This past February, when I took Fiancee to San Francisco and first turned her into Fiancee, we appreciated the backdrop of one of the world’s liveliest and most eclectic cities. Itinerant parade floats ambled along major streets. Men in oversized boas (of both the feather and constrictor varieties) made up normal passers-by. Visitors to the Golden Gate Bridge included military servicepeople among consulates’ worth of Somalis, Thais, Nigerians, and Turks. One person who stood out, however, was Zach Houston, the street poet.
Outside the Ferry Building Marketplace, Mr. Houston sat alone with a typewriter. For whatever you were willing to pay, he would type you a poem, his only inputs those you gave him, his only inspiration that which happened to strike him amidst crates of oranges and starfruit.
For $10 bucks, we the freshly-engaged received this:
my urge to yell/celebratory/and yours/as a whole/is far more/important/to the world/than my mere/words even/the ones/”CP” used/to ask you/”NV” to/to/be his wife/timeless and/well even/those words/are not as/accurate/as what’s/actually/eternally/happening/& happiness
e.e. cummings it’s not, but given that he busted it out in a minute and had a sidewalk of people observing, we think it turned out pretty well.