North Beach Writing

by Red Dog Pieface, Peter Bailey

This publication of North Beach Writing is by Chris Church.

City Geography Data #3

so many young men
with such slight limps
the street can scarcely see
    a war has been fought
& lost
in modern miracles
technology triumphs

because invisible ability
can’t even weep
for ones gone   out of sight

sewn up so   how
many limping   slight
souls hit the street
    a little harder on the left step
    than on the right every step
    step   of the way

        tears are under control
        see above   /   to let
    here/there   spots in   time/space
where grief is to let and how! to let it?

    red for anger
    violet for bruises
    green for simplicity of
    cell rot &
    blue for hope
    (black’s for asphaltum, purity of
    white’s an attribute—)

The Nurse of All Color

            all over her pad





While standing
    in the wind
    for an all-cross light
to change
    on Montgomery Street

you come to me
    lips pursed & eyes on me
    sliding over
    recently washed pavements
slipping up
    through both my feet at once
and before I know it
    the tying of my scarf
    in the wind
& you’re
& the wind itself
    is the tongue of your speech

from purring hum
    whimpers & squeaks
yip yip
    yap yap
yelp yelp yelps
    to screech screech
& terrified shriek
        ——ess burr-rr-rr-hh kheek!

the sound flattens my ears against my head
    & wet eyes bulge and tilt
from beneath the earth
    immense green hands of sea
to fill the silence
the buildings
    all around me

& in a moment
    i am looking up
through a moil of water
    to the dazzle of sun
the kelp forest sways about me
    like long brown murmurs in my ears
    swung & strummed
    by deep contractions
    of the guts of the sea
glimmers of light
    between the strands
themselves gleams
    of a glinting forest
of light

you veer & cavort
    through the green intersections
tumbling in play
    tossing a frisbie
like a slowly twirling
    wishing-well penny
& deftly retrieve it

I turn
    or is it you?
in a stretching arc
whose undulation
    gently lingers
like a deep regret in a human breast
    as though hands were joined
by the eyes of a couple
    in an utterly shapely sarabande

like the falling
    help & helplessness of surf
that lifts and twists
    its knife-tips
i feel the tugging
    of my scarf
while standing
    in the wind
    for an all-cross light
to change
Montgomery Street




s t a r   w a r s

toking slow

after yesterday’s
friendly persuasions
       I cancel   tomorrow
     you today

  breathing child
  an earless dog

 peace comes from
     all wars
       are   at

in this
getting the boos
    to hoo
    is enough right here in the
    “Isn’t It Great?”

walla ears
           enough for
        to ripen
in stairpersons
   a well    is

into depths of
    touching a will
of a lot
     of wanting
its own boo
      to hoo
its own fly
    to linger

stars are wars is
total Rachel
everything passing perfectly in view
no seams
all mere dots and slashes
along a series of lateral lines
rat and her keeptrack of
shogun to shogun bubble
the snake bends
to kiss your other half
    I have to say
it ain’t my half
rainbows bend our asses,
not ’tother way around

boom a mere name
tame a poor mop
peel a normal aroma … (ad/inf..

call to the mouth
shell out the belly
assign the wraparound

rip-tip the clarion
jar the soonest jing
jar the soonest jing
jar the soonest jing

in this
getting the boos
    to hoo
    is enough right here in the
    “Isn’t It Great?”





To an Endangered Species of One

                                        —for and mostly by Sutter Marin

“I am sick: therefore I am wrong,”
cried Descartes as they carted him away
    when play
    when anger at a Cadillac
results in dented tennis shoes,
                                contused toes &
                            demented Cadillacs
“it takes a cad to own one”

where all is not lost
    it winds
            its own expense
                    accountable to—

Grand Prix Jack Oakie as Mussolini
The Tower of Babel going up in
                                not smoke
                                pure sulphur
                                Delphic oracle bones
                    one thousand matchsticks
                        the instant!
                        igniting once
                                & for all

the ball is on this table
the baize above flat slate
                        & on it is written
ineluctable, non-suckable chalk
    around the inside rim of a “pitcher”
drawn by
                Sutter Marin
                    these words
                    these words
                    these words

                        we're weepers !
                        we're wailers ?
                        we're whompers !

    all the mirrors
    start to shine
with reflections
    of everything

    it’s the

                                                R.D.P.F.                                         9/24-9/26/77




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Copyright © 2000 by Peter Bailey