nail biter

we sat there just flopped on the hot sticky sidewalk waiting for inspiration to get up and walk i was the nail biter of the pack Nate was the food finder Noodle was the weed finder and one eye Byrna was just one eyed Byrna we thought that we might go panhandle in front of Clifton’s but there were two problems the first was that men thought i was a boy prostitute and after i’d animatedly correct the would be johns LAs finest would get called never a good idea for underaged Clash fans looking for meaning and a mellow yellow evening the kids got tired and took the bus home i walked over to the Cecil and loitered outside watching portly gray and brown pigeons bathing in grimy puddles under the city lights

couch skinning

I woke up mid morning thinking of how many ways can one skin a couch. I slept on the floor boards of the 8th floor room of a woman who used “whore” as her pronoun.  I smoked too many things last night and my head was throbbing. My nose bled some too as crunchy clusters of dried blood dropped onto my arm cupping my head.

Last night, on Werdin Place there were lots of people hangin’ out and doping up. Lounge lizards sitting on about half a dozen couches, right there in the middle of the musky alley. There was one couch in particular that was just foam and wood. It was still very clean, but as hard as I looked I couldn’t  see where the cloth covering had gone to.

So that morning I started off with two canned  espressos and a diet coke that I had in my book bag from last week. Tiffany came in from the shared bathroom down the hall. She was pissed or maybe her traced on eye brows were crooked. I just looked out the door past her calves. Someone was getting yelled at then she slammed the door. Her eyes were hard and mean; beady as hell too.  Tiffany once told me that her momma had an affair with Elvis after her daddy left them to join the Navy. I never doubted her.

Tiffany lit a bong shaped like a big purple cock. A present from one of her many admirers she gasped between inhales. She offered but I politely declined. I was a few years away from wanting to explore those kinds of shapes inside of my mouth. I could see she was offended as she smacked her lips and twisted her neck at me. It hadn’t been the first time so I hid my smile from her.

Taking three long slow drags from the bong she stood up slowly and dropped her worn out Wonder Woman beach towel. The dirty blond pubic tufts flayed from her arm pits and crotch were stiff and wire like. Tiffany sat back down and I could see skin hang like Christmas decorations from collar bones and ribs. She was beautiful in a medical way.

We didn’t talk. I stirred around my back pack and got the works and a rock out.  Tiffany held her chin high and words crawled from her ashy lips. You can cook and shoot if you let me fuck you. She smiled and said she had wanted a taste since last year.  I wasn’t fazed by her condition, but I was inconvenienced because I didn’t really want to walk down to Werdin. I answered under my breath. Tiffany told me to get the hell out of her house. I said ok but thanks for letting me spend the night. I was growing tired at 19. There were 700 rooms at low weekly rates and I couldn’t just yet rent one. All my assets were tied in under the counter investments.

my way…

i woke up mid morning thinking of how many ways can one skin a couch i slept on the floor boards of the 8th floor room of a woman who used “whore” as her pronoun i smoked too many things last night and my head was throbbing my nose bled some too as crunchy clusters of dried blood dropped onto my arm cupping my head.

last night on Werdin Place there were lots of people hangin’ out and doping up lounge lizards sitting on about half a dozen couches right there in the middle of the musky alley there was one couch in particular that was just foam and wood it was still very clean but as hard as i looked i couldn’t  see where the cloth covering had gone to

so that morning i started off with two canned  espressos and a diet coke that i had in my book bag from last week Tiffany came in from the shared bathroom down the hall she was pissed or maybe her traced on eye brows were crooked i just looked out the door past her calves someone was getting yelled at then she slammed the door her eyes were hard and mean beady as hell too  Tiffany once told me that her momma had an affair with Elvis after her daddy left them to join the Navy i never doubted her

