San Francisco Dreaming

Last night in dream
I missed my flight
no documents wrong documents
and was forever going round
looking for ways to right the situation
this desk, that desk
arguing, pleading,
faceless world of airport
over and over
getting nowhere
over and over
getting nowhere

A replaying perhaps by my subconscious
of the time
I lost my passport
in San Francisco
and the hectic day spent
reporting to police
reporting to Consulate
obtaining emergency passport
checking insurance
re-booking flight
by internet,
telephone.
Footslog, tram, taxi, uphill downhill
in amazing steephill skyscraperland
of movie memories

Nightmare - daymare - that brought
Opportunity

Opportunity
to visit North Beach
stamping group of Kerouac, Ginsberg, Beat Generation

Journey
Through alien brash-coloured Chinatown
Into drab urban decay traffic hustle
Into Beat Museum
Into fifties world, monochrome but exciting
Fading photos, press cuttings, memorabilia
First drafts, marked proofs, doodles
Jack's battered typewriter, Alan's graffitid back door, Neal's beat-up Cadi (or something similar)

Dropouts? Drunks? Druggies?
No.
Rebels, newthinkers, prophets,
Prophets of freedom
Freedom from convention, tradition, expectation

Opportunity
To read own poems
"Caffe Greco 8pm"
Were they here once?
Unlikely but imagine
"Philip Hackett's Open Mic"
Was he one of them?
As he writes my name in notebook
seems old enough

Poets audience from many lands
Local older poets
Did they know them?

Black poet rants his anger
Anger at society, authorities, environment, people, life
Anger at now
Angry like them

Called,
I read
My childhood wonder
My teenage anger, hopes, fears
My adult defeats, triumphs, struggles, frustrations, loves, losses
Feeling in place, out of place
But soaking up applause

"Like your poems, "
says older poet
as I walk past
"Well done"
says another
Surely they knew them?
Walk on air back to hotel
These streets knew them
Back through now magic Chinatown
Closing down for the night

Dream?
Reality?
What's the difference?

by Roger Hudson

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