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