Poetry 1st Place – Literary LEO 2015

I still ride TARC (blahzay-blahzay)

by Bernard Clay

I still ride the tarc buses…

with their pissy smelling seats
gum stuck to feet

odor of butt and malt liquor
overhead fluorescent light flickers

back bench full of shopping bags
seats tattooed with graffiti tags

redundant ringing of stop bells
old vets spittin’ tall tales

lames in fly-away collars
dudes peeping girls itching to holla’

grease spots on the window that seeped from hair
from bums stretched out asleep who just don’t care

little bad-ass kids’ screams
old lady evil-eye beams

headphones blastin’ until ears are sore
old transfers and pay stubs littering the floor

disproportionate abundance of the black race
bus drivers clutching cans of mace

when shipping us goods from the hoods to malls
this concrete ship rarely stalls

rushin’ us to serve on the trip out
our bodies be in-route

economically packed
from the front to the back

and them raising prices all the time
to be middle-passage confined

in the belly of the steel beast
and when us suburban laborers are released

late they try to demonstrate an attitude
that’s when I get rude

because on the way back to our shanty township
the buses breakdown and be ill equipped

worn seat vinyl and bald tires,
and drivers who in two days will retire

so I get home at midnight my work-journey hours equaling ten
and the next day… guess what? I gotta do it all again

just the blahzay-blahzay on the tarc everyday
why? it’s my only way