Monday, September 21, 2015

The Bret Harte Boardwalk

Light at the end of the tunnel-vision

Urban archeological survey of a new dig

 The light was celestial
The moment seemed right,
To go out into the descending night

 A palimpsest window 
of recent African-American culture
Sundown lingers in a absent stencil


 Many of those same cats
Sleeping at the high rise jailhouse tonight,
A prayer for them

 Past the prison industrial complex
A forgotten stretch

 Bold statements of phantom existence

Trippy lion of Bret Harte boardwalk, 
Note his name in letters along roof,
A soigne restaurant on the ground floor

 Next door the alarum of the Asclepion

 Not residential not quite commerical,
The Bret Harte boardwalk proper

 A chamber full of live birds,
A vacant piano,
Present as prologue

 Lord of the air, 
Monarch of birds,
Come unto us

 The road of consciousness
Leads to a universe of love

Last thoughts on the Bret Harte walkway

SF stands for science fiction
Why don't they give themselves a loan 
To reclaim the other end of the same block


 The same city block that began in ruination
Ends with a miniature fantasyland 
for our first responders

 I spilled down the four last blocks
To a dramatic scene at the Port
Huge container ships under tow
Lit-up and unloaded

 Then like an abrupt film-cut
Night had fallen

The way to San Jose

September 2015

Unless the proprietors of the Bret Harte boardwalk meant to honor the Canadian wrestler, Bret Hart, one assumes they intended Bret Harte the American author.

from Wikipedia:

Bret Harte was born in Albany, New York. He was named Francis Brett Hart after his great-grandfather, Francis Brett. When he was young, his father, Henry, changed the spelling of the family name from Hart to Harte. Henry's father was Bernard Hart, an Orthodox Jewish immigrant who flourished as a merchant, becoming one of the founders of the New York Stock Exchange Later, Francis preferred to be known by his middle name, but he spelled it with only one "t", becoming Bret Harte.
An avid reader as a boy, Harte published his first work at age 11, a satirical poem titled "Autumn Musings", now lost. Rather than attracting praise, the poem garnered ridicule from his family. As an adult, he recalled to a friend, "Such a shock was their ridicule to me that I wonder that I ever wrote another line of verse".
His formal schooling ended when he was 13, in 1849.He moved to California in 1853, later working there in a number of capacities, including miner, teacher, messenger, and journalist. He spent part of his life in the northern California coastal town of Union (now Arcata) a settlement on Humboldt bay that was established as a provisioning center for mining camps in the interior.
His success grew out of his appearances in popular Californian periodicals of the time. 
Harte's best known work is "The Outcasts of Poker Flat" a short story.
 Mark Twain nursed a bitter personal dislike for Harte.

 Asclepion was the name given to healing temples in ancient greece.

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