Tiffany lit a bong shaped like a big purple cock a present from one of her many admirers she gasped between inhales she offered but i politely declined i was a few years away from wanting to explore those kinds of shapes inside of my mouth i could see she was offended as she smacked her lips and twisted her neck at me it hadn’t been the first time so i hid my smile from her

taking three long slow drags from the bong she stood up slowly and dropped her worn out Wonder Woman beach towel the dirty blond pubic tufts flayed from her arm pits and crotch were stiff and wire like Tiffany sat back down and i could see skin hang like Christmas decorations from collar bones and ribs she was beautiful in a medical way

we didn’t talk i stirred around my back pack and got the works and a rock out  Tiffany held her chin high and words crawled from her ashy lips you can cook and shoot if you let me fuck you she smiled and said she had wanted a taste since last year i wasn’t fazed by her condition but i was inconvenienced because i didn’t really want to walk down to Werdin i answered under my breath Tiffany told me to get the hell out of her house i said ok but thanks for letting me spend the night i was growing tired at 19 there were 700 rooms at low weekly rates and i couldn’t just yet rent one all my assets were tied in under the counter investments

dogs of the 90’s

Spare Cock Amos had gone to Vegas for the weekend. I had his room all to myself if I wanted to stay there. I decided that this time I would play house.

Jeremiah was a bullfrog, etc. The song oozled out of the broken down radio. First the laundry. I put in the entire box of Tide; when Tide just smelled like Tide. I spent my roll of quarters doing one load. The suds were kinda’ thick. Drying was still a dime so I was successful at that.

Heading back to the room Bryan Boyle was waiting outside of SC’s room. He was sweaty and lost.

“Hey.”

“Oh is Amos here, I gotta talk to him bad. I need to talk to him, is he here?”

“Naw.”

“Fuuuuuccccckkkkkk, whadda ya mean he ain’t here, I need to talk to him!”

“Sorry man, he’s gone for the weekend. I’m just crashin’ before I take off. Heidi’s home though she might be able to help.”

I walked into the room and placed the clean linens on an old arm chair. Bryan had teleported off into outer space universe open wide on this arm chair on other occasions.

Turning to listen with intent to the guy on the radio drinking his bullfrog friend’s wine, I couldn’t help but wonder if Heidi had an arm chair too. Heidi despised me on account I couldn’t like her the way she wanted me to.

I got around to changing the bed and dusted some picture frames. Amos came from a good looking family. Groaning and door slamming could be heard. Heidi refused Bryan. I should have told him not to mention my name.

Joy to the fishes. The chair bothered me. It was the junk bunk. I rode it myself a few times. I felt shame. This shame was different than the other shame. The one you feel over something that happened that you couldn’t prevent. The chair, the junk, the Cecil were preventable. I had chosen to fuck up. I wondered what kind of shame Bryan felt, if any.

Bang, bong, ping, bap.

“Heeeyyy! Open the door that bitch called the cops!!”

Sheepish creak.

“Sorry man.”

Bryan sobbed and with his back to the door frame just slid down to the floor.

“I give up.” He slobbered.

“Dude, man you’ll be ok.”

I knelt beside him. His surfer shirt torn at the hems. Little yellow and pink hula girls and turquoise surfboards 3D’ed at me like flashing acid.

My heart broke as tears rolled down his chubby baby cheeks. The rain finally came. We both perked up at the opened window at the end of the hallway. Wet concrete and drunk piss wove an aromatic melody. Joy to Bryan and a little to me. City rain; we knew it well.

We talked on the floor for hours. Just about dreams and normal things and rock and roll. Sure he picked at his arms and cried a little here and there, but Bryan lived a little.

my way…

spare cock Amos had gone to Vegas for the weekend i had his room all to myself if i wanted to stay there i decided that this time i would play house

Jeremiah was a bullfrog etc the song oozled out of the broken down radio first the laundry i put in the entire box of Tide when Tide just smelled like Tide i spent my roll of quarters doing one load the suds were kinda’ thick drying was still a dime so i was successful at that

heading back to the room Bryan Boyle was waiting outside of sc’s room he was sweaty and lost

“hey”

“oh is Amos here i gotta talk to him bad i need to talk to him is he here”

“naw”

“fuuuuuccccckkkkkk whadda ya mean he ain’t here i need to talk to him”

