Saturday, April 8, 2017

Oakland, It's a Happening

Ultra Iris

Iris outside Fairyland

April going's on
from Fun to Funky
you know RAY man's a junky


Oakland's golden age
bleeds through


 A massive new mural
arrived here by chance myself

Heads hung low,
looks like the culprits 

The next day I chanced to hear
on an unfamiliar radio station 
That a big free party for the unveiling
was to take place Saturday April 1st
Something about the Oakland A's, music and food,
That evening rolled around
with a vigorous cold shower right at 6PM
I stayed in and played my radio


Hats off to


Larry Beckett
sound check at reading
He co-wrote most of Tim Buckley's
great early songbook

New mural
a siren of sorts

 Turn right off Broadway
onto 22nd street

Glass front,
 an office building
like comic book action art,
 Webster street in the new
new-capitalist part of town

The Octopus Literary Salon

A swank new performance space
no over-crowding, no fires

And an approachable
bookshop and café
as jolly well

Michael Goldberg
years and years of his solid
writing on Music for Rolling Stone
I have read

 Tonight he's reading from a fiction trilogy
His piece is about waiting to get off on LSD
while smoking the quaint cannabis of the era,
He had a professional taking loads of photos
but I suspect none would better encapsulate
his orange sunshine rhapsody than this image

And it's a gallery of sorts
Lots of pleasant
unpretentious artwork
hanging around

The great Larry Beckett
he read from a compilation
of his tall-tale telling
concerning Paul Bunyon,
in sort of a filled-out
 Richard Brautigan-like style

He even had trout-fishing
the story of a trout
who was trained not
to need to be in water

He moved around quite a bit
so perforce I got action shots

I have been a zealous fan
of Tim Buckley and of Larry song-writing
for now fifty years,
Larry had me pull up a chair
when I told him at age 15 I had memorized
all the lyrics to "Good-bye and Hello"
and on my sixteenth birthday
attended Tim's live set
at the 1968 Newport Folk Festival
I told him my girlfriend dragged me out
to go rest in some meadows
before the evening program,
before Tim's set was over,
I remember turning to walk backward
 up the aisle as Tim implored me to stay
with his so very expressive eyebrows,
I motioned to the girlfriend to explain,
I think she sensed I was falling in love
with him and she was right,

Great pleasure to meet Larry
a happy time inside my mind
at a typically sparse end-of-the-month

I mentioned how the comments
on the Tim Buckley video
Live on the Monkees show
doing Song to the Siren
always insist it's good but not as good as
This Mortal Coil,
He said he had just written it
and was standing off camera coaching Tim
He mentioned it's been called
 the greatest song ever written,
I replied, "Who can resist it?"

Rhododendron show

Meditating Rhododendron forest
Over dusty hills I ask you
What it's been like being you-
                                Donovan "Epistle to Dippy"

It's like arriving
in electric lady land

In ultra-Springtime

 Sweet old cat
who greeted me at the door,
sun hat indoors
sign of a real gardener

So sensual,
so deep

 I began to know Rhodos
nearly forty years ago
when I re-located to California

A lady gardening at St Mark's in Berkeley
told me it's getting too hot here
for healthy rhodos who dig shade

 The old cat replied
in that case we'll just grow
 warm weather rhododendrons

For fifty years I've
lead a psychedelic life,
 Mystical and proto-psychedelic
before that

Outside a little bunny book
fell down a rabbit hole

 Forever seeking
the great awakening

 Approaching true and pure

March-April 2017

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