sweet jesus don’t you know it must be that time of the year the closer we get to april twentieth the worse my memory it’s as if there were some time psychofunkasynch gravitational vortexical pull sucking my memory away like some succubus from below

exploring my dope cabinet some jars brimming some quite empty i’m missing a vacuumed sealed baggie one ounce full of mendocino’s finest solicited to me by a librarian friend

who

well you know

who was just trying to help out her nephew

who was

well you know

in the business

and besides it was a terrific price

and i’m thinking i had put it in here in my dope cabinet back behind the jars both brimming and empty but alas tis not to be found where the fuck’s my bag i stumble around opening cabinets and drawers and refrigerators and freezers and backpacks and suitcases and gym bags

double check the suitcases god fucking forbid i never find the bag then i land in singapore and those motherfuckers in white blue uniforms and white gloves they find it

the queen of hearts she would say off with his head

jesus fucking christ i gotta get a better system jesus fucking christ i need a sounder mind

but lo and behold it’s the lord’s day it’s that most holy of the lord’s days tis the sunday before four twenty all the dispensaries they’re having four twenty sales

like lincoln’s and washington’s and martin luther king’s birthday all rolled into easter light a candle sing dem hymns

i am walking downtown i dance down the steps off macondray i full tilt boogie down russian hill light up the necessary journey joint laced entwined intermingled consubstantiated with threads of hashish rolled between the thighs of transnational atheist eunuchs young enough to remember the pain of separation old enough to recall the desire

and

i puff-la puff-la inhale exhale breathe focus enjoy recast plug into a little brian jonestown massacre

a little food for clouds

it’s a foggy sunny afternoon that’s the best i can do to describe the weather a neapolitan swirl of clouds vitamin d and dope smoke that is cool to the nostrils a dryish dampness upon the tongue a very dry cappuccino splash of atmospheric condition a touch bitter a touch sweet a quaff of mystery rays of cloudshine baptismally sprinkling such that one simply wants to disrobe and simply bathe in the spritz

it’s a san francisco thing you kind of have to be here

and i’m heading downtown to the bloom room i take the scenic route skirt down columbus giving a nod and a grin to those i know a wink and a wiggle to those i want to know

oh my the cute fresh from italy young women who stand at the doorways of the restaurants always smiling at everyone who passes holding menus just below their ample and cleaved breasts greeting tourists and locals alike we’re all new to her to them they invite me in to visit to dine

to enjoy the pleasures of trieste here in my own backyard

the aroma of garlic and butter and sausage and peppers wafts gently tickles my nostrils lifts me into the air like scoobie snacks do scoobie-doo

but i’m on a mission i’ve ground to cover i’m crimson and clover over and over i bring myself to my feet shake my head with big lips sputtering throat waddle fluttering come to my senses and continue on

as i unplug from the music take a breath take another spread my arms wide welcome the heavens open my senses

stop at broadway there’s a group of older asian men a couple of them stereotypically haunting me from charlie chan and or fu manchu movies from my youth old wispy white whiskers dangling down flitting in the breeze all of them sitting on a stool between their legs some sort of instrument some obviously homemade some exotically perhaps professionally constructed a sort of bucket with a pole attached a string attached to the pole each of our participants with bow in hand

playing that syrupy whine of familiar yet foreign notes sluicing their own harmony a voice of suffering a moan for those lost

to death to love to adventure to an existentialist exploration to the forest of no return

the light turns green and i cross over the broad way and dive down into

grant avenue

gateway to chinatown

our fair city’s street shrine to the indentured servitude and ghettoizing of a few people we convinced wink wink to leave their homes and come here to build us a railroad

chugga chugga china china coo coo koochoo

walled them off

allowed them to be amongst

themselves

don’t you know twas for the best and now

and now

we parade up and down and gawk oh my martha i bet this is just like it is in the real china well henry i imagine you’re right i mean look at those signs they all in them squiggly letters

how do they read such scratch

and the aroma it has changed now more of a memory mélange scents melding maybe more of a confluence of individually not very pleasant odors coming together to create an understated simple slight to the olfactory

a stream of soapy suds runs down the gutter carrying fish scales and bits of feather and occasionally the toes of some exotic amphibian

and

me and my new found friends from kansas and nebraska and europe we wander through a disneyesque chinarama dirtier and cheaper than walt’s world but nevertheless a surreal commercial avenue of oriental aura leaving little italy diving right down into it the thick of shenzhen meets the starlight lounge meets casablanca we the streaming crowds run right into the outflow from yee’s restaurant packed with tourists and locals and rude waiters and cheap cash registers and stinky ducks hanging in the window

a seeming warning to all other ducks

beware ye who enter through these gates

and right past me strolls a nicely dressed woman maybe ten fifteen years younger than me i can’t tell any more my geezer dirty old man eyeballs miss the finer details perhaps it’s more my heart seeking willingness if not enthusiasm it tires of seeking perfection it merely seeks satisfaction and she the object of my confusion she has a live chicken tucked in a bag beneath her arm

it clucks

like a chicken

and a puff of feathers poofs out the gap as she squeezes to slide between lust and love lounging on the walkway

and right across the street people are buying television sets chinese brands i’ve never heard of and cameras and attachments and electronic accouterment alongside muni passes and bottles of water and ball point pens adorned with white women in two-piece bathing suits that disappear when turned upside down

