Category Archives: danger

Castro Camera

Castro Camera

This past week was Harvey Milk Day.  Milk was an amazing man, a flawed hero, a great gift and a significant loss.   I wrote this short piece last November in his honor.

 

Castro Camera

He was just another Lithuanian-American
Jewish boy who played football and joined the navy
a straight-laced actuary who loved the opera
and kept private matters private.
But then came San Francisco.

He said, “I finally reached the point
when I had to become involved or shut up.”

On Castro Street he flowered
turning to his neighborhood
unflinching in his call for civil rights
Ten months a Supervisor, till his
shocking death, November 27, 1978.

He said, “If a bullet should enter my brain,
let that bullet destroy every closet door.”

After the trial, the White Nights
the riots and the beatings
they laid his ashes to rest
beneath the sidewalk at 575 Castro.
He was my age, more or less.

 

Harvey Milk Day poster

 

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Video: Live at b on the River!

On Friday night, I had the privilege of sharing the stage with singer-songwriter Jonathan Reuel.  We did a combined poetry/music show to a full house at Elkhart’s b on the River.  Here’s a video clip of me performing three poems – note the very natty Penguin Poet t-shirt…

Runaway

If a lineset gains so much momentum
that the operator cannot stop it,
that heavy load becomes a runaway.

Your instinct will be to grab the rope. Don’t.
If you are lucky, you will only burn
your hands as the rope races between them.

Much more likely, though, you will be carried
upwards by the rope – to be smashed into
the loading bridge, mangled by falling weights.

Should you survive this awful collision,
you will likely lose your grip on the rope
and scream back to the deck. This hurts like hell.

Learn this discipline, however unnatural:
When a line gets out of control, let go!
Don’t be a hero. Warn others. And run.

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