Poem for Display in a City Bus

A reckless poem crushed between ads —
there’s nothing to see here, folks.
Keep moving.


I’m not done writing tool odes, yet, don’t worry! I just got this other idea for what will probably be a shorter series — poems to be placed in public spaces, written with an awareness of their contexts. I’d welcome suggestions of other locations for these poems.

For examples of actual public poems, see the archives of NYC’s Poetry in Motion project, the Pennsylvania Center for the Book’s Public Poetry Project, and especially the CityPoem World Index at the New Urbanist website ErasmusPC.

Series NavigationPoem for Display in a Subway Car →

Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

7 Replies to “Poem for Display in a City Bus”

  1. I quite like the idea, and the links. Portland has Poetry in Motion, on our buses (taken after a Milwaukee project, I believe) and a Poetry Bridge walk series, which I have failed to participate in. But those are impermanent…paper in the bus and virtual on the walk…

    These, written in space, are another thing altogether.

    Who said “poets are traiters”, first, or recognizably…don’t take it wrong :-) , you know what I am so poorly trying to say.

    I think the library poem would be lovely inscribed in glass or metal or wood at the check-out queue or building entrance…

  2. deb, thanks. I don’t know who originally said that about poets being traitors, if anyone. I had the impression I was paraphrasing something, but maybe not.

    I actually have very mixed feelings about the official placement of poems. I’d be far less queasy with my words spray-pained somewhere than with the kind of permanent inscription you describe. Thanks for the kind thought, though.

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