Sweet Slumber, by Alan Walowitz
Been a tough day down here, God knows:
this one all knees and chest and feet
and now folded in half on the hard subway bench
to make way for the guy in boxers
who dangles an unlit cigarette from his lips.
Though the “E” never did encourage such sprawling--
just read the car-cards or the faces of the rest--
as it heads for Jamaica Yards all the way east
where all trains go to spend the wee hours
and get half-cleaned and aired-out, or if not
the skeleton crew might at least kick back
and light up a smoke of their own.
But at 3 am, the graveyard cop
has passed with nary a nudge from the nightstick
he’s twirled so all might take proper note--
with only an imperceptible shrug at the one in boxers.
This guy’s seen it all and some fights
are just worth less this time of night
now when all might get to where they’re going
with just a baby-dose of live-and-let-live,
an accompanying sigh that says life’s too damn short
and who the hell would disagree,
least of all the guy with the sketchpad,
him making like he’s found a higher purpose
when he’s pretty much the same as us,
riding the “E” the middle of the night,
finding another way of murdering time.
Alan Walowitz’s poems can be found on the web and off. He’s a Contributing Editor at Verse-Virtual, an Online Community Journal of Poetry, and teaches at Manhattanville College and St. John’s University. His chapbook, Exactly Like Love, was published by Osedax Press in 2016 and is now in its second printing. Go to alanwalowitz.com for more poems and more information.
Tim Savage, a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Peru, is a graphic designer, fine artist, and teacher of art, calligraphy, and web design. He’s won numerous awards in watercolour, oils and pastel painting and is a published illustrator. Tim’s a member of the Art League of Nassau County, the National Art League, and is an active volunteer in the Inkwell Foundation, an organization that brings cartoonists and illustrators together with children in need. He can be found on the web at http://timsavageteacher.com/
11/18/2017 11:45:59 am
A wonderful poem and collaboration! I kept shifting back and forth from sketch to poem. I think a Walowitz/Savage book is in order.
11/19/2017 11:20:39 am
Brilliant art and poem. Great collaboration of two minds.
11/19/2017 12:22:35 pm
Powerful works...thanks for sharing.
11/19/2017 01:52:51 pm
Wonderful collaboration....Tim, I always love your work and the poem adds so much !! Congratulations to you both....
11/19/2017 08:01:53 pm
Your written words along with the accompanying visual was both memorable and illuminating. Looking forward to receiving more of your poems.
11/20/2017 12:58:58 am
Fantastic--no wonder this is getting so much attention. I love the artistry, the rambling subway story line up around and through the middle of us all. Bravo Alan & Tim-masterful works!!
11/20/2017 08:48:05 am
Beautiful, reminds me of a life spent on NYC's trains
11/20/2017 07:07:28 am
I love the poem and and the artwork! It's brilliant!!! We all had a sweet slumber moment. Thank you.
11/20/2017 07:14:48 am
I appreciate the artwork and poem. You really capture the feeling of being on the subway car. I find it to be such a fascinating place that is rarely written about. The new E trains will offer less opportunity for slumber as there are fewer seats.
11/21/2017 06:28:02 pm
Wonderful poem and great illustration. I agree that a poetry book by you illustrated by Tom would be a win win!
11/22/2017 08:50:49 am
Haven't been on a subway for quite some time, but the picture and accompanying poem did bring back memories, Sleeping in one is something I never was able to do...Well done....
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