“sorry man he’s gone for the weekend i’m just crashin’ before i take off Heidi’s home though she might be able to help”

i walked into the room and placed the clean linens on an old arm chair Bryan had teleported off into outer space universe open wide on this arm chair on other occasions

turning to listen with intent to the guy on the radio drinking his bullfrog friend’s wine i couldn’t help but wonder if Heidi had an arm chair too Heidi despised me on account i couldn’t like her the way she wanted me to

i got around to changing the bed and dusted some picture frames Amos came from a good looking family groaning and door slamming could be heard Heidi refused Bryan i should have told him not to mention my name

joy to the fishes the chair bothered me it was the junk bunk i rode it myself a few times i felt shame this shame was different than the other shame the one you feel over something that happened that you couldn’t prevent the chair the junk the Cecil were preventable i had chosen to fuck up i wondered what kind of shame Bryan felt if any

bang bong ping bap

“heeeyyy open the door that bitch called the cops”

sheepish creak

“sorry man”

Bryan sobbed and with his back to the door frame just slid down to the floor

“i give up” he slobbered

“dude man you’ll be ok”

i knelt beside him his surfer shirt torn at the hems little yellow and pink hula girls and turquoise surfboards 3d’ed at me like flashing acid

my heart broke as tears rolled down his chubby baby cheeks the rain finally came we both perked up at the opened window at the end of the hallway wet concrete and drunk piss wove an aromatic melody joy to Bryan and a little to me city rain we knew it well

we talked on the floor for hours just about dreams and normal things and rock and roll sure he picked at his arms and cried a little here and there but Bryan lived a little

in regards to Foghat

At 21, I didn’t know two things; how I got through 4 years of college and who played “Slow Ride.” But grunge was growing on me and I still had Miles and Monk, maybe a little Ginger Baker in between.

I also didn’t know what to do other than just ‘party.’ Code for self medicating and wasting life away on account of being lost in the City of Angels.

I was of the streets; my family had good bones, some education, jobs, the normal shit. I didn’t, however we were all lost together but galaxies apart.

I’d walk listening to the organically mechanical jazz of the city. Notes of deep blue pain, orange notes of sorrow, pink notes of hope and black atomic scary love oozing out of the trumpets heralding our demise. Us, all walks of life, us in that beautifully grotesque melting pot of angst.

Needless to say the bad crowd fell into me. I was high functioning, a sweetheart, and functioning high. My world was slow motion in a fast velocity world. Things came seemingly easy. I could crash at the Cecil, I was a regular at King Eddie’s, where everyone didn’t care.

I raised clenched fists, joined the movements in all languages, I was smart. I read, dissected, recollected and debated. Painted, sculpted, drank it and smoked it.

At 22 I started to suspect that in all of my boundlessness I was deeply ensnared in something I had lost sight and perspective of long, long ago. Slow ride. Taken roughly and fast, fast, fast. There was this pain, a loneliness tangled up with self loathing. I had failed. It was complicated. I wanted it to be a dream, but it wasn’t. Like the rest of my human kin I wanted to feel, but I was a coward. Defeat was a drag and at times I thought if I climb down from that upside down cross it could turn very ugly. Rage they called it. I called it ‘why did they.’ I might be able to utter it someday.

It would be two years before grad school. Two years of mayhem. I like the way that sounds. It’s cool. The reality of it is pathetic and sad.

I continually looked for the Fibonacci sequence in their eyes; for reason, for answers to questions I had no idea about. In my life, meaning had lost itself particularly when roles had to be played well to keep up appearances.

