Used to be Used to be

Used to be used to be

I went to sleep last night with used to be on my mind-

Gladys Knight and the Pips

For Lamont B. Steptoe.

There used to be a bar called Bacchanal

1320 South Street

art bar, poetry bar,

nothing ever like it

nor should there be

that time is gone

and the time for tears is gone

There used to be a Horn and some Hardarts

where the twenty seven foot clothes pin now is

or where Robinson luggage is now, memory being a bastard

and we would meet people we had for got for years

here and some guy with a beard

would be blowing riffs on socialism

and we would argue who was better

the Beatles or the Stones

Marx or Lenin

acid or mescaline

Alaska or Kalifornia

There used to be a Second Fret

and an Artist’s Hut

and a City Book Shop

and a Gilded Cage

and a Mid-Town Theatre

and a Maxine’s Bar

and a Strawbridge with a Clover

and now there’s a lot of used to be stores

on center city Chestnut streets

and what does it mean to a city

when the used to bees

weigh more than the nows

There used to be a bar called Bacchanal

and Poetry meant something, then

not like now

when you can read any verse you want

and noone even threatens you

Bob Small 8-13-96

About bobsmall1

Bob Small has read at Bacchanal, Barnes and Noble, Borders, The Booksource (Swarthmore), The Clark Park Festivals,Community College of Philadelphia Highwire Gallery, The Mad Poets Annual Food Fest Reading, The Middle East Restaurant, Nexus GalleryThe Painted Bride Arts Center, The Philadelphia Ethical Society, Robin's Bookstore The University of Pennsylvania and also in New York City, Trenton, NJ, Washington, DC, and in many Delaware Valley Venues. He is the author of numerous chapbooks, including El Otro Lado (with Maralyn Lois Polak), On watching America Die, Small Steps and Toes (with Lamont B. Steptoe), and The Unapoet. This is his first Reading in over a year. Bob Small was Founder and President of the two decades old Poets and Prophets, which presented Poetry Readings in both Delaware County and Philadelphia. Bob was the Chair of The Delaware County Green Party and was the First Green Party Candidate in Delaware County (2005). He was also a Green Party National Delegate, among other duties. He is the Founder and Facilitator of The Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition (PaBac), which is a Coalition of both Independents and Third Parties., seeking to legislatively improve Pennsylvania's Ballot Access Laws. (Facebook) Bob is also a founding member and Facilitator of Democracy Unplugged, and Delco Debates, which has presented Independent and Third Party Forums in Delaware County since 2004. Facebook) He was formerly involved with Cinema Resistance, and Delco Pledge of Resistance. Bob currently lives in Swarthmore with his wife and their menagerie of animals. He is currently focused on writing a Novel and organizing his Poetry, which he posts on his Blog (Bob Small1). He is retired from most of the above activities, except Delco Debates and Poets and Prophets, which he may return to.
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