Elevation (Ode to Frisco) (Emily Brugman)

In the Tenderloin
             A man with bloodied foot
Yelled that middle class women

Outside Amoeba
Your mum — visiting for three weeks
             Stepped on a human shit
                           And it was entertaining
For the guy selling the Streetsheet

That was before we bought
Towns Van Zandt’s record
             And remembered to talk
About the sweetness of springtime
                           Every now and again

And you found
             That codeine was a good friend

When the Giants won the World Series
             A drunken mob set a bus on fire
And the lady standing next to you
Made the most of the broken windows of an electronics store

Berkeley went crazy on mushrooms
             And you thought you would end up
In Rockland with Carl Solomon
Or in the Tenderloin with bloodied foot
                           Yelling something about
             Middle class women

Across the bay in Oakland
             At the Fox Theatre
Car horns sounded
             And people cheered back from the sidewalk
             Because Obama was back in
And we had a martini with a guy called Larry
             Who kept saying
It’s a good day, it’s a real good day

At midnight
             When the storm came
We left the calm of no. 24
And climbed the bald hill
             At Bernal
Fell into the violent wind
             With Tessa
And the incandescence stretched out ahead
                                          To touch the racing stars

IMG_0492Emily Brugman writes and surfs around Byron Bay. She is currently completing her honours year in creative writing, while working at the public library. Her words have been published in Tracks Magazine, UTS Writers’ Anthologies 2013 and 2014, and Tincture Journal. This is her first published poem. You can find out more about Emily on her blog.