William Taylor Jr.

Even Though Ginsberg is Dead

Cafe Trieste in North Beach on a Sunday afternoon 
is still a place to be seen

even though Ginsberg is dead
and Kerouac is dead
even though Ferlinghetti is dead
and Paul Katner is dead
even though old Jack Hirschman is dead

even though everybody who was ever anybody is dead 
they’re still here posing and pretending 

millennial hipsters and fading hippies
bohemians and businessmen 

with their espresso and mineral water
their laptops and fashionable notebooks
their flamboyantly scribbled words that nothing 
much will come of 

no one here high on anything stronger than caffeine
but for me and a woman at a table across the room 
with golden earrings and a glass of red wine 

her laughter like a torch in a graveyard

she’s the only one here with any grace
or style, and she surely knows it

like something in technicolor
something from a time long gone
they forgot to cancel

she meets my gaze and condemns me 
with the rest of them as she should

and then she’s gone

and it’s just me and the rest of the fools
talking nonsense and looking at their phones
dreaming they are doing something immortal

it’s all too dreary and I take my beer 
outside where it’s easier

to be seen.

3 thoughts on “William Taylor Jr.

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