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We’re New. Arts, Letters & Culture from SF Bay & Beyond.

Issue #1, April-May 2017 – Contents:
 
 

Guts & Grit

Guts & grit: necessary
to replace complacency.
Guts & grit. Guts & grit.
That’s the answer. Guts & grit.

Unfortunately prevalence of TV &
the internet in so many lives today
reduces and diminishes any possibility
things will be okay.

It will take a lot
to wake up and transcend…
can we turn this ship around?
Disasters dead ahead.

Guts & grit: necessary
to replace complacency.
Guts & grit. Guts & grit.
That’s the answer. Guts & grit.

Seeing with more clarity
what is really happening,
not distracted by TV,
cel phones or the internet…

It is time to leave behind your fakebook page and go…
take the streets back, mobilize!
Save the planet from destruction!

Guts & grit: necessary
to replace complacency.
Guts & grit. Guts & grit.
That’s the answer. Guts & grit.

Worth repeating, great Bob Marley:
Get up, stand up.
Stand up for your rights!
Get up, stand up.
Don’t give up the fight!

  

© 2017 by Robert Lane Wilder

Digital Ambivalence

Wacky minions every day
bubbling from coffee cups
electronic tablets
all sizes holding sway

A harrowing despair
spilling over everywhere
bodies pink and overweight
pasted into chairs

Frantic fingers plinkity plink
fussing over pricey drink
overflowing greed
an arrogance that lingers

Packs of over eager
hungry and ambitious yupsters
simply won’t look up
pawing pointless gadgets
a south of Market coffee shop

 
 

© 2017 by Robert Lane Wilder

Rainbow Grocery - San Francisco

Meeting at Rainbow Grocery

Suzi is endearingly perceptive.
She concludes,

Not with cell phone…
he’s not someone who can’t bear to be alone.
He might well be complicated,
lively spirit situated.

She sees in him a goodness
only artists understand.

Glowing in her face
a reassuring grace
rippling with insightful visions of
the human race.

Suzi has a smile
that occupies a special place,
showing off her empathetic
rainbow flavored dreamlike taste.

 

      Meeting At Rainbow Grocery (Sound Clip) - Robert Lane Wilder

The above is just a sound clip. You can get the entire track, of the author reading this poem, by clicking here.

 

Rainbow Grocery = A popular health food co-op in San Francisco. A random scene from it pictured above.

 

© 2017 by Robert Lane Wilder

George Grosz

George Grosz presented imagery so poignantly.
Into human folly, grasping zeitgeist by its throat.
He took apart convention and conformity
nailing its reality, civilization in decline.

George Grosz - Robert Lane Wilder poetry

Pointing out pointlessness,
the evils of an ugly age.
Grosz a peerless visionary
zeroed in, exposing
the underpinnings of corruption.

Eagerly he’d spotlight
this milieu, its grim chokehold…
Grosz unequaled social critic
prescient, he foretold.

Everyday I scootch around
disgusted much like him,
social failures wreaking havoc
without and within.

Bureaucrats, pervasive
corporate robots waving fists,
clearing out the best and brightest
from within our midst.

 
 

Drawing above by George Grosz

 

© 2017 by Robert Lane Wilder

richard brautigan - trout fishing in america

Remembering Richard Brautigan

There was this movie theater on Geary Street in San Francisco, now long gone. I can’t even remember what movie it was that brought me there that night with a woman who could have been a second or third date, but I do remember that we were inside the theater lobby waiting for the audience of the last show to depart.

As we stood there I happened to look across the room and saw a familiar face. I couldn’t place it right away. I kept looking until I said to myself, “Wait a minute! I know that guy, because he looks exactly as he does on the cover his novel, ‘Trout Fishing in America.’ That’s Richard Brautigan!”

So I said to my date, “You see that guy over there? That’s the writer Richard Brautigan. Have you ever read his work?”

She responded that she hadn’t. I went on to say something like, “He’s a fine writer, and very funny at times. I recently finished one of his novels!”

Not long after that, I came across his obituary: committed suicide at his place in Bolinas, which is about an hour drive from my house.

From then on, whenever I read something by Brautigan, I pictured him standing there in the lobby of that movie theater. Looking exactly as he did on the cover of that book. . .
 
 

© 2017 by Jeff Zable

at least 10 minutes away

At Least 10 Minutes Away

Coming home on the N Judah around 3 p.m.
a homeless man gets on at one of the stops
holding a blanket, a pillow, and all of his
worldly possessions in a cotton sack.

As soon as he sits down in the front,
everyone gets up and moves to the back.

Now the only one sitting within a few feet of him,
I take in the strongest smell of urine and excrement
that my nostrils can remember.

And just as I’m about to get up myself,
the guy turns to me and says, “Good to see you!
and smiles a toothless smile that makes me feel
too guilty to move,

So I smile back holding in most of my breath,
hoping I don’t faint before the streetcar
arrives at my spot. . .
at least 10 minutes away.
 
 

© 2017 by Jeff Zable

Unfulfilled Desire

Unfulfilled Desires - Robert Lane Wilder poetry
Jaded I parade under San Francisco
waiting for a J K L or N train
hard to breathe a little numb

Noticing the grim and glum
wannabes from offices
rap tap tapping phones
complacent narcissistic weenies

Fingering entitlements
techno discomboobulated
clamoring for something better
gazing at some gadget

Inside gobs of ire
flailing inside never ending
unfulfilled desire

Truly here a somewhat loopy
mild mannered joe
falling prey to corporate metal teeth
that don’t let go

 

      Unfulfilled Desires (Sound Clip) - Robert Lane Wilder

 

The above is a sound clip. You can get the whole version, of the author reading the entire work, by clicking here

 

Drawing above by Frost Newton

 
© 2017 by Robert Lane Wilder