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Avoiding The Subway Hustlers And Entrepreneurs (By: CharmLite)

Avoiding The Subway Hustlers And Entrepreneurs (By: CharmLite)


They greet me at city hall with cat calls, “YO’s, light-skin, fuck you, she can’t speak,

Three steps down, you got some change sweetie?”

I reply, “No, only a credit card this time.”

Only to be followed to the token machine by a stinch and a flinch

Of a woman with a piercing whine,

“I’m huuuungry!”


Heard it all before sister, I hate to be rude, but so am I

Just got finished my 9-5 to go home still broke

So, the only thing I can offer you is hope

And a prayer in the few seconds I have of silence in the station before high school lets out


They rush past me in swarms of skinny jeans colorful snap backs and backpacks

The “educated bunch”,

but these vulchers have been caged for 7 hours and now lookin for lunch,

Who will be the victim today?

A commotion between the pack only serves as a disguise

to look for unsuspecting guys with all the right eyes.

iPhone, iPad, iPod, oh god,

in the next 5 minutes somebody’s getting robbed

I see it happening

the clock’s passing minutes,

its not me, so I put my head down

cus’ I’m not in it.


I walk two feet to the front of the train in hopes that only a few make it to my cart,

and to think I use to have a heart,

but love don’t live when survival takes the lead

and when a train stops the door opens, I take heed,

but most don’t.

People goin in and comin out at the same time with enough force to start fights.

I ‘ll wait on the side, stand on the train if I like

Most likely all the seats are taken

and if not, there’s a girl on the edge of her seat

facing the isle pretending not to notice the empty space next to her,

in hopes that the smelly homeless man will not sit next to her and wreak.

But I know this man well, his routine begins with a sign,

“I am a veteran… [dot, dot, dot]”

And then comes God’s name on the spot

“If you would ever be so kind to bless upon me the blessings the Lord has blessed upon you”


and all I can think is, I wonder if he’s an addict,

or how he developed the habit?

But I continue to look out of the window at underground graffiti

because I’d rather wonder how it got there

than how that man ended up here.

A few seconds go by and it seems there is a silence

Well all except for the chatty girls recalling acts of violence

“Yeah, she a slut, … das why I fucked her ass up”

this seems to be the lesser of all annoyances

until the high pitched laughs erupt


making you feel most uncomfortable, second only to an addict’s laugh

because you wonder what he thinks he’s laughing at

and if the devil already conquered his soul,

hoping when he gets off the train, he won’t jump in front of the tracks

happens twice a year, and I’m sure the oil hustlers love it

it gives them time to grab your arm

“Smell that I’m sure you’ll love it”

I say no thank you, I don’t have $5 today

But that just means he’s ready to bargain

See how much you’re willing to pay

“How about two for 8 sista, you’ll love this amber white”

“As a matter of fact, I got something for you to read tonight”

Again I say no thank you, matter of fact  I’m jewish

To which he becomes appauled,

Seems he’s never seen a Black Jew, how foolish?

Or a White Muslim at all

“Mmmhmm…. I can’t help you. You the child of Esau”

No sir I’m the child of Renee and Michael

I’m sure  I can recall


Now he’s annoyed and moved on to the next cart

To which I am most pleased

Only to replaced by the man in locs

Selling 5 dollar DVD’s

He’s more antsy than the addicts

More persistent than the oil man

Got that new, new everything

Except the real cases in his hand

As nobody answers, he shuffles down the aisles

Then he sees someone he knows

Shakes a couple hands, then smiles

That’s when I notice….OMG this man is flashing a rolex

I swear I’ve seen it all

Fell asleep for a bit, only to startled by

“Next stop…City Hall”

Damn all that avoiding is a full time job

I’ve missed my stop to blab

To end up back where it all began

This time I’ll catch a cab


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