The beloved poet died in early December, leaving behind a legacy of poems that capture a bygone Berkeley.
Julia Vinograd—resistance icon, the Bubble Lady, Berkeley’s very own bard—died on December 4 after a long battle with colon cancer. She was 74. Vinograd has been a staple of Telegraph Avenue since the late 60’s, selling poetry books, blowing bubbles, and watching the world go by.
“I walked by Jesus last night./ He was wearing/ a grimy T-shirt/ grease-stained chinos/ and a worn-out/ pair of sneakers/ with a broken lace/ He stood alone/ On Fourth Street/ where it crosses Mission/ And looked at me/ with longing eyes./ His dirty arms/ extended toward me/ in a silent plea.”
“today at social security i did see/ a man shaking so badly he couldn't stand/ telling everyone he just got out of jail/ and needed a hand/ he had no teeth/ and looking in his eyes/ i could see he was in a place/ few on earth see”
Oh they’ve foreclosed the home of the free/ They mortgaged and sold/ for a little Wall Street gold/ this land of equality/ Oh they’ve foreclosed the home of the free/ Now we are the brave/ Occupy and save the country/ that’s home to you and me/ the country that’s our democracy.
The wizards in old tales/ used to bury their hearts in secret places./ And unless you dug up the heart and / destroyed it,/ they were invulnerable and heartless./ Part of my heart is buried in People’s Park.
Poets held a poetry reading to challenge the City Council’s proposed sitting ban. How delightful it would be if we could just sing our way right past this terrible proposal to outlaw something as natural as sitting down. We should pour enough poetry on it that it is doused entirely.