Steve Brooks (Abhaya) – Poetry, Prose & Art

January 2, 2009

Cafe Life

Filed under: Book,Non-fiction,Poetry,Prose,Uncategorized — Steve Brooks @ 3:34 pm

Cafe Life Cover


Café Life is a character study of the “third place.” Not home and not work, it is the café, coffeehouse, neighborhood bar, old style candy store or soda fountain. It is the modern equivalent of the town square or the watering hole where all the animals come.

Café Life is a partial gallery of the characters of one such place, The Owl and Monkey Café, on Ninth Avenue, on the NJudah trolley line, in San Francisco, during January of 1981, just as the Reagan Presidency was about to begin, not long after John Lennon had been shot, but it could be any year in any similar place, where people gather around a watering hole or a fire to warm themselves or refresh themselves, to find themselves, or to avoid themselves.

     Such a café is a clearing in the woods that’s safe and unsafe at the same time. Some people will stay too long, and some people will stay away. Eventually, almost everyone will show up. I made a decision to sit still, in one place, for as long as I could, to stop running, to see who would come to me if I didn’t move. Over several years, I met literally thousands of people. This collection chronicles a few of them.

     I’ll be forever grateful to The Owl and the Monkey Café and places like it. They are wonderful places, and I celebrate their existence. I’ve been writing, happily, in cafés for nearly forty years.

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