north side babies

the dusk is silent
only eddies swirl about my feet
i hear my steps on pavement
come up through my teeth
Mexican bread cinnamon spiced
marries with the hotdog vendors
porky delights
my mind turns to the downtown kids dressed in oversized everything smiling laughing smoking weed back packs on their shoulders
laying on the grass at Pershing Square talking about markers liberty and what’s out there
in the universe they float in
philosophical of thought
passing only on the left hand side
no particular goal today other than just living forever

mbrazfield (c) 2020

after the X show

the soft cool feather strokes of breeze fingered through my shaggy tangled hair teasing out a kaleidoscope of red highlights

the muddy booted covered feet carried my dirty denim wrapped carcass through the termite riddled door into his wool upholstered army cot where he kept 3 golf clubs

we kissed wildly like two beasts on the savannah interlocked in that battle to the death right before they cut to the Mutual of Omaha commercial

love i wondered as he pawed at me what was it while his teeth searched for my young girl bits

it wasn’t like the movies nor was there flirtation or sexy anticipation like in Bei Mir Bistu Shein

then he stopped my eyes still closed and my tongue lapping in the dark

i need a cigarette he whispered can i bum one i rasped

what is love do you think i dealt out my rhetorical grunts

an almost neon silhouette of his broad shoulders shrugged against the poker faced moon

not mainstream

the sun is shy dark weepy sad the red stars on the hipsters Mao bags are dull it is a bazaar of thought living on the tops of the foam of your demon seas rebel rider non Jane Fondaer grown girl he dirty boy military card heir LA west of Hollywood Battleship Potemkin plays let’s go drop bomb on my tongue baby Jimmy Hendrix’s way irony one hundred ways to think that we can go to Sizzler after this and dude your mom has a new car but if i were on that ship ida’ve done the same damn thing he sings to me God Save the Queen and we go fuck behind the dumpster but we can’t seem to fit it in and we go back to talking about politics

purple petals

when i was a teen girl

i had a teen boy lover

he was broken like James Dean

and like Brando a real bad ass mutherfucker

he kissed with a platinum tongue

as we walked along the Venice sand

he’d get into fights

all bloody and bruised

but we still caught the moonlight

sucking on the booze

we’d fuck until we couldn’t walk

not because of sex or anything

but because of all the glue we huffed

those were wild times

in the eyes of other people

to a punk skater kid

of broken inner spirit

the life style was his fort

me i was just a wanna be

looking for a Trojan Horse

to leave this solar system far behind

by sixteen i’d been dead so many times

and had gotten taken advantage of by force

all because of it

Blaine with the dirty blonde mohawk

my only refuge that boy was

we swore our love

with Sharpie marker anarchy tattoos

and shared pizza crusts

from the dumpsters down on Zephyr

at night we’d find some Gypsy camp

and howl unto the face of angels

howling at the moon just seemed so trite

but when we’d look in each other’s eyes

there were no stars in them

like with the Montagues’ and Capulets’

just an existential escape past our sullied souls

knowing that we had no plan

just living for the day

no flowers in my hair

no money for the Goddamned fare

from desperation blvd. to hole ave.

just me and Blaine alone together

simultaneous fear and madness punching in the air

we lived like Cohen and the Beats

the Velvets and Andy and Billy Name

we talked about fascism and Ollie and the gang

La Revolucion y El Che

we talked about other times

his aunt Myrtle’s minced meat pie

Constantinople and even Hemingway

he read about the Bolsheviks

while i adored Bukowski

he slept in the LA Central Library

on my bony dirty lap

one of the most beautiful

and sacred memories of my life

was my chipped fingernail polish

fingers picking out two tiny

purple flower petals

from his gentle baby hair crown

Ryan Mountain

a young girl i was

when i drove to the desert

i took what Allen dropped

when he was young

like i was

the Joshua Trees

imperial yes they were

tall a strong dark green

some with arms bent up at the sky

which by the way Sky did rain on me

a supple velvety soothing rain

i slipped a little higher

the rocks they opened their slate stained eyes

and the he snake slithered from their underneath

the rain she smelled like new born clay

the vitality of her holy droplets

caused the birds and lizards to come alive

in a jubilant resurrection

at which time i had ten hands

but i could still see my cut up shirt

doused in the liquid of the day

me thinks Dylan Thomas and i could have made love

in dream of mercy a girl laughing with the crimson ants

and the ashy grasshoppers orchestrated with their legs

auditory melodious delight

the horizon a throne

golden

filled with blue angels

as i tilted my face toward the west

the Queen Sun released me into sedation

from west to east

unleash the ancient bones from the sewer sarcophagus what tribe did they come from and is there crude running through the cavities for we need another Dunkin Donuts on this corner for L Ron’s sake can you please scroll faster my children tasted human contact and i don’t have the time send the nanny to my third grader’s botox session i have roast goat yoga what is it the Bhagavad Gita is that the new shoe store at the center can you believe in something the tires of incongruence are filled with the holy toxins crossing the bloodlines of the time while religiously binge ignoring what’s around the glamour shots bus bench adverts warning homelessness is deadly unclear who they speak of and all the while for 17 just 17 i dream of Mulholland Drive on a two wheeled Pegasus can you hear me Jean Michel tell Andy that i love him the side swiper in the ‘vette looking for the boys long in the teeth the industry landlady needs new meat the volcanoes goofed on mick don’t feel duckie if he fails to bring them mini daisies to their oxy chambers pharaohs in their visions but down in the river racing cars on stolen clouds and i have a hardy laugh spray cans looming large can i paint the past pantheons of our minds yes i believe i can drop dropper dropped watch the hands watch the hands don’t look directly in the mirror while you’re under a spell quite the riveter you are i am the walkman helmet Rotten Johnny and Afrika Bambaataa with the Kiedis house band weaving eckankar in my drums while we carve our knees into the side pavements i didn’t know we couldn’t fly nothing takes out the stains of blood

