Vesuvio at 65

There was an old cafe in North Beach,
its food tasted less than boiled leather;
       but after the world war,
       came bawdy Lenoir,
transformed it with liquor and free speech.

There was a young rustic named Henri,
who had large holes in his pockets.
       When he took over the café,
       bohemians so they say
clamored snap for a radical whoopee.

Along came a young rover named Neal,
who loved to drive autos cross-country;
       his friends Jack and Allen,
       they scribbled it all down,
spinning beat-motion on worn rubber wheels.

America has a taste for the highway,
a downward thump pause in jazz cool bebop.
       Tribute and tears did trend,
       when the asphalt did end
in a dark basement, kitchen sink byways.

Came a joyful woman named Janet,
re-caller from deep shadow legacy
       shined golden cuffs to drink.
       I write to thank and wink,
Vesuvio our love never planned it.

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