Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Hollow Monday

Hollow Monday

Faces lined with 27 years
on the LIRR, leaning together,
hang like meat and litter
the seats of the Number 4
express train. They speak
of lives left along the tracks
that run through places
like Hauppauge, Hempstead,
Freehold and Elizabeth.
Each mile, a stretch of life
extracted as payment
for a house in the suburbs,
and weekends spent down the shore.
There are no eyes here
and smiles are rarely seen.

Those who have crossed…
remember us. In the shadow
between exuberance
and exhaustion there is
perpetual motion,
like a pendulum back and forth,
back and forth, back again.
It replaces passion or purpose
with perseverance:  an inmate
awaiting parole-- a vulture circling.
Life is very long—but death
lasts forever. The gods demand
their tribute and we have taxes to pay.

SMG

9 comments:

Mary said...

Steve, your last stanza is breath-taking. The perpetual motion and the fact that life is very long....but death lasts forever. You've really captured a bit of life in this poem!

emmett wheatfall said...

The whole piece is breath-taking. It's weighty and chalked full of substance. You take concrete things and weave them together like fine linen. This is why I love your work SMG. It's concrete. And yet, we are able to deduct the abstract. This is just great prose poetry man. Two thumbs up!

Steven Marty Grant said...

I was trying to channel The Hollow Men but set it in a modern context. I'm thinking old TS would not be amused with my weak imitation

Brian Miller said...

ha. there are no eyes here...and everyone is just moving A to B and back again...life is long on the same line, but death surely lasts forever...and they both should not feel the same.....

flaubert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
flaubert said...

Reminiscent for me, Steve. I lived most of my life on Long Island. Often, I wondered some of these exact things.

Pamela

Mama Zen said...

This is brilliant. Straight up.

Dorianna (paintswithwords.com said...

"It replaces passion or purpose
with perseverance: an inmate
awaiting parole-- a vulture circling.
Life is very long—but death
lasts forever. The gods demand
their tribute and we have taxes to pay." this entire passage is brilliant..great write

twdittmer.com said...

Holy shit the bed.