City of St. Francis
The valleys of California, and their mountain waters, wind their way from the heights and empty through the Golden Gate into the Pacific Ocean — while driving over the long red bridge spanning that gap, moments flitted in and out — just a bridge, not a bridge, just a bridge, not a bridge — like the moments in life that come, shine for a moment, and then fade away into the out of focus background.
Went down to Big Sur, and saw the Sister Ocean, the Otherworld across a Continent, peaceful, pacific century, hope of future, hope of dawn, went into bookstores, citylights, others, the Haight, made the sacred pilgrimage to Jerry’s old house, 710, walked with my lover up and down hills, rode into wine country, where the soil is so rich it bears fruit three times a year —
Journeys, odysseys, and I have been, been to the other side, Californian exceptionalism, seems like the only place to live, really, why not, the world needs your code, young Skywalker, all of it, the Apple Computer in a San Fran garage — (maybe a different one, I don’t know) — the only place for any of us all of us, future home, golden gate, transamerica, parrot city, telegraph hill, land of ruddy poetry and long views, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.
Your patron saint, Francis Birdtalker, does he walk your streets, talking to the parrots and the sealions and the squirrels and the egrets, rummaging through trash for a half-eaten loaf of sougdough bread, left by some tourist kid from way out East, some bankrobbing Billy, who sailed through Magellan’s Passage to come to this Other City, waiting to catch a lift on a steamship to Vladivostok or Edo Bay or further still –
Spanish sailors came three centuries ago, give, take, and set up your mission, in the same year that on the other coast, America was rumbling to life —
By 1969 the gig was up, King and Kennedy, Kerouac and Cassidy were dead, Nixon was President, Hunter S. Thompson knew what was up (people congregating to Hashbury to score dope instead of ending the war), and Tom Wolfe in his white suit was writing books about it —
It’s been downhill ever since, the last great clarion call, and Haight Street is a pedestrian mall, everyone feels the slimy tentacles of greenbacked monsters probing at our orifices like Japanese tentacle-porn (that’s a commodity too) everything reaching growing sliding in, sliding out but look what’s it got me, an up-down trip to the other-side fifty years later —
child of the matrix, it is no wonder the world is fallen, we live in a democracy and there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes — freedom and equality and license, and we all forget the face of our father, Arthuru the Eld, I am well read, 1001 nights, 100 pages a day, these things cannot be got back, the light of the sun on my face, the photographs of my girlfriend Nina, sitting at her desk, typing typing typing away, words words words.
St. Francis, I commit myself to you.