le dive bar

neon beer signs
fire door mural cop

harassing drunk patron junk filled basement
last heyday in 1950s
cheap luncheon bar feed
John Fante tattoo
don’t eat the nachos
jukebox no one can hear
two whores boxing
wino pissing
across the street
one shoe on the other
hanging from the wire
that brought the city down
they work on instinct
they are all prison taught
he whispered candy ass freaks
tell me to suck their dick
just for walking on their street
chasms blur all out
the kingdom gone
the will be fickle
find the beauty
of the bones
encased in jaundiced laughter

line

off the sand dirt tarmac wacks ready of the yet not a time for happy let ye olden wire zap the conscience to open the eye to come what may if knees are to be bent bend to Who saves the soul in the alley no one’s told if what when why how could they for what vision yourself fluffy cloud grandmother’s pie in the morgue of our contrition emergency suddenly emergency was were we not official then just continue to wash your hands

la times unplugged

it used to be that brown or black eyes were the abysmal of magical beauty and blues were sparkling pools of Narcissus’ soul staring back at me today i walk slow aimlessly sipping pretending to be comfortable and care free but it’s only procrastination to my left bumper stickers promising green utopia for all to my right oceans deep with human carnage strewn and labeled social crisis the caucused trumped up rallies won’t heal my broken brothers and if i’m not careful the depth of my wavering human decency could quickly shallow up

simple

just a soft look please

it’s enough to just hold me

want to touch your heart

how much more time

mbrazfieldm (c) 2019

how

the things that are not going anywhere in the tunnels of this life

hands tired how to explain the whys of it all

roads paved with loss hey not everything is a party take time feel her out look in eyes that have never cried for herself

what about the cramp in the gut are we starved disgusted crazy or lost

how did we get here were we tricked how in the name of freedom and doing good did i give up the bond to my soul in a most obscene way

how can i teach my brother to fish how can my brother relish what’s his if he is severely sick how can i teach my sister to fight and feel out her heart if we both have to be vetted and protected from each other

R Brazfield (c) 2019 mixed media

King Eddy study (i)

riley-so how long you hangin out i’d like to show you somethin

grady-since you put it that way i might stay here and wash their plates

riley-Jesus woman you’re harsh i’m jus lookin for some fun i got let out of Wayside two days ago

grady-really i walked out of Tarzana this morning

riley-oh well yeah i was in for stealing cars and i punched my ol lady but it was self defense you see

grady-(forcing smile and nodding raising eye brows)

riley-so can you help me out a little you’re really cute i’m clean as a whistle too

grady-(forcing smile and nodding raising eye brows)

riley-you wanna beer

grady-no thanks i don’t like it

riley-(inching closer to grady and smiling) wuddah ya like then (wiggling eyebrows up and down)

grady-vodka

riley-ok yeah but afore we order drinks you wanna go out back to the alley we can poke around

grady-ummm what for what are we looking for

riley-(lets out frustrated giggle like Frank Booth) i mean to do it i’m horny you’re really nice

grady-yeah but no i’ll pass i’m waitin for my man you know there might be some good time girls on Central by 4th ask for Melva she’s cool people

riley-(pulls back looks at grady up and down) aint you a whore

grady-naw man i’m a college kid with lots of problems and lots of friends in very low and dark places (winks at riley) so get the fuck outta my face (forced smile sips ginger ale puffs at clove)

riley-(gets off bar stool as he sucks his teeth and looks grady up and down)so you think you’re better than me then huh stupid cunt

grady-(gives bouncer O’Neal the tap out look and blows kiss at riley)

fancy James Brown footwork

Last night was rough at the Cecil. I invited friends from school to party at Turkish Turi’s, but they couldn’t hang. It wasn’t cool enough. Turi was salt of the earth kinda’ people. Rough and say it like it is, but protective of the people around him.

My mother agreed to meet me on Los Angeles Street and 7th on account she wanted to buy some rugs for her house. She was in a good mood and I wanted to bond with her. It had been a few days since I was at her home. I was late to our 12:30 p.m. meeting place.

As I made my way to greet her, my head looked down, avoiding eye contact just in case she was pissed. Mother was German, punctuality was no joke. She had on a beige PONY track suit, very soft and fancy; lady like and proper. Her hair pixied and dark red like cherry wood. Her neck graceful and pale was  adorned by a very thin gold chain and a blue diamond pendant Star of David.

Sitting in front of the Cecil daydreaming and sobering up; anticipating meeting with my mom, I remembered a time when I was around four. She was dressed like an angel, a Charlie’s Angel, bell bottoms, pink lips, rippling feathered hair and white boots. It was the mid 70’s, but my mom loved British rock and with a little Daniel’s in her she started grooving to T.Rex.

