Our San Francisco Poet–Edward Mycue (Ghana 1961-63)

[San Francisco has produced many fine poets over the years. I, for one, grew up reading the Beats: Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Diane di Prima, Neal Cassady, Anne Waldman and Michael McClure. The list goes on and on. They were the poets of the ’50s and early ’60s, and then in 1970 Edward Mycue came to town.

Edward Mycue (Ghana 1961-63) had ETed from the Peace Corps because of family needs at home and he returned to the U.S. to work for HEW in Dallas before arriving in San Francisco on June 1, 1970. He joined the new Gay Liberation Movement, began to work for Margrit Roma and Clarence Ricklets’ The New Shakespeare Company, and started publishing his poems.

Since 1970 his poetry, criticism, essays and stories have appeared in over 2000 journals, magazines, on the Internet and everywhere literature is read. He is called by many, “one of the best living poets in San Francisco.” He lives, eats, and breathes San Francisco. So, it was only a matter of time before he would publish a collection of poems on the City by the Bay. Entitled Song of Francisco this collection of 10 poems is now available and Ed has been nice enough to allow me to publish one of his poems from this new collection.]

Memory Tongue

San Francisco, you

blind, handsome city,

your harbor has a stone

in its mouth.    You

get washed in our

histories    you write

in our lymph    once

calf-white     like your

promise      now memory-

tongued, eggshell-

thin, raving      for

healing  this

desperte geography.

                             Ed Mycue

From Song of San Franciso published by Spectacular Diseases (c/o Paul Green, 83 (b) London Road, Peterborough, Cambs.
PE2 9BS UK $10



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    Vocatus atque non vocatus, deus auderit” (Horace, 2nd Bk Odes, #18)

    Car thefts, make-up, cellular phones make the news;
    but beggars are bone-thin, diseased;

    paradox, contradiction, opposition;

    difference, pen pals, epistolary friends landscaped with
    parallel texts of disenfranchisement.


    One day some others could recall us
    who in turn may be remembered.

    In the general drift we in our lives will
    add our grain of sand to time’s beach.

    I look out from Ocean Beach, in San Francisco, California — the edge of my local pond –at those little grains thinking of our shared humanities.

    My personal sorrows are sheathed in love.
    Golden memory, continuously burnished.

    Memento Mori we say remembering our dead.
    I remember that I will join them, thank them.

      Kept me from getting to sleep last night.
      I was riding the tiger.
      If the prunes is not sealed they’re going to dry out.
      The east and the west are mine.
      America doesn’t exist for corporations’ interest.
      I was told I was an anchor baby because my mom and dad over near Toronto driving around were plowed-into by one of those Ontario 16year-olds and a passing baseball pal of my dad Jack saw them on the side of the road and my mom Ruth due (WITH ME!) on that Easter Sunday 1937 GOT MOM into his car and drove her south across the border to Niagara Falls, NY to her grandmother Rebecca Taylor’s.
      I was born the new day in the USA ON Palm Sunday THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING UNDER THE NEW MOON.
      My snarky pals who chaffed me didn’t know that both my mom and dad were Americans and A N D they themselves were born in Niagara Falls, NY.
      But I, I always felt, missing the beat, I would have like to be a Canadian. My grandfather William Oliver Mycue’s people were from NEW FRANCE from the early 17th century coming over with other Protestant followers of HENRI IV of Navarre who became King of France when he married that Medici woman as a Roman catholic (because Paris was worth a mass he is said to have said), these followers who he was saving by sending them to NEW FRANCE. Those fellows married native AMERIcan Indians ensuring that I am a NATIVE AMERICAN who welcomed immigrants. And as well I am a child of generations of immigrants. I am also the grandson of one grandmother MARGARET POWERS who married William Oliver Mycue AND SHE CAME FROM DUBLIN (where she bragged they speak the best ENGLISH in the world). My grandad told me so many stories probably mostly made-up about our Amerindian ANCESTORS until we when I was eleven in 1948 moved southwest to Dallas, Texas. I always thought I’d look like great Heros that included Geronimo and Cochise that I saw acted in the movies by Jeff Chandler and looked so noble. But I ended a teardrop visage pretty much following my lovely dad Jack. Now I think that I am lucky I have stories and that Jack (John Powers Mycue) was my dad.
      But I have to say that I was told by my mom Ruth Taylor Delehant Mycue THAT being ‘stage Irish’ was an abomination. My father’s mom also would have cottoned-to the ‘stage-Irish’ AT ALL. But I must say that the stories of immigrant Irish WERE thrilling to me and that I love William Butler Yeats and his poetry and pretty much of what he attempted and accomplished also.
      Richard Steger and I went to Ireland in 1985 and loved it. One of his grandmothers was Sophie Neely from Chicago and was both Scots and Irish who married his Steger grandfather, the railroad man. Richard’s dad Daniel Steger married Irene Perrou who had parents from Italy way up there in the hills near Torino and were of the Waldensian people (Protestants who Martin Luther referred to as the FIRST CHRISTIANS).
      © Copyright Edward Mycue 13 January 2017

