Sunday, November 29, 2009

Evening in North Beach

Cool angles line my Genoa Place hill
A Fitty Fatty thick-tailed gray cat stops in mid-run
Eyes me from its crouch on the step
I feel my legs still strong after the climb
Somewhere a stereo plays Pet Shop Boys and a nearby
Window wafts children’s tantrums and promise of late dinner.

North Beach pioneers come and go
From ships that used our sea side for ballast
To aging, dusty landlords holding the
Neighborhood of anonymous shoes and plastic bag shuffle
Banging, restless clean kids of unforgiving weekends
Eat pizza and lean on forever parking meters
Piss in doorways and watch the dreamy,
wispy soft haired girl just waiting to happen.
in bingy-bangy pasta, jook and fried bread
In howling, hairy, wink-wonking dancers
In three piece suits and toothless fresh from jail
In the sweet grass of Washington Square
a breeze whispers echoes and sometimes’
madness floats the god blue sky and all Zen is OOPS.

Who’ll go out in the wildly sweaty bearded night?
Who’ll go on stage to waste the fool’s spoon?
Who’ll read all night, the poems coming faster?
While naked, naked, naked shouts from the raw end North Beach
Of crab shelled tables, empty wine bottles,
cigarette butts and a World’s chatter.

The Fitty, Fatty, thick tailed cat cocks an ear
Where hips grind beneath the clucking Lattes
Chronicles mumble political rollovers, dead poets
And drowning physicists, the dope’s lawyers and
Sad, sexed-out smiles of old shoes and yesterday’s
Baseball games scatter amid the blown out bar droop
Ever hungry homeless going nowhere while

Shadows close in and the delicious sun hugs the Golden Gate
Soon the new voices will pull up in dangling Suzuki’s
Wanting parking, empty storefronts, some limey sauce
Of sorts, to cover up the fishiness of this unusual situation
at Grant and Green and a hundred wars that tear
the children from our hearts and this magnificent cat
Half-slinks, watches and waits for me to catch my breath
Waits to see what I will do with this long, steep evening.

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