It’s Still There

Mustache flaps like a raven in flight
in counter-point
to the Barbie Doll triangle of cunt fuzz
under his lower lip
as arms tattooed in vines and leaves
wave like the branches they resemble
sprouting from his cerise tank-top
he orders a top-shelf whisky
Yellow-Spot
and over all his meritorious twenty-five years
he looks back, recollecting, gesticulating savagely
he recalls
so young and tender at seventeen
hanging at the frat house
of his much older friend
in disbelief of his own daring
he adjusts his Laurel & Hardy derby to a rakish angle
and tells of his first shot of booze
how that Black Velvet shit
“in a, get this, plastic bottle
can you believe it?”
shot straight back up
out his nose

I listen to this rubbish
missing days of L.A. lost
when the weirdness drank at noon
the mad, the pensioners, the junkies
disappointed with what my city’s become
I drain my beer, depart
await the Dash on the corner
when a blue sedan pulls up
antiquity in the form of man at the wheel
he stares straight ahead grinning madly
in the back: a young black woman – glossy, sexy
out the rear passenger window she looks
a broad smile on her round cherubic face
and says like a song
“Hola,” and I, startled out of my daydreams,
squeak, “Hello,”
to which she says, “Gayt Een,”
it’s an invitation
to where for what I’ll never know
as I stepped back a pace, displaying
no further words necessary
and like that
the old man
pulled out from the curb
tires squealing as they varoomed
around the corner and up the hill
taking it and all the possibilities away
but I was happy
insane Los Angeles is still there
waiting
to murder, rape or kidnap
the unwary
at any moment
and the city wanted to let me know

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