Muni buses were resplendent this past year with new art commissioned by The City, from paintings and sketches to — in a first for the Muni Art program — poetry.
Yes, scribes from former U.S. poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera to former San Francisco poet laureate Diane di Prima graced Muni buses and trains with words to inspire riders’ morning commutes in 2018.
It certainly isn’t the first foray into Muni poetry. The now-defunct Muni Haiku project collected frustrated and joyous rider poetry for years, and the Muni Diaries program has featured Muni performances of all stripes, including poetry.
But with the start of a new year, as the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is poised to announce new works in the four-year old Muni Art program, as it does every January, the San Francisco Examiner decided to ask readers to try their own hand at penning Muni poems.
Below is a smattering of reader works submitted on social media, in no particular order.
The 49 is coming in 2 minutes
Then it’s arriving,
Except it isn’t
Then it’s coming in 18 minutes
Then 2 minutes later it actually arrives
I have serious
And I feel like Muni
Makes them worse
— Eric Kingsbury
The gray bus idles / Behind the stalled robot car / And the rogue scooter
— Justin Hibbard
The biggest problem with the bus / Is all the cars in front of us / And so I’d really like to see / Red lanes for every artery
— Mike Schiraldi
O J, J, wherefore art thou J?
Deny thy rider and refuse thy schedule.
Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love
And I’ll no longer be a rider.
— City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees member Alex Randolph
Stop going so slow,
Damnit, stop blocking traffic.
— Erik Visuano
Train moving mad slow but inching closer
Slouching toward Bethlehem
To be fed
Is MTA not poetry in motion?
Very slow motion?
poetry in motionlessness
— Janice Li, BART Board Director
In the mornings
Muni in the Richmond
Is surprisingly punctual
But in the
It is quite
— @CrystalPepsi via Twitter
The 38’s crowded, the 1 is still AWOL / I’d read the New Yorker but I’ve hit the paywall
I’ve waited so long for the 22 Fillmore / I’ll wait twenty minutes, half an hour, and still more…
Now, at long last, the 8 Bayshore is here! / how long til San Bruno? A few months, a whole year?
It’s built like a tube but it acts like a funnel / congestion galore in the Market Street tunnel
Callooh, callay, where is the K? / Must I wait all flipping day?
— Neil Ballard, SFMTA Citizen’s Advisory Council member
To climb up the hill or wait for the muni…
Oh 27 bus, won’t you rescue me?
I checked in the app and still can’t believe it:
“Next tracked bus in 53 minutes”
— @thisisbenl via Twitter
Darn forgot my scarf
Not because it’s cold outside
To cover my nose
— Cindy Changar
As I boarded the MUNI downtown
I tried to turn my frown upside down
Although I was in a rush
There was no moving this bus
We lay still in the tunnel
So I made a funnel
And placed it on my head like the crown of a clown
— Rachel Howard