or if you're taking over, then it's over
LA is a city that always dangles a carrot three feet away
from the noses of its citizens. this arrives to screen,
by phone, from my friend who holds microphones and wails
in an attempt to corral all the searing noise around him
into a cohesive statement. beat. riff. rhythm. anthem,
even rising to the sky, but stopped at last by smog.
songs try their best to find their way out of the city,
in the bumping trunks of riders, in the collapsing chanteuses
somewhere just outside hollywood, the bricked off lofts
of silverlake. I can't get back there. I can't get into it.
I can't even name a street that isn't already famous,
despite the hours behind the wheel of a twelve wheeler.
Someone tells me something about Bukowski, the city making
him what he was. About sleaze and punk and availability of
everything. i think about a poem I wrote ten years ago and
how I heard the subject turned to magic after a collection
of late 90s new wave songs failed to advance his neighborhood.
he is probably on stage tonight, somewhere on the second floor
of a tall building, wearing a funny hat and introducing
women in fancy underwear to a crowd who don't have shows that night.
the opening quote is from Robert Lashley, of Scume Eating, etc, who are in LA right now, or leaving it, on their way to Spokane. The prompt was from Theresa Mitchell, from a while back, who told me to write about a musician who influenced me. I was ostensibly going to write about Rob Zabrecky, from Possum Dixon, a band I liked in High School, but obviously, I ended up writing about LA. As you can tell from the time of day and sloppy prose style, i wrote it at work.