l l i i a a dot com

My love for the New York subway system is at an all-time low these days, partly because the two stops closest to me are both boiling hot in the summertime, and so lately I've been trying as much as possible to only go places I can either walk to or take a dirt cheap cab ride to. My favorite thing about the subway—the airconditioned cars aside—has always been the Poetry In Motion program, for which the the MTA and the Poetry Society of America choose poems and excerpts "short enough to be readable on one of our subway or bus cards" every year and place them for commuters to read, between ads for Dr Zizmor.

The following poem by Alicia Partnoy is from last year's selection; I like it so much each time I've seen it I've quickly scribbled it down in order to remember to post it, but for some reason it's taken me an entire year to share it with you. Sorry about that.

Communication

I am talking to you about poetry
and you say
when do we eat.
The worst of it is
I’m hungry too.

Yo te hablo de poesía
y vos me preguntás
a qué hora comemos.
Lo peor es que
yo también tengo hambre.

Communication is from Partnoy's 1992 collection, Revenge of the Apple/Venganza de la manzana; her latest collection is 2005's Volando bajito. In 1998 she published a book of stories about her time in a camp for dissidents during Argentina's Dirty War: The Little School: Tales of Disappearance & Survival in Argentina.

Note: this entry was originally published on my old blog at cheesedip.com (sadly, a domain I no longer own) at some point between 1998 and 2008. Only a handful out of the thousands of posts from that time period are currently on this site, though I hope to publish them here eventually.

This entry currently has 4 Comments.

Yeah, that's totally my favorite subway poem too. Mainly because it completely encapsulates my feelings about poetry. (You can kinda guess which of the two actors I am in that one.)

June 24, 2006 1:28 PM

That's one of my favorites too. Thanks for remembering it!

June 26, 2006 9:17 AM

Thanks for your kind words on my poem. My last name is Partnoy...immigrations in Argentina changed my grandfather's last name. Best. Alicia

November 2, 2006 1:05 AM

Whoops, sorry about that. Changing it now. Thanks for leaving a comment–and writing such a lovely poem, of course!

November 30, 2006 12:00 AM

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