International Poetry Festival

cellophane saint
canonized
by dead poets
left along
the road
you have slipped
in and out
the back door
too many times
sending fellow poets
to graves knowing
beyond the fake
tributes–
the truth
proclaiming on their
death beds
how you turned
on them

you slip
into second life
hang out a shingle
of poet or writer
tag yourself
the laureate
and sell your
leftover compost
turning frequently
to wide eyed
converts who fail
to see the little man
behind the curtain
masturbating
in blueblack ink

The SFIPF was held las summer with poets gathering from all corners of the globe. This old photo is entitled the Last Gathering taken outside City Lights Book Store. Ferlinghetti is holding the umbrella. Brautigan has the white hat on. Ginsberg is well Ginsberg. Peter is seated along with Bob Kaufman. McClure is pictured also. If you know the story of Micheline as well as some other poets–you will know this poem.

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24 Responses to International Poetry Festival

  1. paisley says:

    whoa.. that is really good.. what was your inspiration here.. if you had one in particular and i think you did.. i really loved this… must have another read….

  2. Sumedh says:

    wow! an explosive piece;

  3. Bob says:

    Oh, the complexity of celebrity. How many of us could handle the spotlight if given the opportunity? Ginsberg, Corso, Burroughs… can the lights ever be bright enough? Very thought-provoking piece, Scot… thanks for this.

  4. johemmant says:

    Fierce. I really liked it, especially the second stanza, feels very coiled, tight. Can the lights ever be bright enough……..sadly not for some.

  5. Scot says:

    paisley
    see captioned below picture–glad you liked it

  6. Scot says:

    Sumedh
    thanks for reading

  7. Scot says:

    Bob
    Some celebs handle it better than most–a few take advantage of it and want more

  8. Scot says:

    Jo
    glad you liked it

  9. Pris says:

    Very good, Scott. I’ve read Second Comings by A.D. Winans and am his friend now, as well. He knew all of the ‘greats’ during this period of time and was/is an excellent poet, himself. He’s written often of the face behind celebrity of many of these men. You wrote of it well in your poem.

  10. I worked “security” at the door of Vesuvio last year for the poetry fest. Can you imagine that? A bouncer for a group of international poets? Needless to say, I did not have to crack any skulls that afternoon.

  11. lissa says:

    i thought it was really powerful. i don’t know the story of micheline. i’ll have to look into it.

  12. Scot says:

    Pris
    Winans and I have emailed a bit back and forth, so from that and his work–came this. He can tell you a thing or two about them–as you have heard

  13. Scot says:

    Lissa
    Jack Micheline took it to his grave–ranting how he got screwed. He was not the only one of the bunch. Poets with egos will get you every time. Look up A.D. Winans on my space–where it says what are you looking for–he answers–“poets w/o egos” Go figure.

  14. Scot says:

    Rodger
    maybe only the tame ones are still around–the butt kickers are dead or too old–well I should never say too old–my mistake…did you attend any readings? I don’t believe A.D. attended–I know jack Hirschman was the MC and Ferlinghetti read—

  15. whypaisley says:

    you know,, i had to go and research some of the artists portrayed here,, i have only been writing poetry for about a year,, seriously,, and before that the only poet i really read up on was plath… since i have bene writing,, i have shied away from poet biography,, as i do not wan tto be a poet , just like anyone,, and i am easily influenced…. i really enjoyed what i read on micheleine,, i like his adversity to selling out,, and his dying with the body of his work,, intact.. i think i might be interested in reading more about him in the future…

  16. Scot says:

    paisely
    I am going to post some of my favorites soon–I will post one of their poems…and if the reader is interested, they can look further. You can get micheline books on Amazon–some good prices there at times. A.D. Winans is another friend of jack’s–still alive in SF. He is all over the internet and myspace too–not bad for a 70+ poet still kicking it.

  17. johemmant says:

    Laughing, laughing, laughing at Rodger not cracking skulls that afternoon. I’ve know some fiesty poets in my time đŸ™‚

  18. johemmant says:

    known, known, I shouldn’t type when I’ve just woken up, I hate typos they haunt me.

  19. i like athe allusion to “leftover compost,” what I take to be the ideas and words of others who have come before the narrator. As poets, or artists, we do feel a connection to those who came before us.

    I don’t know the Micheline story either. I’m guessing that’s where the deathbed proclamations and egos come in.

    the photo is great. What a reunion.

  20. Scot,

    No, I didn’t go see Hirschmann and Ferlinghetti read because I encountered them both on a daily basis so it was no big deal for me. I did, however, go see Ferlingheti read from “Poetry As An Insurgent Art” shortly before I left North Beach, just a few weeks before my going-away party at Vesuvio that was mostly attended by … City Lights employees.

  21. BTW, Scot, we’re on full publication mode for the Bukowski book. Right now we’re collecting essays and endorsements for the front and the back of the book, including some from folks who knew Bukowski professionally and personally.

  22. […] Not Inhospitable To Strangers by one of our frequent commenters, Scot Young: A Beer With Bukowski, International Poetry Festival, and Chinatown […]

  23. Scot says:

    Rodger
    Congrats on the book–will be good

  24. Scot says:

    mariacristina

    thank you for stopping in–always appreciated!

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