Friday, April 22, 2011

Day 274: Hey stud

It's hard to look tough
When your wallet chain connects
To a fanny pack

It was studded -- just like his belt, jacket, and boots. He looked like the unlikely offspring of Joan Jett and a soccer mom.

Day 273: Again?

Please explain why I am a
Subway barf magnet

Twice in one week? Really? I am now officially terrified of mass transit.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day 272: Rude Awakening

"A" for effort but
8AM is too early
For accordions

But maybe that's just me.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day 271: Fashion Sense

The last thing I see
As I drift off to sleep is
Your ill-fitting pants

I don't like pleats on men.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 270: Living the Nightmare

The doors slide open
You burst forth and unleash the
Contents of your gut

It could have been worse. It could have happened on me. I'm pretty sure I need to start traveling in a bubble.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 269: The Cruelest Month

Spring seems far away
When April is a cold joke
Sent to break your heart

Hopefully by the time this haiku auto-posts in a few days it will be sunny and in the 70s, and I will eat my words.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day 268: Snnnrrrrkkkkk

With a phlegmy snort
You clear your clogged sinuses
Next to my left ear

Sometimes all I want is a little personal space.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day 267: Covert Ops

You think you're so sly
Picking your nose with your thumb
But it's obvious

This is why I don't touch anything, ever, on the subway if I can possibly avoid it.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Day 266: LATFH

Lanky hipster boy
How'd you get those mammoth feet
Through your skinny jeans?

They must have been jeggings.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I would just like to point out that I have officially written and published a whopping 265 haiku. Sure, I'm significantly behind schedule, but I'm only 100 haiku away from my original goal of 365!

Day 265: Snow?

Like winter's last storm
A cascade of flaky white
Blankets your shoulders

I try not to mock people's personal appearances (well, at least not the aspects they can't control), but sometimes I feel the need to report on certain things in a detached pseudo-journalistic manner just because they are so striking. This woman's dandruff was one of those things. Like so many things in New York, it was both impressive and disgusting.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 264: Subway Psychology 101: How Not to Flirt

You know you've struck out
When the girls get off the train
Just to avoid you

There are a few very simple unwritten rules of mass transit. One of the most important ones is that you never stand or sit closer to anyone than is absolutely necessary. It doesn't matter if you look like this guy; you will creep people out if you get too close.

This schlubby guy across from me was trying really hard to chat up an attractive young woman who wanted nothing to do with him. Unfortunately, like so many women she was compulsively polite about it. This let him think he had a chance. She rushed off at the next stop in a blatant Leave-Me-Alone Subway Car Switcharoo*. The guy slid theatrically down the bench seat so that he was next to another woman. He said "hellooo beautiful" and tried again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

This man lives in a sweet oblivion about his own attractiveness.

* Other similar maneuvers include the Broken A/C in August, the Every Inch of this Car is Covered in Urine, the Is That a Dead Body?, and the Oh My God, Someone Just Puked.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 263: Subway Geology

Subway stalactites
Reach for unsuspecting heads
Slowly, saltily

I haven't been able to get a decent picture of these soda straw-like ceiling formations. You can find them in many of the older stations, wherever the water drips after it rains.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Day 262: More Unmentionables

Old school girdles and
Voluminous underpants
Sold by two old men

I forgot to mention that Mattie paid me one of the kindest compliments ever. After we'd been chatting for a long time he paused, smiled, and said "You're a very good listener. Something about you just makes me want to tell you these stories. "

Aw, shucks. Blush.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 261: Old is the New New

Surrounded by change
An old man tells tales of a
Neighborhood that was

The first thing you should know is that I hate shopping. The second thing you should know is that I loathe going to a giant store when all I need are black socks. Imagine my delight when I read this article about a tiny old shop in nearby Carroll Gardens (the author says Cobble Hill. She's wrong.) that could help me to avoid the soul-sucking abyss that is Target. So I went.

Honestly, it was love at first sight. There are boxes of unmentionables stacked to the ceiling, you can buy a floral-print house dress for $8 (I may be back for one -- don't judge), and the sock selection is excellent. I am also now lifelong friends with co-owner Matty, age 83, who spent about an hour telling me stories about the shop, his clientele, and his long Brooklyn life. He was surprised and tickled pink to hear that his shop was mentioned in the Times. You can read an even better article about the shop (with pictures) here on a local blog.

So if you like cheap dry goods and old-timey stories, pay a visit to Marietta -- and encourage Matty to write a book!

I had so much fun that I wrote two haiku. Check back tomorrow.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day 260: Subway Psychology 201: All the World's a Stage

Watch the angry queen
Sing to his reflection, then
Try to pick a fight

I was on the long, long ride back from Queens. The guy across from me was deeply involved in serenading himself in the window behind me. I'm not sure what he was listening to, but his performance involved a lot of finger pointing, feigned tears, and coy looks. Then he caught the eye of the guy next to me, and this happened:

Male Diva (in drawling Queens accent): "You wanna fight?"

Confused Guy: blank stare

He-va: "You don't like me? You don't like what I'm doing?!"

: blank stare

Angry Sputtering Queen
: "Because you don't control me! YOU don't control ME! I CONTROL ME!"

The obvious response was "barely," but I kept my mouth shut. The queen continued his elaborate pantomime until Rockefeller Center, with the addition of frequent obscene gestures aimed at Mr. Blank Stare.

And this, my friends, is why you never make eye contact on the train.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

(B)rain delay

I know I've been delinquent in posting lately. Believe it or not, I have a tidy little backlog of haiku just waiting to be posted, but I've had some other things on my plate -- like starting a brand spankin' new genuine full-time job. That's right. I'm employed. As a lawyer.

Luckily for you, I spend about two hours on the subway most days and considerably more when they send me out to Jamaica.* I hope the F train is prepared for my keen eye and rapier wit.

*For those of you who were about to get jealous, I'm not talking about this Jamaica. I'm talking about this Jamaica.