Monday, September 22, 2014

Industrial Twilight

An after-dinner walk with the Flaneur through not entirely deserted streets.

 Union Machine Works build like a brick steel house
Protruding girders represent structural testosterone

Windows like missing teeth, 
Dig the herringbone skylight


 Nervous systems

An approach to the Port of Oakland
 in back of the real,
Homage to Trevor Paglen

A windowless building,
one of Cheney's hideaways

 The moment after a train passes

The decisive moment
watching the sky turn violet for some time
the clouds parted and I stood up to capture it

Only a suggestion of the colors that were in evidence
purple clouds and indigo sky over the spectral yacht
the Ferry landing where the vessels sleep

21 September 2014

Sci-Fi Mystery Cult Occupies Oakland Catholic Church

In a recent post the Flaneur made reference to a new development this Summer: a vacuous mystery religion took over the old Catholic church building on ninth street.
Faithful readers will recall images of the the place from several posts: "The Fourth of July in the Twilight Zone" and "Nostalgia for Last Summer."

This bizzare insignia glows throughout the night. It is not know what religion the group describes itself as being but that cross I'm seeing ain't exactly Christian.
They immediately added the non-stop kleig lights and the fortified wrought iron perimeter, factors which prevent me from getting a better image.

Population 0 whenever I pass by
Why do they seem so stealthy?
Have they got anything to hide?

This is on a food truck that is always parked near the church after nightfall.
It may have nothing to do with the cult whatsoever... but it does add a lot to the sort of spooky sensationalism I reaching for

August 2014

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Old Time String Band Contest

Le Flaneur just came indoors from the Berkeley Old Time Music Convention's String Band contest. Here are a few images and notes.

 Ten Miles Out of Tune
who of course played perfectly
That's the great fiddler Jody Stecher,
Eric Thompson on guitar 
both long-time Jerry Garcia collaborators,
the fine banjo player's name I missed

 Your average hundred year old Appalachian fiddle player
He played these ancient figures that were so gleeful
(his name also slipped by me)

Paul Brown was the extra-ordinary fiddle player in this band
Smiles abound at this cheery scene in the former Provo Park
alongside the healthy and appealing foodstuff at 
the Berkeley Farmer's Market on Center street

20 September 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014


Ron Dellums Federal Building

When day and night reach equilibrium, the Flaneur prowls the urban streetscape. Perambulation to the center of your mind, when both hemispheres briefly balance.

1. A Day in Summer

Dellums building reflected in ASK building,
Among the few righteous US senators ever was, I voted for him every time,
He would have had my vote for president as well (way over the current occupant)
Ron looked somewhat ghostly later on, but he never caved-in like all the rest

Fountain in city center plaza

Who knows what tomorrow may bring?

Rotunda roof,
Siamese bridge

Colored glass accents 
on Western windows

Mable floor
forms a map of colors and light

 Cellophane flowers
Newspaper taxis

An Evening in Early Fall

Nostalgia for an idealized past
The Tribune in name still appears
front page same as all mac-clatchity rags

Old order still fronting

Fluted columns in twilight

Dellums at Crepuscule

Strange Angel

Ball Gown
Day and Night in equipoise,
the paintings of Rene Magritte

 topmost image: 2013

(Note: the two most recent posts on Ray's other blog
"Dada and Surrealism in the 20th Century..."
"Dream Machine Sidewalk" and
"The Black Window" 
followed as the last two images on this nocturnal ambulation)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Note to Readers

If you would like more writing out of Berkeley Flaneur in addition to the various photo-journalistic posts and the Andre-Bretonian photo-poetry posts appearing this year, here then is a short list of very well-visited textual blogs from previous years.

"If We Should Live Up in the Trees"  23 June 2008
"Scary Monsters"   6 September 2009
"Meta-Merzbau"     12 September 2011
"The Fireplace Screen" 31 December 2010
"The Return of the Flaneur" 30 September 2010
"The Shiver of Original Sin" 8 July 2009
"A Christmas Stroll in Chilly San Francisco" 31 December 2008

Readers worldwide keep finding and reading the old posts
-- makes it feel like the effort was well-spent

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sea Music Festival

 Ahoy, the old sea dog Flaneur
 invites you to get with this trip,
 to burn your lanterns on the waves
to sing out under the sky 

Another fine breezy day, 
a sunny Saturday in September 
with a lot of boats out

 Sails arrayed in a vast ballet
adorned in lyrical clouds, 
Come with me, I'll take you where
 the taste of life is free

The herd has begun to thin this time of year,
You can pop into this Sailor Jerry outlet
for nautical hipster gear, but why bother?

 The breeze was steady if not stiff,
I knew where to shelter for lunch and libation,
Percolating hornpipes and busy fiddles kept the mood

 These were the sea chanty punk rockers
(Madness with a member or two of Hawkwind)
The hair demographic skews a bit white

There's a Steampunk vibe too,
Hard to tell but this baby was fired up
and steaming

An Hawaiian migration
follows the sun,
Take me with you when you go

A group sing down the pier, 
There was to be a chanty sing later
But the main show was winding down toward five,

 I joined the group sing for the closer
The fellow in the red shirt could sing,
He sounded like an old Irish fisherman

Looking back at the pier
and the little beach where I rested a while,
It's protected by the wind-breaks at two private beach clubs,
Look at all the perpendicular flags
A small green inflatable dinghy sits by the one small sand dune
At one point a uniform came over to ask if it was mine,
If it wasn't so windy I might have paddled it away

Like a virgin,
Time for me to slip into a vestal vessel
and shove off

The Secret of the Sea
Inter-chapter Four

13 September 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

More Nostalgia for Last Summer

I had found myself in puzzling circumstances
the Bay furnished my great escape

 Summer of 2013 is revisited yet again by the ever-vigilant sage with an epic memory, your Flaneur. It is said that, whatever else bohemia is, it is always yesterday. The same goes for summertime.


 Oakland city of night
with a Necklace of Light

 A city not without its charm

 The night of the day the Supreme Court struck down
 California's discriminatory Proposition 8
a last ray of sunlight on a rainbow flag

 This fellow certainly looked like 
he felt liberated

 Red sails in the sunset,
what would I do without a song?

Feet are big in Oakland

 We take our herbal medicine seriously hereabouts,
federal lawman, watch out

 My ready supplier of chilled bottles of stout
conveniently located near the Ferry landing

 Even Today many have a distorted view of Oakland

  Snowy egrets dig the estuary 
a stone's throw from the highrise skyline

 Christ the Light awaits eternity nearby

Solitude can be very peaceful

And you can always hit a movie

But by all ways and means,
 stay groovy

Summer 2013