend with late buses, and bus drivers who have no mercy for those who are just moments late, and passengers who don’t know “the meaning of water nor soap,” we must also continue to endure the awful tradition of putting bad poetry in the advertisements boards above our heads. This year, “a panel of professional writers” (if these are the same class of people as the ones who now run Seattle Arts and Lecture’s school program, we know what “professional writers” means—therapists, spiritualists, caregivers, mummies and daddies) have asked Seattle’s healthy population of poets to address a subject they are very familiar with, and are more than willing to write about, dreams. Each lucky poet will be awarded $125 honorarium for his/her poem about a dream they had, a dream they want to have, a dream they had as a child, a dream their mother or father had before they were born. Who pays for this? Who reads it? When will this waste of words come to an end? Bring back the advertisements, the public announcements, anything but local poetry about dreams.

RSS icon Comments


Argh, the poerty!

Posted by Thom | February 28, 2007 11:15 AM

The advertising on buses is all about adult education, schools, and drugs: clearly implying that only losers ride the bus. Depressing.

So, bad poetry is better than that.

Posted by Tiz | February 28, 2007 11:15 AM

I agree (although I am tempted to toss off an entry for the 125 smackers), but please don't bring the thoroughly excellent Poetry Bus into this:

Posted by Levislade | February 28, 2007 11:18 AM

Charles Mudede feasts on the dreams of children for breakfast.

Posted by seattle98104 | February 28, 2007 11:27 AM

I dream
Of riding a bus
Without poetry
Or other people.

Posted by Fnarf | February 28, 2007 11:41 AM

Thom beat me to it. I have no idea what poerty is.

Posted by elswinger | February 28, 2007 11:43 AM

Ride on a winter day
Snow grips my sould
Words of paid scribeners disgust me.

Oh, poetry!
Oh, slush!
Send your slush funds down my down coat!
Rail against the dying of the unpaid bus poet!
Fight for the dying of the light.

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 28, 2007 11:45 AM

I'm not sure if the Poetry on the Bus thing got started before I moved to Seattle in 1997, but I do recall that the poetry was better overall in the late 90s and only started to suck overall around 2000.

Fnarf, enter your poem. Please!

Posted by Matt from Denver | February 28, 2007 11:55 AM

What is the link for entering poems?!!

Posted by Suz | February 28, 2007 12:00 PM


Except it looks like it won't be up and running until March 9th.

Posted by Levislade | February 28, 2007 12:01 PM

Send your letter of protest to:

Posted by Billy | February 28, 2007 12:20 PM

Express bus packed
Cheek to nipples,
Please don't stop
For the cripples.

Posted by DOUG. | February 28, 2007 12:22 PM

Furry cat
Haunting my dreams
Walking away
Greek star
Lack of fur
Brown asterisk
Kill me before I wake

Posted by jamier | February 28, 2007 12:40 PM

Bus Booster Tries It

Bus on snow schedule
and behind schedule.
Booster rails at fate
mumbling he'll be late.
I think: fuck you.

Posted by Smarm | February 28, 2007 12:48 PM

These are all better poems than the ones on the bus. Fnarf, you must enter yours in the contest.

Posted by Hernandez | February 28, 2007 1:04 PM

Jamier @ 13, that reminds me... does anyone have the link to the infamous poem about the cat butt that Metro actually used?

Posted by Matt from Denver | February 28, 2007 1:30 PM

Stirring from sleep,
prison rape was the most remote
of possibilities for that stranger,
inner turmoil playing out
on a bus window.
Faggot, faggot and faggot,
a pinata spills it's guts
and the 7 route is restored to
it's former glory.
Poertic justice has been served
and a rape vic in the making Goetz
what he deserves.
Pasearse con las reglas, indeed
Oh, favorite bus sign.
I look at you for the entire ride
so I don't have to look at
these fucking people.
Halitosis, Holla back.

