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Indybay Feature

Bernal Litterati [sic]

Wednesday, July 26, 2023
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Event Type:
David Giesen
Location Details:
outdoor amphitheater at corner with Bernal Branch Library
500 Cortland Avenue

San Francisco authors read from their work. That means you, too.
San Francisco located stories given preference.
Mic-less open-mic.

Loose-leaf authors
words in
the wind sha
of a library

The most recent poem earning the weekly Kate Kennedy $20 prize

For Tongo Eisen-Martin, poet laureate of San Francisco

The poet said the streets are saliva,
Which I took to mean slowly digesting the people,
Absorbing la puebla.

The food trucks and trailers are
Each a park gathering pigeons hungry for crumbs, but
Themselves eaten up by the gathering place where
The handouts fall: building
Other peoples' houses, weeding
Other peoples' gardens.

So I wonder, Mr. Poet,
With global warming and oceans rising,
Will the city be submerged and
The people, la Puebla
Be carried off to their own land where
They plant and eat, where
They build and inhabit,
Saliva in their mouth,
Sweat on their backs,
Belonging to the place?

"The Earth belongs in usufruct to the living" --Thomas Jefferson

Birds squabble--
every single one--
Over what they find
in public places;
And what they win
requires gulping
Or carrying off,
such that, while that
Is going on
the others eat too

Dalck Teblehei reads his $20 prize-winning poem, Mitchell's.

Her long, thin arm pointed the way to Mitchell's Ice Cream where
A line, thin as her arm but much longer,
Stretched up the sidewalk.
Despite the two scoops, her arms remained
Thin and long as time, which
Has all but obscured her face;
And if it weren't for Thoth in regalia
Down in the cavern of the BART station eliciting
Her laugh,
I wouldn't have that.
What's sweet after all these years is Mitchell's
And not the kisses, thick and long, we never took.

$20 prize for the best Real Estate-centric poem!!



The hills are bedrock
Lifted up by subduction
Just like the high rent


I've got an electric bi-i-eek
I've got an electric bi-eek
Sometimes I don't switch it on, but
It's still easy to ride;
I listen closely to the talk I cruise by, and
Most everyone has something,
Somewhere they're going;
Even when I pass by the mortuary,
The nomads in tents face the statutory,
Propane camp tanks feeding Fentanyl to the masses,
And men and women all making passes.
Russian oil splattered roadkill debris;
I hit every red light when I ride this street,
But still I only hear half that I meet:
I'm still too fast for the others;
Listen now, sisters and brothers,
I ride an electric bi-i-eek
I ride an electric bi-eek


There are murals around town painted Rubin Rude:
The faces of public places
Such as, for instance, the Bernal Branch library's eastern wall.

It strikes me, though, that in Women's History Month
Women muralists ought to get half the space, don't you think?
Every year we ought to put the vertical places up for auction
So that who does the talkin' isn't just who got there first.

Yeah, let the boys pay the girls not to put up stuff if
The boys want to keep that public viewshed theirs.
I mean, if the girls like the stuff already there,
Don't bid for the space. Let it ride.

But humdinger, if Benioff wants to shout to the world
With that great big outie thing, but some gal with a brush
And a can of paint has something to say,
I say make him have to pay her not to splash her story in the air.
It's our sky, isn't it?
Well isn't it?


700 trees down in San Francisco;
Their roots loose in the rain-bloated earth,
Their boughs yardarms caught in gale after gale
Till the keelson snapped,
Cracking sidewalks into white-capping chop.
And elsewhere, everywhere, all around town it’s a raggedy old place,
Bent and shorn by plague and
A long, wet winter the likes not seen for 44 years—
Me too, long in the tooth, long on remembrance, no longer merely a lad with big ears for the old-timers’ tales,
But myself witness, back then, to the longest pleated turns of sun and drenching winter storm-blown screaming Hell ever known by living soul.
And you? Don’t ask, don’t tell
Lest I pop your skaldic, pompous truth,
Which, like mine,
Never heard from Noah’s lips
The whopper drowned the world.
Added to the calendar on Mon, Jul 24, 2023 4:43PM
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