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I AM A LOVER ~ Poets Pilgrimage ~ 2004
with Stephen 'Kush"Kushner

Celebrating Jerry Stoll, Allen Cohen and 50 years of loving art in North Beach

On the first day of Fall, take a stroll down Upper Grant Avenue the street of dreams that gave birth to generations of poets,writers, artists and musicians and join Stephen "Kush" Kuchner for the Beatitude's Poetic Pilgrimage of Love at the 2004 Upper Grant Avenue Fall Art Fair on Sunday, September 19, 2004 beginning at the Church of St Francis de Assisi Vallejo @ Columbus 11:30.

Poets are spiritual suns whose expressed acts of truth and imagination heal all that is sick with our civilization. Poets unlock us by being genuine, authentic and real. Their wild words have the true power to dissolve the psychic darkness that consumes and imprisons us in falsity. Poems are a paradise at the heart of being that liberate us.

The New American Poets of San Francisco post 1945 arrived at a new spirituality in the form of BEATITUDES that confronted the programming of These States that has us perpetually at war within and without, with everyone and everything. Beyond packaged personalities, Beatitudes is a way of living mind body and soul. It is a holy practice in the crucible of the moment that illuminates our deeper selves and relations that break all the sorry chains of oppression. It is open to you to become the poet you are by simply speaking your heart awareness.

It is my mission to bring poets & poetry deeper into everyday life
and rekindle our relations with the sacred sites of the San Francisco Renaissance, says Kush, founder of the renowned CLOUD HOUSE POETRY ARCHIVES.

Kush continues: Upper Grant Avenue is a holy place with stations of the cross where poets have bared their souls.
Powered by the Equinox, we invite you to join our poetic pilgrimage of LOVE on Sunday September 19th as we ascend Upper Grant Ave beginning 11:30 at the Church of St. Francis de Assisi Vallejo @ Columbus.
We will be calling out the spirits that have entered eternity on Upper Grant and made Coit Tower a poet among them.
Our procession embued with beauty carries out I AM A LOVER in all its diversities. It celebrates in each and every poetry station of BEATITUDE the flowers of the soul that our beloved comrades Jerry Stoll and Allen Cohen have become. In our tribute to Allen Cohen, we renew the visionary life in the here and now and open the circle of love to all seasons.

We would like to thank the North Beach and San Francisco poet community in helping to make our pilgrimage a reality. A special thanks goes to Peter Coyote, Gary Snyder, Judith Malina, Lenore Kandel, Eileen Kaufman and Ed Sanders, Kush concludes: We will be honoring Eileen Kaufman, wife of the late Bob Kaufman , The Black Rimbaud, renowned Beat Poet and founder of the Beatitudes magazine in 1957, Diamond Dave an original hero of THE PLACE Blabbermouth night, Toni Seldin poetry organizer extraordinaire with Kesey Spirit as well as Lenore Kandel whose LOVE BOOK tested in 1966 was another important milestone to our freedom of expression.
The poetry stations of Beatitude will honor all the valiant artists whose souls are the flowers of Upper Grant: Jack Kerouac, Bob Kaufman, Jack Micheline, Gregory Corso, Kenneth Patchen, Phil Whalen, Lew Welch,William Everson, Ken Kesey, Neal Cassady, Helen Adam and Jack Spicer.

The Beatitude's Poetic Pilgrimage of LOVE at this year's Upper Grant Avenue Fall Art Fair honors the Beat's sacred and unique locations - the hot beds of cultural activities by hosting poetry readings at each site on Sunday September 19th.

The Upper Grant Avenue Fall Art Fair's 2004 incarnation, themed: I Am A Lover, marks 50 years since the founding of the original Grant Avenue Street Fair.

A Tribute to the Summer of Love
by Allen Cohen

I've been recovering
      from my last love affair
          for six months,

and I've been chasing
      another woman who keeps
          hooking me in and pushing me away.

I feel like a yo-yo
      with all its ambiguity
          and its ups and downs.

I've even called up God
      and asked her for a date -
          she hung up in a huff.

Western civilization is collapsing
      all around me and
          I keep trying to save it,

as if time wasn't
      a magnetic chain binding me,
          the stars and the black holes together.

I mustn't forget -
      there is a chain reaction
          breaking everything apart,

but I hold the reins of wild love
      that guide and unite
          everything together again..

© Chain Reaction, Allen Cohen,San Francisco

Allen Cohen and Stephen 'Kush' Kushner
Allen Cohen with Stephen "Kush" Kushner


Please join our colorful pilgrimage of soul making
as we go to the following 9 stations of Beatitude.

1a. Saint Francis Church
1b. Café Trieste
2a. Coffee Gallery / Lost & Found Saloon
2b. Co-Existence Bagel Shop
3. Spaghetti Factory / Bocce Café Green @ Grant
4. Savoy Tivoli
5. French Italian Bakery / Malvina's Union @ Grant
6. The Place/ Poetry Corner Filbert @ Grant
7. Bob Kaufman Alley
8. Jack Micheline Lane
9. Bread & Wine Mission Greenwich @ Grant

No other Bay Area festival can claim the longevity and historic legacy the Fair enjoys.  The original Fair was the first artist-run, open-air street festival in the nation.  In the early 1950s, San Francisco's North Beach was giving birth to a cultural phenomenon that was to sow exhilarating new ideas from coast to coast.  While the neighborhood had alwaysattracted artists and freethinkers, the poets, writers and artists of the Beat generation including Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti were flourishing in North Beach, breaking ground in self-expression, defying convention and, ultimately, building the platform of free speech and conviction which supported the '60s counter culture movements

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