At the North Beach hangout, Cafe Trieste

One of the regulars, reading a book of his own, full of witty homonyms, like whichcraft --he remarks that witches have got choices, it's a renaissance!

His favorite book of all time--Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman. Why? He laughed and said he likes to smoke it. Other influential books--Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller, which he read for the first time when he was twenty-one and living in the Virgin Islands--it's about a man who was in touch with his anger and had the balls to leave his country and, after six months, didn't just think he was an artist, but knew he was one; Commentaries on Living, by J. Krishnamurti; and Zorba the Greek, by Nikos Kazantzakis. He commented that, regarding Greeks and Turks--there are good Greeks and there are bad Greeks and there are good Turks and there are bad Turks.

Something good he's read recently--The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle. Words of wisdom from the book--Why are we so unhappy? Because we exist outside the moment.

He was kind enough to chat with me while his friend left to play basketball and listen to some music down the street.

Check out his website at www.rolemottos.com.