Thursday, June 30, 2011

Day 303: Rock and Roll

Grizzled metalhead
Like his Motorhead t-shirt
Has seen better days

He'd cut the sleeves off to show off his arms, which were covered in tattoos of big-haired rock stars, flames, the AC/DC logo, and an inexplicable memorial portrait of Waylon Jennings.

I was going to link to Motorhead's official site, but it's kind of scary. Not so much because of the skulls and stuff, but because those guys are pushing 70. Also, it looks like the meth is catching up with them.

Day 302: Reading

Immersed in a book
Her delicate lined face shows
The beauty of age

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 301: Ouch

A long sharp hatpin
Twirls across the subway floor
Looking for a foot

Is your tetanus up to date?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day 300: <--------Day 300! Hell yeah!

Sweet coconut bits
Enrobed in burnt sugar, like
Edible jewels

Nuts 4 Nuts is my kryptonite, so let's raise a tiny wax paper bag of sugary deliciousness in celebration.

Day 299: What are you looking at?

That's right, Mr. Ink
Huff and puff when people stare
At your tattooed face

While I'm sure most body art has deep spiritual and artistic significance, I have to assume that at least part of its purpose is to attract attention. If you really don't want people to gawk at your tattoo, get it on your butt.

Day 298: Snow White

Her froth of white hair
Like a crisp shiny meringue
Fresh from the oven

I would rather go snow white than gray, but I'm not sure I want my hair to move into confection-helmet territory.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Reader Submission: A Modest Submission from 6feet1

From the very funny 6feet1, who occasionally rants here:

Friend, that subway pole
Is not yours. Hands only, please.
Are you a stripper?

Ah yes, the subway pole dance. As someone who tries really hard not to touch anything on the subway, I don't understand the people who wrap their entire bodies around the pole.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day 297: As seen on 42nd Street

A Ghandi-esque man
Pedals a girl's bicycle
Pink streamers flying

That's a new one for me. The man was tall, frail, and clad in a long white tunic and trousers. He rode his pink and white child-sized bike down the crowded sidewalk next to Bryant Park, smiling and waving his best Queen Elizabeth wave. There's a story there.

Day 296: Growing pains, part II

This city treats you
Like a standoffish lover
You can't bear to leave

Anybody else ever feel that way about this place?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Day 295: Growing Pains

New York breaks your heart
Then patches it together
With one kind gesture

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Day 294: The fashion show continues

That is not a dress
It might be a tourniquet
But it's not a dress

Monday, June 20, 2011

Day 293: Summer fashion

That skirt would be small
On a woman half your size
On you it's a belt

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Day 292: Lady Luck

A moment of hope
The frantic scratching of a
Lottery ticket

Better luck next time, man.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day 291: Tick tick

A droopy baby
All ringlets and chubby legs
Rubs his sleepy eyes

I'm not very interested in babies, but for some reason this little cherub awakened all the emotions that I usually reserve for Cairn terriers.

Day 290: Is this heaven?

The girl in cutoffs
And her blond, corn-fed husband
Look like Iowa

I've never been to Iowa, but I've had a good feeling about it since 1989. Why 1989? Because that's when Field of Dreams came out.

I'm guessing these fresh-faced kids were transplants from someplace where no one throws bags of chicken carcasses out the kitchen window and public urination is minimal.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day 289: Need a tissue?

A red-eyed woman
Wipes her nose on her head scarf
Then sneezes on it

As a frequent sinus infection sufferer, I definitely know the "any port in a storm" feeling that happens when you're caught without a tissue. I've turned to napkins, stray pieces of paper, fossilized purse tissues, even large maple leaves. But I've always made on effort to clean my drippy nose with things that were not attached to my person.

Also, I really should have a tag for "hygiene." So much of my haiku involves nail clipping and nose-blowing.

