Ferlinghetti Autographs My Book · Zvi A. Sesling

One nice day in December 1995 I am in San Francisco and decide I should go to the City Lights Bookstore founded by the great Lawrence Ferlinghetti who challenged a rulling that his publishing Allen Ginsberg was pornography. Ferlinghetti won his case and freed America to read whatever it wanted. Anyway, on this I am in his bookstore and there he is. I ask, Mr. Ferlinghetti if I buy your book will you sign it for me? He tells me he will, so I quickly buy “Coney Island Of The Mind” and he signs it. I stick it in my book bag and leave. On the flight back to Boston I pull Ferlighetti’s book out and open it only to read that he dated it December 1997. Good God I think, he better stay alive two years or no one will believe he actually signed it. So two years later I am back at the City Lights book store and there he is again. I buy another of his books and he signs it correctly as I watch. You know, I say, two years ago you signed it 1997, but it was 1995. Ferlinghetti looks at me and says, I was probably down street at the café having a toke before I signed your book.


Zvi A. Sesling is a prize winning poet who has published poetry and micro fiction in numerous magazines both in print and online in the United States and overseas. He is Poet Laureate of Brookline, MA where he lives with his wife Susan J. Dechter.