L.A. the Blog: Poetry

Well, after a long hiatus of over a year and a few very extraordinary adventures (yes, love is an adventure and no I am not getting sentimental!) the blog returns.  Return of the blog!!  Not a movie but perhaps an intertextual allusion to a work of art that hopefully creates revulsion in the reader so when the following paragraphs of poetry alight on the eyes (yes like a metaphysical angel descending from heaven to earth) the beauty of the “plain” verse causes a sublime emotional reaction.  Of course what normally is considered doggerel when in contrast to a terror B Movie then becomes heavenly is either a paradox or ironic … don’t you think?

Honestly I just picked up David Foster Wallace’s “Consider The Lobster” and in an attempt to capture Wallace’s own malaise, I am both proving myself a narcissist, and full of low self-esteem.   Is he a genius?  Am I a genius?  Most likely I am just a tourist in this landscape of words, making this whole paragraph a metatextual reference.  By the way I am describing this poetry as “plain” verse, not Blank Verse, not Free Verse, but Plain Verse.  Love it or leave it.

Los Angeles

By Aaron Howell

Outside
Street corner
Midday
Sun overhead,
Hot like some circle of hell,
People sweating constantly
Dripping sweat
Constantly.

People everywhere –
Twenty-first century problems everywhere
And like the heat affecting perspiration
The porous streets sweat blood and tears:

SEE young teenage fanatics fantastically displayed in frantic poses,
Residual effects of fashion,
Fall through the “crack” rock and “needle” holes;

WATCH Business-rich-man with
Not-so-rich woman
Or partner
Or sex buddy
Or wife
Or Mercedes co-pilot dinner-date opera escort
Or vice-versa man is woman
Woman is man
This IS America;

HOW the fiendish heat of the young day
Prays for a cloud of rain in this desert
An oxymoron
Or the foolish wish of the hipster-hippy
Deemed idealist tree hugger
Happy except the businesswoman’s Mercedes runs on gas
And the opera is sold out;

WITH Red lights
Green lights
A worn-out mattress dragging a homeless person from nook
To sidewalk
To street corner
Confessing for GODsake
That it’s impossible to rest anywhere these days
The damn dogs won’t stop barking
They even managed speed limits on sirens
Flashing lights slow to a crawl
Traffic
The law of too many drivers
Even animals drive cars these days
DAMN it all!

Outside
Street corner
Midday
The city smothers with its heat
It envelops and grasps
Helicopters overhead insure the no-escape policy
But if exposed for too long
It burns its reality into angels
Giving nausea like sunstroke.

Long-term residents of Los Angeles
All have dark tans and future cancer spots
Its lasting effect.

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