Belated Thanks to Lawrence Ferlinghetti
by David Bachner
During winter break my freshman year of college
I bought A Coney Island of the Mind.
Reading it, over and over, night after night,
I was carried into a whole new way
of seeing and feeling, a new way
of thinking about poetry.
And still she dances
and still she comes
with breathing breasts
and secret lips
In 1969, suffering a doomed graduate school stint
at Berkeley, I would escape across the Bay
to browse in Ferlinghetti’s City Lights Bookstore.
I could never summon up the nerve to approach
the store’s famous owner and thank him
for his book’s impact on me.
Then I thought of sending him a letter.
In the end, I did neither.
The volume I bought in 1962 remains, though,
shelved always close to my desk
to read whenever my…
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