Los Angeles

Photo by Alan Carrillo 

“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.

Dear LA,

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

Bouncing shocks

Bulging muscles

Pachuca flair

Alvarado Street

New religions

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


Photo by BP Miller 

LA Riots

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)

Different configurations

Below the powdered skyline

The city burns

We play music

Finely tuned instruments

It burns

(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

It burns

(We rolled on)

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