Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Celebration for a Gray Memorial Day

The Flaneur explores an overcast and deserted streetscape 
On a National Holiday

Scientists have recently done detailed mapping of a cold region of space. Across billion of light years there are less than twenty percent of the galaxies than there should. No explanation exists for this hiccup or gap that occurred when the universe accelerated in its expansion. Called a "supervoid" its actually not a void but has shape like a canyon in space.
With the current marine trough over Northern California, the Bay area it is easy to see an analogy. No more so than  when you look up into dark foreboding canyons of cloud upon cloud.
The past is always with us in the epicenter of the present moment.
Let's see what I uncovered and for the time being commemorate it all.

Parked outside police headquarters
Oh dear, I took a photo of his license plates
Without his consent...how rude of me

In a scarred and vacant plot of earth
This plaque invites you to 1976
The plaque commemorating the first public school itself
Has been stolen and melted down for its metal 
At some point in the years intervening

The institutions for the training of youth 
That have since come to supercede public schools
Are visible over the highway,
The police, the courts, and the jail

Across the street a coffee factory
In business since 1894

The BART train stirs the lonely scene
Nothing so vacant as warehouse streets on a holiday

Yet this is still Spring in California
Even amid the worn armaments
of dingy industrial civilization,
Flowers blossom, color obtrudes

A cafe closed up tight,
Cafe's have to stay open long hours to build up a scene
Breakfast, lunch and after work drink spot only  I guess

Don't remember if it's a very new place or what,
Fits right in with the neighborhood anyway

It's always good to know 
What you are crossing over,
What level of risk people will accept

The tracks,
A pedestrian bridge for the fearful,
No trains coming, one in sight

An old anchor tossed here nonchalantly
Memorializing immemorial maritime activity here

Nothing going down at all,
Give them mild temps, a steady breeze, and scant sunshine
And they stay indoors in droves

Some hardy souls arrive on the Oakland Ferry,
Bet they are frozen if they stayed out on deck
In the middle of the Bay

There it goes again under the frigid air mass,
This is one time I don't envy the adventurers,
In fact I'm waiting for the first warm day myself

This plug memorializes an Oakland iron works,
Forged a few blocks from this spot a century ago

This blossoming cherry tree
And the marble plaque memorialize
Friendship between Oakland and Yokohama, Japan
But of course it also commemorates World War II
In this historic military-industrial port of call

Inside a moment,
On a day almost entirely subdued

Missing In Action, indeed

Sure it's brisk, 
But I'm hardy and dressed for it,
Spent three hours out of doors

Every day is worthy of celebration

Health and strength in robust activity
Dinner and a nap await me
Across the train tracks, 
across the petroleum pipeline

A somewhat gloomy day perhaps
 Yet far from dreary,
In memory, in perception, in projection,
One locates the life of the mind

25 May 2015

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Niche Neighborhood

The Flaneur passes by here most days
and sometimes he alights awhile

 Not one of our beloved cannabis dispensaries

 Is there anything more virile than a redwood tree?
Even the name "red wood,"
Somewhat suggestive, isn't it?

 A chiropractic office,
Wonder if anyone hurt his back
Building these sculptures


 Dressed to kill or be killed

 Tres kooky

What does the sky portend?

Spring 2015

Friday, May 22, 2015

Summer on the Horizon

Memorial Day weekend began Thursday 
yet for the Flaneur,
even when he toils, everyday is a holiday 

 Mental health maintenance in Alameda,
Geese gang takes over the park, no one around
Temperatures in the sixties with a cool breeze,
Never used to see many Canada geese 
Until global warming got hot,
And look at the lawn, it's only mid-May,
The worrisome drought goes on

 The beautiful waters measure time and space

 As old forms of life die away,
Something will replace them

Meantime I've got the whole beach in my hands,
Note the hood,
Just me and my shadow

 All alone and feeling blue

Except for these cats
Way down the beach,
The wind-surfing scene

 You've got to hold that huge sail
While you climb up on the board

 Yeah, baby

 Off he goes,
Out there having fun
In the warm California sun

 One bright morning when this world is over
I'll fly away


 I'll fly away,
To celestial shores,
I'll fly away

21 May 2015

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Going to See John Waters Last Night

Le filles de joie

The Flaneur makes the scene for a speaking gig by the great humoriste noir

 I'm just coming from Mass and Communion
 The material world looks a little fake to me right now

Got to look my best for John,
Not this place though, it's haunted

 Maybe wear a Stetson and carry a uke...

.... maybe not,
This place isn't bad,
They style a good New York Yankee mullet

 John Waters
Speaking at Diesel bookstore
And reading from his book Car Sick
The true narrative of a senior citizen hitch-hiking
From Baltimore to San Francisco

My comment to him:
"I'm a few years younger than you are, and I was also a first class hitch-hiker, from 1966 to 1978, one of my first long hauls was to Provincetown* in fact, I'm from Massachusetts.... and when I read on Facebook that you were hitch-hiking, and you knew it was real, it went viral really quickly, I saw it while you were still on the road... I just said to myself, he really is the least repressed, the most anarchistic guy in my generation."

I had to speak more loudly loud at the end as the crowd cheered. He thanked me.
I read the book months ago as I have read all his books. The one before Car Sick was very well-written, genuine belle lettres writing.
 I wasn't inclined to line up for an autograph and a "Santa photo" so I didn't get a chance to talk to him. But I may someday tell him I regard him a true and an exemplary Catholic, and maybe a saint.

Assuming he's never been excommunicated, I think he should start a men's religious order.
I'd join.

* John had talked about hitch-hiking in Provincetown himself.

Still light outside,
I thought I take another shot of this piggy
For keeping me company at the bus stop

18 May 2015

Malcolm X Day at UC Berkeley


This glass imagines the Campanile during a major earthquake

The Flaneur goes looking for black culture 
on a cloudy day in the Athens of the West 

 Observance of formality and tradition prevails
Mortar-boards abound
A day of windy and chilly outdoor receptions

 Me and the bear kept an eye out 
for African American students
Among the throngs of graduates

 The model for this frieze is said to have been 
Sather H. Crocker, 
A celebrated female impressionist

 A witty prank left over from UCB 420 no doubt

 Rhododendron trees alongside the music department,
The deep marine trough of cool air
Suits them fine


 The corridor of  sacred fetishes,
It's a start

  Things behind the the sun,
Said to be very ancient

 Of course we know that when it comes to Ancient things
Carbon-dating, archeology, etcetera
The Bible is truthier


 Starting to get a little warm
In terms of Black representation

Actually, African cultureis well represented on campus,
African-Americans not so much

18 May 2015