Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: City Lights Booksellers & Publishers – 5/5 Stars

City Lights Booksellers & Publishers
$$ Bookstores
261 Columbus Ave
San Francisco, CA 94133

Lawrence Ferlinghetti:

I was surprised when your friends helped you stand up to the podium in discomfort after being huddled and rolled in a wheelchair. You could have been ailing when you relied on the wooden podium to keep you standing with your elbows but you continued on and on and on in mustered strength and paused in short intervals to catch your breath.

Your face seemed naked in retrospect. Then you put your thick red glasses on and began to read in a low voice that echoed the room in silence, attentive silence. You know, the silence that comes with concentration like focus, deep deep focus on a maverick in his blazer and jeans. His hairline below his ears with a full white beard. His hair bushier in front than in back. I still couldn’t hear you.

Your audience was a loyal audience and represented your audience; the two generations after yours. Younger old people who read more than A Coney Island of the Mind. Youth from the 50s and 60s; the ones who didn’t die from drug overdoses and who stayed in college and years later looked like typical university senior faculty members. It looked like an academic conference, only larger and as intimidating. Men and women with glasses from too much reading. Men with pressed blazers with and women with dyed reddish hair in slacks and shoes with thick heels.

I was 21-years-old on when I saw you read. I turned 21 one day before you turned 85. I photographed you. I photographed you being photographed. Now you’re almost 90.

You, your bookstore, the Beats are entrenched within a historical period but that second floor room with poetry readings is a continuing homage to get writing out there. That’s at least what your bookstore has taught me. The shelves upon shelves of stories about the Beats outnumber the stories by the Beats; and numerous editions of Ginsburg’s Howl in a way that commemorates yourself is like a distinct museum exhibition from a time and place and who which re-reminds myself you are a museum now by means of historical landmark status.

That’s as definitive and respectable to what a bookstore can aim to achieve and it’s reached sort of a peculiar status with yours.

Published poetry may have always been obscure and yet not seemingly dead. Where do the poets exist if distributers and shelve spaces are dwindling? That’s what I ask myself. There are places and you must know where to look because lots of writers solely abide to print. You know where the new books go and what’s on the table or what’s next to your feet. The empty seats upstairs are uncomfortable and they’re there to familiarize. “Sit down and read a book” is intuitively given.

What can be taught when my sister found a $100 bill on the gutter near the Jack Kerouac alleyway? Simply that enriching things come to people who look for it.

Thank you.

Useful:Funny:Cool: 8