Posted by Poertic Justice | February 28, 2007 1:32 PM

"Absolute gray is the grayest gray / That's the same distance from absolute white as it is from absolute black,"

Ken Nordine
"Coral' ("It's an absolute flip".

poetry makes the world keep on Keepin on.

Posted by DreadLion | February 28, 2007 1:43 PM

My suggestion is to get a video I-Pod. My quality of life on the bus has dramatically improved since I got mine. I watch episodes of Real Time with Bill Maher or listen to the Scissor sisters.

I can sit happily and ignore most everything else happening on the bus with the help from my little Ipod. If they came with a little air freshner button then it truly would be the best invention ever for the bus.

Posted by The I stands for Ignore | February 28, 2007 1:51 PM

Poertic Justice: Nice.

Posted by Jude Fawley | February 28, 2007 1:55 PM

I'd support the program if the panel invited poets to write about "Nantucket".

Posted by Man from Nantucket | February 28, 2007 2:07 PM

On BART, during rush hour, when standing folk are groin-to-eye level with folks who have seats, a well place "Report suspiscious packages" reminder is all the poetry I need on my commute.

Posted by Dougsf | February 28, 2007 3:00 PM

#22 lol. ROFL. Thats the sense of humour outlook from San Francisco that makes me miss that place. Life gets you in a serious mode, sometimes you have to laugh it off.

Posted by DreadLion | February 28, 2007 4:50 PM

Until today, I thought there was nothing in the world more boring than hearing about other people's dreams.

"Something weird happened in your dream? That's amazing! Because there are NO FUCKING RULES in dreams."

Until today that is... Reading amateur poetry (or poerty) about other people's dreams sounds like something they do at Guantanamo.

Posted by bento | February 28, 2007 5:42 PM

#2, bad poetry isn't harmless: it abets the soul-crushing of all the other shit that surrounds us by its refusal to fight it with the possibilities it could embrace. #13, I haven't been on a Seattle bus in five months, and I still remember that goddamn poem about the poet's cat's asshole. Lord love a duck, as my grandma used to say.

Posted by Grant Cogswell | March 1, 2007 12:42 AM

There's lots and lots of good poems out there that people deserve to be exposed to - especially given that a free education in this country is usually bad - they're mostly in books - this anyone-can-make-art bullshit is the death of civilization. That's not elitism, by the way. Elitism is the notion that money rules because it deserves to, which is what is in effect in the absence of real aesthetics.

Posted by Grant Cogswell | March 1, 2007 12:49 AM

The poetry on the Metro here in Paris is overall pretty good. Some classics, some good new poems, some shitty new poems. Even the worst is nothing compared to the crap I remember from Seattle's Metro buses.

My point? Move to a real city.

Posted by ex-CD | March 1, 2007 4:46 AM

The poetry on the Metro here in Paris is overall pretty good. Some classics, some good new poems, some shitty new poems. Even the worst is nothing compared to the crap I remember from Seattle's Metro buses.

Posted by ex-CD | March 1, 2007 4:47 AM

Oh my God, the cat asshole poem will be forever seared into my memory. I am still unable to see an asterisk without shuddering, and there are two on this "post a comment" page, arg! But there are some gems on the bus, too. Like the ice cream cone poem by the second-grader. And this one, by Roberto Carlos Ascalon:

When I donate blood
I always ask the technician if I
can hold the bag afterwards.

What does
one quart of me
feel like?

I want to know.

They never let me.
It is against regulations
to hold yourself
in that way.

Posted by Kalakalot | March 1, 2007 10:45 AM

gromef gpzjsyha ixsyh oyrh xgtiq apyihj thkuq

Posted by buvrs ulvcsgpkd | March 10, 2007 3:30 PM

gromef gpzjsyha ixsyh oyrh xgtiq apyihj thkuq

Posted by buvrs ulvcsgpkd | March 10, 2007 3:31 PM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 14 days old).