Tuesday, October 4, 2016

24 Hours

...was a theme this trip. First because I spent around that amount of time in the bookstore since I hosted two readings in two consecutive days in the same place, and secondly because Jon Ginoli, of Pansy Division fame, showed up to tell me that "Denny" (a song we wrote together back in '95) was chosen by Taylor Mac for her 24-Hour history of American Popular Music show (http://stannswarehouse.org/show/taylor-mac-24-decade-history-popular-music-1776-2016/): the section on songs you've never heard of, of course, ha ha...http://www.vulture.com/2016/09/taylor-mac-a-24-decade-history-of-popular-music.html

Anyway, here's the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X--7F1JVeHM
Meanwhile, back in San Francisco and my reading with Patti Smith.....

Not really, but it looks like it, no? :)

But for real, Thursday I read from Eros & Dust and Friday I hosted, along with Richard May, the Mark Thompson Memorial Reading, celebrating the life and lit of a giant of the gay movement - and a good friend, mentor and fellow traveler... below is a pic of Mark on right and his partner of 30 years Malcolm Boyd, another lifelong activist/author who passed away 2 years ago....farewell sweet princes(ses:)

Yes, the shirt says "Purrito" and has a cat wrapped in a tortilla - and it's way too small, but I always seem to find a new t-shirt to share for the book tour

 Next night at the Mark Thompson Memorial Reading...16 readers!

Most of the readers, from l to r: Justin Tanis, Trebor, Jim Van Buskirk, Carol Queen, Will Roscoe, Wow, Ken White, Sister Merry Peter, Baruch Porras-Hernandez, Andrew Ramer, Joey Cain, Ganymede, Rick May. An amazing group of people, and the whole event was streamed on facebook and videotaped:

Is it a bad photo, or was this how dizzy I felt after 24 hours?
It was great to be back in this space - it's the same location where A Different Light used to be, so every reading here is going to be a kind of homecoming for queer lit lovers. I first read here from Beyond Definition in 1994. Please buy books here and keep it in business in a very high rent district that needs a bookstore!

In keeping with our theme, I then hopped on BART for yet another 24 hours with the folks. Long story, but my Dad and Mom like to laugh, and though Mom is a cleanfreak who married a packrat, my Dad has somehow managed to hide certain of his many collections from her through their 50+ years together .... and since my roommate deals in antiques (and I like to write run-on sentences:), together we went through my Dad's coin collection, and coin by coin, we've made $161 already, so I presented him with this publishers clearinghouse-style check and photo op:

They're sweet loving people, I appreciate them more and more....and frighteningly realize I'm both of them at once - she, the extroverted accommodator (until she isn't) and emotional Irish streetfighter, and he the introverted German romantic poet who keeps the 90% of his Irish blood well in check. Or, something like that. Oddly, he's way more of a show queen than I am (he sang me the lyrics to Moon River 3 or 4 times on this visit :) and she's way tougher than I'll ever be. Will be back for Mom's 80th birthday party in a few weeks.

Speaking of mothers and their children...love this outdoor work on a sidestreet in Bernal Heights

A little store on Divisadero, stocked wholly with used kitchen items. Only in SF...

I ended up here with Angus, after a shot of mezcal and some nopalitos around the corner. I met Angus through my annual writing workshop in Mendocino a few years back. This man is the definition of worldly, and he's also mischievous. I forget he's 79 as his energy is pretty much forever 25

Angus is a collector of art, and has several amazing paintings by Hubert Stowitts: http://www.stowitts.org/index.html

Angus is also a pianist and harpsichordist and played professionally in many capacities, and was even a friend of Leonard Bernstein. He told me an interesting story about how one summer he was hired by Bernstein's manager to make sure Bernstein made it to all his events at Wolftrap, Tanglewood, etc. Apparently, Bernstein, known to be a partier and loads of fun, also experienced long bouts of depression. That summer was one of them as this photo hints at (that's Angus on the right). Angus said as soon as the baton was in his hand, Bernstein's mood lifted for the length of the show, only to crash again afterward. 

Angus's lovely little flat in the lower Haight. He also owns an original Von Gloeden (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_von_Gloeden)

Lots of walking when I'm in SF...who needs uber, the bus, a car...San Francisco is one of the loveliest cities to flaneur about in

Paper or plastic? - or rather, latex

Artist Terry Cunniff...we had tea and a lovely afternoon. I simply rang her doorbell when I recognized her house. Love that she was there and available. Village life :) I miss this about SF

I stayed, as usual, with Tin Do, who, among other things, is a true epicurean (blueberry liqueur, candied wasabi peanuts, bean and arugula salad were a few of the offerings on hand this trip) ... Here he is in the back garden at Progressive Grounds in Bernal Heights

Unintentionally, Tin created this super queer pink triangle gin drink

We also had an anticipatory early celebration of California passing the marijuana legalization law and had one of our nights of belly laughs...man, I wish I could have these more often...rolling on the ground. Fuerza Tindo!

And now I'm just 24 hours away from leaving :(
This city is always an emotional ride and full of ghosts, from long lost relatives to friends who've passed away, moved away, slipped away. I think of my grandma, who used to take me to the movies in the Mission in her fur coat, my Uncle Tom who used to meet me for drinks out near the Palace of Fine Arts, my great aunts Ange and Bette who lived out their days in Vertigo-era SF...and of course all the mad beat poets, mad to live, mad to love, who shepherded my words Sunday nights at the Paradise Lounge, laying the foundation for all I've written since

...more found art

I'll leave you with a few songs about my city (call me cheesy!):


  1. T, always wonderful to accompany you on your ramblings, be they meander or metaphor. Sorry I couldn't offer you tea in Cali (to drink or smoke), but I'm ending an Oahu house-sit and off to the Big Island now. Happy trails...

  2. Life lived large...

    Love you, Mar