The dominant m.o. here in the Castro is clearly subtlety, as this sign outside Judy's Garland (a local florist) reminds me:

Imagine our tu-lips
on your organ!



One bad dream can really ruin your day, especially when said dream involves your boyfriend inexplicably leaving you, which makes you so sad and weary you can't quite function properly until you actually hear his voice (for real) saying, 'It was just a dream, Em,' at which point you start to breathe again.

Oddly enough, my notoriously irrelevant Yahoo! horoscope (Cancer) sort of almost maybe applies to me today:

Dreams continue to be a big part of your life today, dear Cancer. It is likely that you have been having some unusual ones lately, and you can't help but wonder about their significance. Why not go to the library and check out a book or two? You may be fascinated by what you discover. And remember: dream interpretation is an art, not a science. Do your research to get a general idea about the meanings of things rather than trying to do a direct interpretation. If you're really curious, seek out an expert.

I think I can do without both the expert and the library research, although I surely will bear in mind that dream interpretation is an art, not a science.


Don't empty houses ring?

It's the first day of National Poetry Month (who decides these things? and can a month be dedicated to more than one cause?), so it seems more fitting to keep my rambling to a minimum and let an Actual Poet do the talking instead. To Richard Hugo, then.

Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg

You might come here Sunday on a whim.
Say your life broke down. The last good kiss
you had was years ago. You walk these streets
laid out by the insane, past hotels
that didn't last, bars that did, the tortured try
of local drivers to accelerate their lives.
Only churches are kept up. The jail
turned 70 this year. The only prisoner
is always in, not knowing what he's done.

The principal supporting business now
is rage. Hatred of the various grays
the mountain sends, hatred of the mill,
The Silver Bill repeal, the best liked girls
who leave each year for Butte. One good
restaurant and bars can't wipe the boredom out.
The 1907 boom, eight going silver mines,
a dance floor built on springs--
all memory resolves itself in gaze,
in panoramic green you know the cattle eat
or two stacks high above the town,
two dead kilns, the huge mill in collapse
for fifty years that won't fall finally down.

Isn't this your life? That ancient kiss
still burning out your eyes? Isn't this defeat
so accurate, the church bell simply seems
a pure announcement: ring and no one comes?

Don't empty houses ring? Are magnesium
and scorn sufficient to support a town,
not just Philipsburg, but towns
of towering blondes, good jazz and booze
the world will never let you have
until the town you came from dies inside?

Say no to yourself. The old man, twenty
when the jail was built, still laughs
although his lips collapse. Someday soon,
he says, I'll go to sleep and not wake up.
You tell him no. You're talking to yourself.
The car that brought you here still runs.
The money you buy lunch with,
no matter where it's mined, is silver
and the girl who serves your food
is slender and her red hair lights the wall.