Lucy was happy that day, like genuinely happy, laughing and dancing and talking her German tongue to her lady friends and kinfolk. We kids never learned. Then, as I was looking for my can of apple juice, she invites me to dance. “Bang a gong, get it on, bang a gong.”

As the buses swooshed by and the vagrants were getting ticketed in vain on Main, I smiled wide. I was lapping up the memory in my head; a short chubby four year old with red patent leather Mary Janes contorting like Joe Cocker. I bent back, down and sideways, but the coup de gras was the fancy James Brown footwork I threw out there for my mom to see. I’d watch him on Soul Train when my baby sitter would come on Saturday nights.

The world felt better at 1:13 p.m. I was late, but my heart was in the right place. Lucy’s was too. The edge of skid row was my home away from home. It felt like my mother’s arms or at least what I thought her arms might have felt like. It was very unnatural to see Lucy there, so beautiful, but so sick at heart. I was more of a body guard than a daughter. She stayed in a home paid for by a man who was just like the other men who had sent many of the women I knew to exile at the Nickel. Lucy was not only a victim of my father, but her of ego as well.

my way…

last night was rough at the Cecil i invited friends from school to party at Turkish Turi’s but they couldn’t hang it wasn’t cool enough Turi was salt of the earth kinda’ people rough and say it like it is but protective of the people around him

my mother agreed to meet me on Los Angeles Street and 7th on account she wanted to buy some rugs for her house she was in a good mood and i wanted to bond with her it had been a few days since i was at her home i was late to our 12:30 pm meeting place

as i made my way to greet her my head looked down avoiding eye contact just in case she was pissed mother was German punctuality was no joke she had on a beige PONY track suit very soft and fancy lady like and proper her hair pixied and dark red like cherry wood her neck graceful and pale was  adorned by a very thin gold chain and a blue diamond pendant Star of David

sitting in front of the Cecil daydreaming and sobering up anticipating meeting with my mom i remembered a time when i was around four she was dressed like an angel a Charlie’s Angel bell bottoms pink lips rippling feathered hair and white boots it was the mid 70’s but my mom loved British rock and with a little Daniel’s in her she started grooving to T.Rex

Lucy was happy that day like genuinely happy laughing and dancing and talking her German tongue to her lady friends and kinfolk we kids never learned then as i was looking for my can of apple juice she invites me to dance “Bang a gong, get it on, bang a gong”

as the buses swooshed by and the vagrants were getting ticketed in vain on Main i smiled wide i was lapping up the memory in my head a short chubby four year old with red patent leather Mary Janes contorting like Joe Cocker i bent back down and sideways but the coup de gras was the fancy James Brown footwork i threw out there for my mom to see i’d watch him on Soul Train when my baby sitter would come on Saturday nights

the world felt better at 1:13 pm i was late but my heart was in the right place Lucy’s was too the edge of skid row was my home away from home it felt like my mother’s arms or at least what i thought her arms might have felt like it was very unnatural to see Lucy there so beautiful but so sick at heart i was more of a body guard than a daughter she stayed in a home paid for by a man who was just like the other men who had sent many of the women i knew to exile at the Nickel Lucy was not only a victim of my father but her of ego as well

element

if the rust stained bones in my frame

were to ever get a chance again

to glide across the universe

look into Pandora’s jet white eyes

and smell the lighted stars

like people sniff the roses

my soul to keep i’d give away

to plug the holes

and pave new ways

for dusk to kiss the lonely hearts

for dawn to inter the bitter crop

from where my old roots are rotted

i’d be a renegade of love again

with bombs of ear drums

i would fight

to give a spot to everyone

in God’s angelic choir

if the sacred morning dew

can forgive me

for not being wide awake

in baptizing my sinful state

in the worldly river of life

reason being i was up all night

marching behind my sisters and brothers

blinded by the poisoned dark

with intent to guide them out

of their imposed upon madness

or if the maidens of the light

would prefer to bring me back

i would want to be

a lightning bolt

looking to correct

the wicked negatives of the cold hard ground

with the positives in the celestial clouds

to quench the crops of kindness

that are drying out

yet in all honesty

i’d be more than content

to come back as a rainbow colored bubble

making some kid laugh

let me count the ways

pic by mbrazfield (c) 2019

life you have this annoying way of walking by as i’m trying to see a point of view prescribed by a cold and sterile man

take today for instance i’m just whistling by on my way to the corners pungent with wet filth and frothy with human madness

every prophet will eventually go back to her house yet i am neither saint nor prophet but just a sinner looking for faith

here in front of me stands the place where we yes you my soul conscience and mind dwindled childhood away waiting for the unknown without fear bloated with arrogance