“Aren’t you glad you left?”
“That place is (fill in the blank)”
“I was there once, I hated it”
“Everyone there is so (fill in the blank)
So much hatred
So much prejudice
But let me ask you this?
Did you watch a movie last year?
Do you listen to music?
Some day a big Santa Ana wind will come and blow all the scum off the street.
It hurt my feelings
They didn’t even know you
Everyone put you down
Said you were phony
Said you were sleazy
I remember going to your triple feature at thirteen for a dollar
Putting my hands in Marilyn’s at the Grauman’s
Standing in line at ABC to see the tapings
Walking down Fountain Avenue
The smell of blooming jasmine
Hopping on the freeway to the Valley
Urban sprawl, screen doors, and BBQ
Or I’d take Wilshire to the beach
Western to the Airport (little known way to avoid the gridlock)
Ah your view from Mulholland
Low riders crawling down Whittier Boulevard
East LA the shine of the classic clean machine
Firsts of firsts
Langer and The Pantry
The Ambassador as old and in decay as you were then
I felt I was a part of old Hollywood when I drank my cognac on your lawn
The Hissing of Summer Lawns
Joni weaves me through Laurel Canyon
To Joan Crawford’s Pacific Coast Highway
Raymond Chandler’s neon streets
Gloria’s Sunset Boulevard to the Valley’s Boogie Nights
James Dean’s Deadman’s curve
Petty’s Free falling
Everyone craves sunshine
And a boy’s whistle
PS Miss you
Seconds before that sudden feeling that it’s all a dream, we rolled down Sunset. Through the overdosed city of LA. A fuck you angel dangling in the night. Erotic LA. Full and empty Eras. Vintage stores, billboards, the Pacific Ocean. (We rolled on)
Below the powdered skyline
The city burns
We play music
Finely tuned instruments
(We rolled on)
The city raging with violence. In the twilight, helicopters. 50-ton steel-armored vehicles. Riot rear. Pepper spray. Curfews.
I turned in my seat to look. Roadblocks. Black sky. Only floodlights on the scrutinizing street. We’re ordered to go back. We’re not far from the Pantages.
We turn the car around.
Hit the 101
(We rolled on)