Unnecessary Poem # 427 by William Taylor Jr.

It’s Sunday in North Beach in August
and it feels like it’s always Sunday in North Beach
in August with the big blue sky and everything
pretending that summer isn’t almost gone
and I’m always at a table like this one
with wine or a beer and a
tattered notebook
like a kind of purgatory
or maybe a minor heaven of sorts
and I’m sitting here thinking that if the poets had any sense
they’d shut up every now and then and stop
arguing with the silence
because the silence has been around and seen some things
and will have the final say no matter what
our credentials
and yet here I am with my unnecessary words
because there really is no need to tell you again
about this North Beach sun
and this North Beach sky
and the parade of tourists on Columbus Avenue
all beautiful and badly dressed
or the old men in Chinatown and how they play these instruments
I cannot name but they sound like sad
violins
and how the music is ancient and sorrowfully pretty
and how everything going on like this
like is has for so long
still gives me a feeling of something like hope
though I couldn’t tell you why or what for
but the little pink donut box of my heart
still longs for things I can’t explain
or justify and this keeps me going
when most of me doesn’t want to
and I think that’s a victory
and maybe worth the telling
so for now the silence can sit itself
down and wait until I’m done.

William Taylor Jr. lives and writes in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco. His work has been published widely in journals across the globe, including The New York Quarterly, The Chiron Review, and Catamaran Literary Reader. He is the author of numerous books of poetry, and a collection of short fiction. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee and was a recipient of the 2013 Kathy Acker Award. To Break the Heart of the Sun is his latest collection of poetry. 

 

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