Perhaps that’s why I loved the Cecil, the humanity between its walls. The smells, the dust, filth, cheap glamour, the innovation and the sheer will to survive. These where the substances of the gods. In the sterile houses in the hills nothing clung but spiritual death. Their emptiness was empty for empty’s sake. At the Cecil we had been gutted at different points in our lives so all we could do was gasp. And sometimes sing ourselves to sleep. The ride was slow at first then my wheels fell off.

my way…

at 21 i didn’t know two things how i got through 4 years of college and who played “Slow Ride” but grunge was growing on me and i still had Miles and Monk maybe a little Ginger Baker in between

i also didn’t know what to do other than just ‘party’ code for self medicating and wasting life away on account of being lost in the City of Angels

i was of the streets my family had good bones some education jobs the normal shit i didn’t however we were all lost together but galaxies apart

i’d walk listening to the organically mechanical jazz of the city notes of deep blue pain orange notes of sorrow pink notes of hope and black atomic scary love oozing out of the trumpets heralding our demise us all walks of life us in that beautifully grotesque melting pot of angst

needless to say the bad crowed fell into me i was high functioning a sweetheart and functioning high my world was slow motion in a fast velocity world things came seemingly easy i could crash at the Cecil i was a regular at King Eddie’s where everyone didn’t care

i raised clenched fists joined the movements in all languages i was smart i read dissected recollected and debated painted sculpted drank it and smoked it

at 22 i started to suspect that in all of my boundlessness i was deeply ensnared in something i had lost sight and perspective of long long ago slow ride taken roughly and fast fast fast there was this pain a loneliness tangled up with self loathing i had failed it was complicated i wanted it to be a dream but it wasn’t like the rest of my human kin i wanted to feel but i was a coward defeat was a drag and at times i thought if i climb down from that upside down cross it could turn very ugly rage they called it i called it ‘why did they’ i might be able to utter it someday

it would be two years before grad school two years of mayhem i like the way that sounds it’s cool the reality of it is pathetic and sad

i continually looked for the Fibonacci sequence in their eyes for reason for answers to questions i had no idea about in my life meaning had lost itself particularly when roles had to be played well to keep up appearances

perhaps that’s why i loved the Cecil the humanity between its walls the smells the dust filth cheap glamour the innovation and the sheer will to survive these where the substances of the gods in the sterile houses in the hills nothing clung but spiritual death their emptiness was empty for empty’s sake at the Cecil we had been gutted at different points in our lives so all we could do was gasp and sometimes sing ourselves to sleep the ride was slow at first then my wheels fell off

Yucatan

Picture courtesy of Sue Vincent

The evening was cool and the calm was fuzzy and delightful. Abbey walked through the narrow door of 4302 and laid down a paper bag full of spices and stuff. She loved going to Grand Central market to gossip and catch up on the news of her world. Abbey asked if I was going home tonight because her boyfriend was coming over and she didn’t want him to pick a fist fight with me again.

I promised her that I would go to my friend’s house on the west side later tonight and asked her if she noticed anything different about her room. The Pine Sol fumes suckled her dainty caramel nose and licked in and out of her nostrils.

Thank you for cleaning mi reina, the smell takes me back to the valleys and rivers of my town in the Yucatan. Abbey had come to the US in the early 60’s on a travel visa and stayed. She started taking the dried Chiles, peppercorns, cumin and pumpkin seeds and chocolate bars out of the paper sack. Being a little high, watching her pluck each item out of the sack was like watching a jeweler study his precious stones.

Sitting back on the only chair in the room, I asked Abbey about her town in Mexico. She pursed her lips inward and let out an exhausted sigh. Staring at the dim lit ceiling she noticed the freeway knot of spider webs forming on the northern corner.

Abbey looked past the top of my head and stared of the Virgen of Guadalupe poster on the waxy wall. In a little girl voice she described the valleys as having shaded trees and cool patches of grass. The streams, as she remembered were cold enough to soak their beers and sodas when the families of the village would go pick-nicking on Sundays.

Abbey appeared lost and happy reminiscing about her country. Did you know that in the spring time we’d light big fires and because the temperature in the valley was still cold in March, the smoke looked like cloudy fumes against the pitch black sky. And the stars, Ave Maria purisima, the stars were so bright and when you saw them through the smoke fumes of the fires the whole thing looked like a fancy lace veil twinkling with diamonds.

In a melancholy tone I absent mindedly asked Abbey if she missed those nights with the firewood fumes and the stars and cool streams. She smiled wide enough that I could see her gold tooth as she looked down at her old beige pumps and she shook her head telling me no.