a naked aureolic splendor sold beneath the counter lest they drive men mad

probably imported via their brother’s-in-law suitcase along with the cheap tee shirts cheap flip flops cheap kitchen utensils and pots and pans and cheap purses shoes hats scarves that seem to procreate reproduce and multiply before our very eyes

and yes there is ginger

and tea and herbs and dim sum and all sorts of otherworldly really cool chinese shit

and this lounge called buddha bar that tells me that enlightenment is a fine stirred not shaken cocktail

there is no god greater than commerce

and her faithful disciples thrive in this pre-pay toss-away world of chinatown

and i fall in behind a wobbly woman on too tall heels i don’t know if she is seventeen or thirty either way i am both disturbed if not cross with myself for having the stirring that i do and tickled with the little giggle and a grin that she the royal she the grand world of she i’m just tickled pink that she still spins me

spins me so that i stop for a pause

and three late twenty something’s they walk by and one is saying yeah we had to call the police and an ambulance came and another one saying whoa that’s awful and the third saying yeah

and then

then

then

they’re gone like a steam locomotive going down the track they’re gone they’re gone ain’t nothing going to bring them back

they’re gone

walked on by

snippets of conversation snapped crackled popped

like rain spattering onto a hot tin roof in south georgia it pops it sizzles and fades into nothing

ahhhhh

and a vacuum is created within my psyche only to be quickly filled by two guys guessing on gay strolling past one says to the other to be honest i don’t really get into pasta the other one saying oh but baby you haven’t had mine

snap crackle pop

little snippets here there usually masked hidden away by dem little white buds that grow from the ear and filter the world but these they’re little morsels

little tastes

that drop onto the tongue just long enough to tease to tempt little pieces of blotter that melt and expand into butterflies and rainbows and evil unicorns and little mermaids

for a split second then their gone we’ve had snapchat all along just didn’t know it

and three midwestern women corn fed and healthy have carved out a space on the sac street corner holding a massive bag of fortune cookies cracking them open with their teeth gobbling down the crunchy treat then reading the respective fortunes aloud to each other

lips sputtering crumbs

laughing hyena style with big braying teeth on each new line each peek into their collective future they offer me one as i wait for the light to turn i accept but ask that they enjoy the deliciousness the delight and then read me my fortune and

they

the witches of eastwick

they agree

but insist that i dig down and fetch my own cookie draw upon my own fortune and

me

the cracker of north beach

i agree

and i do

and i take one off the top and they scold me oh no no no gotta dig deep for your fortune this is not to be taken lightly

and i do

and I hand it to the taller admittedly more attractive of the three she leans over and takes it from my fingers with her lips and teeth cracks the cookie while looking at me the cookie a prescient portal to my personal future half goes into her mouth half falls from her lips as if in slow motion tumbling rolling down and over breasts made for burping babies launching off as if on dual ski jumps into a waiting open palm

the little slip of paper that is my fortuity firmly fixed between pearly whites that form a devilish smile suggesting that this papier du provence could be my cock

and i wince

while her friend gently slides it out from between the ivory clinch her other hand balanced on smiley’s forehead for a little leverage

and she stops to read it to herself

like judge judy amusingly silently reading the verdict before telling the defendant

she shyly smiles

begins to read off a list of lottery numbers until her other friend playfully slaps her on the arm laughing braying again calls her silly tells her to read the other side and she does

she says

you will meet three milfs on the street and take them back to their hotel

and the three all slap each other playfully and go into full braying barber shop quartet they are loving life and their funny selves

and she says

no no no that’s not it no no that’s no tit

and they all slap knee and laugh again

and she soberly says

pausing for effect

she says

your life takes a turn tomorrow if not today

and she becomes solemn and takes another moment and listens to the cawing of a crow that swoops down precipitously to chase away a bevy of pigeons that had begun to gather around the falling cookie crumbs

and then there is silence

until we all jump at the sharp sudden sound of a kid walking by throwing down little snapcracker paperwads onto the sidewalk

pop

pop

pop

and then they all do their laugh and slap each other on the arm and back and i laugh along with them until the laughter turns to coughs turns to awkward smiles as i realize they are not kidding they are cougars in need i am prey upon whom they want to feast

my knees go a bit shaky a testing of my mettle a testing of whatever is left of my moral code a thought of oh in my younger days i woulda and i coulda my conscience tells me to at least engage to banter to let them know they are still desirable and sexy and what guy in his right mind would even think to walk away to leave such luscious lasses lounging in the swirl of fog and doubt

but

love and lust today are beyond my scope

i’m on a mission to prepare for this holiest of holy days the twentieth of the four i must scurry along to mecca flail myself with wisps of vapor praise be to the green goddess of flower

another marijuana mismanaged modulation of desire a mind expanding adventure beyond the simple hammer schtupp of the bent over bitch a floatopian peter max trip a magic carpet ride upon colors and drumbeats and guttural masturbatory grunts mind out of body out of mind in between the sheets is but a slice is but an essence of the potential twenty-five or six to four

one fish two fish red fish blue fish

and i’m really not that into the farm-bred type anyway so the light turns away from red and i bid my coulda been harem a fare thee well

chinatown behind me and all that