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!
You come here to go there
Hip trippin Flip floatin
Grandly! and Centrally!
Take you where ya wanna be
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more info!