Tell Me About This Poem At My Subway Stop!
January 23, 2012 3:37 PM   Subscribe

Can someone tell me the author and history of this poem engraved into the bricks on the floor by the inbound train at the Davis Square T stop in Somerville MA?

This is the poem I'm taking about:

At 7am watching the cars on the bridge

Everybody's going to work. Well.

Not me. I'm not

Going to work

-James Moore

Who is James Moore? When was this poem engraved? What is the history of the poem? Why is it there?

It's great that such a pessimistic poem is there right at commuters' feet. Is this guy not going to work because he's staying home to write, or his he going to jump?

This has been on my mind since early December. I've grown to really love these lines.
posted by shushufindi to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Jim Moore.

posted by Floydd at 3:43 PM on January 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Are you sure it's pessimistic? To me it's joyous. Quietly.
posted by kalessin at 4:50 AM on January 24, 2012

The poems were part of the Arts on the Line project, so the bricks were laid down sometime in the mid-1980s. "At 7.00 A.M., Watching the Cars on the Bridge" was originally published in The Nation, December 2, 1968 (p. 598), along with Moore's poems "I Want to Become Thin," "How to Close the Great Distance Between People," "The Sky," "Flute Song," "For a Moment," and "Rain-Drop."

I don't think it's pessimistic, either. More of a "Screw you, Mr. Businessman!" 60s-counterculture type poem. Thanks for this.
posted by steef at 6:36 AM on January 24, 2012 [3 favorites]

Thanks for your help! Any mbta insiders out there who can tell me how this particular poem was chosen? Has it been written about in Boston newspapers?
posted by shushufindi at 1:19 PM on January 24, 2012

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