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Poem: The Train of My Existence

Folwell Dunbar

Folwell Dunbar

It is the train of my existence

At Chartres Street and Press

Anger spews from every exhaust

There are boxcars of duress!

 

It is the train of my existence

Inching forward then lurching back

Maybe the switchman missed a rail

Or perhaps the conductor’s just smoking crack?

 

It is the train of my existence

Where Plessy once made his case

Now rows and rows of angry drivers

Idle as if at the start of a race.

 

It is the train of my existence

That damn Norfolk Southern line

Should I bolt to North Claiborne

Or just strangle myself with a mirliton vine?

 

It is the train of my existence

When I hear that infernal whistle blow

I don’t know whether to scream or cry

Or build a community Gestalt depot?

 

It is the train of my existence

And the biggest knock against Bywater

Like potholes in Old Gentilly

Or a lack of parking in the Quarter.

 

It is the train of my existence

By the tracks on Royal

My radiator is starting to overheat

My blood’s beginning to boil!

 

It is the train of my existence

At The Orange Couch near NOCCA

I guess I’ll have to cancel that appointment

And order yet another tall frothy mocha…

Folwell Dunbar, who may or may not have penned this while waiting for a train at Chartres and Press, lives in the Bywater, downriver and yes, on the “wrong” side of the tracks. Send your own creative works to [email protected]

 

Folwell Dunbar is a New Orleans educator, artist and survivor of many things, from roaches to German U-boats and heartbreak. He is putting together a collection of these short stories and survival tales called He Falls Well (his name is pronounced “fall well”). NolaVie is honored to preview some of those stories here. Email him [email protected].