Monday, August 30, 2010

Day 181: A romantic evening

It's the perfect date:
Him with his Blackberry and
Her with her iPhone

Is there anything more romantic than dressing up in your best clothes, scoring a table on the terrace at a trendy restaurant, ordering a nice bottle of wine, and proceeding to ignore each other for the entire evening? Why talk to your date when you can scope Facebook for somebody better looking who will take you someplace even trendier?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 180: Thoughts on the proposed MTA fare hike

One-thirty a month?
Maybe if you guarantee
A urine-free trip

No one live here because it's cheap, but this subway fare hike game is getting ridiculous. Now that they've threatened a $41 increase to monthly metrocards, we're supposed to be relieved when they only raise the price by $25, or $28, or $30, or whatever arbitrary number they decide on. The best part is that a mere 3 years ago, the MTA had a $1 billion budget surplus. The MTA's budget deficit is now $800,000,000. Now it's eliminating entire train lines, cutting bus service (especially in poorer neighborhoods), firing station agents, and devising new ways to bleed people dry. Meanwhile, the trains are overcrowded piss-drenched eyesores; the stations are filthy, stench-ridden, and devoid of station agents or police officers; and the riders get angrier every day.

Day 179: Making slow progress

How do you treat writer's block? By renewing your acquaintance with your muse. In my case, that means spending quality time that bitch goddess, the Metropolitan Transit Authority. Although I am not completely cured of my writer's block, I've seen some things that have given me a weak infusion of inspiration. Like this:

A gaunt teenager
Practices his A-Rod swing
On the F platform

He had obviously just come from practice, and he made sure I was watching before he started in on his elaborate peacocking. I wanted to stop him. Not so much because I was afraid he might accidentally hit someone, but because his swing was all wrong. I know a thing or two about baseball, and while a low-to-high swing does get you that occasional glorious home run, a level swing gets you frequent and respectable line drives.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day 178: simple logic

Since your sneakers cost
About half my August rent
I should beg from you

I'm still writer's blocked, but I'm trying to muddle through.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Meditations on Writer's Block

Mope. Whine. Mope.

You may have noticed that I've been delinquent with my haiku lately. I'm not big on posting stuff about myself or my life (well, other than 175 or so haiku that I've posted so far). This is partly because I don't want the internet to know too much about me, and partly because I feel like my life is not particularly blog-worthy. I'm not a one-woman news outlet. I'm not spearheading a world-changing project. I'm not particularly funny. I don't think I even have any readers who aren't close friends or blood relatives.

I write three-line, 17-syllable poems about mundane things. Lately I've been concerned that these little poems aren't very interesting to anyone but me. I've even been having trouble writing them, which never used to happen. Maybe my desperate search for a job, ANY job, is sucking the creativity right out of me. Maybe the internet is just too big a place for my 17 syllables. I feel like my words are getting lost in the void (sort of like all those resumes I've been sending out).

Does anyone have suggestions to cure writer's block? If I mope any harder I just might fall in love with a teenage vampire. Although, despite her admirable moping abilities, I'm pretty sure Bella couldn't spell "ennui" with a dictionary.

Day 177: the beginning of the end

A wisp of autumn
Curled its fingers 'round today
A sly harbinger

Day 176: a polite request

Dear sir or madam:
I don't jog in your toilet
Don't pee in my street

This haiku is part of my "New York City is Not a Giant Urinal" haiku campaign. It's just a grassroots movement for now, but I am confident that with time and effort we can make some real strides. Or at least print some t-shirts. You know, like no smoking signs, but... Well, I'll leave it to your imagination.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 175: Ranting at the ranters

This is hallowed ground?
Blocks of tchotchke vendors and
A few titty bars?

