Beyond the Bridge


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Robert Bulman teaches at Saint Mary's College of California, where poetry hangs in the air like smoke. Born in Minnesota, he grew up in Southern California and drifted north. His poems appear in ... [+]

Image of Short Circuit - Short Circuit #08

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dreaming in San Francisco is like
dreaming inside a cloud
where the promises of our parents
lie just beyond our reach
around an Escher-like staircase
at the top of a steep hill

walking in San Francisco is like
walking in a neighborhood made just for you
where you can walk your dog
while wearing a jaunty sea-captain hat
with your sea-captain friends
and nobody looks twice
because you belong

living in San Francisco is like
being the President of Blue America
driving your Tesla on Nancy Pelosi Drive
and saluting the Harvey Milk flagpole
on your way to visit
liberal techy billionaires
in their purple mansions
with three-bridge views
as you pass solemnly by the tattered poor
and public parks with hypodermic needles
in sandboxes

thinking in San Francisco is like
being your own private professor
theorizing the sui generosity
of our collective soul—
it might as well be you
in the sea-captain hat
walking your dog
climbing the stairs
floating in the cloud
thinking about the organic connections
weaved through our common geography
linked by shiny bridges
mapped by satellites and democracy

dying in San Francisco
is just a matter of perspective
where international orange becomes gold
a good dream never ends
and you reach the top of the steep hill
just above the cloud
at the end of our world
with nothing to see but everything
stretching endlessly
beyond the bridge

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Image of Jean-François Gambey
Jean-François Gambey · ago
Like a litany
San Francisco unveils itself
Your poetics tumble down the streets
Towards the bridge lost in the mist of the heights

Image of Sharon Lopez Mooney
Sharon Lopez Mooney · ago
Unique without being clever, creative without being trite. Being from Northern California for 40 years, I brought me back to the main artery that SF is in it's own way. Thank you for this! SLM

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