Literature In Los Angeles

THREE POEMS

In POETRY on May 30, 2017 at 4:15 pm

Poems by S.A. Gerber.

Lila Axl

Al Fresco

The jagged street corner

provides a brief respite.

I am chewed up and

spit out by the sidewalks.

Both weary and leery of

trains, busses, and all

methods of ‘road tripping’.

Back in “los angel city”,

downtown to be exact.

(Madness, it seems, has

always migrated West).

In the alley I find a seat.

Back against an abandon

warehouse, I sip what’s

left of my pint with Mort.

Someone coming out of

“The Pantry” gave him their

doggie bag, and we split

pork roast and fried potatoes.

In this down and out version

of ‘Al Fresco’, Mort is a man

of taste and largesse.

We finish off with red wine

he purchased for 89 cents,

and my last two cigarettes.

Leaning back against the

warehouse, facing the

unseen Pacific Ocean,

both silently cursing the

choices we’ve made, yet still

enjoying the calm, winter night.

Could be worse…

this could be Minnesota—

freezing our ‘sacks’ in

downtown Duluth.

The pork could’a been dried out—

We could be alone…

yeah.

Could always be worse.

 

One More L.A. Short Take

Ten thirty-four pm—

still sipping at my

after dinner cappuccino,

in this upscale

Beverly Hills eatery.

Been sitting a long time…

waiting for the check.

The manager approaches…

says he’ll take us whenever

we are  ready.

Our waiter, it seems,

had a late night audition.

 

Promise of Paradise

I see the cheated.

I watch with sadness,

with a “Day of the Locust”

kind of irony, the folk

who came to California,

aspirations and delusions

aplenty, and tragically

had to settle for far less.

Every secretary is an actor

along with every waiter;

every cabbie has a script,

and  all telemarketers are

would or want-to-be producers.

The ride in compact-Japanese

‘limos’ to ten-plex ‘mansions’

where they attempt escape

by any means available.

What becomes the hardest

to erase and the most painful

to endue, is the final realization

that not everyone with talent,

who saves their pennies to come,

hits the target.

Most promises of paradise lay

as faded and broken as the

old ‘back-lot’ facades.

Nathaniel West knew—

John Fante knew—

Bukowski knew.

They braved the trail only to

stop to yell out a caution

over their collective shoulders.

They knew.

Poems by S.A. Gerber.

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MOVING FORWARD

In POETRY on February 3, 2017 at 7:05 pm

Poem by Changming Yuan.

moving-forward

Walking or running
Progressing is but

A con-sequence of
Stumbles or downfalls

Followed
One by another

Poem by Changming Yuan.

Artwork:  Lauren Bacall – Oil Tempera by Tsunemasa Takahashi.

DROUGHT

In POETRY on October 11, 2016 at 1:10 pm

Poem by RK Wallace.

Los Angeles Approves New Campaign To Aid In City's Homeless Crisis

Green Card alien,
standard two year probationary period;

no social
security,

no medical
insurance,

but there was free,
unlimited,
soda pop
refills.

A thousand bucks
for two hours in a hospital
bed, dehydrated from flu.
I was told to drink more
liquids, rehydrate
what they adopted two centuries ago as
Scottish Common Sense Realism,
but, the TV advert said we had to cut back because of the
water shortage in Southern California.

I was told I might experience some dizziness,
the virus was affecting my balance.
The doctor advised me,
“it’s like a military invasion, even when it leaves,
its imperialist presence can still be felt.”

An hour later my ex wife helped me
dribble out of the car,
morphined out of my face,
she could have been anyone.

I couldn’t stop laughing at the state
of the world, and myself.

A foreclosure sign
sprang up in the garden
of a neighbour’s home,
like the genetically modified
flowers on the beds
of the synthetic lawns
they once prided themselves
with. The tears of the night
street sprinklers started to engulf me.

The recycled waste
water felt like velvet
upon my drugged up skin.

However, when that wet layer of marine like
medical fog wore off,

I realised;

I could have taken a three thousand mile ride
on a jumbo jet back the U.K. for much cheaper than
a two mile ride in an ambulance or a fire truck,

instead of worrying about where my rent was
going to come from for the next two months.  

But that’s ok, some places even give you
free refills of salad and bread!

Poem by RK Wallace.

Photo by David McNew/Getty Images.

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