Friday Poems: Dark Nights in North Beach

Okay this one should be titled "Friday Prose" as I'm going to share an actual dated piece from my dad for a change of pace. I only kept one bin of his writings out of storage so this Friday space will host a variety of things from photos, poems, prose and a few of my childhood drawings and stories too.

This one is dedicated to my cousin Scott, who recently moved to San Francisco from Los Angeles. To North Beach no less!


Dark nights in North Beach, streets full with people roaming thru neon lights, drinking themselves to the heights of thoughtlessness. Knock yourselves out my young, energetic friends, continue on your road to self-annihilation, for life never ends. Does it?

You'll never see forty or so you believe. Why not raise some hell, create a shell to live in and lie and deceive?

We call it the decade of the nineties as if every ten years, all the mistakes of the past just up and disappears. I visit the bars & cafes; sit alone at a table. I listen to the words being spoken although I'm unable, to find anything that brings life to my ears, just noise of the carefree, with calls for more beers.

I want to remain at my table a bit longer to see what I hear, in say, twenty years. American life, that's all I know. Americans, Americans, everywhere I go. Spanish Americans, Italian Americans, African Americans and so on and so, who are the Americans the Americans so proudly claim to be and know?

It's just another Saturday night, so follow the urge (it's really a matter of habit you know) but hang with your group, don't dare mix & merge. You might find some conversation, some words to say and realize that people are only people and have always been that way. No matter what they look like, clothes they wear, or in what tongue they speak the words they say.

Dad, I loved sitting in some of those cafes with you, people watching and eavesdropping together. I wish you had gotten your twenty years at the table, instead of only the five years after you wrote this piece. Did you somehow know you would die five years and five days later?