Starting With the 38 Bus

(This layout is not what I want but I don’t know how to correct it. But, this post is so long that only imaginary readers and me, myself and I will read the entire thing anyway. So…I’ll not sweat the invisible stuff).

This post recalls a day well spent drifting around San Francisco using public transportation. I take notes as I ride and sometimes they turn into buzz hacking songs. (I’ll post a link to a song at some point for my imaginary listeners out there in digi-world).

 

Starting With the 38 Bus

On the Number 38 rapid bus route going towards the Pacific Ocean, I watch mad men on Geary Street scream at pedestrians or themselves, depending on the moment. No one makes eye contact with these unpredictable souls. No one else talks on this bus heading west. Everyone messes with cell phones. So I sit and stare or scribble hurriedly about what I see, hear and smell. I’ll tell mostly the truth, but fiction, or at least my imagination, rides with me, too.

To my right, a mother reads aloud to her daughter as horns on the street blare “Watch out!”
She hears nothing except her daughter’s voice. I wonder what choices got them here on this commuter bus right now?

“Never Mind” was quickly written with black spray paint on a concrete retaining wall at Geary and Presidio Street.
But the recorded voice on this bus I’m riding says, “Please hold on.” Now I’m not sure what I should do. So I continue to ride towards the ocean blue. Or at least that’s what I hope it will be.

Lily’s Magic Alterations and Tailoring at Geary and Stanyon Street is across the street from a Cross Fit training gym where fit men
jump rope looking out the door on Geary Street. This bus ride is my temporary alteration. “Please hold on” says the bus voice as the bus doors close and people find seats.

At 6th Street and Geary on old woman wearing a men’s gray felt jacket picks white cat hair off the sleeves one by one. She gently flicks each hair towards the bus and never looks up. If you didn’t realize what she was doing, you’d just think she’s crazy. Not everyone is crazy out there or in here on the bus.

At 29th Street and Geary, a man with hair in a tight bun drags on a cigarette while nursing a to-go cup, but I’m not sure it’s coffee he’s sipping. I’ll keep riding on to 48th Street, but at 44th Street, Geary slopes down quickly. I finally see where the ocean meets the ground.

At Lands End the coffee is good, dark and includes refills. I shall quake with caffeine before I touch the ocean with my fingers. My coffee buzz counters the slow methodical moves of tai chi practitioners. I watch them as the surf crashes on the beach behind me.

There was a man at Lands End who screamed at the land, sky and ocean. His rage is directed everywhere at everything and everyone.
He took our attention and for a moment, became bigger than the ocean.

Lands End

 

If I could surf, would I be free? What if I don’t surf until I’m seventy? Would the fish laugh as a shark made a meal of me? “Please hold on” I imagine the bus voice saying now. I could sit all day at Lands End. I could pretend I’m a local obscure poet. But the 28 bus route waits to cart me to the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s not a sacrilege to say God hangs ten at the ocean of nature devotion. So I will imaginary surf on the 38 bus to Park Presidio Boulevard and switch to the 28 bus. But I can’t be late because I’m just drifting, looking and listening to whatever comes along. Yes, I’m a well-kept man on vacation. But, “Please hold on” says the magic voice from the bus. Oh, that magic lady voice does so care for all of us.

 

Surf beach near Cliff House

At the bus stop for the 28 bus, a shirtless tattooed man’s back carries, I suppose, an image of Jesus. As if anyone knows what Jesus might look like? He prances on the tips of his shoes at the stoplight while others step aside adding distance from this mad man. He sips bright red liquid from a clear plastic bottle and returns it to a side pocket in his backpack. Maybe this is a modern-day Last supper, but I didn’t see any bread or apostles. “Please hold on” said the magic voice as the bus rolled on. Perhaps God is testing us. God, he, she…a street bum and maker of a cathedral from a wave at Lands End. “Oh behave!” my Queen Anne might say if she rode this bus with me. I’d better be careful or I might hear heavenly voices no one sees.

I exit the 28 bus where everyone flees to see the Golden Gate Bridge equipped with selfi-sticks opened and ready. I attempt two hand-held pictures of myself with bridge and delete both. I’ve run across the bridge before, maybe twice or even four times. But this time only my eyes will cross the Golden Gate Bridge. Am I lazy at sixty? If I was on the bus a voice would now cut in and say, “Please hold on.” So see? Now I am hearing the magic lady voice without riding the bus, be it route 38 bus or 28 bus. But I feel great on this day of riding and walking. It’s a day of retreat.

I’m back on the 28 bus heading to the 1 bus. “No Stops or Turns” a sign says near the Golden Gate Bridge. “Please hold on.” We do until we can’t hold on. Then we let go. On I go to California Street where I’ll exit and take the 1 bus. All this effort made just to head towards the Powell Street cable car. It’s OK, I’m a tourist.

Once off the 1 bus a short walk is made to the cable car. The car’s empty and the conductor sits on a bench smoking an electronic cigarette. “Get on if you want. Sit or stand, whatever you want” he tells me as vapor leaves his mouth. I ride the cable car to enjoy the sounds of the antique machinery. This turn of the century technology could have gone electric by now. But the clattering operating levers and smoking wooden breaks makes the ride more than transportation.

The now on duty conductor says to a co-worker, who hops on to ride but is off duty, “He (referring to another employee not present) came on like a rock star.” “But they won’t keep him. He can’t handle the pressure” he says while ringing the bell on the cable car like a jazz percussionist.

