Brunch Sonnet 6: Patti Smith at St. Mark’s Bookshop (mine).

Brunch Sonnet 6

Patti Smith at St. Mark’s Bookshop


Patti kicked the g’s off the ends of words—thinkin’,

fryin’. She had long dyed hair with undercurls of grey,

no secrets there. She arrived on time in a black beanie,

her voice skidding out of her throat like wet feet on sand.

She was amazed to have her name on a New Directions book,

she waited fifty years but it happened. Fifty years isn’t so long

for a dream. Her neighbors in Detroit used to spiff up her lawn

while she was gone on trips, she hated that, she wanted

those flowers for tea, for wine, the dandelions. The worst thing

about Detroit wasn’t the lack of a coliseum or museum, but

the lack of a café. She said she’d sit in some whitewashed

corner at the nearest 7-11 and try to read, pretending  herself

at the Café des Poètes with a mug, a watch, a bit of time,

a few sips left, a cigarette, the table wooden, stained.



Friday night (mine) (it’s a poem).

Alight with all the essences


I call this Rain Diego, rain for one minute in San Diego


The only thing a Fanta and a persimmon have in common is color


On the bus Scott looks gorgeous with the night moving black behind him


The martinis have back-up olives & back-up gin


You know him in the biblical sense




There’s something about knowing someone in the biblical sense that makes it okay to take sips from their drink


I should’ve stolen that tiny tiny decanter when I had the chance


There’s no such thing as practice floral arrangements. You don’t waste flowers!


An empty Dr. Pepper bottle in my greenleather pocket


Green leather red leather three friends in leather would be better


I feel like such a GIRL when I’m with you


This tiny red can of champagne. This tiny red can at the Tin Can Alehouse


That girl’s got a wind machine


That tiny dog just pooped on the bar room floor


-We just danced in circles around thrown-off shoes, you missed it

-Oh I didn’t miss it/I was just waiting/for you to finish doing your thing


You’re doing something wrong, without a doubt, but it’s not that you’re wrong


I’m goin’ down to the bus station baby with a suitcase in my hand


In circles on the bar room floor


Walking up 5th is not nearly as hard as Main Street in Pittsburgh


If you know someone in the Biblical sense you can lean on them and whisper (the music’s loud)


If you know someone in the Biblical sense they might be asleep in your bed against the floor near the ground that will be rained on


I’m goin’ down to the bus station baby with a suitcase in my hand


Those girls are too skinny for girls


Those girls are too SKINNY for boys!


A chile relleno burrito/

and sauce/

Hot sauce

Damn it feels good to have a sideyard.


The sideyard was better than ever before

The sideyard, according  to a new neighbor-friend named Neil “felt like the 60s again.”

The sideyard had around 70 people attend which is record-breaking for the sideyard

The sideyard had a tiki torch

The sideyard had such good loud music that the police came

The sideyard thanks “Tendrils,” the new house band, who will perform acoustically from here on out so that we don’t get evicted

According to a girl I met, the sideyard was “the most fun event I’ve ever been to.” EVER!

Neighbor and friend Jed said about the sideyard, “Don’t ever let me miss this again.”

The sideyard offered free wine and decaffeinated coffee

The morning after the sideyard I had both a real hangover as well as a happiness hangover


Thank you to everyone who came to the sideyard

Thank you to everyone who let themselves enjoy something so analog

Thank you to everyone for coming out to hear poetry; we poets need you, we poets are you, we are all poets


(photos by misha marston johnson)

The poets and the farmers (poem) (mine).

The poets and the farmers


For a while now the poets have known

the farmers and now the farmers know

the poets and they say hello and hug them

and Elle says again, You were so wonderful

on Friday night and Frankie is smiling

because it is never too late or early for

a compliment meant genuinely and I give

Frankie free zinnias by Ellie not because

she is a poet but because she is a very good

human who has such strange handwriting

that it makes people want to tattoo it on their

bodies, and she tattooed it on hers but not

in a braggy way, in a columnar/cut-off way,

and I like to watch people ask her about it

and I think to myself that I’d never tattoo

myself because I hate repeating myself

but, to repeat myself, now the farmers know

the poets and they like them for their words

and savvy presentation (I think of Scott

in the front row of the sideyard smiling like

someone gave him the exact correct birthday

present) and the poets love the farmers

for their very good foods like Nardello

peppers which are sweet and the most

divine, they’re Ellie’s favorite and she’s

a painter and a farmer, too. And life, I think,

is not as simply roasted as a pepper is, but

it is sweet to watch a farmer hug a poet

hug a professor hug a trapezist hug

a graphic designer slash table maker

hug  a videographer hug me, I’m hugging

all of them one after another or two

at once at the farmstand on a Sunday,

and I think we’re all farmers inside somehow,

all artily growing or having newly grown.

the after-sideyard:

mostly just this

mixed in with this

(thanks kaz)

and frankie’s feeling it too

and misha sold four prints

and there are flowers all over the house, even by the sink and right here on the desk

and there are four dollars in “20,000 words” which means at least 2 people have my chapbooks

and maybe, maybe, some sort of art scene to remember is getting going in san diego, but even if not, even if we’re all just smartpeople in a yard for a party, it feels good to remember how many  good people there are in this city, and that with some wood and tacks and trashbins-turned-to-tables and the help of farmily, art can happen right next to where we live, and even though no one on the east has seen this thing we did and made, we will bring it wherever we bring our selves, sideyard or sideporch or sideacre of a plot of land…