This wicked little bar & grill, the offbeat watering hole for anybody who was anybody thirsty (except those few deadbeat whiny street drunks who could irritate even the stone curbs they slept upon) stood at the corner of Seventh and E Streets, NW for fifteen years, closing finally to the protracted chagrin of its patrons and to the greedy yelps of competing urban inertias on December 31, 1991. The sift had struck, but not before I had put my impersonal stamp upon the place called Space. Arriving in Washington a handful of days before Halloween 1983 by thumb and with only seven cents in my pockets and a few books thrown into my napsack, I'd hiked the few miles across the bridge into the city from northern Virginia near Glebe Road on several occasions. Now only a couple of weeks prior I'd whistled my goodbyes to hot damned Atlanta where the rednecks roam and the blue bloods brood, struck by the urges of the nation's capital, and the fulfillment of a prophecy uttered nearly five years earlier to city engineer Ben Mercer in his office in Dublin, Georgia, a spiffy little town split by the Oconee River where I had once loved a whore of a woman and had surveyed many many miles of road and creek basin gathering the numbers and laying in the control for future sewerage and water pipes all in a sweaty day's work. But this story is not that story. I was now an urban poet, a wandering misfit with no home to call my own save the home of a fresh young harbinger of faith aptly named Betty Sue Hedrick. That first day in the District of Columbia, this humor-free zone of potholes, potbellies and pork barrels, and WYSIWYG potsmokers, I was sniffing around for a place where I could entertain this girly woman who had taken me in after a failed attempt to meet Allen Ginsberg in NYC the previous summer. I wanted her to share a few drinks with me, splurging on her nickel of course, away from the fern bars of her recent habitry, and somewhere more cozy for the likes of a feisty young articulate yet punk wannabe blowpoet from the marching reeds of a new generation in exile from the lands of Dixie and Dairy Queen alma maters. Crawling the city that had called my name, the windows of opportunity that first day were brilliant with sunlight and inspiration, shadows and beckoning omens, the stained glass ceilings of my past were fading fast, and it wasn't long before I'd scooped up a copy of the free local weekly . . .

Standing on stone who knows where, perhaps on some corner just north by northwest of Dupont Circle I had found the clue I was looking for, the clue and the witness which would piece together a life about to begin its long sojourn out of the poppy fields of Sugarland, TX where the middle-rung of those whom I had recently begun to call my three post-parental mentors had jacked me far beyond the fundamentals of do unto others into a cleaner closer shave of his own macro version of Jesus Christ the missionary position, and off into the wild black and blue yonder of punk worthlessness, anger, and intrigue, cast as the bleeding lead in a peer review tale only the trumpeting angel of lost causes can declare with appointed circumstances. The groovy little boner ad shuffled into the Washington City Paper caught my eye with a line boasting a performance poets group called the Young Lions onstage that very night. The name alone was enough. Enough to energize my boots a made for walking, enough to change my navigational direction on cue, enough to fill me with the conquering spirit my ancestors had known, and damn well enough to turn my whole body of evidence southward to begin the haunting and hilarious hunt for my very own undaunting space. . .

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