  • I first met the then Senator John (Jack) Fitzgerald Kennedy in early summer 1960
    in Cambridge, Massachusetts (when he was seeking the Democrat Party nomination for U.S. President) at WGBH-TV on the M.I.T. campus (where it was then housed) when I was an Lowell Council for Cooperative Broadcasting intern and graduate student at Boston University Graduate School for Public Relations and Communications (as it was then named)
    when he was interviewed by Louis Lyons (curator, Harvard’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism) on the twice-weekly New England News quarter-hour news and interviews where Lyons was the host and I was the technical director.
    I was 23, up from graduate study in government at the then-named North Texas State College in Denton.
    The next time Jack Kennedy came to WGBH-TV was in the autumn after he’d been selected as the Democrat Party candidate for President.
    The third time I met him was in the White House late August the next year first in the Rose Garden following which for individual photographs in the Oval Office. I was in the Ghana group that flew out after that from Washington, D.C. afternoon in a two-engine Convair (with stops in the Azores for refueling and in Dakar, Senegal for supplies) to Accra, Ghana where we were to teach in secondary schools and I was assigned to a new one outside Acherensua a village in the Brong-Ahafo state (part of the old Kumasi kingdom) in the rain forest near the eastern border with the Ivory Coast.
    I saw him next in Dallas two blocks before he was shot riding with the First Lady his wife on Elm Street.
    Today I can still see them, Louis Lyons and Jack Kennedy, from on the other side of the small glassed-in control room looking out into the slightly larger one where Lyons would interview and report.
    WGBH was a small station in a two-story brick building that I’d heard had formerly housed a roller rink. Next to it was the Kresge auditorium and the famed chapel where we did big interviews such as the one I floor-managed with Aldous Huxley as the guest. He was nice as nice to me and spoke so vituperatively of Richard Nixon. Over one building was the Charles River and the Massachusetts Avenue bridge to Boston from Cambridge. WGBH is no longer in Cambridge, but moved years ago to the Boston and Boston University side of the Charles.
    © Copyright Edward Mycue June 1, 2017

  • Into what may have seemed missteps (character, performance) circumstances slip-in changing cases.
    I thought I knew how to circumvent that,
    but the rubble of
    push up into other circumstances
    of even sapphires’ and even garlic flowers’ probabilities.
    Seeking courage, insight, re-learning the touch of stumbling forward,
    time gusts, winds swing the hands sweeping around the dial centering our world into sunsets before bursting our moorings, thrusting our colors beyond our kenning, spinning. And you have to grow old (or die young).


    Paths lead up, down. Day is not east. It is west. All’s traffic. In these necessary hours, one man lifts his arms, stretching ready, signaling flame crimson. A long shadow adds you. The green you adds with
    and all through the night, love, bending everything. If numbers inquire, tell them we are the ones, they are ones, I am one and you are one — awe-filled, and not some kind of a robotic turned-brain knob.

    When the numbers inquire, tell me you are one and that I am your one even as We truckle, burnished, roan now, in submarine confusion, swollen, last guest happy saying life’s the insult (even when not).

    So when the numbers inquire, tell how differing
    drummers relive, repeat lessons of pilgrimage,
    malaise, the hungering decline of allegiances,
    how to fill a numb center and to reshape the line.

    © Copyright Edward Mycue 27 September 2017

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