David Yezzi

Subway Sound-Bytes

F Train 14th St - 5:06PM - 2013_03_05 by Subway Sound-Bytes

Author Biography

David Yezzi was born in 1966 in Albany, New York. He earned a bachelor's degree in theater at Carnegie Mellon and a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from the Columbia University School of Arts. Yezzi is currently teaching poetry at The John Hopkins University.


I don’t say things I don’t want to say

or chew the fat with fat cats just because.

With favor-givers who want favors back,

I tend to pass on going for the ask.

I send, instead, a series of regrets,

slip the winding snares that people lay.

The unruffledness I feel as a result,

the lank repose, the psychic field of rye

swayed in wavy air, is my respite

among the shivaree of clanging egos

on the packed commuter train again tonight.

Sapping and demeaning—it takes a lot

to get from bed to work and back to bed.

I barely go an hour before I’m caught

wincing at the way that woman laughs

or he keeps clucking at his magazine.

And my annoyance fills me with annoyance.

It’s laziness that lets them seem unreal

—a radio with in-and-out reception

blaring like hell when it finally hits a station.

The song that’s on is not the one I’d hoped for,

so I wait distractedly for what comes next.

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This poem has a very apathetic tone to it with the speaker wanting to have as a little social contact with people as possible. This can be seen in the stanza "With favor-givers who want favors back, / I tend to pass on going for the ask." The speaker almost seems to be bordering on depression with the mentions about how it's hard to "get from bed to work and back to be," showing a lack of motivation.

It is basically about a person who is too lazy to bother with people and life in general.
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