A couple of nights ago, I took a break from the debates, took a cold beer up to the roof, saw neighbors across the channel, down the dock, next door, walking down the dock all of us pausing for just this moment, for this beauty, for this pause for peace. So be it ~
meanwhile my neighbor, and pro, Dennis took this one of me
The tao de ching says if you can say what the tao is then that's not it. Same with you. Same with me. If you can say what we are, nail us down to a checkbox, that's not us. Words are the nets through which all truth escapes, says Paula Fox. See. If we try to reduce things to a theory, a stereotype, the broad stroke of one-color-paint, the only thing we reduce is ourselves. Hear me out. Here I am. I bat left, throw right, and run in both directions. Try and pick me off. Seriously, I grew up playing pickle, haven't been tagged out yet. Check out the strawberries on my thigh. I wasn't fast but didn't know it. That became my key, my secret weapon. I was: Didn't Know Boy, Superhero. And I didn't even know that. But not knowing any better was my strength which when you get right down to it, made all those college degrees my kryptonite. Words were the holes in my cape, my escape from the phone booth, now outdated, now like me. Depending on what calendar you go by. Only thing is now I know it. And it's my strength. That, and not wearing a watch.
I'd like to say I rise early because of the light. Truth be told it's more feline related. Machinations of two cats in tandem. But after they've been fed, water poured, coffee made, I head to the roof. I'd like to say I do tai chi, some days I do. I'd like to say nothing else is on my mind, some days that's true. I'd like to say, with decency in sharp descent among some in this world, that light, qualia of color, gulls, geese, and herons at work in life buoy me. Some days they do.
photo by Dennis Bayer
Went to the Gears Turning Poetry Reading at Adobe Books on 24th last night. Three excellent features - Josiah, Tony, and DL, wonderfully hosted by poet laureate Kim, and a houseful of amazing open mic-ers. Lifted my spirits, blew me away. Bay Area open mic circuit is a real deal groove. Afterwards, connected with Tony for his b-day beer & dinner at Picaro on 16th - 30 years ago it was a bohemian cafe - when I was cruising the Mission selling ads for the Bay Guardian - their slogan, 'you can wear a beret but you gotta pay for your refill. ' Now it's a packed Spanish restaurant with roving mariachis. Definite upgrade. Had a blast. Found parking on 14th St., in front of this joint, icing on the cake.
This Too A Poem
Speaking truth at the mic with notebook, with guitar, with typed page,
with iPhone, with hands shoved in pockets, with 2am approaching
with knowing anything done after midnight is art.
The madness in the moment,
the self haircut, the can of beer, the fighter,
the math teacher, the queer poet whose voice
is pure song . . . the geometric performance of truth and what
we say is the truth.
Rocking in your back row chair you go to the front to
lend your voice, sing your song, speak your life, join
the fiber of this night, this midnight mic, this pure grain
flow you come to know when you look this close & listen,
the lives you see, the colors you feel, rhythms alive in the air,
people like you
people not like you,
poets off the street,
army of letters, word delivery,
bringing it, winging it, singing it
behind the mic tonight at midnight.
Or, How we know we're alive.