The end of the cable car line is one block away. The next riders wait at the turn around point. I exit early and walk back to the Hotel Nikko where doormen smile at each customer passing through the door. I ride a polished elevator to the 19th floor where I get a bird’s eye view of a magic crazy city. “Please hold on” down there. But it’s obvious many people have lost their grip.

Gregory Zeorlin 10/13/2016 (A day in San Francisco, CA)

Knowing, Watching, Waiting

Grace Cathedral Labyrinth, San Francisco, CA.

Knowing, Waiting, Watching

Oh you know I want to believe
in something more
than me or you.
I want to believe in something,
more than us.

But this thing called religion.
Well I’m not sure I trust
all it’s made up to be.

I’ve said it once
and I’ll say it once more…
Not sure God entered through
any church door.

But don’t slam that door on me.
I’ve been wrong so many times before.
Or maybe the door is open wide,
so vast it’s unseen.
As if we’ve walked in and out,
and out and in not even knowing it.
And God’s unknown too…

Or maybe the door only exits
as an opening to the outside world,
where God’s knowing, watching and waiting.

Gregory Zeorlin 10/14/2016 @ 10:43am.
Inside Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA

 

Beyond the Comfort Zone

 

Beyond the Comfort Zone

 

Try to avoid going beyond the comfort zone.
Don’t ever trip or take a tumble.
Do what we know over and over again,
for a while we’ll even avoid some troubles.

 

Shun all those questions we cannot answer.
Let’s just know what’s already well-known.
Limit our quest and be the very best,
at spinning on our own point of center.

 

Don’t enter a room full of strangers
lest we lose our sense of importance and control.
The world is big, even bigger than us,
such realization is a blow to our fragile egos.

 

We’re creatures of habit, me and you,
we avoid what seems foreign or nearly new.
But I’m going to trip and tumble, just you watch.
Or join me just beyond the lines of the comfort zone.

 

Do you want to try something new?
Step out of a rut we’ve made so long and way too deep?
Over and over we form neat lines and rows
before going complacently to prepaid graves with tombstones.

 

Let’s be brave for once or even twice.
Why not be set free while we’re still living?
Sing a song, do a dance, write a poem, take a chance
of stepping beyond what’s already known.

 

Life’s troubles will eventually find us, ready or not.
And deepest dreams will fail to appease us.
We’ll toss and we’ll turn or try to run away,
from many things we’ve trapped too long inside us.

 

What does it take to jump beyond the comfort zone?
Tomorrow’s too far away and yesterday’s long gone.
If you wait till things seem perfect you’ll miss another chance
and get buried head to toe, in the comfort zone.

 

Gregory Zeorlin 8/8/2016 @ 11am
The adult world is a place of people set in our ways who become skeptics and cynics. We avoid change out of the fear making mistakes and not looking perfect. We focus on our public image at the cost of neglecting our human spirit. We miss out on doing things that could enrich our lives even if we must trip sometimes to do them.

Red Star-Blue Eye

Red Star-Blue Eye“Red Star-Blue Eye” is a recent print from my studio and part of my “Mind Field” series. I’m making a collection of junk and clutter compositions that include related poems. The debris assemblages are the results of my habit of  saving odd stuff that eventually gets piled up on anything horizontal. The poems don’t directly explain any of the print images but give clues and hints about what’s on my mind. When it comes down to it, whatever you think is going on in a print is good enough. “What you see is what you get” is my mode of operation. The poems add another dimension but aren’t necessary for a print to be visually engaging. So for now, I’m not including the poetry in this post. You’ll have to come back and look again. The series will eventually be posted at ZeorlinArt.com or in my design project at Redbubble.com.

TEN CENT POETRY

My posts to this vital blog have been sparse due to working on a poetry book titled “TEN CENT POETRY.” It’s a digital book on a pdf file. No doubt the demand to read poetry by an unheard of poet will be high. Beat the rush and download the file today. (The pdf will work on a smart phone, iPad or other personal digital device). I suggest you read the book at your leisure. And since you’ll enjoy the book, please forward it so others can read it. Thanks in advance to anyone who actually shares my book with someone else.

white school bus ten cent promo v1 square v2

TEN CENT POETRY. A book by Gregory Zeorlin

TEN CENT POETRY. A book by Gregory Zeorlin

TEN CENT POETRY. A book by Gregory Zeorlin

Imaginary Readers

If it was not for you, my imaginary readers, then I would be writing for invisible ones. And invisible readers are even harder to reach than imaginary ones. Or, at least that’s what my imaginary friends tell me…

Photograph. Gregory Zeorlin

Photograph. Gregory Zeorlin

The beauty of a public disclosure of a journal writing effort is the fact I would write my thoughts regardless if anyone reads them. So, why post this ramble to the public? Because there are many real people out there who have similar thoughts.  We all have the same bones, as the photograph with the post implies (for those who don’t mind thinking a little abstractly). So the same things which motivate one person to write a poem also prompts another to seek out a poem to read.

So, now and then, a real person reads what I write. I hope those encounters with my words affirm, entertain, challenge or confound such people from time to time.

Be well. Good day…whether you are somewhere in the real or imaginary worlds.  🙂

Veil 51

Veil 51. 2015. Mixed + digital media on paper. 11″ x 14″. Gregory Zeorlin

This piece seems like a good way to step into the first day of May 2015.  Spring-like in color. A little patch of spring green beneath the figure’s feet. But, what’s the black column doing imposing upon this soft happy moment?

Veil 51. Mixed + digital media on paper. 2015.

Veil 51. Mixed + digital media on paper. 2015.