Paladin, the Berkeley Biker-Poet:
Every Damn Body Was Born to Die
What the hell was this guy doing on stage at a poetry reading? He appeared to be an outlaw biker. He’d been introduced simply as “Paladin,” grabbed the microphone as soon as he hit the stage, and started strutting back and forth, loudly clomping his boot heels on the wooden platform, shooting confrontational glances at anyone who was talking, until he’d shut the whole place up—which was not an easy task.
The Starry Plough was a rowdy Irish pub on the south side of Berkeley and the poets who read on open mic night generally had to put up with the less-than-polite din of the drinking crowd. Decked out in traditional biker garb—very grungy leathers, a dirty bandana tying back his greasy-looking black hair—and displaying a shut-the-fuck-up attitude that was highly abnormal on poetry night—Paladin finally stopped strutting when the crowd quieted down. Then he launched into a loud, abrasive, rhyming poem that went something like this: Continue reading DESPERATELY SEEKING PALADIN . . .