The door shook from four heavy thumps. Her boyfriend was in the hallway asking why the hell she wasn’t answering. Abbey cursed under her breath and ordered me to stay quiet and to leave as soon as she let him in. I tried asking her if she was going to be o.k. or did I need to alert Spare Cock.

my way…

the evening was cool and the calm was fuzzy and delightful Abbey walked through the narrow door of 4302 and laid down a paper bag full of spices and stuff she loved going to Grand Central market to gossip and catch up on the news of her world Abbey asked if i was going home tonight because her boyfriend was coming over and she didn’t want him to pick a fist fight with me again

i promised her that i would go to my friend’s house on the west side later tonight and asked her if she noticed anything different about her room the Pine Sol fumes suckled her dainty caramel nose and licked in and out of her nostrils

thank you for cleaning mi reina the smell takes me back to the valleys and rivers of my town in the Yucatan Abbey had come to the US in the early 60’s on a travel visa and stayed she started taking the dried chiles peppercorns cumin and pumpkin seeds and chocolate bars out of the paper sack being a little high watching her pluck each item out of the sack was like watching a jeweler study his precious stones

sitting back on the only chair in the room i asked Abbey about her town in Mexico she pursed her lips inward and let out an exhausted sigh staring at the dim lit ceiling she noticed the freeway knot of spider webs forming on the northern corner

Abbey looked past the top of my head and stared of the Virgen of Guadalupe poster on the waxy wall in a little girl voice she described the valleys as having shaded trees and cool patches of grass the streams as she remembered were cold enough to soak their beers and sodas when the families of the village would go pick-nicking on Sundays

Abbey appeared lost and happy reminiscing about her country did you know that in the spring time we’d light big fires and because the temperature in the valley was still cold in March the smoke looked like cloudy fumes against the pitch black sky and the stars Ave Maria purisima the stars were so bright and when you saw them through the smoke fumes of the fires the whole thing looked like a fancy lace veil twinkling with diamonds

in a melancholy tone i absent mindedly asked Abbey if she missed those nights with the firewood fumes and the stars and cool streams she smiled wide enough that i could see her gold tooth as she looked down at her old beige pumps and she shook her head telling me no

the door shook from four heavy thumps her boyfriend was in the hallway asking why the hell she wasn’t answering Abbey cursed under her breath and ordered me to stay quiet and to leave as soon as she let him in i tried asking her if she was going to be ok or did i need to alert Spare Cock

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

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

never too young for T Leary

Home was cold and lonely. Waverly had gone away for the holidays with her family. I hadn’t bonded with anyone at school. I wanted hot cocoa and warm pajamas, ginger bread men cookies and a Christmas tree with glass ornaments in 1985. I wasn’t going to get it. So I bussed it to Chinatown, scored and got a bag of stale fortune cookies.

I thought about going to the Cecil and dropping there, but I didn’t want to be lectured by the old lady on the first floor. Florida was the cleaning lady she had worked the docks in San Pedro during WWII as a steel worker. Bent and grey she would polish the walnut sticks of furniture sparsely laid out.

The walk from Broadway to the park on Plaza Olvera was calm in spite of the screaming bitch called traffic. I didn’t mind. I was trailing and smiling. As always, invisible to the eyes of the world but never to my city.

I sat following the giant furry beasts that seemed to engulf the people with multiple hands and faces. Deep blues and the oranges were never more orange. The sounds of people talking or laughing were vague, but I understood the strands of human energy feeding the cosmic realm set to take off into the sky.

The Pio Pico Building sat there quiet in the chaos of the mariachi music and the stop and go low riders booming the likes of Grand Master Flash and Run DMC. Then a mirror suited man walked up to me muttering sounds and wearing a huge red dot on his nose. Thousands of me’s exploded like shrapnel landing in the pupils of my eyes.

It took an eon or two, but I finally directed him to the train depot. Satellite man gave me a balloon dog. The dog was red and the heads and tails and every little knot fanned into dozens as fireworks dazzled from my finger tips. I felt alone in the sea of people, I felt cold frozen fire under me as the Aztec dancers circled about their worshiped sun it was all the same to him.

