Nine Ways to Excel in Subway Rudeness By Sweta Srivastava Vikram

Nine Ways to Excel in Subway Rudeness


1. Undress decency in public and overdress in cynicism,

abuse as if the audience were the  muse for it all.


2. Stand on the threshold of the subway car

with your pale heart in your hand and hiss at every passerby.


3. Then get your eagle eyes and witch hunt capabilities

to help you jostle through commuters and grab a seat.


4. Once seated, throw out your lower limbs so far and wide

that the riders and the contaminated air too feel stifled.


5. Occupy two seats—not for the extra girth drowning your aura

but as space for your attitude that needs to proliferate.


6. Squeeze your iPod into your already bruised ears and turn up

the volume so that apathy echoes louder than music.


7. See a pregnant woman; either avert your face to pretend

it was the illusion of a soft belly or shut your eyes to block out time.


8. Turn your head at a cryptic angle and stare at the fountain of youth

screaming in the car with glee until they squirm with stranger anxiety.


9. Now look over your neighbor’s newspaper, as if it was your own,

and munch onto your doughnut until the gooey decadence flows like pus.


But do remember, like the germs and livid energy in the subway car,

karma too goes around and comes around.


Sweta Srivastava Vikram ( is a Pushcart nominated-poet, novelist, author, essayist, columnist, blogger, wife, yoga-devotee, dancer, and oenophile whose musings have translated into four chapbooks of poetry, two collaborative collections of poetry, and a fiction novel (upcoming in April 2011). Her scribbles have also appeared in several anthologies, literary journals, and online publications. A graduate of Columbia University, she lives and writes in New York City and reads her work across the United States, Europe, and Asia. Sweta also teaches creative writing workshops. Follow her: On Twitter (@ssvik) or Facebook (


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