San Francisco poet Alejandro Murguía reads his poem “16th and Valencia” in this short video edited with footage from street protests against the recent killing of Alejandro Neito who was shot in his Bernal Heights neighborhood by the SFPD.
The poem powerfully evokes the anger and resistance that is rising along with the rents in San Francisco. As a mirror to the cultural loss that is part of displacement of gentrification, Murguía invokes the image of writers such as Jack Micheline, Oscar Zeta Ocasta and Harold Norse.
Harold scraped by living in his back cottage on Albion Street near 17th street. This same area has become a prime target for greedy developers seeking to erect a 10-story complex of million dollar condos in place of the BART plaza at 16th and Mission.
If Harold were alive today, he would no longer be able to survive in San Francisco and would surely direct his rage and grief into poetry as moving as Alejandro Murguía’s.