1338 Hearst Ave

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

Christian Garduno

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.  

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