He sits on a blue egg crate under a street corner tree,
His long crossed legs balancing a guitar. Skinny wrists.
Hungry ribs .
A string of dark feathers and beads Dangles from his vest.
Black hair tied in a pony- tail.
He plays red-black cherries he can’t reach.
He plays rare steak and onions
With a sizzling fringe of fat.
He plays bulging burritos and hot sauce.
He plays corn on the cob with plenty of butter
He plays pepperoni pizzas spinning around people’s heads
Like saints; gold haloes.
He plays everything he hasn’t eaten for almost a week.
His music opens doors in the air to picnics,
Deviled eggs, tuna sandwiches, a bowl of apples,
Chocolate cake and lemonade.
His music slices sunset clouds
Like big pink hams.
His music is a mirage of a feast in the desert.
His music makes mouths water.
Julia Vinograd was Berkeley’s informal “poet laureate.” Her poems about Telegraph Avenue and life in Berkeley in the late 60’s and beyond were beloved by many. She died in December, 2018.