Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 147: Too cool for school

Look at emo kid
Smoking hand-rolled cigarettes
On a street corner

(I think it's humorous [and sad] that regardless of the passage of time and the prevalence of information, smoking continues to triumph as the epitome of cool among teenagers. Oh, and if you're still confused about what "emo" means, I suggest you check this out.)

Day 146

His trembling fingers
Clutch a can in a brown bag
Like it’s a lifeline

Day 145: It's too darn hot

She tugs at her skirt
Undoes another button
On her top and sighs

(Given the negligible amount of clothing she was wearing, imagine how the rest of us fully clothed people felt.)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Day 144

Hate to interrupt
Your subway makeout session
But this is my stop

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day 143: More olfactory complaints

That distinctive scent
Like you've bathed in cheap cologne
In a garbage can

(Choosing between a commute with Mr. Rank Pits versus Mr. Axe Body Spray is sort of like choosing between being forced to eat a subway rat or a pigeon.)

Day 142: A summertime conundrum

Empty subway car?
Either there is no A/C
Or a dead body

(There are days when I would consider taking the latter.)

Day 141: the perils of music

A crowded train and
An ill-played harmonica
Make for a long ride

(I'm appreciative of talented subway musicians, but I can't help but think that a man who plays a harmonica very poorly on a packed, hot subway car during rush hour takes his life in his hands.)

Day 140: A dubious contest

Two smelly fellows
Locked in competition for
Most hellacious pits

(And I, of course, am wedged between them.)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 139

Why am I behind
Three guys pushing hot dog carts
Here in the bike lane?

(They don't magically appear on street corners, you know.)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Day 138: appearances are deceiving

Though you look surly
You leaped to your feet for a
Girl with a baby

(Sometimes people on the subway surprise you, like when an angry-looking teenage boy with blaring headphones jumps up to offer his seat to a teenage mother with a little girl.)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Day 137: The trust fund baby's mantra

You expect me to
Work for eight whole hours a day?
I'm calling my dad

(Last summer the Times published this supremely humorous article about Williamsburg hipsters that lost their trust fund income as the result of the economic downturn. My favorite part is where the one guy "scales back" by shopping for a $300,000 apartment.)

Day 136: Date night?

"I'll pick up some wine
Just swing by my place at eight"
"What about your wife?"

(Based on a romantic conversation between a canoodling couple overheard on the Brooklyn Promenade.)

Day 135: Peter Pan apartments

Like glorified dorms
For the many New Yorkers
Who can't quite grow up

(It's a big thing in NY to build huge, expensive apartment buildings geared towards well-heeled twenty- and thirty-somethings who feel a profound need to socialize with their neighbors [judging from the ads, this is related to their hopes of finding equally well-heeled boy/girlfriends]. These buildings include yuppie-friendly amenities like lobby coffee bars, screening rooms, and Aspen lodge-themed "extended living rooms" with skee-ball and billiards. Their print ads are laughably annoying, with some qualifying as borderline lewd.)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Day 134: We all have these days

A sad pretty girl
A kiss from her husband can't
Even make her smile

Day 133: a malodorous commute

Here I sit, resigned
Sandwiched between coffee breath
And onion BO


Day 132: How will he get back to Williamsburg?

A forlorn hipster
With his broken down Vespa
Standing in the rain

(Almost everyone on the bus I was riding pointed and chuckled a little -- myself included. It's not that I relish other people's misfortune, it's just that it's funny to see a hipster so resigned to getting raindrops all over his bushy beard, ironic t-shirt, and Buddy Holly glasses. For those of you unfamiliar with hipsters, here is a handy-dandy guide.)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day 131: Bracing myself for lots of "dislikes"

Explain to me how
You live in the projects and
Drive a Range Rover

(I spent a long time walking around Red Hook in the rain yesterday. Red Hook is a fascinating area. It is home to Brooklyn's largest housing project, as well as many shops, restaurants, and a very cool community farm. It's amazing how many luxury SUVs are parked throughout the Red Hook Houses. I'm not just playing to offensive stereotypes; I did some research on public housing fraud at a former job. New York City has a real problem with people lying about their income in order to take advantage of public housing options. In some extreme examples, people actually owned multi-family houses in other neighborhoods, which they were renting out for substantial profit while living in subsidized housing.)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Day 130: Me, me, me, me, me

For three long years I
Gestated a law degree
While my friends had kids

(Until very recently, most of my haiku were about pigeons, public urination, the subway, or a combination of those magical elements. Lately, most of them are about me. I'm going through some pretty major life changes these days [no, not menopause] and I'm having trouble thinking about anything else. Please forgive me for posting a few haiku about myself. It's a phase. I'll get back to the real mission of this blog soon, I promise.

Hmm... If I could find a way to combine pigeons, public urination, the subway, AND my ovaries in 17 syllables, I might produce a haiku so great I break the internet.)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day 129

Over the past year
Six friends had babies and I
Got another cat

Day 128: Roadblocked

I say "excuse me"
You huff, sneer, move a single
Atom to the left

(I will never, ever understand New Yorkers' inability to use escalators. Sigh.)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Day 127

Good thing that you have
That iPhone so you don't have
To talk to your kid

Day 126: identity crisis

Borough of churches?
No, borough of babies and
Some designer dogs

(Brooklyn boasts some of the most beautiful houses of worship in New York City, many of which are quickly becoming relics of a bygone age. I'm not religious, but something about an historic Gothic church with a "for sale" sign out front touches even my stony heart. However, I'm also a big fan of adaptive reuse, so there's something cool about a church like this one being turned into offices and apartments [rendered less cool by the fact that I will never be able to afford to live there]. Oh, and as for the designer dog thing, I'm convinced that some women get dogs just because they want to be able to carry bags like this [note the price]).

Day 125: Ahem.

Summer subway rides
Are a special kind of hell
That is not my hand

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I will let you in on a secret

I'm hesitant to let the internet know too much about my true identity, but I feel that my loyal readers (both of them) deserve to know why I haven't been posting regularly. I will let you in on a secret: I am graduating from law school tomorrow.

Interestingly, 3 years of legal education is not enough to prepare one for the bar exam. You have to pay an exorbitant amount of money to take a review course -- so exorbitant, in fact, that I am working part-time while studying for the bar (everyone I meet really enjoys telling me this is a bad idea, which is exactly what someone in my position loves to hear). This means I spend 4 hours in class and 4 hours at work, then scoot home on the old bicycle for many, many hours of practice essays, problem sets, and reading. This has been going on for a few weeks and will continue through the end of July.

It doesn't leave a lot of time for haiku-ing (or much else).

Nonetheless, I've made a commitment to writing a year's worth of haiku and I intend to do just that. I'll try to write and post one a day, but sometimes I may get backed up. I hope you'll stick with me.

Day 124: Pirate cartography

If I made a map
Of this city it would say
"Here thar be pigeons"

(Especially in Brooklyn.)