Bob Kaufman Alley

Bob Kaufman Alley information

Location
San Francisco , USA
Address
off Grant Ave near Filbert St
Getting there
Tram: Powell-Mason
Bus: 30, 39, 41, 45
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What, you mean your hometown doesn’t have a street named after an African American Catholic-Jewish-voodoo anarchist Beat poet who refused to speak for 12 years? The man revered in France as the ‘American Rimbaud’ was a major poet who helped found the legendary Beatitudes magazine in 1959 and a spoken-word bebop jazz artist who was never at a loss for words, yet he felt compelled to take a Buddhist vow of silence after John F Kennedy’s assassination that he kept until the end of the Vietnam War. Kaufman’s life was hardly pure poetry: he was a teenage runaway, periodically found himself homeless, was occasionally jailed for picking fights in poetry with police, battled methamphetamine addiction with varying success and once claimed his goal was to be forgotten. Yet like the man himself, this hidden alleyway in his honor is offbeat, streetwise and often profoundly silent.