On a carpet of downy feathers
just outside of swinging range of San Francisco's third annual Valentine's Day pillow fight (attended by roughly 1000...emphasis on rough--my head still hurts today)
sat a poet, writing love poems for small donations.
With him was a friend who, though in the picture is reading I, etcetera, by Susan Sontag, also read, aloud, to her key clattering poet, her own poetry, written in a lovely palmsized notebook.
While he was fielding business, she told me how she'd just gotten the Sontag book at a bookstore in Berkeley--she's always wanted to read something by Sontag. Her favorite book--Beautiful Losers, by Leonard Cohen, for its stream of consciousness, spirituality, sexuality. Every time she reads it, and she's read it about seventeen or eighteen times, she discovers something new--it was on her Dad's bookshelf, among Frank Herbert, Robert Heinlein, Thomas Pynchon, Kurt Vonnegut.
If she were to write her own book, it would be about the Hungarian pop singer, Sarolta Zalatnay, who one of the Bee Gees wanted to marry. She discovered Ms. Zalatnay while doing a google search for female psychedelic music.
The (working) poet's favorite books--Gravity's Rainbow, by Thomas Pynchon and Journal of Albion Moonlight, by Kenneth Patchen.
(in San Francisco, it's not our Christmases that are white, it's Valentines Days....
the feathers are not as fun to catch with your tongue--they tickle when inhaled)
I heart readers.