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  George Stanley
George Stanley was born and raised in San Francisco where, in the sixties, he was part of the
George Stanley
San Francisco Renaissance which included Robert Duncan, Robin Blaser and Jack Spicer. He moved to Vancouver in the seventies where he became associated with New Star Press, and The Grape (an underground newspaper). He has been active in Canadian politics, unions and alternative media. His books include Gentle Northern Summer (New Star, 1995), At Andy's (New Star, 2000) and his selected works, A Tall, Serious Girl (Qua Books, 2003). His poems are proof that a straightforward approach can accommodate a sense of mystery. Stanley still resides in Vancouver.


from A Tall, Serious Girl

George Stanley
In Veracruz, city of breezes & sailors & loud birds,
an old man, I walked the Malecn by the sea,

and I thought of my father, who when a young man
had walked the Malecn in Havana, dreaming of Brazil,

and I wished he had gone to Brazil
& learned magic,

and I wished my father had come back to San Francisco
armed with Brazilian magic, & that he had married
not my mother, but her brother, whom he truly loved.

I wish my father had, like Tiresias, changed himself into a woman,
& that he had been impregnated by my uncle, & given birth to me as a girl.

I wish that I had grown up in San Francisco as a girl,
a tall, serious girl,

& that eventually I had come to Veracruz,
& walking on the Malecn, I had met a sailor,
a Mexican sailor or a sailor from some other country—
  maybe a Brazilian sailor,
& that he had married me, & I had become pregnant
  by him,
so that I could give birth at last to my son—the boy
  I love

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