From last night: May 13, 2009
I actually am inspired to write tonight, but this was too much of an opportunity to let pass. I’m writing at Spec’s, with Jeff, and, as usual here, the most amazing table is sitting next to us. I wish the whole damn bar would shut up so I could eavesdrop a little bit better.
There is a dark haired Italian woman, and her daughter who has a teeny Chihuahua with a short-man complex in her purse, a man in suspenders and a red scarf who has just had his autobiography published, a silent, slumped man with spectacles being held on by satiny yellow cord, a well-groomed man in black with shoulder length silver hair who is sipping a martini, and a large black man with a high voice and a halo of white hair surrounding his entire face. He’s from Boston, where he belonged to a collective of poets that lived in a house in Cambridge.
This is where the beats gather, even today. Nowadays they seem to just gather in order to tell stories of the good ol’ days, but isn’t that what poets in bars have always done? Whether it was the girl last night, the words they were planning, or the bizarre reception they received in Ohio last June, stories are the lifeblood of poetry.
And my failing. I love stories, but I can never hear them in poetry. I don’t get it. I’d rather poets just talk like they do in bars. I love them in bars. On paper, their pretensions bug the shit out of me.
Coincidentally, I’ve heard “Kerouac” seven times now, “Ginsberg” six, “1950s” three, and “Burroughs” twice. And “Rexroth” once. There’s also a young man outside with a black pit puppy named Jezebel, sipping liquor store whiskey and Pabst. It’s good to live in San Francisco. I can appreciate the poetry of my surroundings, even if I can’t appreciate poetry.