Dear Mr. Ferlinghetti,
or would you prefer to be addressed,
as your majesty?
The poetry capital of the world is really a kingdom with invisible gates of many dismissive decisions,
in our shared hilltop neighborhood being an unknown poet comes with the aura of shame and disgrace,
anyone with a Mac and a few hundred dollars can do the same thing without your blessings or reasons,
printing only 12 books a year doesn’t a publisher make and please read me out once before hitting erase,
Everything done in North Beach comes with a fight because most of your subjects are racing quickly,
the City Lights beam could illuminate the world and only publishes cool-lucky subjects about once monthly,
seeking their fair share of slim recognition from a court that only seems to meet a few times a yearly,
you seem more than satisfied being the cool-hipster-king-of-the-beach with everything being driven politically.
Look all around our North Beach neighborhood to experience the real current of a Beat legacy,
our brothers and sisters are peddling their loose pages of poetry for pennies in the streets,
hang out in front of Specks for a night of smoking and drinking if you don’t believe me,
while the lighthouse of poetry just across the street seemingly richly silently sleeps.
Has it been so long since you published ‘Howl’ that you’ve forgotten what it is howling about so loudly ??
the poets here have met their demise because they came looking for someplace to be heard and belong,
finding a fife-dome instead while the incoming treasure is being used to build a monument to poetic hypocrisy,
unless you’ve made it in some other cool-hipster-writing-club the line for this one is more than decades long.
Leave your backpack at the door and all hope of engagement with it while taking a card instead and go,
you’re really not what we’re looking for they seem to like to say and it’s not very good or anywhere near,
rhyming is annoying as is everything else and you’re not already cool with packaging and wrapping just so,
poets from all over the world come here seeking their dreams of acceptance and find waiting a nightmare.
Roy screams at everyone on the streets because the poet and painter inside has nowhere else to go,
the North Beach kingdom publishing gates closed down his mind and will to write or paint many years ago,
Elvis C. tapes his prose to the walkways and though he’s a drunken thieving lier his work has pretty good looks,
the list is endless and can be viewed at the hotels filled with starving mad poets listed in their guest books.
Many of the most talented subjects in your kingdom are just one step away from begging or dying,
we only live once and you made yours so if you ask me for my worthless opinion as fellow poetic whores,
we the poets of North Beach became this way while living in the silent shadow of a long distance howling,
re-read and embrace your past and let go of the reigns while dissolving your publishing kingdom doors.
Living here has made me a poet mostly against my will and i may be truly bad or mad for thinking like this,
as it stands now the City Lights club is not one in which i wish to belong nor is it likely i’ll be invited this way,
there should be a wall of the empire store for ALL neighborhood writers and poets separated from the abyss,
because that’s what all of our visiting hipster-thinker and readers have come here looking for anyway.