Hyperion and Effie streets

“it’s been years since i thought about using my toes” she said sitting quietly on the corner of Hyperion and Effie streets she grew up hippie baby royalty before the majesties turned bourgeois as fuck “it’s been years since i thought about painting my toe nails” she said tucked tightly into her wheelchair under a patchwork or greens and bright reds and her nurse coos “you take you Sublocade  now ma’am” with her bugged pewter blue eyes and see through seer sucker skin she looks to the underneath of the yellow bougainvillea tree and snarls at the men smoking lined up slouched on the brick wall looking at their toes recalling a war and the traumatic brain injuries and legs blown off as more than one slouches sobbing in fear “it’s been years since i’ve walked on my feet” she sighs out loud through aged yellowed lips that once kissed the sky and the dandelions but now are sealed most of the time to keep her cancerous insides from falling out “it’s been months since those boys have been here” she said “i wouldn’t want them to see me falling apart” she wheezed under her breath on that corner of Hyperion and Effie streets

the yellowing cranes

the riverbed is cool the cranes have a yellowish belly but are beautiful nevertheless there are bleached soda cans but the logos hang strong against the California sun i sit by the reeds and watch the Chinese couple dig in the mud for long lost jewels they explain the husband is originally from Kansas she says i watch on until pitch black leathery little birds with mean diamond tinged eyes and beaks yellow like egg yolks begin to crowd around catching tadpoles one stands on a mossy Takis bag on the trail bicycles travel north to south and vice versa i only see helmets from my shivering reeds somewhere by the train yard an old trash truck backfires and the mean little black birds lift up into the sky like a flamenco dancer’s skirt my eyes pause at the rim of Dodger stadium and out of nowhere my mind drags me to the summers eating sticky juicy watermelon slices with my sister as the grown ups drank howled and listened to the game on an old radio from their army days and now i wonder if they died knowing that some day i would be leisurely sitting by these LA River reeds sipping fancy tea watching treasure hunters and fancy bicycle helmets wiz by and are the yellowing cranes the souls of our lost boys from the Hanoi Hilton

death of Joaquin

it starts off by an off beat Gregorian chant afternoon belly bloated with heat reruns of Felix the Cat on TV in his past there is a cave maybe he will have to retrace his steps there upon death as they say drool found on his face they gossip abscess on his left leg old black leather shoe scuffed Cuban heel by an original LP cover of the BeeGees to love somebody the irony thick as his moustache neighbor woman ratted red beehive hair hail to the Virgin Mary cat lady eye liner black lipped chiquita vampira cried to the fuzz that she’d gone to check on him on account they fucked every two months navy blue jeans creased to cut cement Pendleton blue white and gray cigarette burn holes fourth button missing from bar scuffle at Footsies last May Fruit of the Loom classic wife beater still stained with the blood of his grandfather a beloved heirloom his Marine days led him astray in the tunnels of the mind alphabet soup G issued pharm cocktailed with torture death and some bombs upon closer inspection Det. Mullen said he has a tattoo with the name of Belinda on his left breast and the cross con safos por vida mark on top of his right hand directly above the thumb crippled by a Derringer at the sweet age of twelve tomorrow was supposed to be the visit between he and his estranged MIT son who goes there on a scholarship won Joaquin had planned to gift him a gold plated LeCross and his Purple Heart medal for enduring a three year involuntary vacation for his country at the Hanoi Hotel

at your service

i pluck a lullaby from notes that the wind makes

and i sing in la-la-la’s just for you

i pretend that the fellas can hear me too

as the warm sun makes me take off your old army shirt

hold on i got a text

but before i scroll on screens i loved your stories

of bayonets and the history channel’s gruesome blitzkriegs

and when you’d sit in the garage

crying hysterically like a heart broken woman

i would weep too by the old fig tree in the afternoons

why do we fight when we fight each other

and when we fight ourselves will the world be better off

Sun Valley ’77

rocket pops blue tongues

raspberry lemon salute

sweetness in my soul

bitter beer hot dog

smoke woodsy lingers in my

pony tail swooshing

the hogs growl as the

jean and leather veterans’

eyes well up with Taps

the leathery feel

of my uncle’s tired hands

while i trace his scars

a little young girl

did see the poignant pain in

his tribulations

for ever brothers

gone away heroes to the

Elysium Fields

at the Smog Cutter

and so as not to dis the etiquette of my new found tribe i too partook of the shit on a shingle entrée… Saturday night with nothing to do i strolled down two quarter blocks on Virgil Avenue and turned left to order ginger ale from the one the guys called Mama San we were all AA students but the boys chose to ditch school 5 days a week they talked about the evils of malt liquor as they drank down their rye sharing army stories of the war in Viet Nam they hazed me into conversation but all i could muster was having read about Iran/Contra in current events for my 9th grade dissertation i called Susi over and asked for the check slipping off the bar stool they executed a synchronous head turn im not a drill sergeant i thought to myself i wiped my space dry with my over stretched sleeve and the guy with a Teamster’s Cap circa 73’ offered a story about Buffalo Springfield my stoic face gave me away and two old timers said i was a kid i sat back up and ordered Red Bull on the rocks knowing it would be a battle the Rolodex of my mind spun and whirred i lightly joked about Neil Young and Crazy Horse clarifying i got their CD from Target the soldiers they all had a chuckle detonating the wrinkles of suffering ingrained on their face i rammed through their barrier with my praise of Stevie Ray Vaughn and i wrapped up my ambush with a very harrowing rendition of Fortunate Son and as the cigarette smoke lifted their silhouettes shifted to a comfortable slump and they ordered some food so the party could start

boonie rat haiku

an opened can of

corn and ash filled cups behind

your bible bookcase


i didn’t notice

dusk approaching silently

baby blue surfboard


against your bedroom

doors my hand reaches to them

Darwin winks at me


encircling my legs

your absence claws both our hearts

he feeds on salmon


the path of cigar

ashes etched like hieroglyphs

leads to your studio


Old Glory salutes

me she hangs on solemnly

a noble widow


kneeling in front of

the jar holding your medals

Darwin smiles at me

paradox

the machine was old and mean pulled back handle bars American Flag distressed were the rides up and down Ventura Boulevard and into the deepness of Sun Valley party time AC/DC now and forever rowdy wives with livers made of steel mechanical ponies the moving parts yelling at the sky laughing liberty cries the dream was fought for no agent here orange or otherwise free baby be free we are your family and bandanas back then hid no bullets implicities and explicities were fought with fist of bone and skin love hard brains last intuition in the middle we are all brothers here vested leather and denim soldiers rock and roll gods women of the temple riding smoking to the ground while the sons of no fortune rode into the sunset of my eyes and your loving arm wrapped around my 3 year old shoulder praying for me