I wait for a bus.
He comes up out of the shadows
to share the bench,
greets me with a broken-toothed smile.
He has the sad courtesy of the derelict
who remembers once being other than what he is,
the remote regard of one who no longer cares.
He drinks from a fragrant bottle, is himself fragrant
with all of the human smells.
His chariot arrives before mine. Two officers
relieve him of his bottle,
spill the red dreamstuff
into the gutter, rumple him into the car.
He gives me one wild glance out of eyes asking nothing,
they drive away …
And I am left with an odor
not of the body, the reek of a rich country
that will salvage the bottle he drank from,
the paper I’m reading,
but reckon it uneconomic
to save what is human!
We are truly our brothers’ keepers.
That’s what we build jails for.
She would have turned 100 this month. She was one of Ocean Beach’s most talented residents. Memories were shared of Loverne at the Ocean Beach Historical Society presentation, and noted San Diego poets, including Steve Kowit, read Loverne’s poetry. Her deep commitment to social justice, her humility and deep love and compassion for humanity were hallmarks of her writing.
Katie Elsbree was there and she spoke lovingly of Loverne. Others included Evonne Schultz, Gary Weber, Tom Ruiz, Steve Wimmers, and Denny Doyle. Important memories centered around a tribute to a significant OB mentor to so many of us!
Loverne worked with the Writers Workshop at what was then Cal Western – now Nazarene. (That workshop went on to attract some of the most famous poets of the Sixties generation including Jim Morrison who was arrested for being drunk and disorderly on campus!)
She was also involved in the Poets’ Circle from the original OB Rag, and part of the OB Community School (that we established within the elementary school) that included and Frank an Roz Strauss.
(Tip o’ hat to Dennis Doyle)