Cars full of heads plugged up with earbuds
Fruity candies for $1! Not for no basketball team!
Sweaty backpacks grow out the sides of beer guts
Twins can’t keep their eyes closed, mom neither
Surprise text in the tunnel on a cracked iPhone screen
This is the last stop—everyone must get off the train
Get me on the first train home.
Push me on the first train home.
Shove me on the first train home.
Squeeze me in the first train home.
For you I’d take the first train home.
My love he took that first train home.
Inspired by: Tracy Bassill’s “Urbic,” 2014 winner, which combines Urban Studies terminology with the Arabic language and unites them visually with their English meaning.
Symbol: #10 of 45
Poetic Form: This is my loose interpretation of the zajal, a form derived from Arabic folk song traditions that first became popular in the 11th and 12th centuries. Zajals were performed in public competitions, complete with call-and-response audience participation. This oral tradition continues today, and the zajal is used between two poets or groups of poets—like a dance-off, but with words!
Process: The title of #10 is “Rush Hour.” So all I did was ride the F train to Queens on a Friday night at 6 pm and take notes.