Passengers wait for the bus at the Market and Powell streets Muni stop on Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Frustrated by slow-moving Muni buses? Try poetry

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

3 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

Abandonment issues

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

Text message:

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

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