Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Trainspotting

I lament the US having a joke of a national railway system. Our Interstate Highway System (officially, the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways) is "the largest highway system in the world" and as well as "the largest public works project in history." (President-elect Obama promises "to create the largest public works construction program" since this Republican president's precedent of fifty years ago.)

But the train is the poet's transport of choice, at least in a UK way of thinking. (They can also "chunnel-train" to "the continent" and connect to the Euro railway system.) I wish the US had a respectable railway system. Maybe it's not practical, economically or otherwise. (People want to go from NYC to LA in half-a-day, not half-a-week.)

But I can still dream.

(The following was prompted by Billy Mills' Poster poems: railway lines.)



I take a trip with Hitchcock on
    the North By Northwest night express.
But Strangers, we are, on that Train,
    until The Lady Vanishes.
The train's the stage for cloistered chase,
    The metaphor for phallic preps.
Each time I pass from car to car
    It's precisely 39 Steps.