Here, god walks on homeless feet with grimy dreadlocks playing congas for quarters while watching from a sidewalk bar where he has just been served another dry California red
Here, god rides the bus home to Chinatown, holds a strap in the aisle, wears a face still stained with his workday
Here, god walks the streets in tight-laced skirts, bursts out of a rented bed wearing only his cowboy boots, paints the bay from a pallette strapped to his kiteboard, pitting a wind that whips one way against a current ripping the other way, wears a pure white silk shirt and pink-tongued sneakers when he walks with his Saturday night girl, serves serious gin and tonics to tourists blue with San Francisco summer, drops into a gallery to view a show of works by his most serious rival, recommends the sushi restaurant on the corner even though he=s a vegan, sells music on the street to those who listen but cannot play, sells art to those who cannot paint, sells flowers to highrise prisoners, sells food to those who cannot cook, sells beads to those who trade in islands,
walks past brick churches without checking the locks, stuffs anarchist fliers in the mailboxes, reads poetry in a red beret with a thriftstore brooch, writes plays with her immigrant husband who says he knew Janis, works a concierge desk but can’t give you accurate directions because she’s not from around here, rides Friday night streets with his vatos in a tailfinned convertible
Here, god graffitis an alley with benedictions in pictures, digs out a crusty trunk filled with his grandmother’s secret life
Here is where god has been tending bar forever and a day and the pepper steak is as good as it ever was
Here, where god played the 49ers every Sunday, giving the churchgoers time to be by themselves
where god dropped acid with Ken Kesey and the Grateful Dead and was inspired to rekindle Burning Man, where god’s underbelly casts its most colorful glow, where god flies on pigeon wings, pecks at the cracks in the streets while dodging taxi tires and steel-toed boots
rooting at the edge of himself, where colors and landscapes reinvent it all while god sleeps
like the city where god hides.
- * * *
Mountain Pages (#1)
excerpts from “Mountains,” a book-length long poem
A land that has been born,
broken, reborn and broken
shaped like knives.
Careful approach from the water
you’ll see one eye,
two (in the right light),
and be greedy to find the third.
Mountains sharp as knives.
Roads can be carved and erased,
a track that leads in
might not lead out
it might be cut off
the scar of its cutting
healed and faded away
The mountain will maintain
its privacy at knifepoint.
Got a mountain on my mind
then I do go to sleep
and dream of the mountain.
I want to know a mountain, I am
bewitched by a mountain, or is
this just another artists’ trap
Can’t talk magic
without talking about a mountain.
When the mountain asks you to marry it,
it does not offer itself to be possessed.
It will not make you its home.
The mountain proposes marriage
between the brutal and the profound
and you do not hear the question,
unless the mountain possesses you.
Draw close to the mountain
Let the light play on geology
then run your fingers
over the light
When it is not day, not night,
when light deviates at rapid speed,
the mountain mutates with the light
This is a dangerous time
to accept an invitation
from a mountain
Coyote raises his head behind racoon mask
The mountain winks
a very small earthquake follows.
The mountain has just winked again.
Ripple of evening breeze
disturbs the laketop,
fragments the reflected
each water shard a window,
like a two-way mirror
where more than mountain eyes
Featured header image by Massive Kontent Jason Thibault, “Little Burgundy Tunnel Down”