Many writerly activities have little to do with actual writing. This afternoon, I went by invitation to be in the audience of a taping of two Bay Area poets for public access television (Channel 29). The poets were Don Brennan and Stephanie Manning. I set out about 3 o’clock to Mariposa Street, which at number 2727, houses an impressive array of video recording studios. There poet John Rhodes (in San Francisco, one in five are poets) was just setting up the microphone and video recording equipment, which he tested on Dan Brennan. Dan is not a young man. He must be 70 if a day. He is completely bald, with a kindly, chiseled face. His voice is distinctive with a slight twang, very slight, that I can’t quite place. At one time, he may have lived in the deep south. His work is colorful, vivid, witty, sometimes full of caricature, never studied or remote, never, never academic. When the camera started to role, and John Rhodes introduced him, Brennan read a colorful riff of a love poem for his wife, who often accompanies him on his rounds of the poetry cafes and other venues. I had to stop myself from laughing out loud, because I didn’t think–I’m quite sure–they didn’t want that on the sound track. After a break, Stephen Kopel, another San Francisco poet, introduced Stephanie Manning. Stephanie, a whole foot taller than Brennan with a mane of dark hair, also has a chisele face. Her father was an opera singer. Manning works in Davis and lives in Berkeley and writes most of her poems on the train in between. She read with energy and conviction and moral integrity about the C&H factory in Carquinez, about the train station in Oakland, the vast delta stretching up the Carquinez Straits, and much else. I was put in mind of Carl Sandburg writing about Chicago. As we were stacking the chairs afterward, Rhodes asked me if I wanted to read a poem or two for Clara Hsu’s poetry website. So I did. I was more unnerved than I thought I would be by the camera. And then it was time to go home. What did I do of a writerly nature up to 3 o’clock you might ask. I sent three poems to a collective of writers in the Foothills that had asked for submissions to their anthology by poets of their ilk. As most of my work has its roots in that country and the country to the west in Mendocino County, I responded. And I sent a manuscript of poems to a small press in the Northeast. And I critiques a poem by my poet friend Susan Cohen in Berkeley, and she critiqued one by me, as we often do, by email (and sometimes in person, but that’s not too likely now with the bridge out). More tomorrow on a old writer’s life.