I watch the best poet of his generation
Toss garbage in a dumpster
Behind a Vietnamese restaurant
On Seventh Street,
I pull his book from the shelf and read
By what moonlight an alley
Like this still allows a man
Foolish enough to publish such a book.
Just before dawn I'll go down there
And do the world a favor by tossing my own
Poems in that dumpster,
Including this one.
Still working that poem around a little bit. I see here that I've diverged from the obvious and pained extended comparison to Howl, just made an initial reference, then tried to make it my own poem. I'm still trying to make it more factual by saying thr alley is behind Block Five, and the story is almost word for word the truth. I don't have a paper copy of this poem to throw away, and Jesus isn't working tonight. I see he was playing with his band The King of the Demons at Mary's.
This is the book of his that I published, so I actually can pull it off the shelf and read it while I watch him throw garbage in that dumpster, which five bars and restaurants on Block Five share. I have only taken a picture of the view of that alley from my window one time, and it was a bad picture I can't find now.
This is a picture from the first winter I was here. You can see where the dumpster originally was, and where it is now. I didn't remember that it had ever been anywhere else, but they moved it. There was even a beach that first summer in the alley. One of the bars hauled in a couple tons of sand and had shows out there. That would have been just to the right of this picture.
I love having been here seven years now.