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Poetry at Campbell and Skyline



Thurday last, I bought some poems at the intersection of Campbell and Skyline. For a buck.

A man who said to call him the Homeless Guy wore a sandwich board and stood at the traffic island at the Campbell left turn bay. It said “Poems $1 for a few.”

At the time, I was heading west on Skyline, passed Campbell where the Poet was hawking. I passed him by unable to read all the stuff on his sandwich board. I had to drive a fer piece before I could make a U-turn, head east back to Campbell where I waited for the light to turn green and drove yet another fer piece where I could make a U-turn and gain the left turn lane in order to support a local poetry hawker. I thought perhaps they were his poems.

I waved by dollar bill and he came to my window. He was not a poet. He handed me three pieces of paper. They had been typed, copied and cut into strips. One was: “Biological Reflection by Ogden Nash.” It said:


A girl whose cheeks are covered with paint

Has the advantage with me over one whose ain’t.


I could have gone happily to my grave without reading that.

There was another poem by “Robery” Louis Stevenson. Not worth wasting your time. The other was by Robert Service.

No one is allowed on traffic islands in the city. The council banned people from traffic islands after a newspaper hawker for the Tucson Citizen was run over. It’s one of the many things that killed the newspaper.

It is unfortunate that I could but interview him but briefly until the traffic light changed. But he didn’t want to talk or give his name. He had the good sense to wear a hat and protect his nose.

His sandwich board said he had “no downers,” just stuff to brighten your day.” At the bottom of the sandwich board, he wrote, “Do not read while driving.”

Or not at all — as the case may be. But I give him credit for promoting cultural enrichment in heavy traffic.





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