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



Leave a comment
    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

  • Mindwalking by Edward Mycue, reviewed by BL Kennedy

    Mindwalking 1937-2007:
    New and Selected Poems
    Edward Mycue
    Philos Press
    Lacey, WA
    ISBN: 978-0-615-17969-8
    70 pgs


    mind is the best time
    machine where your ‘rush’
    enables my ‘swoop’ and my rust remembers your
    memory of me, treasure
    that remains as long as we

    are able to return for
    as long as I remember
    you we live remain my/your/our everafter thoughts
    through the mind’s
    embrace an armful of stars

    Back in the early 90’s, when I was in the MFA program of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and Naropa in Boulder, CO, one of my poetry teachers Ed Sanders said “Kennedy, when all this stuff is over and all the dust clears, most literary critics are gonna say that Anselm Hollo was one of the best poets of the latter half of the 20th century.” And, this may be so, because Anselm Hollo is one of those unique writer-translators that you just cannot ignore.

    And so when I come across a book like Mindwalking by Edward Mycue, I seem to remember what Ed Sanders had to say about Anselm Hollo, because here is a poet who hums, a poet who climbs from the streets of San Francisco with a New York Texan voice. There is no other way to say it. Edward Mycue is just that unique. Now granted, a lot of people that I know have had problems with Mycue’s work, we won’t go into that. However, I find the poems in this book are interesting and alluring, imaginative, and sometimes wonderful.

    I had the pleasure of actually meeting the poet a little more than a year ago while still hosting poetry readings and open mic poetry at Luna’s Café in Sacramento, CA. I could not help but to notice the precision of his language, the crisp lyric and a voice that just stood alone in and of itself. It truly amazed me that at the age of seventy, this poet is singing, simply singing in a voice that never sleeps. I was kept alive by that reading, as I am kept alive by this wonderful book from Philos Press.

    Can I recommend Mindwalking? I sure can. I think its one of the best collections of lyric poetry that I had the chance to encounter in the past five years. At a price of twelve dollars, hey, you can’t go wrong. This is a unique book, and it’s a book that many poetry lovers will want on their bookshelves. Buy it, dig the poems, and dig the poet. I highly recommend the work of Edward Mycue.

    Purchase at Philos Press.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Copyright © 2022. Peace Corps Worldwide.