I've been following the (grossly misnamed) "Ground Zero Mosque" debacle as closely as anyone, and I must say I'm finding the entire thing mildly ridiculous. Having worked a few blocks from the World Trade Center site for several years, I can confidently say that while the site itself is indeed important both to individuals and to the entire city, the surrounding area is nothing more than a fairly gritty lower Manhattan neighborhood. I'm tired of people from places like Wasilla acting like they know what it's like to live in New York -- or know anything about life in a diverse society, for that matter.

Curious as to what the area around Ground Zero is really like? Check out this link.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day 174: I think they hear you in Connecticut

Streams of expletives
Precede him down the street like
Large venomous snakes

This man's fluency in profanity was almost as impressive as his vocal projection skills. I heard him coming from two full blocks away. Whoever was on the receiving end of that phone call must have really raised this guy's ire.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day 173: Dog or human?

The sharp scent of piss
Punctuates the sentence of
A summer sidewalk

Day 172: the search continues

Oh so many ways
To give away one's work, but
What about a job?

I am consistently amazed at the many opportunities to work for free in this city. Having just graduated from law school, I'm particularly impressed by job postings for unpaid temporary internships at law firms and government agencies (because it's not like any of us have crippling student loan payments or rent or anything). These "job" postings remind me of the nonsense I've encountered while searching for apartments: "bedroom available, no windows but plenty of privacy," or "I'm renting out my futon for $300/month, no kitchen access, hot female preferred" (these were both real ads).

So, my search for a job that actually pays continues...In the meantime, anyone want to give me a book deal?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day 171: good fortune

One gleaming quarter
Hot from the sun-baked sidewalk
Warms my empty hand

Day 170: When will it rain?

The sere earth beckons
Grass is baked to a dry crisp
Flowers bow to death

(It's been a hot, dry summer around here. Our fire escape basil needs constant watering, and the poor sapling in front of our building [planted by an ambitious public-private initiative devoted to greening NYC] has seen better days. The Long Meadow in Prospect Park looks like a dust bowl. When will it rain?)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day 169

Two sneaky raccoons
Scamper through the dusky park
Like swift masked bandits

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day 167

A determined crowd
Tears through garbage bags, culling
What can be salvaged

(Intrepid Boyfriend and I were walking down Atlantic Avenue late last night when we saw a small, chaotic crowd in the distance, milling around outside of a certain very popular grocery store. As we got closer, it became apparent that the store had just put out its waste in a few small dumpsters. The people frantically ripped the trash bags to shreds, extracting bruised vegetables, expired meats, and rotting fruit. One man whooped as he discovered a carton of unbroken eggs. Another woman neatly laid out her finds on the sidewalk, most of them covered in grime and food scraps, as if envisioning the meals she could prepare with them. There are a many, many hungry people in this city. I've always known that. I see homeless people often, and I've seen people picking through the trash many times before. But I've never seen anything like this.)

Day 166: it's a living

Armed with screwdrivers
A man extracts metal from
Discarded TVs

(Foraging for scrap metal is a big thing around here. It's not uncommon to see a man or a group of men dissecting castoff household appliances on the sidewalk. Old air conditioners and VCRs are actually worth less than the sum of their parts.)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 165: Brooklyn's own Love Canal

Its opaque waters
Unable to support life
The Gowanus sighs

(Snaking its way into Brooklyn like a crooked, filthy finger, the Gowanus Canal is one of the nation's most polluted waterways. Some of you may remember Sludgie, the apparently healthy Minke whale that wandered into the canal in April 2007 and died two days later. The EPA declared the Canal a Superfund site a few months ago. The designation does not appear to have affected rental prices in the neighborhood.)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 164: how'd he get the hose up there?

A man on a roof
Visible from Smith and 9th
Waters tomatoes

(You may not know this, but the subway stop at Smith and 9th Street is actually the highest stop in the system [yes, the subway actually runs above ground in a lot of places, especially in the newly hip outer boroughs]. Like many others the station is in a hopeless state of disrepair, but you can't beat the view.)

Day 163: service with a smile

A sullen lad sells
Coffee from a crooked cart
'Neath the overpass