Market Street at 3AM

Market Street at 3AM

Two quarts and a five,

splashes of

of

yellow & red,

glass shatters,

a speed freak
on crutches,

and the barefoot
drag queen

shouts

KA-POW!

“EEZEEE STORAGE”

“immediate move in”

You can Fail but you can’t Flop

as the last drunk

staggers onto the bus.

(c) Rob Goldstein 1984-2018

revised June 13, 2018

Sudden Tears

…and Rimbaud’s limb being so caught up goes be-bopping out the door into the forest through the trees – raga rag in the grass overturning picnic baskets whizzing past churchyard gates right in step it genuflects then aims and leaps over the scene over the rainbow out of the canvas into space pure space—as remote and colorless as dear arthur’s face. a face made incorporeal  full of grace.  sunken eyes—those cobalt treasures closed forever.

clenched fist relaxed wrist
his pipe turned in…

out in the garden the children are gathering
it’s not a whim. they are accurate immaculate,
as cruel as him.
they sing:
legs can’t flail
cock can’t ball
teeth can’t bare
baby can’t crawl
rimbaud rimbaud facing the wall
cold as hail dead as a doornail

sudden tears!

Excerpt from the poem Rimbaud Dead, by Patti Smith

The Sleeping Poet

In 1981, I was 28 and someone named, ‘Bob’.

I lived in Honolulu, worked as a travel agent and did impulsive things
like fly to Manhattan for the weekend to visit my Grandmother.

I had a partner, we met eight years earlier in Connecticut; he worked
for American Airlines.

I had bouts of what I called ‘depression’ but life was mostly fun, I was
young and belonged to Honolulu’s community of politically active gay
men.

1981 ended with the late October death of my Grandmother and the
early December homicide of my Mother.

I won’t go into the details of my Mother’s death but I was horrified.

I flew to South Carolina for her funeral, which was when I learned my
Mother was homeless.

Filled with guilt and shame; I returned to Honolulu.

No one knew how to comfort me, no psychiatrist knew how to treat me,
and I didn’t know how to cope.

I told my partner I no longer loved him and asked him to move out.

I was too stunned to  grieve so I worked out at the gym all day for nights
of dancing and sex.

In January of 1982, I had episodes of waking up on the psychiatric unit of
Queens Hospital without knowing why I was there; by February of 82, I was
unable to work.

I had taken out private Disability Insurance so I still had an income.

Enter Scott Bader.

Scott was a successful young artist who needed a roommate; he had a posh
two-bedroom apartment in the gay ghetto of Waikiki.

I fell in love with the track lighting and moved in immediately.

Scott’s discipline as an artist inspired me to return to writing.

Through Scott, I met other artists and writers in Honolulu’s gay community.

I was a mess, but I was a more focused mess and some of my poetry was
published in the local bar rags.

In November of 1982, Scott got a professional invitation to move to San Francisco.

Scott knew I wanted to go back to the mainland so he invited me to go join him.

By December of 1982, I lived in San Francisco and worked as a Nautilus Instructor at a Gym in the Castro District.

I was becoming someone named, ‘Rob’.

Scott and I drifted apart as we pursued our separate goals.

A box of my journals started as a boy wound up in Los Angeles
during the move and I never got them back.

I assumed they became trash.

A few weeks ago, I got an email from Scott Bader who asked if I wanted
sketches he said were mine.

I was shocked; Scott was alive and had sketches from my lost journals.

An elderly man I used to visit when I was 17 gave me eleven sketches from
the late 1940’s, I don’t remember why.

A sketch in the manner of Cocteu of a young man with thick hair
Lad with Blades of Hair, 1947

Scott sent scans of the sketches as well as the scan of a poem I wrote on Thanksgiving Day, 1978.

That Thanksgiving I worked a shift at the now-defunct Yale Psychiatric
Institute
 
in New Haven, Ct.

I went home that day and wrote this poem, which I typed up in 1982 and
gave to Scott.

A scan of a 1978 poem written by Rob Goldstein
Thanksgiving, 1978

The last thing Scott sent was a a copy of a sketch he did while I was ‘sacked out’ on the couch of our apartment in Waikiki.

Scott called it, ‘Sleeping Poet’

A sketch of Rob Goldstein by Scott Bader
Sleeping Poet by Scott Bader

 

Scott Bader is a graphic artist and illustrator who lives
in Vancouver, B.C. where he works in television and
film.

His motto is, “Disregard Alien Orders”

 

(c) Rob Goldstein 2018

“Sleeping Poet” (c) Scott Bader

Affirmations for the Resistance #5

I’m an American; my country is built by every race from every nation in the World

Detail of the Mural on the San Francisco Women's Building depicting a father cradling an infant
Padre

As of 2015, 14% of the United States’ population is foreign born, compared to just 5% in 1965. Nearly 39 million immigrants have come to the US since 1965, with most coming from Asia and Latin America.

World Population Review

 

Chilina Kennedy who plays Carole King in ‘Beautiful’, the musical, introduces Aretha Franklin who sings  (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.