Vol. 19, No. 4,886W - The American Reporter - December 22, 2013




by Randolph T. Holhut
Chief of AR Correspondents
Dummerston, Vt.
December 28, 2010
On Native Ground
TURNING WASTE INTO ENERGY IN VERMONT

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BROOKLYN, N.Y., Dec. 27, 2010-- What a glorious, glorious old-time blizzard!

It is sooooo beautiful, this new Brooklyn, and the plows can't keep up with the 4-ft. drifts.

In returning from Manhattan, where I went to see the film "Social Network" with my friend Howard, I boarded the D Train around 8:45 p.m., which then decided to go on the N tracks.

And then, just before arriving at Bay Parkway, the station where I switch to a bus under normal circumstances, the train came to a stop. And we sat.

And sat.

Two hours later, as people in my car started to grumble (and none more than the conductor, a great woman named Joanna, she was finally able to get through on her failing radio - they prohibit cell phone calls to the control center.

They said the switches were frozen stuck (it wasn't that cold out, was it?). I offered to pee on them to steam them up - after waiting three hours I had enough stored up - and sought volunteers.

Suddenly, the announcement came that the train would move, slowly, slowly up to the last of the nine trains already stuck in line. After another half hour, we were all able to walk through our train and into the next one. We walked a gauntlet down the entire train to the very last door, which just barely reached the back edge of the station.

I ran to the bus stop to catch the No. 6, but - of course - there were no buses running.

So we walked, our small D Train army - after using the toilet in a friendly Chinese restaurant.

And walked.

And walked. As I said, it was cold and windy, but glorious! Cars were strewn all over the roads and abandoned, plows unable to clear the streets fast enough, the burning stench of rubber - or is it polyvinyl something-or-other? - filling the air as the tires smoked and screamed and spun in vain.

Two miles later, I trudged home at last, to Cropsey Ave. in Bensonhurst, at 1:30 a.m.

Apropos of all this, here's a poem I wrote years ago, as fitting today as ever, from my book, The Permanent Carnival:

PLOWING THE SNOW

In Brooklyn, snow is plowed
soon as it falls. Uninspired monitors
measure every inch.

What is the name for snow,
you who so adeptly sweep aside the beauty
as though there's nothing to be learned?

Do you know the true names of things?
What is it that gushes but does not weep?

In Brooklyn, moon is clogged
with drizzling soot. Beneath the boardwalk,
a man stares up between the cracks.

What is the name for touch,
you who so adeptly sweep aside all warmth
as though there's nothing to be learned?

Do you know the true names of things?
What is it that dies but is reborn?

In Brooklyn, rush-hour milieu
crushes into the trains, transport to boredom
MetroCard Gold

What is the name for movement,
you who so adeptly sweep aside revolt
as though there's nothing to be learned?

Do you know the true names of things?
What is it that moves but goes nowhere?

In Brooklyn, Bloomberg sweeps the streets
of loiterers. If you are not at work
you are arrested.

What is the name for freedom,
you who so adeptly sweep aside the homeless
as though there's nothing to be learned?

Do you know the true names of things?
What is it that produces but never owns? In Brooklyn, it snows too quick
to be removed at once. Alternate
side of the street parking

Suspended today.

Mitchel Cohen is an organizer with the Green Party in Brooklyn.

Copyright 2013 Joe Shea The American Reporter. All Rights Reserved.

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