Archive for the William Taylor Jr. Category

As we wait for the moment when I disappoint you by William Taylor Jr.

Posted in William Taylor Jr. with tags on June 23, 2013 by Scot

We both know it’s coming as sure as the dawn
but for now let’s put it in the place
where we keep all the things
we don’t think about
until we have no choice

because it’s a lovely afternoon
and we’ve found a pretty good place
to hide

and seeing my face
from a certain angle
and in a certain light

it’s possible to imagine
that this love has transformed me
into something bigger
than I am

and it’s true that sometimes people
have been known
to rise above their baser selves
to forge the future like a
spear

and for now it’s much more pleasant
to think of that
rather than the other

because this thing inside me
could be mistaken for love

the sex is really good

and sometimes it’s fun
to believe in things.

WILLIAM TAYLOR JR.

Posted in William Taylor Jr. with tags on January 6, 2013 by Scot

Joy On Most Every Cornerbill

It’s starting to feel like winter
even here in San Francisco
and it’s harder than it should be
to find an open bar on Valencia St.
at 3 o’clock on a weekday afternoon
and as I walk I feel myself
evaporating like the rain
on the sidewalks and I know
this is the nature of things

but I’d like to hold on
for just a little while more
see I’m still not tired
of the sky’s lovely grey
and though I still don’t
know how to say I’m sorry
for all I am
and all I’m not
despite all my talk of darkness
at any given moment
I still can fall in love
with everything all over again
and I still think we are often beautiful
in our pristine and plastic
uselessness
and sometimes I still see
joy on most every corner
and I can still walk these
Mission Street sidewalks
in the wintertime
and sing.

____________

The Universe and Everyone

It’s just like old Sherwood
Anderson said, everything
is on fire all the time
and that means you
and me
and the suns and the stars
and the houses and the oceans
there’s no shame in it
and to understand and
accept it is not giving up
it’s just opening yourself
to the nature of things
and there is great power
in this and if you realize
that all there is
all there ever was and
will be
is this moment
burning
and you inside it
burning
you can give yourself
to it completely
you can burn so big
and bright
people will see
the universe and everyone
will see
and when you are gone
they will remember
and say
wow.

____________
The Sad Ghosts of Poets

I drink in an old
North Beach bar
surrounded by the
sad ghosts
of poets

( I am
speaking now
of the dead
ghosts not
the living
ones)

I look out
the window
down upon
Columbus
Avenue

and think
O Jack
O Bob
O Richard
O Dylan
O Jack

at your best you had
the power to turn
these lonely alleys
into songs

you broke the darkness
with a desperate joy

and mined these
dirty sidewalks
for a beauty Death
had no answer for

but Death
has no shame
I see it
spare changing on
every corner

it follows me like
a starving dog
most everywhere
I go

it waits for me
outside these doors
just like it waited
for you.

Luck With the Day by William Taylor Jr.

Posted in William Taylor Jr. with tags on May 27, 2012 by Scot


We didn’t have much
luck with the day
it came apart
so easy in our hands

and we can blame
the heat
the hangover
or the blank faced
hipster kids
sprawling outside
the bars on Polk Street

all I know is
tonight we’ll drink
too much wine
and sleep
the sleep of the
blissfully gone

dreaming that
should tomorrow come
it will be made of
sterner stuff.

Two Poems by William Taylor Jr.

Posted in William Taylor Jr. with tags on April 29, 2012 by Scot

If There Must

If there must be an afterlife let mine
be a little bar in San Francisco
somewhere near the ocean
an endless grey sky stretching
out over everything
dim lights
and a soft rain falling
with grand windows to watch it through
a bartender with a knowing smile
leaning to fill my glass
a jukebox with all the right songs
and endless credits
to the left of me sits a blowsy blonde
with enormous laughter
and to the right an old man
with shining eyes of kindness
and stories to tell of days long passed
and we will talk
if we want to talk
or just be quiet and listen to the rain
time is obsolete
and there’s no place anyone ever
has to be and maybe an old dog
the color of gold
asleep in the corner
and people could smoke if they wanted to
I wouldn’t
mind.

____________

The Woman in the Building

The woman in the building
next to mine
has big sad eyes
and a pretty mouth
that never smiles.

Her long black hair
is streaked with silver grey.

