Sunday, May 15, 2005

Zen Baby Poems!

This week the Adventures blog gazes through the ears of Santa Cruz poet Christopher Robin. Chris is one of a handful of ULAers who reside in Northern California's Bay Area, including Urban Hermitt, Joe Pachinko, and myself. The ULA plans to become more active out on the Western Frontier, but for now, we scattered Cali folk can sit back, write poetry, enjoy the sun, and hope our fine state doesn't slide off into the Pacific Ocean before Governor Schwarzenegger figures out a plan to save us. That plan will probably include blowing up the Pacific Ocean, so i'm not too sure about that one.

Switching from Cali to Canada, i can assure faithful blog readers that Marissa is indeed alive and well. Her husband confirms what my clouded mind sorta forgot: that she is indeed on a trip, and won't be blogging for some time. Days, weeks, months, who knows how long you'll have to endure my uninterrupted presence on this blog? I'm getting a bit sick of it myself.

Therefore i shall pass ye over to one who needs no introduction, because i'm too tired and lazy to give it. Put your appendages together for...Christopher Robin!!


826 Valencia

She is wondering if her line breaks look pretentious

I can’t tell because I know nothing about line breaks

Went to a reading where the kids spend $40,000 a year

On grad school

But we showed up on the wrong night

Thank God

I wouldn’t have been able to handle so much oppression

Not while I have this good job staying awake

From ten p.m. to eight a.m. pissing out bad coffee

And the occasional poem

Girlfriend drunk on the phone asks:

Do I feel bad because I’m not a bum anymore

And have to turn people like me

Away from the hotel?

But a ten hour shift is too long to spend hating myself-

I will never be Dave Eggers protégé

Or should I say bitch?

I will never spit on people at 826 Valencia

Like that one who is “the mayor” now

He’s “Special Ed”-

When I pick up the 826 book it reads like garbage

And ask while she types her poetry into the computer:

“Is Eggers making money off these kids? Don’t you think

printing writing from kids who can’t write will give them

a false sense of themselves? These stories look like diary


“well he’s very good for a Special Ed kid…”

“Who, Dave Eggers? And shouldn’t it be about being a good

writer period? What if you’re disabled and can’t write for

shit? I know I’m no idiot-savant but neither is he and

where’s my book deal?”

I’m not putting the kid down

Don’t get me wrong

In fact I was a little jealous

I’ve been told by the finest doctors that I’m an idiot

and have no business walking upright-

When I leave she doesn’t say goodbye

But calls me later

Says she is trying to get into grad school

And does this synopsis sound good?

I don’t know

Ask Hirschman when he gets back from Italy

“I’ll give it a ten cuz you can dance to it”

and hang up the phone



A drunk who thought I wasn’t homeless enough

heckled me in the middle of my set-

He’d read the interview

He wanted blood…

I haven’t carried a bedroll in years-

He claimed Bukowski lost his talent

when he got off the park bench,

so I yelled into the Mic:







rattled and nervous,

I read Wide Open Fool,

the angriest I have ever read it-

said, “Buy my shit,” and sat down

It felt like a bomb-

I wasn’t getting the laughs I’m used to,

They didn’t want my levity-

Afterwards people started coming up to me

asking to buy my book

Money was coming at me from everywhere-

I sold every book I had

In a gesture of companionship

the heckler brought two wine glasses over to me

and set them down-

I don’t drink!

He yelled at me some more

And walked back to his friends

I thought of telling him the job

I had to look forward to back home

Was cleaning up llama shit in Bonny Doon-

I could have told him I’m King of the llama shit

King of the old ladies in the trailer parks

Where I crawl under houses

and vacuum up dead termites-

The ailing windup toy of suburban housewives

And master of lawnmowers-

Bright eyed with mud on my face
From the wheels of the tractor when it rains...

Instead we went back to our cozy room on the strip-

I had sex with the Muse

before she passed out drunk

From all the free booze-

I had 82 dollars in my pocket

I stuck a twenty-dollar bill in the nickel machine….thinking

It’s too bad that guy never spent a day on the streets himself

He will probably never drink himself to such good fortune



Fuck the somebody’s that called you a Republican in Spec's

because you’d eaten at an expensive restaurant

But you can bet they don’t live in the Tenderloin!

Fuck all the somebody’s…when I’m somebody I’ll

Fuck who I want! Fuck the typewriter wannabe’s

If you carve it in stone it still ain’t great!


Fuck the weight of your paper fuck your heavier ego

Fuck you *you’re nobody you don’t have a book*

Fuck your workshop one hundred dollars and

Check your instincts at the door

(You can’t teach this!)

Fuck J.J. Campbell because he rubbed

Shit on his balls and published it

I can say that

I don’t even know J.J. Campbell

Is he important?

Fuck me I am a minor embarrassment

I strive to be worse…..

