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tough guy poetry and manly stories of loneliness
all contents copyright Jon Rolston 2004, 2005, 2006

October 23, 2010

hmmm

While a mondo hunk of San Francisco was watching the last game of the pennant race for our Gigantes (en espanol) I was in a small theater watching a different San Francisco giant, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, have the story of Howl’s censorship trial played out by actors and cartoon images.
(And I care more about this World Series than any one since the first time in my life the Red Sox won.)
When you see a successful life portrayed onscreen you look for where you went wrong. Let me correct that. I look for where I went wrong. I believe my dashed literary hopes rest on the rocks of a fear of New York City. I have no memories of Manhattan in my twentysomethings. I drove right through it. Doors locked.
Of course the time for poetry is over. Like Chinatown sparklers, it’s kid’s stuff. I’m off across the city in a big truck with my name proudly painted on the box. Ginsberg gave up a good job in advertising in downtown SF to smoke pot and write poems. He could because he felt like he had proved to himself he could be in the world, but just didn’t want it.
I’ve never felt like I made it in the straight world. For a while I thought I was gay, because it’s the gays that have to do some much introspection to find out why they aren’t feeling like everyone around them. Disinterested in girls, horny for boys. I kept wondering what was wrong with me. I forced myself to be with men just to be sure. I hung around truckstops, mingled among the urinals, played elaborate footsie under stalls. But I wasn’t interested. So now what? Is it the kids I’m after? Or horses? Was I just shy and lacking confidence? Maybe I was perfectly normal and didn’t want to be…
Anyway, I bury myself in work, moving refrigerators up stairs, painting gable peaks on bad ladders, jackhammering out cement footings. I don’t worry about poetry. I watch my savings account creep upward, I go to bars and drink till I don’t have the ability to make plans for tomorrow, it’s a drunken bliss where people are my friends, things are funny, I don’t have to do a good job.
That’s what happens when you watch a movie about an epic poem rather than catch the last playoff game in your hometown.

5 Comments

  1. Do the Giants ever where Gigantes uniforms to celebrate their Latin American fan base? The Brewers do it once a year: Cerveceros day!

    Comment by Lyle_S — October 24, 2010 @ 6:41 pm

  2. What would the Padres do?

    Comment by Rolston — October 25, 2010 @ 9:18 am

  3. Good question. Of course every team can celebrate their latin fan base but this group would have the same name on their jerseys as usual: Padres, Yankees, Rockies, Diamondbacks, Orioles, Rays, Dodgers, Rangers, Marlins and Mets (unless they tried to squeeze in Metropolitanos).

    My favorite MLB name translations (aside from those already discussed) as determined by Google Translate:

    Phillies: Filis
    Blue Jays: Azulejos
    Cubs: los Cachorros

    ******************
    Did you know that the great Ted Williams played for the San Diego Padres in 1938. At the time they were a AAA affiliate of the Red Sox in the Pacific Coast League.

    Comment by Lyle_S — October 25, 2010 @ 11:57 am

  4. is that a bobber on your elbow?

    Comment by fellah — October 26, 2010 @ 4:00 am

  5. huh?

    Comment by Rolston — October 26, 2010 @ 9:56 pm

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