On Returning Home To San Francisco



San Francisco, you brittle old tattered whore city like elderly Zsa Zsa Gabor with real diamonds, you still put on a glittering front for your customers seen from the Bay on Sausalito Ferry approaching you at nightfall.

What is that far off roar I heard but hopeful schemers at Montgomery Street cocktail party of insane tearing? I heard you all from far out on the Bay coasting past the Rock, I heard crowds of young millionaires in black Italian hipster clothes clutching leather handbags filled with dreary dream money and heartless hope as Bentleys passed into the fog.

Down on Broadway I saw hard barkers under hard lights with hard faces, heard hard DVD porn blow-out specials 8 hours for $19.95. I saw Zsa Zsa decayed to tits and ass displayed at bargain rates and free looks encouraged under the glare as washed up out of time hippies huddled on Kearney Street stairs waiting for this night to pass with one guitar but no one who could play.

I heard fast-talking North Beach restaurant shills, pasta shills, pasta shills, who long ago took down their pants for one thousand dollars now they hustle tourists through the door for cold cold calamari at bargain rates on the cold sidewalks of North Beach today above the Scarbary Coast.

Over Russian Hill on Polk Street I heard hard nightmare laughter spewing from open bar doors while hard homeless wretches echoed same hard haw haw jiving, dancing and paper bag drinks on the curb and puddles of vomit spread along the sidewalk turning pink in the dawn.

Oh city of toilet paper wads under the eucalyptus and sodden doughnut boxes in the bus stop shelter, city of drunken wakes for departed neighborhood libraries, city of rotting art under the mudslide, of shameful ignorant laughter in the starving night.

I love you so much, old whore.


12 thoughts on “On Returning Home To San Francisco

  1. I can hear the tenor howling down the crusted alleys and through the foggy night air playing sad songs of damnation and redemption all in one. Brings a tear and a smile.


  2. I’m picturing a love-lorn ghost, wandering through the streets and alley-ways hoping for a glimpse, or a sound, of better times…and I hear marriage vows between the ghost and the whore, who, long ago, promised to love one another for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, til death do you part. Amazing how love can transform ugliness to beauty, at least poetically.


  3. Brought tears to my eyes… I always thought i had a way with words but the way you wrote that was so poignant and real, there’s no way i could touch it!
    You totally reminded me of all the nights i spent wide awake, wandering the streets on my mountain bike… from my hoti on 6th & Mission, out to Polk St, up to Church & Market, then up Panhandle to the Park to the Beach and back down again…
    And i have to agree, even after all She put me through, i love that city…


  4. A passionate declaration of unrequited love ~ I too have been thinking of my return to my home city of Seattle, the first journey was unsettling leaving me with unanswered questions..always with tears in my eyes.I love the perspective, your experience has touched me ~ Thanks


  5. Bravo, P, tho’ Amore isn’t exactly what the mission district brings to mind…apart from the human/ capitalist tragedies, the Bay remains breathtakingly boo-ti-ful, at least from slightly afar, say looking south from Mt.Tam on a cloudless fall afternoon….

    under the eucalyptus

    Eucalyptus, like fog, may be one of the most potent–and poetic– of cali. arborial spirits…..


  6. San Francisco, you brittle old tattered whore city like elderly Zsa Zsa Gabor with real diamonds

    Fog-town may be a City of Ho’s, controlled mainly by Ho’s–the political power divided between DiDi Feinstein (DF’s probably got a chest full of diamonds as well–war-diamonds!–outdoin’ Zsa Zsa’s), Newsom’s pooota, and the pelosi goils–but a personified Whore itself, P? Anthropomorphism, man, tho’ well done


    • Hey, if you don’t like anthropomorphism, metaphor works. I think an English prof might even label it personification. I think anthropomorphism is more when you want to put a killer whale on trial for murder.


      • The metaphor works, Senor P–no insult intended. Personally, I’d sort of pluralize it–instead of one gran puta, Zsa Zsa, 10,000 Zsa Zsa’s. But, “De gustibus non disputem” as they say


  7. given the 60s themes on Pon.Pig, I thought we might see a 40 years-since-Kent-State mention–Kent state was murder, plain and simple. And in ways the US remains a police state, bipartisan for the most part, as it was in Nixon’s time. While the Ohio governor Rhodes was a repub, the AG at the time, Mitchell was a registered Demo. He refused to press charges. As did the Fed. court when it dismissed all charges against the ONG riflemen.

    Instead of reasoned discussion of the Kent State massacre (and related one in Jackson), however, blogland has tended to offer the usual “four dead in O-hi-O” sort of soundbite-liberalism. Or worse, Schwarzenegger-ish surrealists bringing up the event, like Bozonius of New Worlds, an arizona mormon-body builder, and all around phony snitch (as is known on some ‘head sites).


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