Friday, January 16, 2009


last week i received the spd spring '09 catalog. like any person who is a bibliophile perusing the pages of a book catalog is like looking at porn when you're thirteen years old. what a rush, indeed. but now i have the infoweb to google some of the writers and books that sound promising to see if they are indeed worth the purchase. actually, my googling poets is sometimes met with frustration because some writers seem to fear the net like a child afraid of the dark. and what i'm looking for is a blog, online publications and so forth. especially a blog. besides, i'm not the only poet who gets a charge out of names, their sounds on the tongue and their look upon the screen/page?

there's a poetry anthology for every occassion. the spd catalog advertises an anthology of biker poetry that appears to be mostly slam-type poets. slam ain't my cuppa, but so what. what do i know. what intrigues me is the subject matter of bikers, hell's angels sorts, and reading critical essays about poet bill griffiths i understand the late poet identified in his young life with the biker sub-culture. it was within this milieu griffiths got his tattoos. there is an element of anarchic freedom that excites the imagination as it pertains to certain sub-cultures and getting on a motorcycle and riding toward the horizon with nothing on your back but a pen and some pages to write on is one hell of a romantic notion.

ah, so rimbaudian. i is an other and what i need is a drunken sleep on the beach. but why must it always be bikers for this detail of contemporary freedom. even gregory corso got in the act and there is a photo of corso hanging with a motorcycle club in s.f. even duncan mcnaughton, that so gritty, lofty and erudite of poets, brings bikers into his poetry now and again. however, bikers are way outside of my ken. i don't identify with them personally. again, so what.

so what? okay, but why not skateboarders as a theme for a poetry anthology. i'm not the only fortysomething who was once a skater or simply hung out with skaters or was even a skate-punk. that was my sub-culture and skaters are just as valid a symbol of loving free freedom with horrible obstinacy. i've not skated in decades and i think why bikers retain a romanticism in popular culture is the very fact that you can be in any shape to ride a cycle. it doesn't matter because the bike will do the work for you. a skateboard is a far trickier affair. skating is unforgiving. it hurts to be thrown off the board which happens pretty often. and you must be in reasonably good shape to skate. the indexes for heart attacks might rise if more older persons resumed their love affairs with their boards.

skate or die was the mantra by which skaters live. i still love watching good skaters do their thing. but that is watching. i'd like to see more old guys like me surfing the streets. there used to be a street skate club in s.f. called jaks team. i googled the name some time ago and found only a few references to reunions and so forth. i'd like to read a history of the club. jaks team was infamous and even had a few articles about them published in the early '80s in thrasher magazine. their motto was 'absolute music'. i wonder if any of those old guys still skate.

the world doesn't need any grey heads on skateboards. but it also doesn't need grey heads on harleys either. let's call it even. i say i'll hit middle age at 45, four years from now, and i plan on founding my old guy/gal street skating team modelled after jaks team. we'll call ourselves 'skeezers' and take the young kids to school and teach them how to shred. in the meantime, for you publishers of poetry anthologies out there consider skating as a theme. okay.

skate or die