Railroads, Trains, People

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Blaise Cendrars

“Tell me, Blaise, are we very far from Montmartre?’WorriesForget your worries

All the stations full of cracks tilted along the way

The telegraph wires they hang from

The grimacing poles that gesticulate and strangle them

The world stretches lengthens and folds in like an accordion tormented by a sadistic hand

In the cracks of the sky the locomotives in anger

Flee

And in the holes,

The whirling wheels the mouths the voices

And the dogs of misfortune that bark at our heels

The demons are unleashed

Iron rails

Everything is off-key

The broun-roun-roun of the wheels

Shocks

Bounces

We are a storm under a deaf man’s skull…

‘Tell me, Blaise, are we very far from Montmartre?’

Hell yes, you’re getting on my nerves you know very well we’re far away

Overheated madness bellows in the locomotive

Plague, cholera rise up like burning embers on our way

We disappear in the war sucked into a tunnel

Hunger, the whore, clings to the stampeding clouds

And drops battle dung in piles of stinking corpses

Do like her, do your job

‘Tell me, Blaise, are we very far from Montmartre?

” ― Blaise CendrarsProse of the Trans-Siberian and of the Little Jeanne de France

Suicide by train is also popular in many developed countries. Without ready access to firearms, suicidal people often turn to trains. —Der Spiegel, July 27, 2011

 

Once it happens you can’t remember
how you started out: innocent,
barreling into the tunnel,
shooting out at each station
like a dolphin out of a dim green pool.
Pneumatic doors inhale open, puff shut,
lock with a solid thump.

Up and down the line, fifty times a day,
it’s a long slow song. You
feel the rumble as much as hear it.
In your dim green trance
the words retain wonder:
Vorsicht, Türe werden geschloßen.
Caution, the doors are closing.

Then the first time:
someone decides darkness will answer,
hides out in the tunnel,
steps out in front of the train
like he knows where he’s going,
steps out at you, dying at you,
knowing you can’t stop in time.

Now each time the doors close,
they seal you in. You are a human bullet
shot into the tunnels, hoping no one
will block the light far ahead,
each station one minute’s reprieve.”
― Karen Greenbaum-Maya

“Trains tap into some deep American collective memory.”

― Dana FrankLocal Girl Makes History: Exploring Northern California’s Kitsch Monuments

Ogden Nash

“At least when I get on the Boston train I have a good chance of landing in the South Station
And not in that part of the daily press which is reserved for victims of aviation.”
― Ogden NashHard Lines

Trains

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