is not a ticket for travel
This debut collection spans almost ten years of poems written on and about transit. Its title comes from the back of MTA receipts, where this clarification is written in bold red letters. Through observations on subways, trains, buses, and sidewalks, the poems consider the bodies and language present and absent in between.
machado carves out enough space in a daily commute for the kind of desire that's only possible in liminal spaces, suspended in time, vibrating. . . That space between home and destination, destination and home. Wherever you go, take me with you.
Framing the train as an “unsettled machine,” the poet brilliantly invites us to become witnesses to the stillness, life, un/safety, and protest of public transit. Like June Jordan, machado’s sensibilities have left me asking: what can these machines teach us about the world, kinship, and poetics?
The book follows its conceit to thrilling, unexpected places. machado recognizes public transport as a site of profound intimacy, where reverie opens up to become meditations on surveillance and inequities in finely observed evocations . . . machado's debut collection dazzles.
What does public transportation mean to the “lanes bending like bodies” and what is the implication of increasingly privatized public commons? machado inquires about the exclusion of the public to freely move in a city infrastructure, elucidating the increasing material demands of travelers, who are reminded, after all, they are not able to travel without "exact change."