mock the bird

in walking Kadapul petals fall to coat my steps

but really they’re just dirty leaves

as my daydreams waft into another direction

there is a certain equalizer in knowing

something comes this way and we all feel it

thoughts crumble upon the upward pounding of my feet

instinct against the grain

follow through with the maps in my head

stop and wave at a child and her puppy

another block and sun does shine

a mother talks a husband hounds

from his sitting family

‘what do you want to drink’

with coffee in left hand

passer bys ignore me

i blend into the posted centennial wall

the one by the bronze pig heads

and the bike racks rented by the Metro line

death mask faces reflected in mine

our wrinkles in the old and young

mock the bird silhouettes of our sky

our return in trying to make sense of our lives

post war America

post war America
with my morning coffee
bomb my soul
with bad news
bust economy
we sing the blues
through Alexa
post war America
which one is that
i against i
freedom of curiosity
5G napalmed
no longer exists
the smorgasbord of Adam’s tree
a swipe away from a child’s magic machine
post war America
infiltrated in my dreams
meander through my streets
come witness your children be

Rob Banks (c) 2020

Hollywood postcards

there are gopher holes on the sidewalk lawns

and every once in a while on Camilla street

the dirt will mound up next to a dandelion clump

someone lived here once and they still do

and they get visited on lattice top pie Sundays

on the front door a wreath for every celebration

and after morning coffee the garage door opens

name brand grass rose and cactus fertilizers

there are potholes and no sidewalks on Alameda

someone we don’t think of lives here and many more

the dirt around her ankles with pink thread strands

in matted hair with feathers

on Tuesday last her blanket drenched in rain

by her thigh a Starbucks cup to collect her pay

peeking into secret plastic bags

her slitted lips whisper at the fence

there are various hours of the day

where heads can’t be wrapped around anything

i admit i’m old fashioned broken indoctrinated

i’m too tired so very tired to fight a fight

good bad or indifferent

the landscape is not what we think it is

there are no alien or governmental microchips

only old Hollywood postcards in our brain

cardboard sheets

the best walk is in the morning right before the sun completely rises the odors of garbage and French bread coupled with bus ozone and weed exist in a universe of the mind and the alley

there are men lined up against the buildings and traffic electric boxes their hoodies exclaim to the world that they are Raider Laker or Ram fans cigarette crack meth and weed wafts creating a unitary phantasmic god of smoke

some women stand by the liquor stores lighting a toke some women have little children and they stand waiting for the crosswalk light to change some women walk on blind to the world face in phone heading for a loft to be beautiful the click emitted by the heel of their Louboutin only amplifies the agony of sleeping bodies on the cardboard sheets

is it possible to be clinically alive but haunt a building is it possible to be shrouded in death and still feel the dullness of life Bandini where is the Spring time

morning is thriving and as the minutes whiz by the city gets hotter the fire department connector pipes have an extra gleam today as i study them they have written upon them the secrets of the street urchin in the sharpie pen dialect

fruit and tamale vendors mushroom up and down the side streets they methodically feed their families by feeding the mason crews contracted to erect unobtainable luxury the divide between those and us is so great by now is our poverty obtainable for them