Time moved with grace like a swan in a lake. I thought about my father and how he taught me how to shoot a gun and a rifle and how to box and use a knife. Years later I found out that it wasn’t because he wanted me to be well rounded he was just disappointed I was a girl. He was really very disappointed and I was very lost. I needed a dad. I wasn’t sure how I felt about women. My mom was tough on me. She expressed numerous times how useless I was and even wished death a few times.

I feared women; they hurt your heart tore your spirit into nothing, fucked around with your brain. Men hurt me physically. I felt like I could at least fight back, scratch or kick something. I couldn’t hurt a woman.

my way…

home was cold and lonely Waverly had gone away for the holidays with her family i hadn’t bonded with anyone at school i wanted hot cocoa and warm pajamas ginger bread men cookies and a Christmas tree with glass ornaments in 1985 i wasn’t going to get it so i bussed it to Chinatown scored and got a bag of stale fortune cookies

i thought about going to the Cecil and dropping there but i didn’t want to be lectured by the old lady on the first floor Florida was the cleaning lady she had worked the docks in San Pedro during WWII as a steel worker bent and grey she would polish the walnut sticks of furniture sparsely laid out

the walk from Broadway to the park on Plaza Olvera was calm in spite of the screaming bitch called traffic i didn’t mind i was trailing and smiling as always invisible to the eyes of the world but never to my city

i sat following the giant furry beasts that seemed to engulf the people with multiple hands and faces deep blues and the oranges were never more orange the sounds of people talking or laughing were vague but i understood the strands of human energy feeding the cosmic realm set to take off into the sky

the Pio Pico Building sat there quiet in the chaos of the mariachi music and the stop and go low riders booming the likes of Grand Master Flash and Run DMC then a mirror suited man walked up to me muttering sounds and wearing a huge red dot on his nose thousands of me’s exploded like shrapnel landing in the pupils of my eyes

it took an eon or two but i finally directed him to the train depot satellite man gave me a balloon dog the dog was red and the heads and tails and every little knot fanned into dozens as fireworks dazzled from my finger tips i felt alone in the sea of people i felt cold frozen fire under me as the Aztec dancers circled about their worshiped sun it was all the same to him

time moved with grace like a swan in a lake i thought about my father and how he taught me how to shoot a gun and a rifle and how to box and use a knife years later i found out that it wasn’t because he wanted me to be well rounded he was just disappointed i was a girl he was really very disappointed and i was very lost i needed a dad i wasn’t sure how i felt about women my mom was tough on me she expressed numerous times how useless i was and even wished death a few times

i feared women they hurt your heart tore your spirit into nothing fucked around with your brain men hurt me physically i felt like i could at least fight back scratch or kick something i couldn’t hurt a woman

a girl’s gotta

I hadn’t been to the Cecil for about four months. I was going solo-er than usual. I had a habit and I needed to hide it, but at the Cecil, that meant hanging with the big children; my habit had to hide me. That took some energy, but I was chalked up to not only falling through the cracks, but literally jumping off the deepest canyon; voluntarily and with pleasure.

Tiny tattoos started bleeding through my skin and sex hated me. My mind was random, my family really random, but as I got older, I figured God’s grace ushered me through.

Early on a Friday morning just before 2 p.m., I decided to go see if spare cock Amos was still living at the Cecil. I was supposed to be at college prep but it wasn’t interesting. Sitting anywhere for longer than 8.9 seconds was excruciating and my limbs just needed to move.

The bust stop bench in front of the hotel had been vandalized and some Mexican guys in orange vests were loading the pretzelled metal unto a Metro Services pick-up. One of the guys, a squared faced short legged man with spikey salt and pepper hair puckered his lips at me a few times, like when a dog really needed to take a shit. I looked down, noticed a lady bug on the left cuff of my sleeve and cupped it in my right hand.

