san francisco lifestyle by Maia Penfold

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The poem below is included in a book of poetry by Maia Penfold titled The Red Buddha. If you’d like to learn more about the author, and perhaps wish to order the book, go here… 

San Francisco Lifestyle

he was one of the folk figures
(hero would not be the right word)
of market street


a scrawny unkempt thin bird
of a man
he would rush into a phone booth
and check the coin return
then he’d crouch down in there
becoming invisible
and after the right interval
and careful calculations on his part
he’d rush out speeding to
the next phone booth check the
coin return crouch down wait
for just the right time and trying
to go so fast he’d be nearly
hit the next one check for
coins and crouch down


it was a difficult and lonely
lifestyle he’d adopted living
from payphone to payphone
and never completely
becoming invisible as he
rushed from one to the next
his coat his pants his hair
his shoes flapping


it was one of many marginal
lifestyles on market street
but it did have a certain dash
and style of its own a kind
of integrity to it


sometimes i wonder what
to his kryptonite
and what will happen
when he
finds it again
in the phone booth


giving him the power
to fly over taco stands
and the ability
to make us look up to him

Maia Penfold | taken in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada by John Goldak

Maia Penfold | taken in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada by John Goldak

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