no tell hotel …for marie

just south of  the heart of north beach        past trieste’s lousy sidewalk chairs   slip down grant street’s narrow merging  tip    and watch the show …   carol doda’s lightbulb nipples flashed  on and off and on 24/7  for as long as anyone can remember          their bright day-glo blood red bounces off the southern wall of      that fleabag dive                 that no-tell hotel       where  intrigue is wearin’ thin…

above broadway on this corner                 you can lean halfway out your window     to watch the show   and the shit going down               from  hustlers hawking stumbling half naked  blurry-eyed dancers           to every street-deal’s  marketplace genius       to saturday night tourists  and college boys      hoping to get lucky          all sittin side by side to the stinkin dirty old men         all of them    drownin and lost  in all that silicone  they can’t touch                for all the overpriced drinks               they can’t handle…

down across lombard and columbus      across the alley stands ferlinghetti’s shrine          devotees of hip genuflect to cool while shakin off    the greyhound’s midwest grime       they’re a half- century too late              they don’t realize today’s game but soon enough they’re regretting   the folly of  tradin’ in the real of something tangible    for the dream or the  nightmare     of sought-after literary or poet-fame    for the dream   that they will be ‘the next’        no such thing jack!        no time !        no passion!    no real !      no “next”   this  history can’t be rewritten

stinkin up the ambiance         just takin up residence on sidewalk space   new addict writer hopefuls with bellies full of dreams are  shooed away like the pigeons         so they hang, lookin cool feathered in dirt adding more shit       to this city’s filthy sidewalks, while pretending to wait for the muni’s belch       for hours on end    still,  its a hoot to watch  while all the  well-intentioned        underpaid book clerks   invite the uninvited         take it elsewhere, pal               you’re scaring away  the money and the business…

feel that icy fog burnin’ through your shirt                 rattling your teeth?             you should have  paid attention                listened up    when ol’ mark twain wrote:      “the coldest winter i ever spent was summer in san francisco”              and hey!  guess what?           old LF  doesn’t accept     unsolicited submissions        anymore            its a real mystery how the new                 gets in          is it secret code or handshake?            maybe somebody     leaning up against any wall  with  the rest of the crazies   knows the score                 or where to…

 the city’s stench can gag you            dependin on the winds  ridin’ off the bay’s backside          nobody cares about             you and that backpack you  filled with your brilliant notebook poetry        it was ripped off last week          as you slept in your friend’s car           and when you’re hungry    the hip wears off any city’s fair skin        that growling ringing in your ears is your belly        song     lyrics repeating stanza after stanza:  food, wharfside clam chowder, garlic pastas steeping out of italian restaurant doors , fresh foggaccia bread and warm sour dough baked first thing by the old italian women on the corner     and you       diggin through the trash outside of the thai to-go joint   for the luck of a   half-full  carton of yesterday’s noodle surprise

  payin’-by-the-day   at the no-tell hotel was   never the plan or the dream…or was it?           those rooms are  filled  with you  and the rest of   the down on their luck   the  lost  the losers        all sharing roof with others who’ve lost         everything 

up the street   the artists and writers  from the old days  the one’s who had the luck            bought their places before all the cool flats and victorians  turned into condos/apartments/vacant hell-holes     for  the     independently wealthy        or daddy’s favorite      trust fund babies    you see them in the mornings sometimes   early morning trieste expresso runs     lookin’ old and missing       all the dead poets      who used to keep them sane

in this neighborhood     nobody’s kind    or hip enough to be paying for your fancy coffee drink  this time       no more, “I’ll get the next one creed    because nobody cares about your life today                not even you   these days             maybe just the one leering from his car   wild-eyed    might give you his time of day      but no one else    will be offering you anything free              anytime soon

sirens are headin’ down                for another OD in the alley     down by  where the old Y used to stand under the long-gone embarcadero span       rocked by the quake that you missed too      don’t worry        that shakin’ will  be back           soon enough                     guaranteed

what else is lost?       shoes, shirts, money, good looks     all passable lives        the list is as endless as the sky  peeking through the pyramid building’s fingers     they’re all here           deep fried in the hoopla    scrambled in edgy loss        the hookers can’t even work this lombard game         unless they pay and pay             like lou ’s tale of walkin on another coast’s wild side

this  game down here has  non-negotiable rules        if you’re a workin’ girl   you gotta move on down  the road    closer to the tenderloin          or your pretty            just might get re-arranged     and walkin in those heels                   just  might kill you           unless your john     or your pimp               or somebody else’s           beats those shoes  to it …i remember you    running half naked up the street      screaming    after your pimp’s car      begging for a taste to keep the sick away……a long ago faded photograph of  the midwife mama  raced across my eyes     and i saw you      dead        too soon       like the rest of them  

 your old typewriter’s       key is sticking   keys    leaving your words challenged                             steal them wheelchairs       for tomorrow       canes and blindfolds          dark glasses so they can really see   what’s going on               lean them out this filthy window  instead        save them       save yourself          this City’s  echoing-empty enchantment  is filled with memories        and still, we count the days   until





About lindalou5150

as exercise or exorcism, i write...for the eyes of others, for my eyes and heart only, for the love and the rage, i release the gamut of tell the truth and say what's often thought but not written...
This entry was posted in beat poetry, venice meat poets, north beach poets, poetry/poesy, San Francisco poetry, street theater. Bookmark the permalink.

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