We used to walk down Shattuck with the textbooks we couldn’t afford in their bookstores we would make a left, down Bancroft Way stop and share a smoke with a few friends along the way Past the Café Durant cut through campus again over to the North Side hoping to see that girl again slip on down towards the park winding up at The Castle where there’s always something sparking up My strawberry zinn friend lighting new candles with old flames I couldn’t hear you for the music and we threw our hands up for a while so maybe I start seeing you around again? I love how you mispronounce Chablis it’s got me thinking things over again I think I’m going to let you blow my fuse the night crawls on and you’re such a brute with the past compressing us together - was that first Merlot really so long ago? Now they sell the books we write in shops on Telegraph but when we had no money, we just shrugged & walked over from across the field There’s always something happening at The Castle
3 Questions for Christian
What was your process for creating this work?
This particular process started with an off-dry Reisling, a late night, and a song that sent me reeling back through the years- to a specific time in my life, with then-familiar faces, and an address I once called home, which became the title of this poem.
Here is the playlist that set this poem off:
What is the significance of the form/genre you chose for this work?
I chose a 2-stanza form to keep the piece concise. Within that format, I tried to keep both stanzas relatively balanced, line-wise. I felt I could still give a traditional 'beginning-middle-end' experience without using 3 stanzas.
What is the significance of this work to you?
In "1338 Hearst Ave," I hoped to explore the theme of--How do we validate a memory when the other person involved is no longer around? How are we certain it was Bancroft and not Bowditch? As tight as we hold on to memories, their details inevitably deteriorate with time. I wrote this piece so I would not forget--those times, their faces, and who I was at that time in my life. Thank you for publishing this poem that means so much to me.
Christian Garduno is the recipient of the 2019 national Willie Morris Award for Southern Poetry. Garduno is a Finalist in the 2020-2021 Tennessee Williams & New Orleans Writing Contest. He lives and writes along the South Texas coast with his wonderful wife Nahemie and young son Dylan.