#HowlWrites Featuring Bob Holman

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Howl Happening features a new writer each month for the #HowlWrites series. Today we are excited to present Bob Holman’s “Grandly and Centrally”. 

“Grandly and Centrally” was commissioned by the MTA for a centennial reading at Grand Central station. Bob Holman is a native New Yorker from Kentucky currently living over the Bowery Poetry Club, which he founded in 2002. He’s written seventeen books, made several films about poetry and endangered languages, and serves on the board of Howl Arts Inc. 



Grandly and Centrally 


Grandly! and Centrally! 

Locally universally

Typically cryptically 



You come here to go there

Literally everywhere

Hip trippin Flip floatin

No me-and-ering


Grandly! and Centrally! 

Methodically centrifugally

Take you where ya wanna be

Multidirectional simultaneity


Zipping Higgs bosun, reality’s gluon 

The station sits formidably. Maddeningly. Meddlesomely.

The ratchety manifest. The voluminous steamer chest.

The rivets and pivots and divots of rush


A trip to the seashore—Picnic-In-A-Box

Pickles, gefilte fish, a schmear and some lox

Fried chicken, varenykys, collards and grits

Hot dogs and frogs legs — don’t dish the dish


Tamales, pasteles, 

Spaghetti and gravy

Call in the Navy! 

More hot sauce and quick


And the goat’s still unroasted  

And  the bagel’s untoasted

And the toddler is gurgling glee

At the constellation ceiling 

The gods still are stealing 

Glances at humans as they 

Bump dodge careen


You cross time with space, cross space with time 

Just so you can rhyme “sublime” with “sublime”

And the blizzardin’ tickets keep fallin’ from Outer Outer space 

And  Sun Ra is smiling through the Conductor’s face

And this glorious moment can’t keep up with the human race 


Cause yr waltzing in Grand Central with the Love of yr Life

A single accordion is playing yr life

The moment is stuck and recycles again 

Just because it stops doesn’t mean that it ends


So keep lining up, Chumps

Facebook the rumps

Lined up before you 

In sweltering clumps


Maybe this is your stop

Maybe this is where it ends

Someone passes you getting on

For them it begins


For you’re going Somewhere.

Somehow. Sometime.

And the place you will land 

You don’t know with whom you will dine 


But some Strega, Picayunes, 

And a ghost on the dunes

Your family’s tunes

They toast randomly


For it’s Grandly, so Grandly 

And everso Centrally

Let’s call it a Century!  

Grand Central Station! 



Are you a writer working or living in the Lower East Side / East Village? Do you want to be considered for the #HowlWrites feature? Email michelle@howlarts.org for more info!

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