GOTTA GO!

Gotta go now
Wanna sing but day job pays bills
Run to catch the ‘bway
Pressed against other cogs in the car
We’re a movable beast
You can taste the air in here
and that ain’t a good thing

Gotta hurry up
Stop by coffee shop, grab a bialy and
some hot dark that speeds through veins
and makes brains go pop
In my cube 7 x 7
Hamster Heaven but Human Hell

Gotta run to help fix the copier
Maintenance can’t reach the tricky places
My fingers are nimble
I can take apart anything and I
joke with the guys and let them see some leg
as I crawl on the floor doing their job
I make soul-sucking misery look fun

Gotta go home to my wretched box
So square even the wallpaper is plaid
Swear to god it’s plaid
Gig tonight, no pay but exPOSURE
Pose in the mirror, pouty pretty

Gotta get to the gig
Back on the ‘bway downtown
This city is laid out in perfect lines
The A, B, C
The 1, 2, 3
The RR, bastard child of the rest

Follow the tic-tacs to find
a place to be, to become, to behave
but still believe it’s lasted
as long as it has
Here in the Gotham Game

Gotta go again
Shouldn’t’a drunk so much water
Surviving the City is easy
as long as you graph the clean bathrooms
on your mental map

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For Joseph Harker’s “Naming Constellations,” an ekphrastic poem (written to an image or inspired by same). I chose the Piet Mondrian piece, “Broadway Boogie,” but to tell the truth, I didn’t notice the name before I wrote this – I picked the image because it made me nervous, and that reminded me about deadlines and there was also a resemblance to subway maps! So there you go. Thanks, Joseph; you’re an inspiration even when you don’t throw us a prompt.  (This is also in the “ticker tape” of poems at Poets United.)

Two notes:  The ‘bway’ is not Broadway; it’s our old nickname for the subway (or the tube, for my European friends).  The City is always and forever New York; no real New Yorker would ever refer to it as The Big Apple, either – unless you’re a surviving vaudevillian, for whom that expression had true meaning, because playing New York City was indeed getting a bite of the “big apple.”  Bit of history for you!

The painting is a low-resolution image and is in no way fully representative of the original piece. Mondrian, a superb talent; this is meant in tribute to his work, not a “snatch and grab.” Peace, Amy