I’ve sought refuge

In my own damaged brain

And I don’t have to commute

To get where I am

Fuck the condescending Cappucino losers

Who tapped on their laptops

Over A. Smiths anti-techno poem

At the Ugly Mug

And no one clapped…..

Fuck Michael T “he didn’t let you

Read anymore because you’re on section 8”

Love Mark Schwartz authentic King Curmudgeon

Of North Beach

Who won’t stay when I read

And hands me a book of bad jokes instead…..

Love Ferlinghetti sightings

stealing/and leaving

Zines at City Lights

love Bill T who never

Writes me a letter without a glass of wine

In his hand

Actual letters three years now

While we’ve been nobody’s together

His time is here!

Love Leroy cuz he’s got snap!

Love Marie K who looks like Edith Piaf

And will not leave the city she loves

Fuck Marie K if I had the chance!

Fuck any of you with your attempts to censor….

Fuck Karl for being too handsome…oh but

I would never fuck Karl!

Love Joseph ya big asshole with decades built small press

Bitterness be like me be positive!

Love the middle class woman in BC who drank too

Much wine laughed hard and bought two of my chaps


Love Sam I Am who only grinned big all night long

And when my girlfriend put her hand on his thigh

He grinned bigger

And so did I

Love Marco the Fin who lights the cigarette I gave him

in the early morning rain of San Francisco and says:

*this is the blues*

love Nicole for telling me:

*you’re such a Christopher Robin!*

and silly me thinking perhaps it is a compliment….



In 2000

I joined a local

Social recreation group

For the head injured

Hoping to make some authentic friends

When I arrived I realized

I already knew everyone there-

There were barbecues, board games

And free swimming on Wednesdays

Made me wish I knew how to swim

But I played along…

Then I met Jenny-

All of a sudden I was injecting testosterone

into my ass every other week

playing pool in every dive bar in town

holding the table, five, ten games in a row

and driving my new truck

to a ranch at 7 in the morning…

I didn’t know anything about horses or the inside

of a men’s urinal

but I played along…

Then I met the poets and started hanging

Out in a local laundromat every Friday night

shooing drunks away

From our mike

while encouraging 89 year old women

and white rappers

To give us their blessed truth

Then I’d spend the rest of the weekend

lying in bed
watching the same Woody Allen movies over and over…
the poets calling me
but never picking up

Last weekend a friend interviewing me

For a newspaper

asked if I was an

idiot-savant, and I replied

“ hell no! I listen to 80’s music

and pick scabs all weekend

while my girlfriend goes to bondage clubs,

how smart do you think I am?”



I put on Patti Smith

“so you wanna be a rock n roll star”

lit a cigarette

and watched Iraq explode on the BBC

Children pushed bicycles through four feet of water

in some foreign country I couldn’t quite

catch the name….

while we argued over fame and money

neither of which I care much for…..

“yeah, well most women would enjoy a free trip

to Vegas where I might actually sell some books!”

“but we’re paying for the trip!”

“you’re not my muse,” I yelled

“you’re fired! I’m going to make

a cup of coffee!”

“don’t you dare!” she yelled back

“you’re not smart enough!”

and rolled up a dish towel and

whipped me on my bare arms and legs

“this was a marriage of convenience

and it’s getting very inconvenient!”

she continued….

I switched to the weather channel

And watched New Orleans take on the floods-

The poet Joe Pachinko says,

according to his first hand information,

New Orleans is so evil, the hurricanes

always pass it by)

I wondered about the one in my kitchen….

“do you got gas money to go

to the free clinic today?” she yelled

from the bathroom

“we got eighteen dollars in the bank!”

“Get dressed! Let’s go!”

The next day we burned

The letter from the IRS

And set off the smoke alarm

I booked a flight to Vegas

to read poetry in a bar;

never sure what I should be more afraid of:

a terrorist strike, martial law,

a rigged election

or the bitter, angry muse

in my kitchen

brandishing a rolled up dish-towel…



“You know you got this real



You can’t go around on the streets

Being angry all the time

People will talk!”

“I gotta keep my street side

it’s how I defend myself

it’s how it’s always been”

“I don’t tell people what you’re really like

everyone thinks you’re an ANGEL

and you’re not on the streets anymore besides…”

“even so…”

“it seems like you can’t tell if you want to be

a grown-up or a child!”

“but it’s my lack of knowledge about the world

that makes me so damn charming”

“you wear BOY clothes and then


that people see you as a child!”





It’d be pretty pathetic of me

To put a suit on

Just to go down to the 7-Eleven

For a roll of toilet paper

And a frozen burrito



Fuck the Somebody's was previously published on an Alpha Beat Press broadside and in Christopher Robin's own zine.
Zen Baby and his other zines are available for two bucks cash from Christopher Robin, P.O. Box 1611, Santa Cruz CA, 95061. Also check the ULA Zeen Store for more of his titles, and other stuff by ULA writers.


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