Thursday, January 27, 2011

Existential - For Harrison Towne

I'm fidgeting, nothing seems to stand still
I'm all...Itchy.

Looking out my window and to the left I see the university
Dorm rooms stacked like public storage in little boxes
But filled with hope and opportunity.
I reminisce for such ignorant bliss.
Intellectually ignorant stimulating bliss.
Coffee shop girl hopes to transfer but was denied.
She said, couldn't cut it.
Just wait honey, I wish I could tell you that it
Gets better I said, but I can't.

I'm tired of eating alone
In my room and staring at memorabilia
Of success other than my own.
I find myself hustling more than than that
Girl standing outside of the Flint club in
North Beach on Broadway.
But at this juncture, it's all that I can do to -
The routine of it all has become like meditation.

But my mind is blank when I stand 'neath the
Stockton tunnel and wait, to push past old ladies
With pink, plastic bags who always seem to be in a hurry
To go somewhere, I'm not quite sure if I'll ever understand.
There must be a sale on ginseng or black fungus I reasoned.
Or, it has something to do with their existential upbringing -
And my altruistic nature shushes my inner voice and
I think about coffee shop girl because she has an
Air of innocence about her.

I can't tell her what it will be like and can only
Pray that it will be easier for her than for someone of the
Likes of me – or for the other majority of no-souls in the
Neighborhood who have lost their wives to cancer,
Who pine for aging has-beens, stuck like cement in their
Ways, jabbering about the times when they had a 34 inch waist.
Or more tragically, the few that have lost their sanity,
Subscribing to a facade of a life that the world has told
Them that they should fight for.

It's all just a dream and I'm tempted to just say,
Fuck you – I don't want any of it, you can have it all.
Then I realized that I don't quite know who I'm talking to.
Either way, it's not my place to judge and besides,
I was taught something about judging lest they be
Judged at Vacation Bible school as a child.
Even the most feeble understanding of anthropology or
Humanistic values dictated that I needed to
Keep my mouth shut or my brain to myself.

And for others like Harrison Towne, who is shunned by most of the
World and who is trying to learn how to live in their own
Skin without completely shedding it off for something unfamiliar,
Is unfortunately far too familiar.
The epitaph may have already been written by someone
You don't even know, however, it does not determine your subsistence.
And while I will always think of you, coffee shop girl,
I will bask in your purity and persevere to
Absorb your impeccability.

San Francisco, 2011

For One Shot Wednesday


  1. Ohhh I love the relevance to SF (I left my heart)
    A bundle of SF poetry would be a cool collection actually

    this is a great piece of poetry

    Moon smiles and thanks from One Shot

  2. Thank you both so much! I'm working on a book of San Francisco related poems called, One Year, documenting my life in the city which started with being homeless and what I observed. I hope to continue to share more with one stop!

  3. yeah you rocked this one...great story telling and way to bring in some extraneous elements to give it texture..

  4. Oh, good read. i thought you might want to see this;
    played on my mind while reading for some reason

  5. Thanks Kenny and loved the link...cheers!

  6. Loved the narrative way of poetry writing...


  7. A great epic story.. I enjoyed it very much...

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya

  8. Thank you both very much gautami and Shashi!