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Terminations

A beautiful weekend in which I sat in Dolores Park under the blazing sun with 5,000 of the best looking people I can ever remember assembling in San Francisco (they were mostly not Americans… big surprise!) to see the World Cup final, climaxing in the strangest act by a sports star in his last-ever big stage appearance you can imagine (French superstar Zidane turning and viciously head-butting an Italian defender to the ground). As usual, the termination of this awesome tournament was a bit disappointing. Both teams had some good chances but the game felt flat to me. Maybe because I was watching amidst a very distracting crowd, far from the screen. Here’s a couple of photos of the crowd in Dolores watching on a big screen (sorry, didn’t quite capture any of the many stunningly gorgeous women and men who kept walking in front of me!).


But some of my good-looking friends were there… here’s Jules and Fanny and Michael and Will. Francesca and her friends were a short distance behind us, and other pals kept popping in too… Jim Owen, Mike Rauner, Hugh D’Apostrophe, etc.

I also reprised one of my favorite walks with Will, who hadn’t had much experience of our fair city on foot. We went over Liberty Hill, Kite Hill, Pemberton Steps, Tank Hill, Mt. Olympus, Vulcan Steps, and back through the Castro to the Mission…

And on Saturday night I joined a varied crowd of poets and philanderers at Moe’s in Berkeley to remember our friend William Talcott, who died in early June at age 70. He was one of the funniest poets I ever knew (in fact, he published the only poem I ever wrote, which barely qualified as a poem to be honest, but that just shows how flexible and curious HE was about language and expression).

Here’s a couple of my favorite short poems from Talcott:

Landing the Job

as I enter the conference room
a piece of snot
falls from my nose
& just hangs there

my future is dangling my mind
is suspended I don’t know
what to do questions
are being asked

why do you want to work here
when are you available
I’m hanging on for dear life

you’re hired they tell me
you’ll fit in just fine
here we all have snot
hanging from the nose

Friday–Missing Work

at the bus stop a blue
chevie puls up hey

the man says I don’t
know you but

if you don’t mind
missing work

I’ll take you to the park
& bludgeon you to death

okay I say & get in

I used to run into William over the years down on Market Street, usually somewhere near Sansome or Montgomery. He’d be flitting about on a break from some dead-end office job while I was tooling around on my bicycle chasing an errand. We’d chat for a few minutes and catch up. Going to his memorial I learned how many people he’d touched, how often his interest in other poets’ work had kept them going, gave them a sense of connection and purpose. I’d always seen him as a peculiarly curmudgeonly poet, typical San Franciscan type, sweet and sour all at once. It was always a fun moment to see him and pull over for a quick hello. Sorry he’s gone. He was 21 years older than me, the generation ahead… We published his poems quite regularly in Processed World, even in the 2005 issue… They were my favorites. Here’s two more that we published in PW 2005:

On the Installation of a Porcelain Crown

When the artificial
replaces the real
you feel diminished
yet improved.

Toward the End

Toward the end of my second childhood
the soft-spot returned.

William Talcott (1936-2006)

Talcott had a huge soft spot… it was always there, through all his childhoods and his admirable performances as an adult! He’ll be missed.

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