Posts Tagged ‘los angeles’

Los Angeles

June 17, 2017

Sun a torch beam
onto blue waters
underground I swim through
in silence on my back
under bats over fish
drifting inches below
nose to nose
with stalactites
and no muse touches me
to write a single line

In the woods
iguanas scurry in the brush
a millions squeaks and squawks
cheeps, chirps, tweets, gobbles
daylight breaking
setting on fire the pyramid
at Chichen Itza
history aglow
and no breath of inspiration
fills my lungs

I am an empty wreck
no heart beats
as I suck the soul
from cocoanuts and bottles
and so much more
diving, trying, into myself
where nothing is found
no word or tune
no verse or impromptu whistle
until when…

The loop into the sky
off the 105
descending to 110
my city there for me
my return
the welcome home to my home
and all the songs in me
begin to sing
every time we leave
‘regrasamos’ I say
because it’s a promise
this is where the end comes
after siesta
at about quarter to five


Highland Park, CA 2004 (The Gentry has Landed)

October 10, 2016

long hair
sweat-plastered to stubble like Velcro
blood-rimmed eyes
stare the bastard down
as I grin at the landlord
the one I stopped short of
just shy of pouncing
but for my friend’s cry
of “Jim, no!”
so there I stand, panting
unsure of my move
his face wears fear
I have him scared good
the pickle reek
of all night gin and beer
seeping from my pores
“You Jesus?” I ask
he steps back
getting ready to flee
answers affirmatively
“Well, Hallelujah fuckface!”
I say, rattling eviction papers
moments ago delivered
I stagger, unsteady, dizzy with adrenalin
but no blood on my hands
I go back inside
somehow, miraculously
nobody is dead
it’s only eight A.M.
in Los Angeles
there’s still plenty of time

Too Much Travelled By

April 27, 2016

Delusions of fame
distort and bloat
the paranoiac ego
ever certain
in its small appeal
of the total
adoration of the people
believing that everyone
who passes by
does so
due to love and respect
a desire to be near
such a remarkable talent

Maybe this is so
or maybe it ain’t so much
but as I walk through
yet another shoot
at the intersection of Fig & 56
the most overly shot
location in all of Los Angeles
I overhear the star’s
distinct Jersey by way of Boston
nasal honk loudly say,
“For the second time today!”
and I wonder
is it me
I am going past
“for the 2nd time today”
not out of design
once going home from coffee
next going out to a movie
but surely
it’s coincidental timing
certainly, he doesn’t keep tally
like some bureaucratic bird of prey
keenly observing
each little mouse
who scurries along the street
and how many times by they go
that would be crazy, right?

Or is it me
does it speak
to the sorry state of my mental health
to harbor such screwy suspicions
am I the paranoiac ego
and not Marc Maron afterall?

Is this how John Hinckley Jr. got his start?

Perhaps I am in need
of paying greater heed
to down which roads I travel

Conk Wet

March 17, 2016

Opioidal scum come
Ask for ice
Bartender he scream
Out rotten cunt
No fuckin’ hospice you
junkie adjust jersey
Try for presentable
Beggar tactic
Pathetic big eye
Pouty lip mouth
Please mr. boss man
Ain’t no love
I told you fuck off
Scabby cracker
And no more bones
Boy he goes
Back onto hard
Toy district street
Place for kiddies
Nope uh-uh screw dat
Harsh man I say cool
Man want ice only
Laughing goes the master
Other drinker inquire
What you s’pose
He want ice fo
Unsure I reply
Ease the heaty hurt
Gray hair alkie
Hoot a wild chuckle
Oh shit no
Say him
You really believe it
I says I do
You green he say
Wet behind ear
Damn addict
Could shoot up
Just using all the liquid
Washing round
‘Hind your conk shell orifices
I feel so much stupid
So I do what I do
And I giggle too

My Walk This Morning

January 29, 2016

I see a
middle-aged man
face weathered with defeat
sitting on a half wall
scratching thick stacks
of lottery tickets
using a nail file
loser after loser…

I see an old man
engaged in the struggle
to free
a well-browned Christmas tree
from the stand
before January’s end…

I see a young woman
in a fight with a pay phone
she screams and strikes the thing
throws the receiver
leaves it swinging
as she flees
on the run
loose red skirt
waving behind…

I see another man
one now on a bike
a bag of laundry
in a plastic garbage sack
draped over the handle bars
he calls out to me, “Hey, pimp,”
he says, “You out for a walk?
I like walking too.
Be careful out there.”

It’s advice; I’ll take it.


