If any of you ever rode the bus in Seattle, you know that one of that city's gems is its program to put poetry on the bus.
Every year, a non-profit, in coordination with the City, announces a themed poetry competition, with a tight word limit. They work hard to get poets of all ages (i.e. work w/ local schools) to submit. They're up to receiving 3,000 entries a year!
They select a certain number, get a graphic artist to illustrate them in an interesting, thematic way, and then they rotate them through bus routes, so that I hardly ever saw the same one more than twice.
It was magic to get on the bus after work, with my soul sucked out and rained on, and be transformed by a short snippet of wisdom or humor or strange dreams.
Albuquerque has a sporadic past with poetry on its buses. One hero made it happen for years with a non-profit before getting tired. I even tried it once, getting the NHCC to coordinate w/ Dea Rankin at ABQRide.
Now that I'm riding the bus almost every day, seeing the same advertisements for local eateries and tatoo parlors, I'm desperate for a little inspiration.
The last time we tried, we had nothing like DCF to advertise for poems. I think this site could change anything, but maybe it's only me who wants wise words on a bus twice a day?
Here's a sample of Seattle's 2007 Poetry on the Bus competition:
When January Moves Through My Sleep
Winter tears the dresses
off her trees
and lets them burn bare
with a white fire.
She breathes a bored sigh
onto a mortal me.
Blowing me off
her white tablecloth.
And wonders at my tiny suffering.
And never falls in love.
You can read more of them (and learn more about the program) here: