Saturday, July 1, 2017

City Afternoon, With Shadows

It was weird out, even for LA, no one talked,
For example, or if they did, it was drowned out
By traffic lights, air brakes, the omnipresent spycams,
And the laughter of ghost bums like fountains
That they could still taunt us for withholding coin.

And the people were as interchangeable as birds,
Hair, wardrobe, accessories cataloged, even the blue-haired
Pewter dolls, the birthday suits red-ribboned with tribal
Angel headdress wings, the hot mess messengers with orange pants
And pink suspenders and phosphorescent yellow dreads.

The new's no longer new, because it won't make one unique
In the homogeneity of diversity. Who sits cross-legged anymore
In the fountain, by the statue? Instead boys in circles spin a soccer ball
In its currents, while girls pose for pictures with their ice-cream cones
As if the fear of others is a holy obligation.

We have become those things that advertising shows up, we don't have
The colors, the spices, the life of pecuniary discontent, we want nothing
But to be part of that. The band of homeless brothers, in olive-drab
Tents, know what we can only surmise; that other people are crazy,
That's why you trust them with your lives.

There's no trust on the other side, with no belief in oneself to rely on,
That a penny in the cold would be more than enough. Instead the usual
Endless line at the modern art museum, never thinning it's cultivation
Of ennui, and the guy she's with is just a prop,
So she can unscrew wandering eyes

Like mine, who hopes for some relief from the inundation
Of humiliating information obsolescing all I seek, who hopes
Someone walks these streets knowing its Hallucination Beach,
Who knows there's nothing but sighs for sale
At the Ghost of Old Mexico Tile and Stone,

Who looks with love in his heart at the heartless, sees the purpose
In grace of every wannabe, as if it all turns real in his light, but no,
There's no room outside the dream anymore,
No one who can rescue the no one to save,
There's only an imagined alternative, me.

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