She was deep brick red with tiny black spots. Slowly the hand uncupped. The chipped black nail polish on my hand mimicked her spots. I too puckered my lips, blew a kiss and Holly flew away. I named things and stuff.

The hotel lobby was worn down, the palm trees dried out and their pots ashy and clay like. The coupons dissected and plucked from the Times were neatly stacked on the concierge’s desk. I sat across an olive toned man who wore a sports jacket and Laker color biker shorts. I could see that his toes were mostly calcified with nail fungus. He asked my name as he offered his, Steponas. Francine, I reciprocated starring at his foam green flip flops.

Looking around Steponas scooted to the edge of his couch. His ass must have been sweaty on account of the screeching sound he made when scooting. I sat back deeper into my couch crossed my twig legs and swung my combat boot left to right. Steponas retrieved.

My attention got hijacked by a loud drag queen coming down the stairs, but she wasn’t spare cock. She was just really pissed off. Apparently she contracted crabs and had no qualms about sharing it with the few meat bags staring at her in the lobby.

My eyebrowless Puerto Rican cutie with flaming red hair and flat ass stormed out cussing in Spanish now. I followed her as she bee lined north toward Broadway. I wondered if she’d be going to La India to share her tales of woe with the lovingly self-nick named “puta boys.”

my way…

i hadn’t been to the Cecil for about four months i was going solo-er than usual i had a habit and i needed to hide it but at the Cecil that meant hanging with the big children my habit had to hide me that took some energy but i was chalked up to not only falling through the cracks but literally jumping off the deepest canyon voluntarily and with pleasure

tiny tattoos started bleeding through my skin and sex hated me my mind was random my family really random but as i got older i figured God’s grace ushered me through

early on a friday morning just before 2 pm i decided to go see if spare cock Amos was still living at the Cecil i was supposed to be at college prep but it wasn’t interesting sitting anywhere for longer than 8.9 seconds was excruciating and my limbs just needed to move

the bust stop bench in front of the hotel had been vandalized and some Mexican guys in orange vests were loading the pretzelled metal unto a Metro Services pick-up one of the guys a squared faced short legged man with spikey salt and pepper hair puckered his lips at me a few times like when a dog really needed to take a shit i looked down noticed a lady bug on the left cuff of my sleeve and cupped it in my right hand

she was deep brick red with tiny black spots slowly the hand uncupped the chipped black nail polish on my hand mimicked her spots i too puckered my lips blew a kiss and Holly flew away named things and stuff

the hotel lobby was worn down the palm trees dried out and their pots ashy and clay like the coupons dissected and plucked from the Times were neatly stacked on the concierge’s desk i sat across an olive toned man who wore a sports jacket and Laker color biker shorts i could see that his toes were mostly calcified with nail fungus he asked my name as he offered his Steponas Francine i reciprocated starring at his foam green flip flops

looking around Steponas scooted to the edge of his couch his ass must have been sweaty on account of the screeching sound he made when scooting i sat back deeper into my couch crossed my twig legs and swung my combat boot left to right Steponas retrieved

my attention got hijacked by a loud drag queen coming down the stairs but she wasn’t Spare Cock she was just really pissed off apparently she contracted crabs and had no qualms about sharing it with the few meat bags staring at her in the lobby

my eyebrowless Puerto Rican cutie with flaming red hair and flat ass stormed out cussing in Spanish now i followed her as she bee lined north toward Broadway i wondered if she’d be going to La India to share her tales of woe with the lovingly self-nick named puta boys

Rooster

In 1993 I learned two things about Chinese culture. First that it was the Year of the Rooster and second, that “he who strikes the first blow admits he’s lost the argument.”

 In 2003 I sat in the Cecil’s lobby, putrid and rancid with depressive thoughts, but hoping to score; human companionship. No one was there anymore and I was an adult now. My mind meandered.

Rooster was my father. In his youth he was Billy-from-Easy-Rider handsome, cocky, and a womanizer. Rooster would never back down from a fight, ever. He drank enough booze to fly a plane, snorted mountainous amounts of cocaine, cursed, worked hard and partied even harder. I heard that in the autumn of his life Rooster wore scars and tattoos like medals, sped on motorcycles, and had no connection with the children he spawned in and out of wedlock.

