san francisco: days four and five

(I’d ruined my “secret return” to san francisco)
I don’t have much time so these words will be quick,
a bus ride to broadway street to visit the beat museum
and a thank you to the man there who showed that there can be passion
from bethesda to san francisco,
you can get up and go
find something you love and follow through.
a visit to city lights bookstore
(but instead I bounced drunk into his City Lights bookshop at the height of a saturday night business)
a walk from chinatown (while hiding in the alleys with bums and then marching forth into north beach)
to embarcadero,
shared a chocolate macaroon with myself on
the pier, watching the bay bridge and the water
and i realize again,
that it’s alright to be alone
a muni ride back to soma and a trip to the market
barbeque chicken never tasted so good

among many other things,
i happened to eat a chocolate croissant the size of my head

i write in a panic because of my soon departure to monterey for the night.
big sur tomorrow and here we go,

(One fast move or i’m gone’ so I jump up, do my headstand first to pump blood back into the hairy brain, take a shower in the hall, new T-shirt and socks and underwear, pack vigorously, hoist the rucksack and run out throwing the key on the desk and hit the cold street and walk fast to the nearest little grocery store to buy two days of food, stick it in the rucksack, hike thru lost alleys of Russian sorrow where bums sit head on knees in foggy doorways in the goopy eerie city night I’ve got to escape or die, and into the bus station- in a half hour into a bus seat, the bus says “Monterey” and off we go down the clean neon hiway and I sleep all the way, waking up amazed and well again smelling sea air the bus driver shaking me “End of line, Monterey.” – and by God it is Monterey.)

(Big Sur by Jack Keouac)

san francisco: day three

a walk to whole foods,
and the bank
morning pastries
and a morning read of watchmen
on the patio
an afternoon walk to live sushi
and then to mission bay

i’m going to live in a house boat.
and i’m going to live in the sun,
i’m going to find a way to always feel joyful
and inspired
but not in an unrealistic way
because realistically speaking
everything is sinking
and it’s impossible to have the fantastic mr. fox soundtrack
layered onto my entire life,
but i can dream

and here’s the part where i add some photos,
and leave this page for a book and a home made
chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich
dipped in hot fudge
because it’s all too overwhelming to put into words
because it’s all too grand to take by the hand

san francisco: day two


morning turned into afternoon
started with clouds, welcomed by sun
shining on the mission,
perfectly lonely walks on unfamiliar streets

book stores and markets,
what ever happened to this simplicity,
being the only thing?

I take this city in with deep inhales
and it’s a shame that some feelings can never stay
and it’s a shame that some feelings can’t be made into words
all I want is to make these feelings words that are
and invincible, that cannot be take away by time
or things visible

found a perfect spot,
a perfect view stuck in between dehon and 16th;
homes on a hill
maybe we can make feelings last longer if we share them with somebody,
but it’s hard for me to believe that anyone else could feel the same thing,
the same odd nostalgia provoked by a place you’ve never been, never seen.


it was a struggle to choose,
a place to be still and consume
to sit down and have lunch alone
lonely feels good sometimes
especially when you can watch the people across the street
dance and carry out dialogue,
and laugh when someone throws an empty crumpled can out of their two story window,
and it lands on their head.

my server smiled,
and he enjoyed life
in some people you can see happiness
i don’t think there is a better trait to have


I accidentally sat in the seats reserved for seniors or the handicapped,
by the time I realized the handful of signs indicating my sin
I was too timid to stand up and relocate
It’s funny how social situations can end up so symbolic
and I hope this incident doesn’t symbolize me

anyways, I’m glad I had taken the seat
(I would’ve moved if it was needed)
I was able to see out all three of the windows!
and the way the city slides
and the bus driver mutters
makes for a good ride


a day spent roaming in the mission,
between valencia and guerrero streets,
between shops that sell vinyls and film,
turned into an evening lit by a documentary of woody allen
then lit by the city lights seen from the top or potrero hill
with really great tacos followed by churros dipped in chocolate sauce
to end another day,
in sweet san francisco

san francisco: day one

getting here:

I noticed that I was a lot more excited
than everyone else on the plane
that I was a lot more anxious
a lot more awkward
and when I tried to make small talk with the man next to me
I noticed that he didn’t really care to acknowledge
anything other than
his sports and news displayed on the too small, too close
built in tv on the back of the seat in front of his
too small, too close knees
I don’t think he was excited to be
on the plane,
not as excited as I was.


I was not prepared
for the speed of the revolving
belts at the baggage claim


it’s a great thing, to like the people that you love

san francisco:

I pointed out the trees, and the
self storage buildings
in fear that the all together glorious lights and curves of
san francisco
would haunt me in my sleep
the kind of haunting that
feels wonderful and inspring
twin peak
your view was covered in fog
but the orange and white lights standing out against the black
blanket of dark and darker night
made no sound but
jaw-dropping, breath-taking, igniting
and welcoming sounds
“welcome to san francisco”
said the people around me, not verbally but something in between
some kind of connecting thoughts
that only I, with fresh eyes, could think


french toast topped with granola and cranberries,
this city is topped with granola and cranberries


mixed up buildings and bound up walls,
colors like teal and butter
homes laid down together closer than bricks
and windows wide open
and a sore neck, from all of the sights

sutro heights,
you were beautiful at first
then you were heaven
caves made of tree branches and soil that
smell like the way steinbeck writes about a bountiful nature
and an ocean beneath the golden gate bridge
terrifying and unyielding
to the rigid edge of the coast
and all things powerful, didn’t seem so powerful anymore

hawk hill,
you were tall at first
then you were soaring
and so was I, gathered up and small at the top of a great tower
but large in the fog that creeps  through the film famous roads


polk gulch  and lombard street to follow-
pizza tastes great after an adventure,
I’m still in awe of these homes
picking out my favorites
and coating them in “somedays” and “so greats”


of day one and i’m in love


in the face of a child
i find myself helpless
confronted by innocence, and she shows me how tainted
i have let me life become
tainted by selfishness and anxiety
by heartbreak and relationship,
i find myself complex and irritated
but in the face of a child
i am shown that this life still has something to offer
and by the grace of god that all of the grown have somehow forgotten
we are free.
i am hurt by disbelief
i am broken by sorrow
i am twisted by change,
she tells me a secret
and i will never forget it,
knowing that every whisper holds a truth,
and that in the face of a child
i can find purpose,
confronted by innocence
i will shake this stain and bitterness


Come out to Chez Billy (3815 Georgia Ave. NW. Washington, DC. 20011) this friday, October 12th, to take a stand against child-sex trafficking in DC! From 7:30-10 we will gather to support organizations working against sex trafficking. Get a free issue of Bittersweet’s Fall Zine, listen to a spoken word piece, and view local art for sale! All proceeds benefit the organizations, check out for more information!

I will be selling cyanotypes of the images I contributed to this issue of the Zine. Hope you all are able to make it out!