The syllables of safety


In case you were distracted by all the finger counting in last night’s Best New Thing In The World Today segment, below is the written transcript, broken into the appropriate lines and stanzas for you to read at your own finger tapping pace.

Today in New York,
A perfect storm of gridlock;
Let me count the ways:

The President’s here
to do some campaign events.
It’s matinee day.

It’s also the night
They light the 30 Rock tree
to jumpstart Christmas.

Then there’s the rumor
that Justin Bieber’s in town,
adding to the crush.

There are lots of signs
Warning drivers of gridlock
all around New York.

Tonight’s best new thing
Combines both art and traffic
In one neat package.

It is a campaign
To make pedestrians think
Before crossing streets.

Some artful road signs
With messages in haiku
For example, this:

“Oncoming cars rush
Each a 3-ton bullet.
And you, flesh and bone.”

“Too averse to risk
to chance the lottery. Yet
steps into traffic.”

“A sudden car door,
Cyclist’s story rewritten.
Fractured narrative.”

Poet John Morse is
The guy who thought these signs up.
Some are in Spanish.

Haiku signs are now
Installed at busy corners
All around New York.

If I sound funny
It’s because I’m trying to
Count my syllables.

You know, a story
about haiku done in the
same poetic form?

How am I doing?
I will not do this again.
I have hurt my brain.

I think I prefer
Iambic pentameter.
More like normal speech.

Road sign haiku art
in the big mean old city:
Best New Thing In The…

The syllables of safety