Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

04 Mar 2009, 8:35 a.m.

Poem: "BART Spokesman Linton Johnson"

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2009 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

I wrote this in September 2008.

BART spokesman Linton Johnson
You speak for the trains
You must say so many things
Joyous and doleful
When the trains are stopped
Or when ridership is up
Or when the stations cry out for murals or bleach
You hear what the tunnels say
They whisper in your ears as you ride
Like a regular passenger
Out of uniform, out of sight
The seats and the cars plead with you
The turnstiles and ticket machines click and tick
As you watch the security cameras
They thank you for saying what they cannot
Each conductor drives one train
And announces its stops and destination
Only you sing of BART the whole
From Dublin to Pittsburg to Fremont to Richmond to SFO
Your heart MacArthur, centered above the freeway
Sing of the vessels that carry us from desk to bed
Speak for the trains
BART spokesman Linton Johnson


04 Mar 2009, 9:55 a.m.

I find this immensely pleasing.

Sumana Harihareswara
04 Mar 2009, 9:56 a.m.

Thanks! In retrospect, the spirit of this piece is similar to that of "Dance, Soterios Johnson, Dance".

Benjamin Mako Hill
04 Mar 2009, 20:55 p.m.

Awesome. :)

Sumana Harihareswara
11 Mar 2009, 8:01 a.m.