Thursday, May 14, 2009
A Bit of Vertigo
Torn from the Lonely Planet
San Francisco was the site
Of the coldest summer solstice I've experienced.
We'd been running the roads at Big Sur,
Jade pebbles, seal barks, rogue waves;
Then the winding drive up the coast;
A ball game, the Portuguese water dogs
Plunging into the Bay with all the abandon
Of Kim Novak in one of her trances
(They were never phony to me, Scottie);
The filtered light behind the screens
At a Japanese noodle house; the movie
Where the singer's space helmet filled with water
As the last words of his song bubbled out,
Take after take, he endured; a reading
At the famous occult store, the counsel:
Cultivate the quality of discrimination,
The need to balance these ambiguities persists,
You'll have to shoulder those swords
A little bit longer, dear.
And then the ceremony, just south
Of the Sutro baths. The witches came
Carrying wood, built a bonfire,
And one set a chair in the sand, in the west.
The priestess sat with her back to the ocean
And hoisted the swords into position, and nodded
When she was ready for the blindfold.
I had a few pages I was finished with;
I fed them to the fire.