Literature In Los Angeles

Author Archive


In HOLLYWOOD, POETRY on October 12, 2020 at 3:01 pm

Poem by Kiana Madani.

I have done something

To make you despise me,

I am both at your mercy and at your discretion,

A template for the life you have not lived.

All I ever wanted was to have your hearts,

And to share mine with you,

In the end – it’s all we ever have.

To have these desires,

Is it’s own form of cruel punishment

When the people you love,

Often don’t love you back

Poem by Kiana Madani.

Photo by Kelly Klein.



In POETRY on September 6, 2020 at 2:14 pm

Poem by Liliana Maria Isella.


Ritrovarti dentro ai jeans
Di questa notte senza pace
Quella dei tuoi occhi

Ritrovarti dentro un sogno
Tu che realtá sei stato
Di tutto, tutti e mai dimenticata

E dirtelo
Che oggi la conosco
Questa nostra malattia

Scappiamo, Amore
Conosco anche la salvezza
Ma non so dove trovarla

Nel fragile risvolto di un colletto

E di nuovo non sei piú tu
In questo viale senza fondo

Nel punto dove abbiamo cominciato
Riconosco la tua mano
O chissá dove

É tua la colpa
O forse mia
Di questa vita
Che non cambia
Ma rende me irriconoscibile

Questa vita
Che non sostiene le mie mani
Non sorregge la mia voce
Non fa correre i miei passi

E nell’affanno ti riconosco
Sul tuo treno
Per dove non lo so
Non l’ho saputo mai

E mi volto
A guardare quello che di te rimane
Sul mio volto sfatto
I miei capelli a terra
La mia vita esanime
Fra le braccia di nessuno

E mi rialzo
A passi scalzi
Su un asfalto incostante
Per una supplica del mio cuore
Che ancora
In caduta o risalita
Riconoscerá il tuo nome


Poem by Liliana Maria Isella.


In HOLLYWOOD, POETRY on May 8, 2020 at 6:31 am

Poem by Kiana Madani.

Elvis and Priscilla

I am cracking open

And I am stronger than you know

I have been on that open road

With nothing to grasp

With nothing to see

But the mountains holding hands with the horizon

And the infinity of the stars in my eyes

Poem by Kiana Madani.

Photo: Elvis & Priscilla, April 1966.


In POETRY on April 29, 2020 at 6:11 am

Poem by Liliana Maria Isella.


Il giorno che sei morto
Io e te di spalle
Mi spiace
Tegole di vento
La pioggia é finita

L’acqua scorre
Le mani tremano
Il piatto è troppo caldo
Le parole tagliano
E non voglio più sentirle

Mi mancherai
Coi tuoi occhi lucidi
La dignità a stracci
I sogni umiliati
Le speranze schiaffeggiate

Uomo senza presente
Futuro di fantasmi appollaiati
Passato di mitra e denti spalancati
A mangiare quel che di te rimane
Bambino a calci, soffi e pugni

Il giorno che sei morto
Mi giro e ti vedo
La pioggia é finita
L’acqua scorre
Mi mancherai
Uomo senza presente.

Poem by Liliana Maria Isella.

Photo by Parisien Voyageur.


In POETRY on April 17, 2020 at 4:51 am

Poem by Kiana Madani.

Grandi Aspettative

How could I have trusted you,

When I could barely trust myself

Asking a woman with a war in her mind

To rely on anyone

Is asking the vulture not to scavenge,

The lioness not to hunt,

The sun not to rise.

Poem by Kiana Madani.


In POETRY on April 3, 2020 at 7:25 am

Poem by Liliana Maria Isella.


Il primo giorno senza te
ultimo fra quelli che vorrei
le nostre labbra
tatuaggio sui miei polsi
sbriciolano rimpianti fra la nostra conclusione.

Adesso tu saresti qui
a far sorridere le mie lacrime
asciugare i miei respiri
intonare i miei pensieri
cercare un padre a questo sangue senza nome.

Mi scorri fra le vene
ti agiti in questo silenzio da mordere
ti perdo in un letto senza fiume
mi soffochi nel girotondo di un anello indissolubile.

Adesso tu saresti qui
se ci potessimo dimenticare del loro nome
quello che mi hai detto mai
quello che mai avrei ascoltato
perché l’unico nome senza noi, ora e sempre, é solo il tuo.

Poem by Liliana Maria Isella.

Painting: Les Amants by René Magritte, 1928.


In POETRY on April 3, 2020 at 3:40 am

Poem by Liliana Maria Isella.


Questa è la lettera che non ti scriveró.

La lettera per dimenticarti.
La lettera per confonderti.
La lettera per averti.

Averti tutta la vita.
Averti per un minuto soltanto.
Averti senza ritegno.

Averti nel dolore.
Averti nella gioia.
Averti nella paura di perderti.

Averti nella solitudine di adesso.
Averti nella vergogna di ieri.
Averti sul finire di domani.

Averti nella libertà.
Averti con le mani legate.
Averti fra ambizioni di frontiera.

Averti perché nessuno è come te.
E questo lo sapevamo già.
Ma tu sei davvero il migliore.

Averti perché il ghiaccio di frantumi che ho dentro rispecchia solo il tuo sorriso. Averti perché tanto il fuori è niente, senza te. E anche il tutto, è niente. Ma i tuoi occhi sono cieli rovesciati. Vasi di spine la perfezione dei tuoi silenzi. E sale di nuvole i nodi fra i tuoi pensieri. Sale che brucia. Sale che si scioglie. Sale che scende. Verso le tue mani. Le tue mani. Le tue mani che vorrei toccare. Pregare. Rubare. Le tue mani. Peccato da ricordare. Fulmini da soffocare. Lacrime in cui annegare.

Le tue mani. Musica, le tue mani, e le tue mani solamente.

Poem by Liliana Maria Isella.

Photo by Liliana Maria Isella.


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…


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.


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

Poem by Changming Yuan.


Walking or running
Progressing is but

A con-sequence of
Stumbles or downfalls

One by another

Poem by Changming Yuan.

Artwork:  Lauren Bacall – Oil Tempera by Tsunemasa Takahashi.


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

no medical

but there was free,
soda pop

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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