Synapse Subway – 14th Day of National Poetry Month


Synapse Subway

There is a subway under the skin that
travels by synapse rail. It trails the curve
of spine and your sixth birthday out
in the yard; accelerates through the loins, jumps
with only a bump over that boy
in the backseat, chugs its way up
to the brain. Trestles of pleasing
try to ease the way, still, it bogs down over
changes in time, destination, track,
derails completely

You don’t much care for the riders–the breath of some is terrible–
others (poorly shaven) constantly bug you for change.  A few make themselves
up while the train careens through
the autonomic nervous system, but they are not like
those on the IRT, who, holding
compact mirror in hand, apply their eyeliner
in a precise calligraphy–these
bunch the lines in blotted
jags that disrupt clear
vision, practically invite tearing up,
the rider’s grasp upon the glass
not as firm as it might be, nor
upon the brush either.


Here’s my poem for the 14th day of National Poetry Month.  It is also written for dVerse Poets Pub “Poetics”  challenge asking for poems about subways, hosted by the wonderful Claudia Schoenfeld.  Since I live in NYC, and have written many posts about the NYC subway, I wanted to go for something a bit different. 

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16 Comments on “Synapse Subway – 14th Day of National Poetry Month”

  1. Myrna Says:

    I liked this so much. I love your sway between the ride and the riders, and somehow I felt excitement, like I was on the train.
    Really good writing.

  2. claudia Says:

    smiles…now this was a very different ride you took us on..those trains, connections under the skin are even more fascinating than a real subway ride…the only thing i mourn is that you get no plan for it and sometimes they just do what they want…and who can tell where you will end up finally…smiles..much enjoyed k. – looking forward to your poetics prompt next week

  3. poetcolette Says:

    I love your physiological tapestry.

  4. David King Says:

    It’s different, alright. Amazingly so. i’d say it was clever if reading it wasn’t such a beautiful experience. A superb write.

  5. Ravenblack Says:

    I like this take. Just as busy and varied as a real subway.

  6. brian miller Says:

    smiles….really well done k…just waking up and yours is my top of the morning…and a fresh take on the subway too, the flesh one and smiles at the sensuality allusions as well as that will certainly fire a few…

  7. Chazinator Says:

    I was wondering how you’d write about this, knowing you have that continual crush of humanity immediately to mind. This is a wonderful take on the prompt, driving the subway as metaphor deep into the heart and soul of memory and thought. That correlation is quite fascinating, giving as it does a fascinating dimension to time and memory, giving us space to reflect beyond the immediacy of the moment and luring us into serking our selves amid the rush to Be, while becoming has its way with us. Great write.

  8. I like that subway under the skin…then the smells and sounds of the other riders…I specially like this line: apply their eyeliner
    in a precise calligraphy ..Nice one ~

  9. zongrik Says:

    i love apply eyeliner in precise calligraphy

    alive on subway senryu

  10. Mama Zen Says:

    This is incredibly creative. Love it!

  11. hedgewitch Says:

    Under the skin and into the labyrinth, no fear of lions and tigers and bears–but that sigil-stream of eyeliner–that’s a different story. Great alternate attack on the prompt that shut me down completely, K, as I *hate*subways, apparently so much I can;t even write about hating them. 😉 Just excellent how ominous this gets towards the end, a sign of how well you’ve worked the metaphor.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks, Hedge. I don’t hate subways, but I’ve done a lot of posts on them because I used to write and draw quite a bit on my ride to work which typically is not so crowded. For some reason don’t as much now–maybe because I use iPad for drawing so much. It feels a bit weirder to pull that out than a notebook.

  12. hobgoblin2011 Says:

    I absolutely love your comparison to synapse. I use this allusion in my writing and art all the time, and just love the way it fit perfectly here. I hadn’t thought about the comparison prior to reading this, but the minute I saw the title the connection appeared, and you did a terrific job illustrating that connection throughout the piece. Great write. Thanks

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