Fanny Renoir's Rainbow

jackworks  art opening by Fanny Renoir

A la Jack Kerouac Alley the art patrons milled, drank the white wine in the alley of smulty grime waiting for Tony to show. No show as the night wore on and we drank more Guinness, clustering in groups, trying to drum up a famous scene on the opening night at Jackworks sounding like a place from a Richard Brautigan book. The art director was a tall skinny guy named Richard with beady eyes, light reddish curls under a painter's cap, a t-shirt that said "Bomb Squad" on the front - with faded big black letters. There was a good turnout and people kept milling around the opening seeing the Italians who put up the money to turn the old Asian museum into a presentable gallery. Somehow the original visionater had been squeezed out and had probably washed up on shore somewhere.

Apparently Tony the saxman hadn't followed through fast enough to make his dream of the Bob Kaufman Memorial Gallery Room and the Bohemian Free University in the basements with poets teaching classes come true. The first Tony had somehow failed the second Tony - Antonio - and Antonio who had put up the money on the advice of a couple of other short rounded muscled stocky intense Italian males of North Beach of various ages had ousted the first Thny in favor of the second guy, the painter with the dry red hair under the dusty white painter's cap and the beady eyes and Bomb Squad tshirt had gotten the whOle Act together, painted the place, 3 levels, real beautiful, art lights on all levels, and hung up Art, some of it fantastic and oil paintings in the crafty articulated basement walls transformed into two-toned aesthetic coloring, and some art was going for over $300.00, Andrea's and up to several thousands for others. 0 would they soon sweat bullets for the dream of their labors as they waited hour after hour with hanging tongues when no Art sales were forthcoming. One wondered if Jack Kerouac Alley could become a famous business site for an Art Gallery, as was City lights Bookstore and Vesuvio's like two headlights at the front of the alley facing Columbus and its rear end coming at Grant Avenue there at the border of what became Great Bohemia what was then a barrier to Chinese crossing over and now almost all North Beach has Chinese landlords.


Different groups were out in full force - coming and going. Sara, Stevebeau, Greg, Dino, Darryl, Jim, Howard, Sasha, Vince and Fanny were present, carrying on while under the influence of Guinnesses. Dino who is Ronald was charismatic while Sara stole the attention of all without having to say much, being so utterly charming and deeply reminiscent of an angel and then at a moment's sniggle realizing the image of the white blond angel ideal adorning the Christmas tree and just like the Black Madonna converting the White Madonna gestalt and all surrealist, Andy Warhol, cat daddies.

Sasha being a goddess, utterly talented, gifted, and the blackness of night with all the lights lighting up orange and bright and couples standing and dancing up in the windows of Vesuvio's and asking Darryl with his long dreads and Jim who guides the Chinese funerals on his motorcycle what happened to Tony Santiago's vision and from whence did go Michael Bowlen this other artist who was supposed to be hanging his art in the Santiago vision so that it seemed like Bowlen was the source of the bread. Tony sure never mentioned Antonio as the source of the bread.

Joan of North Beach sitting on the Palazzo de Jack Kerouac Alley was shouting now holding her Guinness high. "Reclaim the Beach! Keep North Beach Italian!" One of the Italians, Pasqualie was holding forth, a very charming beast, the alley was crawling with Italians. A little yellow sports car with the top down, keeps coming and going. Now the car rushed to the space and Antonio's whole family jumps out, 2 or 3 kids and women dressed up looking like wives, the kids a bunch of little girls are nearly hysterical and are running allover the premises of Jackworks and up and down Palazzo de Jack Kerouac alley. There's a big picture of Kerouac in the window of City Lights Bookstore and a huge mural of Baudelaire, Kaufman and Rimbaud on the god dammed three story building and the diagonal yellow sign with the black letters saying City Lights Bookstore and so we are in this famous place having this famous scene and being rompletely famous and wondering what happened toTony Santiago and Pasqualie singing Volare and Splendie and Joan, Cantare, oh! Oh! Oh!


And then Antonio has a yellow rose in his hand and Joan
begins to think of Sufism and she recalled the yellow rose on the streetcar this afternoon with Elizabetha nd how that feather had fallen softly down out of a San Francisco pigeon laden sky on Pok Street this morning brushing her nose as it went by and she wondered then if it would be a sacred Indian day and it seemed as if two full blown yellow roses in one day heralded an epiphany of time and space. Cigarettes wove ina nd out of the night sky and she kept smoking Greg's cigarettes for she never bought them and Ronald sipping guinness in his light brrown suede jacket and reciting poetry in Italian. Pretty soon everyone was loosened up from the wine and beer and began to fatten up the chatter until they reache an enormous crescendeo.

San Francisco, North Beach
November 1996




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