She looks a bit like Patti Smith
and smokes many cigarettes.

I see her on the sidewalk,
in the Goodwill

and at the corner liquor store.

She never meets my eye.

She’s always alone
and moves is if
through water,

not quite of this world.

I like to imagine her
a poet,

someone with stories to tell.

More likely she’s just
another sad lady

who never smiles
and doesn’t care

that I’ll never tell her
how I like her face.

Protests by William Taylor Jr.

Posted in William Taylor Jr. with tags , on December 11, 2011 by Scot

Outside they’re trashing police cars
and setting things on fire,

everything is sirens and anger
beneath a burning moon.

I shut the panes against the noise of it
but leave the curtains drawn so I can see
the colors.

In good conscience we all must protest
the way of things in our own fashion;

I’ve plenty of beer and sad old music
to last me through these lightless hours.

Down in the streets I guess the cops
and their billy clubs are having their say.

I turn the record over and pour another drink
remembering the failed revolution of our kiss.

…and the art of William Tayor Jr.

Posted in William Taylor Jr. on April 10, 2011 by Scot

William Taylor Jr./Rusty Truck Reading @ Bitchez Brew III

Posted in VIDEOS, William Taylor Jr. with tags on March 21, 2011 by Scot

The Poetry of William Taylor Jr.

Posted in William Taylor Jr. with tags on March 20, 2011 by Scot

The People You Try Not To Look At

I awoke with the terror today
usually it comes and goes
with the night

but this morning it lingered
in the unmade bed
the dirty dishes
the bathroom mirror

and through the day it
dogged me, blooming
into the corners everything

I saw it in the man on the bus
and the woman in the grocery store

and wondered if they saw it
in me

some people you see
how the terror has taken
hold of them

and it will be all they know
for the rest of their days

these are the people
you try not to look at

most everyone knows the terror
more than they will say

at some point we made
a collective decision
not to speak of it

except in books
and poems
and other things we
cast aside

the young know the terror
only through stories
and the faces of the old

they don’t yet believe

the rest of us go about
our lives as best we can

we lose ourselves in crowds
and pray it will not find us

let it take the others
let someone find a way
to save us.

___________________

If Only Out of Spite

The afternoon holds us like a prison.
You dust off death’s tired arguments
and once more I’m thrust in the roll
of life’s pale apologist.
You know my case by heart
and will not be dazzled
by my rhetoric.
All I can do is
offer up my eyes
in the chance you’ll take them
and steal a glimpse
of the frail beauty I sometimes see
in the midst of the horror.
And maybe it’s nothing
but that doesn’t mean it isn’t beautiful,
doesn’t mean it isn’t reason enough
to struggle through
another dreamless day, another
stupid hour, if only out of spite,
because death thinks it’s already won,
and so what if it has?
Take my hand and we’ll go so deep
into the fucking dark there’ll be nothing
to do but sing.

_____________________

Alive in the Midst of It

Another Sunday afternoon
in the belly of the city.

My wife, my cat
and myself
alive
in the midst of it.

I’m told one day this
will not be so

but don’t yet quite
believe it.

My wife is in the kitchen
making lunch

the cat and me
are gazing out the bedroom window
at the potted plants arranged
in the space between the buildings.

I love my wife
and I love my cat
and sometimes I even love
the city.

I’m just looking out the window
and thinking how

we suffer through so much
to arrive at these brief moments
of quiet joy

understanding

that in spite of everything
I still think
it’s an okay deal.

The Thing That Hurts Most by William Taylor Jr.

Posted in Happy Birthday Issue, William Taylor Jr. with tags on January 9, 2011 by Scot

And there’s that big dumb feeling
inside you that you can’t
quite find a reason for

everything so heavy
every movement
strained

you breathe in the late
afternoon sky

and breathe out
the loneliness of  time

all the faces and the voices
have nothing to do with you

and the thing that hurts most
is holding on to it all

when you dearly want
to let go, to dissolve
the anchors and the chains
of your being

and evaporate
into the divine forgetfulness
of everything.

The Things That Frighten Me by William Taylor Jr.

Posted in Happy Birthday Issue, William Taylor Jr. with tags on January 9, 2011 by Scot

She says your poems don’t
make you holy

they absolve you
of no crimes

they don’t make you beautiful
or clean

you’re just as bad
as the rest of us
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