a visit with glenn and kent
i've been a great admirer of the poet glenn ingersoll for some years now so when he sent me his chapbook fact earlier this month i suggested that we should get together. after all, glenn, and his husband kent, live in berkeley, a city that is a little over an hour's drive away. furthermore, i turn 48 years old in a couple of weeks. no spring chicken. i want to get out of my shell and see, meet and visit writer friends when and while i can. glenn said yes, let's meet. so today i got into the prius, pointed it west, and in no time i was knocking on glenn's and kent's door.
berkeley is my favorite bay area city. funky, laid-back and cool. there is less noise and fuss than say san francisco, and berkeley is easier to navigate. i don't like to drive. i hate hunting for parking spaces. s.f. is a miserable city for driving and good luck in finding a parking spot. berkeley is a much better city for driving and parking. the city, berkeley, reminds me a great deal of my own section of my own city. berkeley is one of the cities i feel most at home in.
glenn and kent live in a two-story house filled with books and their two cats. the couple live in a cozy, domestic bohemian home. the conversation range from politics to poets and poetry to drag queens and sexual identity and the lack of time for long reading. where i most feel simpatico with glenn was in his bookshelves which mirrored my own in layout and books. i'm a nut for dwellings packed with books. i can look at pictures on the internet of peoples libraries. i blow those images up and see what books people own. glenn and i have copies of the same books. stuffed bookshelves feel like home to me. when i looked at glenn's and kent's bookshelves sometimes i felt like i was looking into a mirror.
the greatest pleasure was looking across the table to glenn. he has an intelligent and kind face. when i got too gloomy with my worries over climate change and the future of our civilization glenn helped me come back to earth and enjoy the present. kent is a good soul whose knowledge of the law, for he is a lawyer by training, and politics kept me at attention.
it was a lovely evening. my only regret was that i didn't leave sac a little earlier so glenn, kent and i could hit up a couple of bookstores. in my humble opinion berkeley is the greatest city for book lovers for it has very good bookstores. even in our digital age books matter, at least to me, a great deal. when i left their house i thought of driving over to telegraph ave where moe's books is located and do a little shopping. but no, because it was after 10:00 pm. the store was closed. next time i said to myself as i drove down university ave toward the freeway. but then i have a waist-high stack of books that still need reading and, i think, i should get thru those before i buy another batch of books.
we talked about movies too. glenn asked me if i've seen the newest mad max film. i have not. we started talking about the franchise. i told them about my memories of the first mad max film in 1979 and the excitement of watching the opening car chase between the cops and the the knightrider when my brothers and i walked into the theater during a matinee showing. the pic blew my 12 year old mind. we had a little disagreement about the quality of the first mad max movie. i argued for its gritty beauty. glenn argued that the road warrior is a better movie. as for me i can not choose between the two films as they are both great in my opinion.
but liking a thing is subjective. and the liking matters finally only to the individual. the most we can do is explain our liking for a particular thing. as for the mad max movies i am, alas, a fanboy. oh, we talked about the walking dead too as both glenn and kent are fans of the show.
when i got into my prius and pointed it east toward sac i thought that we live in a small world. glenn and i knew many of the same people in poetry. as joseph brodsky said the land is only an extension of the space. the gesture i make here would be the same anywhere. poets are brothers and sisters no matter their age or era. glenn and kent were very kind to host me tonight at their home. we embraced as i put my shoes on and walked out their door. what i can do is express my gratitude in poetry, friendship and love.