Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Few More Fold-Out Postcard Sonnets – 5/23

Rules are, as they say, made to be broken. Tho I’ve previously only posted one of my poems as the Saturday Weekly Poem, here’s the second of the Fold-Out Postcard Sonnets from the spring & summer of 1996. I’ll stick to the dates on posting these, & let the chips fall where they may.

During this time I lived in San Francisco’s Western Addition, just a couple blocks north of the Panhandle, the narrow strip of park that stretches east from Golden Gate Park & is bordered by Oak Street to the south & Fell Street to the North. Once you’re on the south side of the Panhandle you’re in the Haight district—to the north is the Western Addition—though I understand that these days developers are calling this “North of Panhandle” or “NoPa” in an attempt to gentrify the area.

The Western Addition (as I’ll always think of it) was a wonderful area. It was a working class neighborhood & traditionally had been an African-American neighborhood, tho by the mid-90s a fair amount of boho types such as myself were living there because the rents were still (by San Francisco standards) low. I loved walking its tree-lined streets, going to the markets & cafés & exploring Divisidero, the neighborhood’s major street that ran north-south. I lived there from June of 1994 until January 1998, when I moved to Idaho, & wrote some of my best San Francisco poems in my studio apartment there.


Tweed birds— sporting thought balloons too thinking
gadzooks an unmanageable rainbow landing at the bus terminal
& other wooly entities in the bottlebrush trees &
tea kettles whistling thru Marlowe’s paranoia

So much for Wednesday’s red desert floribunda
with its debonair hopeless yodeling
The cigarette smoke’s a gray sky white planes
penetrate What could they be hunting down

A wool NY Yankees cap misplaced under a quilt
or somewhere equally stifling
17 weeks of Sneaky Pete & smoke not to mention

oceanic dreams about steamships & icebergs emerging
under a hairy evening star that’s recuperating
like a fright wig floating above Point Lobos

© John Hayes 1996-2009


  1. A very fuzzy piece with "other wooly entities" and a "hairy evening star"! :^)

  2. Sometimes you read a post on a blog and thoroughly enjoy it, only to found yourself lost for words. This is a case in point. (Particularly like the idea cig smoke as grey sky).

  3. Hi Willow & Dominic:

    Thanks to you both!

  4. When I tried to leave a comment earlier today, my Firefox crashed, and I took that as a sign that I should go out for a while.

    "Gadzooks an unmanageable rainbow" makes me giggle.

  5. Thanks Sandra:

    Doggone that Firefox! It crashes on me sometimes these days too....


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