Two blond women with big jugs stomped into the lobby and yelled at the janitor demanding that he produce a Roy Mingus. I’ve never forgotten that name on account that is sounds really cool. I imagined Roy looking like Hugh Hefner but broke. The ladies left into the back of the hotel and gassy breeze sneaked in; I thought about Los Feliz and me squeezing lighter fluid into the barbecue pit when I was five.

During the years of my short lived young life, my mother survived through ten years of battle and then my parents divorced. When sober, Rooster was verbally abusive and when high and drunk ultra-violent if anyone crossed him. Other than that, he had been a devout Sunday morning Catholic, chest pounder, and rosary wielding. Tithe giving included.

Rooster came to the brink of death a few times at the hands of his own brother, Gjeo and their motor cycling brothers when they got wind that he’d beat up some broad. It wasn’t in their intricate code of ethics to strike women or kids. The running joke amongst them was that Rooster was like Lazarus for having the longest record of recovery after having his ass and several other organs handed to him over the years. In some ways, I admired the resiliency in him. In other ways, I had always felt profound sorrow and tenderness for the old man.

I curled up and nodded off into the ozone of the lobby. It was around one in the morning that old Pike straggled in and woke me. He startled me and I swung, narrowly missing his crotch. After cussing and gasping he sat across from me in the greasy old easy chair. We started talking about lawn mower motors. He chattered away, but my mind was ten years back.

That 1993 spring mid-morning was fragrant as the moisture in the air teased out the green hopeful smell of ferns and pepper trees surrounding my uncle’s garage. I needed my uncle to explain catalytic converters to me. My mechanic wasn’t able to fix my Jeep and maybe Aces, as my uncle was called, could.

my way…

in 1993 i learned two things about Chinese culture first that it was the Year of the Rooster and second that he who strikes the first blow admits he’s lost the argument

in 2003 i sat in the Cecil’s lobby putrid and rancid with depressive thoughts but hoping to score human companionship no one was there anymore and i was an adult now my mind meandered

Rooster was my father in his youth he was Billy from Easy Rider handsome cocky and a womanizer rooster would never back down from a fight ever he drank enough booze to fly a plane snorted mountainous amounts of cocaine cursed worked hard and partied even harder i heard that in the autumn of his life rooster wore scars and tattoos like medals sped on motorcycles and had no connection with the children he spawned in and out of wedlock

two blond women with big jugs stomped into the lobby and yelled at the janitor demanding that he produce a Roy Mingus i’ve never forgotten that name on account that is sounds really cool i imagined Roy looking like Hugh Hefner but broke the ladies left into the back of the hotel and gassy breeze sneaked in i thought about Los Feliz and me squeezing lighter fluid into the barbecue pit when i was five

during the years of my short lived young life my mother survived through ten years of battle and then my parents divorced when sober Rooster was verbally abusive and when high and drunk ultra violent if anyone crossed him other than that he had been a devout Sunday morning Catholic chest pounder and rosary wielding tithe giving included

Rooster came to the brink of death a few times at the hands of his own brother Gjeo and their motor cycling brothers when they got wind that he’d beat up some broad it wasn’t in their intricate code of ethics to strike women or kids the running joke among them was that Rooster was like Lazarus for having the longest record of recovery after having his ass and several other organs handed to him over the years in some ways i admired the resiliency in him in other ways i had always felt profound sorrow and tenderness for the old man

i curled up and nodded off into the ozone of the lobby it was around one in the morning that old Pike straggled in and woke me he startled me and i swung narrowly missing his crotch after cussing and gasping he sat across from me in the greasy old easy chair we started talking about lawn mower motors he chattered away but my mind was ten years back

that 1993 spring mid morning was fragrant as the moisture in the air teased out the green hopeful smell of ferns and pepper trees surrounding my uncle’s garage i needed my uncle to explain catalytic converters to me my mechanic wasn’t able to fix my Jeep and maybe Aces as my uncle was called could