This section of my poetry was written when I was at Stony Brook University. All of them were written between September of 1989 and May of 1991. These are 4 out of about 30 that I wrote while there.
(I was chatting with my friend in college one day and he said to me, "Women are like trains". An hour later, I wrote this. Although I originally intended this poem to be about relationships, it means something different to anyone who reads it. People have felt it was about friendship, job security, and life in general.)
A train whizzes past every few minutes.
If you miss one, another will be along shortly.
The next one might even have more room for you inside.
You may miss a train by a few seconds and try to chase it.
Sometimes, persistence pays off and the train will stop to let you in.
Other times, you are ignored and the train goes on without you.
Some trains are express and pass you right by.
Others are local and let everyone in.
You have to be in the right place at the right time to catch the right
Even if you know exactly which train you want to take, it may never show.
If it does arrive, the door may close before you can even get on.
The next train may not come for a long time.
If the train you get on isn't going in the right direction, you will have
to switch to another train.
Sometimes, you don't realize you have been steered wrong until you have
traveled a long way.
It is very difficult to find your way back.
You may take a train for only one stop before you realize you have to get
At least then you are not too far away from your starting point.
That makes it easier to find your way back and start over.
If you think you are on the right train, you hope for a smooth ride.
There are times, however, when the train gets derailed or changes course.
Then you have to find another train going in your direction.
With so many trains going to so many different places, it is hard to pick
the right one.
Once you realize you are on the right train, you can relax and enjoy the
With any luck, your stop is also the train's last stop and you get to
stay on until the end of the line.
Nowadays, people hop on trains without even thinking.
They look for the most convenient stop, get on and arrive at the train's
final destination, rather than their own.
Most train rides these days end in train wrecks.
(This seems to be everyone's favorite).
There's nothing to do.
Classes are over for the day.
All of my studying is done.
All of my homework is done.
I've finished eating dinner.
It's too early to go to sleep.
Nobody is around.
My friends are all busy.
Some are still studying.
Some are still eating.
Some are sleeping.
Some just aren't where they should be.
I can't go anywhere.
I don't have a car.
There is no money in my wallet.
There is no money in my bank account.
I am broke.
There aren't any television sets around.
The radio isn't working.
I already relaced my sneakers.
Then I made my bed.
Then I sat down to think of something to do.
I sat on my freshly made bed.
My bed is no longer freshly made.
I read the names in the phone book.
There are too many people named Smith.
I read the ingredients of my toothpaste.
It contains something called "Sodium Lauryl Sulfate".
I'm switching brands tomorrow.
Maybe I should make my bed again.
Maybe I should relace my sneakers again.
Maybe I should read the phone book again.
Maybe I should brush my teeth.
Forget I said that.
That was a bad idea.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.
You've got to be kidding me.
I wish there was something to do.
But there's nothing to do.
I hate boredom.
(This is about an impossible love, a love that can never be returned, and the symptoms associated with that kind of love.)
My heart is suffering from an illness.
There is a sad aura surrounding it.
Its beats have been very irregular.
The pump seems to get weaker each day.
The disease seems to be spreading.
My brain has been affected as well.
My entire body is exhibiting symptoms.
Concentration and hunger are no longer a part of my life.
My mouth talks non-stop about my disease.
My eyes see only what they desire.
My ears listen but they do not hear.
People seem to abandon their infected friends.
The ticker is always the first to suffer.
Sluggish blood is being pumped through my body.
There is only one cure for my illness.
The medication will never be mine.
I will suffer through this for a while.
Sooner or later, the symptoms will subside.
But the disease will just be in remission.
It will return.
My disease is not contagious.
It just develops in the body without warning.
Nobody wants it but everyone is susceptible to it.
At least it doesn't leave any physical scars.
If someone tells a joke to you
That's humorous but immature,
The best reaction you could have
Is giggle slightly, nothing more.
It doesn't mean you're childish
Or that you lack ability
To keep yourself straight-faced and blank;
It means you have maturity.
You can't live life without a smile.
You must enjoy the things you do.
Just don't let loose and go too far;
Maturity has limits too.
So, when they joke, remember this:
You are allowed to laugh a bit.
Don't laugh too hard and seem a fool
If they don't have excessive wit.
Maturity will let you know
When grave and solemn fit the mood
Or when it's time to have some fun
And it's all right to say, "Hey, dude!"