Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

The Philosopher's Club

Kim Addonizio
Kim Addonizio
  • After class Thursday nights
  • the students meet at the Philosopher’s Club.
  • It’s right around the corner from the streetcar tracks
  • at the West Portal tunnel. No one bothers
  • to check I.D.s. Five or six of them
  • get shooters and talk — about sex, usually.
  • Let me tell you about this dildo I bought,
  • one girl says. She describes how it looks
  • when all the gadgets attached to it are going at once.
  • My girlfriend is pregnant, says one of the boys.
  • That’s nothing, says another, I’ve got twins
  • I’ve never seen. It goes on like this all semester.
  • Gradually they learn each other’s stories:
  • the girl raped at knifepoint in Florida,
  • the kid whose old man shot seven people
  • in a trailer park outside Detroit.
  • Life is weird, they agree, touching glasses.
  • The bartender flips channels on the TV,
  • the sound turned down.
  • Spoiled brats, he thinks. He imagines a woman
  • with the blonde’s legs, the brunette’s tits.
  • Dynasty looks boring and he quits
  • at a black-and-white newsreel about the Nazi camps —
  • piles of heads with their mouths open,
  • bodies with arms like chicken wings. On the jukebox
  • Otis Redding sings “Try a Little Tenderness.”
  • One of the regulars stands there
  • popping his gum, jamming in selections.
  • The students, smashed, are hugging each other.
  • I love you, they all say. Outside, in the rain,
  • people are boarding a lit streetcar.
  • As it jolts towards the tunnel
  • some of them look back at the bar,
  • its staticky neon sign
  • the last thing they see as they enter the dark.


Kim Addonizio is an American poet who lives and teaches in the Bay Area. She is the author of two novels, two books about writing poetry, and several collections of poetry, one of which, Tell Me, was a National Book Award finalist. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships. Her poetry collection
Jimmy and Rita has just been republished by Austin State University Press. “The Philosopher’s Club” is taken from her collection The Philosopher’s Club, published by BOA Editions, and is reprinted by permission.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Hard times for San Diego County cities

Hard times for 17 San Diego County cities
Next Article

“Medicine Show” webcast showcases Mrs. Henry’s puppeteering

Friends from Earthless, The Blank Tapes, Howlin Rain, Warish, and others join in the fun
Kim Addonizio
Kim Addonizio
  • After class Thursday nights
  • the students meet at the Philosopher’s Club.
  • It’s right around the corner from the streetcar tracks
  • at the West Portal tunnel. No one bothers
  • to check I.D.s. Five or six of them
  • get shooters and talk — about sex, usually.
  • Let me tell you about this dildo I bought,
  • one girl says. She describes how it looks
  • when all the gadgets attached to it are going at once.
  • My girlfriend is pregnant, says one of the boys.
  • That’s nothing, says another, I’ve got twins
  • I’ve never seen. It goes on like this all semester.
  • Gradually they learn each other’s stories:
  • the girl raped at knifepoint in Florida,
  • the kid whose old man shot seven people
  • in a trailer park outside Detroit.
  • Life is weird, they agree, touching glasses.
  • The bartender flips channels on the TV,
  • the sound turned down.
  • Spoiled brats, he thinks. He imagines a woman
  • with the blonde’s legs, the brunette’s tits.
  • Dynasty looks boring and he quits
  • at a black-and-white newsreel about the Nazi camps —
  • piles of heads with their mouths open,
  • bodies with arms like chicken wings. On the jukebox
  • Otis Redding sings “Try a Little Tenderness.”
  • One of the regulars stands there
  • popping his gum, jamming in selections.
  • The students, smashed, are hugging each other.
  • I love you, they all say. Outside, in the rain,
  • people are boarding a lit streetcar.
  • As it jolts towards the tunnel
  • some of them look back at the bar,
  • its staticky neon sign
  • the last thing they see as they enter the dark.


Kim Addonizio is an American poet who lives and teaches in the Bay Area. She is the author of two novels, two books about writing poetry, and several collections of poetry, one of which, Tell Me, was a National Book Award finalist. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships. Her poetry collection
Jimmy and Rita has just been republished by Austin State University Press. “The Philosopher’s Club” is taken from her collection The Philosopher’s Club, published by BOA Editions, and is reprinted by permission.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Alison Tummond: preventing summer’s silent killer

“Anytime you have a pool, or a bathtub, or a toilet, or a bucket, a child can drown.”
Next Article

Nicholas Wiseman: a great influence on John Henry Newman

Also known as author of Fabiola, a novel
Comments
1

i like it but it doesn't seem like poetry to me

but what do i know??!!

April 11, 2012

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close