Sunday, September 14, 2008

POEM: Long Bridge City

My "beat" poem-homage to the city, written when I lived there a few years ago. First in a long line of bad poems to be posted here.

Long Bridge City

City of long bridges
invisible but for glowing
Mercury vapors.

Are you diamonds spread across
a black velvet jewelers cloth?
(Bridge lights a string of pearls)

Or a con man's sick carnival -
one dollar for a peek at the freaks?
(Bridge lights a roller coaster track)

Downtown; click-click-click
Pump-heeled business woman
walks by
hair tight as her skin
I fall in love with you as you

Eyes straight and determined
long legs and nails painted

A moving pile of rags
pokes garbage with her
nail-ended can stick.

Smelling worse than the trash,
squat legs, painted with soot
I fall in love with her too…
"Are you my son?"

North Beach Carnival
the street musician's got a web site.
Stickman's missing a tooth,
but he's hyper-linked, man.

The horse-hyped vegan yells at me,
"Vegetables only - beef is murder!"
No control, he nods and I add
a tomato to my burger.

Ginsberg's dead yet his words
breathe into my soul.
But City Lights' flawed hero,
liked little boys.

Clickety, clang-clang
Desire's streetcar takes me
to Souvenir's Wharf.
Sour dough.

Sea smell intoxicates
food smell invigorates
I eat an ocean insect.

The Grotto serves me
shaken but not stirred
extra salad and a wink.

Prisoner's Isle for Big Al
C Block and twenty days in the hole.
It was real here, man...
"What, no electric chair?"

They heard the New Year's Eve Party
from across the sea.
No long bridge for them, man.
"What, no gas chamber?"

Double-breasted Banty Rooster
Smilin' Mayor Willie.
We love him, cousin.

Followin' the proud tradition,
crows every morning
from Tower Coit,
"I got all the keys to this machine!"

The gum smacking Castro Queen
gots a adam's apple
bigger than a grapefruit.

Shaved pits and eybrows.
Knocks me down, she sings
Gospel songs by the B-52's.
Seize and sees my woman,
Bemoans, "What a waste, sweetheart,"
Me or her? It don't matter.

Bzzz-(wipe), bzzzzzzzzz-(wipe)
Satan Tat-2's
Half-priced today
5 bux a letter,
(the first one's free)

Pierce it, poke it, make it
red, yellow and blue
Just don't fake it
with a rub-on tat-2

De Youngin's
Gallery's falling down, falling down
This is my chapel
Hockney's my saint.

Hopper, Whistler,Van Gogh
(cover your mouth when you cough)
Shhhh, we're in church.
"Roller Blade OUTSIDE, fool."

Homeless cherub,
Don't hate The Haight
time's standing still
and the summer of love
lasts until Christmas.

Take a deeep breath
and you'll want to
eat a pizza for breakfast.
"Got any Ding-Dongs left, man?"

City of Long Bridges,
Everyone leaves their heart for you.
Can't afford to live here,
couldn't afford to not to.

You're a virgin Homecoming Princess
who puts out.
You're a rare verse of poetry
written on a paper bag.

A lifetime of experience
worked into a hazy weekend.
Bitter cold summer
warmed by an Irish Coffee.

The city's got a
heartbeat, beat, beat.
Thump-thump felt
through the sidewalk.

Ain't gonna flat line
even after Richter's gone,

Long bridges hum
under tires and the
city twinkles
a good night kiss.

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