Tuesday, July 19, 2005

goodbye penny lane

so they closed one of my favorite coffee houses, a monument of my home town and a staple of my teen years.

penny lane is now officially closed as of last night. this place, which has been adorning boulder, colorado, usa for almost a quarter of a century, like a antique jewel from a time of free expression, is now and suddenly gone. this place, where ani difranco played her guitar and nirvana did a two day gig when their car broke down; this place, its second abode christened by allen ginsberg, a regular of the place, reading his epiphanies to an overly pleased crowd in 1994; this place, which frequently heard the words of so many poets and songsters in its lifetime of providing good coffee, free shows and open mics; this place, which was keeping some of boulder's culture, america's culture alive is now and suddenly gone. penny lane is gone

they held candle-light vigils, sang hallelujah and held a five-hour poetry reading - hoping the gods of creativity would come through for us one more time and save this sanctuary, save some of this magic. but to no avail. "the clan is scattering" one man told me and penny lane is gone.

i got up in front of the mic for the first time in months at about 11:45 p.m. and blanked out the words to my best poems, got pissed off, left the small green stage and walked out - goodbye penny lane.

i didn't even stay around for the ritual singing of "penny lane", by the beatles, at midnight.

i don't know what happened - the words wouldn't come. to me, penny lane has always been about words: the walls are made of words, the coffee's filled with words, the people are the words. it was the first place i ever got up and ranted into a mic; spoke words of hope and anger and fun before a crowd of total strangers. and it might be the last.

in order to write in this eclectic fishbowl meeting place of poets, minstrels and fictional characters (all real), all i had to do was sit down with a cup of joe, find a beginning and pull. then hold on as the distilled poetry leaked from the ceiling where no rainwater dripped, only words. sometimes just watching the decades pass me by - in fashions and personalities - was enough to get me over writer's block.

and now that it's gone, i wonder - where will all the words go?

farewell to penny lane - you will be missed.

12 little fish:

Blogger Carl V. swam up to say...

I'm really sorry to hear this Mysfit. It hurts when places of comfort and familiarity...places that are with us for years...close. I have a couple of favorite locally owned restaurants in my home town, one of which closed recently and was obliterated to make a parking lot. Its very sad to drive past there whenever I'm visiting my parents. Thankfully the other place, a favorite since before I was born, is still open and I try to eat there at least once every time I'm home.

2:00 PM  
Blogger oldben swam up to say...

yo, is that the place we went to that open mic over new years?

2:11 PM  
Blogger mysfit swam up to say...


2:53 PM  
Blogger anne swam up to say...

Although it's probably not what you want to hear right now, I hope you find other places like penny lane, or at least one. In the mean time, and after, cherish the memories...

2:57 PM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

nooooooo...oh how sad. i loved that place.

i'll see if i can find anything about to act as a tribute to my time spent there...

6:27 PM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

dammit, it's the Melody all over again...closes just before i'll be there...

6:53 PM  
Blogger transience swam up to say...

i hate it when things like these happen. it's like losing an old friend.

1:40 AM  
Blogger mysfit swam up to say...

anne - i know and to be honest i spent a lot more time at Penny Lane when i was younger. however, what's getting to me the most is that an entirely unsuccessful attempt at reciting poetry in front of a mic will be the last memory of the place. and even that, it's a lot more about my reaction to failing than the failure itself. i have since come up with at least three ways (word for word) that i could have handled mysaelf better and left with some dignity. but, c'est la vie, it's in the past - time to move on.

trans - yeah or like a pair of comfortable shoes

jenn - at least you actually go to go to Penny Lane.

11:45 AM  
Blogger JP swam up to say...

It's terrible how places with real character get closed down, and the soul-less 'let's make every city in the world feel like the same shitty city' chains just keep growing.

5:40 AM  
Blogger mysfit swam up to say...

here here - i just hope that it's not replaces with a starbucks - that would be true death

10:04 AM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

mysfit, you simply cannot let that happen.

12:33 PM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

chain yourself to a poem or something.

3:43 PM  

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