Day 288: Everyone's a Tour Guide

An old New Yorker
Advises French tourists on
Sites not to be missed

She was a leggy Black woman in short shorts with a heavy French accent and two friends who didn't speak any English. He was a silver-haired man with a yarmulke and a briefcase. They were so engrossed in their conversation that it looked like they knew each other well. Then I realized she was holding a guidebook and he was saying stuff like "you HAVE to go to the top of the Empire State Building. That's where I proposed to my wife! Oh, and the Botanic Garden -- don't miss it!"

As much as we all love to hate tourists (and I work in Midtown, so I'm usually not pretending), I defy you to find a New Yorker capable of turning down the chance to brag about something we've got that they don't have anywhere else.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day 287: Nobody likes a litterbug

If you're throwing trash
Out of your car window, then
Please start with yourself

Because anyone who flings a handful of dirty tissues out their window at an intersection is a real class act.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 286: Super Fresh

Her shirt screams "SEXY!!"
And she's got a Conway bag
Full of Summer's Eve

I didn't even know they still made that stuff. Granted, she bought it at Conway, where it could have been sitting in the basement next to the mattresses since 1987.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day 285: Stink Memory

You got off the train
But you left something behind
We can still smell you

Summer in New York begs the question: can you die from an odor?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day 284: Heat Wave

Welcome to New York's first official heat wave of the year.

We swim through the streets
Choking on humidity
And collective funk

I have no delusions about remaining fresh as a daisy on my commute when the mercury hits 80. Once it hits 95, I no longer have the energy to be embarrassed about my pit stains.

We can't install our A/C unit because they are doing construction on the front of our building and all it will do is suck in dusty construction air. Also, there is a very real possibility that it will be knocked out by falling bricks. I'm safely at work, where I can enjoy air conditioned splendor. Patient Boyfriend has strict instructions to relocate to the public library (with both cats in tow) if it gets too hot. That should be interesting.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Day 283: Variations on a theme

Somewhere under the
East River, Brooklyn begins
And welcomes you home

With a resounding ear pop, in my case. But maybe that's just because I have weird Eustachian tubes. And if you don't already love Brooklyn, these amusing/ridiculous signs brought to you by local buffoon and perennial borough president Marty Markowitz just might win you over.

P.S. Many people insist that no one in Brooklyn actually says "Fuhgeddaboutit." Those people have never met my pharmacist.

Day 282: Subtle Signals

Far underwater
You can hear the difference
Between the boroughs

Riding the F train through the underwater stretch between East Broadway (Manhattan) and York Street (Brooklyn) always makes my ears pop a few times. Whenever I am coming home I feel an immense and inexplicable relief when the train leaves Manhattan (although I get antsy if I think too much about being in a tunnel underwater). I pretty sure the pop is the sound that the invisible underwater line separating the two boroughs makes when you cross it.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day 281: Vulnerability

Without my iPod
My commuting bubble breaks
Leaving me exposed

Sometimes technology creates a protective shell with which we are loath to part.

If you take out your headphones, people might try to engage you in conversation or ask you for directions. The horror.

Day 280: The Fever

It is good to share
Except when you're listening
To Justin Bieber

Take a stand against iPod headphone leakage. In related news, I love this story from the Times a few years ago.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Day 279: Planning ahead

Two mothers make lists
Of the things their kids will work
Out in therapy

I'm not a parent, but I already have a mental list going on the off chance that I do have a child one day.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Day 278: Tweezerman

You reach in your nose
Grasp a nose hair and yank with
Obvious gusto

He was really enjoying himself.

Day 277: Smoke and mirrors

A seat opens up
I gleefully slide away
From your hacking cough

Smoker's cough knows no season.

On the subject of smoking, kudos to NYC for banning smoking in public parks. Ku-DON'Ts to Mayor Bloomberg for expecting regular people to enforce it. I was at the Boathouse over the weekend and a surly bikini-clad young woman lit up an obligatory American spirit. I toyed with the idea of reminding her that it's now illegal to smoke in parks, but she looked like she could have kicked my ass.