January 14, 2016

I caught him in the act once
not him
but one of him
in his gray hoodie with the hood up
dull red pin eyes pissed
staring at me
angry at my audacious haughtiness
that I would dare call him
on his vulgar defacement of private property
scalpel up his sleeve
as he moves it against the window
scratching his impotence against glass
the ultimate gesture of limp powerlessness
a flaccid attempt
upon the iron cunt of the world
his insipid weakness
churns the rage in my guts
an insuppressible sudden urge to violence
this fucking criminal
is challenging my gaze
his thick, slow tongue
struggles within its monosyllabic cage
to articulate a single word
“What?” he says
but I won’t look away
he tries to project hardness
he succeeds
but I know him
know he is soft where it matters
and the advantage is mine
as I take it from him
and push it all deep inside

It’s Still There

October 9, 2015

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
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
to murder, rape or kidnap
the unwary
at any moment
and the city wanted to let me know

Bad Business and Bleeding Hearts

February 2, 2015

as he fusses the knot in his tie,
at the hunched crone crossing
her feet barely lifting
she wobbles side to side
like a child’s toy
of a wind-up robot
the light is green
but still she remains

he watches her slow progression
behind him horns wrathfully sound
what the fuck
would they have him do
run her down
those murderous cunts would love that
in the rearview mirror
he sees one of the jackasses
silently scream
he watches the angry man
he watches the feeble woman
disrupting the morning commute
of himself and a hundred more

he hates her
he hates the society forcing her on the street
he hates the cold machinations
of physical reality
the atrophy, the entropy
the indifference
but most of all
he hates the shock of gray
through her black hair
dead center on her head
like a streak of off-white shit
left by a low flying sea bird
he hates it
because it means maybe now
or at least not long past
this widow-humped brittle lady
was vain enough
to bother to go into the shop
search the shelf for her color
make the purchase on a dwindling budget
go home to her sad apartment
and apply the chemical cake
it means she believed
someone somewhere cared
that she mattered
at least a little
and not too long ago
three months to judge by the roots exposed

sorrow from his frown spreads into his eyes
she is across
the way is clear
he accelerates away to work
this brief encounter
and the attendant thoughts it spurred
will be forgotten
but a thin trickle of its essence
seeped inside
to permanently stain, to fester and grow
to one day explode
in the most unlikely place
at the least appropriate time
in a great wash of tears
that will sour the biggest deal of his life

Gentrification Then

January 21, 2015

Only now
do they cry and kick and swing
swimming against the inevitable
they sat silently
willingly in the cage
as the winch lowered it into the sea
swaying over the depths
splashing down
into a self-silent womb
of their own complacency
grinning half-wits
staring glaze-eyed in foolhardy security
from their square little domiciles
at the predators circling
smelling blood
the desperate sweat
of the cash poor
and suddenly to their stupid surprise
the gate is lifted
the sharks are in
and they are out
flopping fish in the cool dawn air
they gasp and accuse
point fins
and burble chants of horrible abuse
all along the years the signs were clear
evictions, rent hikes and house flips
half-million dollar shit-holes
sold on subprime mortgage loans
the great housing market swindle
collateral debt obligation shuck and jive
short sales, foreclosures
deferment of blame onto the impoverished
acorns weeping from the eaves
collected happily in baskets too big to fail
and five years on
they pretend it never happened
as if the banks would give up the game
reverse the direction of capital flow
cease to feed the rich
and stop killing the poor
the pendulum keeps swinging
lower, ever lower
Poe’s blade seeking evisceration
the severing slice
to spill the piñatas guts across the waters
plenty of tripas
for the rising landlord class to swallow

The Veneer

January 6, 2015

In the Los Angeles rain
I drive
one of six hundred forty four thousand
parents all forced into it
by a broken school district
devoid of heart and student transit
from within my calm Mitsubishi bubble
I look out
through the eyes of a cop
the eyes of a frightened piglet
for all around me
I spy hate and rage
hulking brutes hunched red-eyed
over steering wheels
tires screech on dampened tarmac
horns blast open discontent
brakes squeal hostility
car doors slam
fists pound the dash
as blades furiously sweep across their vision
it’s a war
ready to break
at the mildest provocation
and like any trained monkey in uniform
I expect the worst
the horror of sudden violence
all these responsible gun owning civilians
are everyday so capable of
beasts of malice and blood
rearing the next generation on it
as the frustration of parallel parking mounts
as windscreen wipers’ rapid rhythms
beat on in sync
to that of their maddening pulse
the vein throbbing at the temple
capable of bursting
as sure as they are
it’s all terrible to behold
the thin veneer of polite society
is a frost upon the dirt
held at zero
on a warming planet
the icicle of Damocles
begins to drip
and it is best seen here
where a lack of public services
erodes the patience of the people
as they scramble through a hectic morning
helpless, rushed
attendance records, grades, tardy slips
and their own jobs
on the line day after brutal day
I drive
I see
safe and warm
I turn up the heat
I turn up the music
I close my cowardly cop eyes
exhale, pull to the curb
switch off the ignition
and walk my son to his door
to the crossing guard I say, “Good morning.”
as I pass
we must maintain