Thursday, July 30, 2015

From Florence to "Frisco"

Fail-safe sun, bridges
and layers of time.
Wariness—we’re not all
Sweethearts here, either.
Rather cautious, taciturn.
“Shining our little flashlights
in your face.” Bay people,
peninsula people, half in,
as if poker were
our sport, sport.
One foot in noir
and the other
a surfer boy.
“You can’t be
from California,” she told me
a long time ago,
“you’re not blonde.”

San Francisco

Friday, July 24, 2015

Marine Layer

An eerie rayon rhino madly
rams any yellow armor,

airs his dry rinds
down here. Night falls

heavy on San Francisco.

San Francisco

Photograph by Debra A. Zeller.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Brautigan Streets

I close my eyes and try to walk the Brautigan streets of San Francisco, knowing full well that they’ve been sold to Silicon Valley for some time. It all started when they knocked down the oldest bar in town to build a prison block of cement condos as part of the Coca-Cola ballpark for that baseball team that no one had ever heard of before they accidentally won the World Series. Now they accidentally win the World Series every other year.

            Still, I can only sigh at San Francisco’s protracted suicide. Sadness and trespass and pride. And my own worst emotional flaw, nostalgia. Brautigan left me the streets but I did nothing to keep them clean. I expected poverty to do it for me, to put up more of a fight. But San Francisco, too, was complacent, unconcerned, and weak. Even now, it’s probably looking the other way while its pockets get picked once again.