Saturday, December 03, 2005

we spent the day in the bay area. the weather was clear, the sky blue and it was freaking chilly. in short, a gorgeous, glorias day. first we spent the morning in san francisco at the cathedral on geary to usher in christmas with the saint lucia festival. it is an annual tradition for us, anna's mother is swedish, so it brings home many memories for her. we arrived a little after nine a.m. perfect timing, cuz the place soon gotthick with tall, good-looking swedes. i've not heard swedish spoken aloud in quite a while so hearing the language also brought lovely memories for me visiting the country. i held nicholas for most of the time. he loved it, we took pictures so as soon as i upload them i'll post a couple.

then it was across the bay to oakland. there is a small shop, called nordic house, on telegraph that specializes in scandinavian goodies. the store also has the balls to sell two kinds of lutefisk. what is lutefisk, you ask? it is a traditional christmas entree of cod cured in lye. i could never bring myself to eat that shit. even lotsa swedes, norwegians, danish and icelanders can't eat it. but many, and i mean many, do love it. can't fathom why, the cured fish looks like watery piss all gelled up.

then we drove down telegraph to berkeley for a little book shopping at cody's books and moe's which is probably the best bookstore on the planet. didn't have much time for either shop today, only an hour, which was a bummer since i've not been to berkeley in quite some time. shit, i should simply make the time. the drive is reasonable, and nothing beats the pure pleasure of browsing the stacks and making discoveries.

for example, at cody's i picked up the journals first intensity and chain, as well as the chap afterday (beets and gasoline press; san francisco) by john sakkis. there were lots more books and journals to browse thru of course. i was pleased to see stocked on the shelves eileen tabios's book reproductions of the empty flag pole. that made me happy, and thought whoever is in charge of the poetry section has good taste.

at moe's i found heart of the breath: poems 1979-1992 by jim brodey, a real find. brodey is a good poet too-liitle known for his talent. also i picked up readiness / enough / depends / on (green integer [ed. by robert grenier]) by larry eigner, a favorite poet of mine.

there was much more. wish i'd taken pictures of telegraph ave in berkeley. that bastion of hippiedom and counter-culture remains frozen in time, a perennial time-flux forever to loop the year 1969. and san francisco simply is one of the most beautiful cities on the planet. a couple of pictures the city from the bay bridge would've been good.

oh yeah, clicking around some journals yesterday i found this poem by eileen tabios. a scorcher, after reading that i needed to take a cold shower.

now, if you'll excuse me, i'se got a little reading to do.


At 12:12 PM, Blogger EILEEN said...

Cleanliness is next to godliness.


At 4:55 PM, Blogger richard lopez said...

oh yeah!


At 7:10 AM, Blogger Alex Gildzen said...

Swedes in San Francisco: brings back memories of a fave childhood tv series "I Rememebr Mama."


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