Friday, October 1, 2010

the 31 Balboa

This is a poem about impermanence, accommodations made gracefully, the tangled beauty that emerges. A large portion was gleaned from early morning trysts with a grove of cypress at Land’s End, San Francisco.
The 31 Balboa is a bus route that threads through numbered avenues--1-48--lost in time and chilly fog. Bait and tackle shops, a 50 year old Japanese ice cream parlor, the eight dollar haircut, bald crushed velveteen seats in the Balboa Theater. The reference to Officer Keller has to do with Sea of Love, Al Pacino’s 1985 comeback about the implacable hunger for connection and implicit perils of opening up.

Nothing is so strong as gentleness and nothing is so gentle as real strength.
-Ralph W. Sockman

the 31 Balboa

wrapped in
ribbed knit navy
the anonymity
of fog
a wash
in postwar ramblers
thin fading rays
of love

we are all of us
running from
some thing
the tail
of the barchans’
break loose
of their pockets
of the hands
they have changed

in the rain soaked
breath of morning
we glide in a
slic of dreams
Officer Keller
to a spree
we all agree
was committed
by somebody else

the distant
click of tile
to formica tops
my one wet eye
ticks off
the stops
from here
to land’s end

dark eyebrows
a tenuous sky
crusted arms
icy winds
the sheared face
of cypress
slopes to the sea
intricate lace
lies below
your gaze.

1 comment:

Christopher said...

That was quite a ride. The 31 Balboa evokes myriad images of anonymous lives. That route leaves an impression.