Artist you should knowArts and CultureNew ShitSan Francisco

Broke-Ass Poets: Curt Hopkins

The Bay's best newsletter for underground events & news

We like poetry (we swear) and we’re making space for it, too. Today’s Broke-Ass poet is local author and “busy, somewhat overfed crepuscular passerine,” Curt Hopkins.

III. The paranoid dead

From the broken soil spirits whisper,
Goth and Magothy are the kings of the Unclean Nations.
The dead are the commissioners of discord,
Who tend the Dolorosa’s somber stations.

We change the glyphs of buildings, trees, and streets.
We change the very languages we speak
To argue with the púca and ifrit,
To say the same old things in brand new speech.

The city’s story’s told in palimpsest,
So those who only know one alphabet
Are destined to remain inhabitants.
Only citizens speak the myriad tongues of the dead.

Once a year the living and deceased
Meet to dance and dine on Mason Street.

I. Calafia

The presence of a man who isn’t dead,
But should be, adds a spice to every hour
That he lives through, waking in his watery bed
To stride unhoused through fires that devour.

You often open up around a twister,
And make confession to its priestly chaos,
To pray for peace inside a backyard minster
And for the first time gaze upon her face.

Calafia, grace of alternates:
Rain’s a prayer to a foreign god,
The waterfall a silver coat that’s draped
Across the southern shoulder of the world.

Remember l’Inconnue de la Seine:
Anyone who saves a life saves mine.

Curt Hopkins is the guy who is color from the sky who is smoke from the fire who is shame on him. He lives in San Francisco with the same woman he lived in a cave in Spain with.

Find more of Curt’s work here.

To be our next Broke-Ass poet, email

Previous post

Oakland is First City in CA to Declare Itself Sanctuary City for Abortion

Next post

Las Vegas: Taking Molly in Heels is Modern Torture

Guest Writer

Guest Writer

We write for busboys, poets, social workers, students, artists, musicians, magicians, mathematicians, maniacs, yodelers and everyone else out there who wants to enjoy life not as a rich person, but as a real person. Namely, we write for you.

We’re currently looking to expand our author pool. If you’re snarky, know what’s happening in your town, and good at making your fingers type out funny words, then you might be just the person we’re looking for. Email with some writing samples if you're interested. Cheers