Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Shakespeare and Company

Went to a reading here tonight - Alejandro Murguia, first Latino poet laureate of San Francisco. Interestingly enough he recited many of the poems from memory and was quite theatrical. Political but jokey, sharp and sexy in a confident and generous way. He lives in the Mission section of San Francisco - a section I visited when I was fifteen. I was in America with my step-grandmother who was ill, so I'd wandered around Fisherman's wharf by myself, feeling a little homesick. I'd met a guy selling jewellery who reminded me of the people I was hanging out with in Brisbane - some guys who had just got back from India, made chai tea (this was in the late seventies - chai tea wasn't as prevalent as it is today!) and sold Indian imports. I stopped and talked to this guy and he invited me out. I went back to the hotel, lied to my step-grandmother and went to the Mission section with this guy. I can't even remember his name. He took me to eat tortillas at a little cafe that had a Bleeding Heart picture of Christ on the wall - the heart and dripping blood lit-up in little red neon lights. After than he took me for a tour of the Mission section - some fabulous murals near a children's playground. Then he spilled all his jewellery out and told me to pick something. I kept that agate ring for years. I hope life has treated him well - that night was a generous gift to give a fifteen year old girl from Brisbane.

Tino Villaneuva also read - from his collection voicing Penelope, So Spoke Penelope. Having written some Penelope poems myself I was interested in his work - but his Penelope was not mine. His yearned and waited. Mine got cranky - and then got organised.

The final reader was a younger poet, Chris Garrecht-Williams. I liked his work - it spoke to experience but played with language and image. He's been a writer-in-residence at Shakespeare and Company.

I could quite possibly spend nearly every evening at Shakespeare and Company - they have events on all the time and it's only a ten minute walk away. But there is so much to do and see, a novel and poetry to write and time just slips away from me - even here, where I thought (stupidly) it would unravel endlessly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

By now I'm so jealous I got a passport application form from the post office yesterday! Al did, too, but I've a feeling his is for somewhere closer to home - and in company with you know who!