to Clyde with love

the vinyl floors were what i really loved about King Eddy’s bar i just never ate the nachos or any of the bar food cooked in the back i just drank their booze the storm clouds had passed i was on long weekend from school by choice of course not because it was any particular holiday secretly i was hoping to see Clyde he was an older gentleman with property out in the desert valley not rich a Salton Sea Hawaiian shirt straw fedora wearing kinda guy he was smitten with me but for a long time he thought i was a very effeminate boy we couldn’t tell each other’s intentions my heart grew fond of him over the months in a time span of almost three years i knew he had been a hustler back in the 50’s and 60’s he knew the entire history of Pershing Square the seedy stuff of course not the pretty ribbon cutting ceremonies and the ice rinks at Christmas i came out i suppose by accident i was cramping pretty badly one Tuesday night and the girl bartender wasn’t working that night but Clyde was there many times before i had seen him hand out aspirins to friends so i thought he might have something with knitted brows he whispered jaggedly you’re a girl and i said yeah i’m not very femme but i didn’t think i looked that butch either ok goldilocks he laughed i was gonna ask you out on a date you see i prefer the company of gentlemen in my private life too not just in my industry wink wink i was confused but flattered thus began a deeper relationship my excesses slowed down i put on weight and i went to school more i read all of my books wrote all the papers took all of the exams and actually enjoyed it because of Clyde’s interest in my education there was a time buttercup he’d call me that when i thought i wanted to go to law school but i got lazy and time just passed me by you’re young kid i’ve been eyeballing you i know what you do why do you go to the Cecil he asked knowing dam well why i went i wasn’t angry at him but rather surprised and then creped out dude are you following me no he said but don’t forget i know lots of people around town buttercup don’t throw your life away is all i’m saying the feeling of genuine care felt like a boulder it was too overwhelming so i split

spare cock Amos

on my birthday the ritual is to go spend it in downtown first a nice long walk by myself thin flip flops so that i can feel the pavement and the hot pulse emitting from the man holes i like the forest of gray monochromatic shadows strewn across alley way walls and on the sidewalks mottled by the grime and chewing gum ground into the compacted sandy mineral flesh of the streets

this year i felt bold so i walked into the Cecil the rays of stained glass fluttered upon me like crazed butterflies it was as though i could almost feel the velvet of their wings swatting me gently on my face my feet moved me down the lobby and i sat in an upholstered camel tone lounge chair even with the bustle and shallow energy of the young tourists hip kids the Cecil’s heart was heavy like a vault

flooded by memories the ghosts of my adolescence entered the stage one by one and sat in the lobby with me i became Hamlet when he saw the spirit of his father the spell was temporarily broken by an old woman asking for spare change fumbling with my pink coin purse i empty a few dimes and made an offering as i repositioned my face back up toward her she vanished only the scent of gardenias to remember her by

atop of the service desk was an incredibly tall birds of paradise bouquet in an urn kind of vase the vignette of the greens reds yellows and oranges eased my mind into taking note of someone i had all but forgotten Amos

Amos was from Cite Soleil Haiti tall slender muscular ebony angular loud graceful kind honest fearless vicious fighter when provoked transgender and broken in some parts of her spirit fragile little girl Amazon goddess bitch i had fallen in love with her strength without knowing that she was my sister in pain i was a kid she was ageless and smooth

with us there were never any serendipitous conversations about plans for the future family traditions favorite color boys t.v. or candy during my visits to her she shared that her street name was Tiffany de Mournay i shook my head and blurted she had a pretty name but at 12 i had no awareness of what all that meant to me Tiffany Amos was Amos Tiffany and i really dug them both

at other times men would call her out in the hallway laughing and banging on the door they’d yell hey spare cock Amos come out man we got some business for you i didn’t ask her what that meant although later in life i think i understood it she would say hold on sweet and go answer her door shout back in French and slam her door as she roared in laughter they all knew each other and liked to fuck around with her when Tiffany Amos got the blues they were dark violet

my Paul

just tonight can we stare at the lamp lights

     gleaming on the surface of the puddles in the street

tonight ange triste will you stand still

    so as to peer upon your waifly silhouette

without it floating from my bandaged hands

    can i be your Paul and place my ear atop your heart

and etch in little kisses i love you on the

renegade palpitations there about

       tonight no wine no smokes no laughing hard

no sucker punches no living the life no mosher pits

                   no altered minds

      just a little silence with you ange betwixt my arms

instead of me amidst your legs  

    you don’t always have to run away   scared little bird

pecker and picker of my nerves  and priestess of my vacuumed        

                        universe 

    one time before i leave and i lose you to the vampires

the seeds

being a kid with 24/7 latch key clearance life was a wonderment full of things that logically i didn’t get but knew were painful for the human spirits amongst me

i frequented the Cecil more than homeroom at D Starr MS it was like a carnival backstage up close contact with the carnies included it was cool

the sixth floor had Abbey the hooker she was a Mexican-American lady with flan tone skin and perpetual bruises on her arms her pimp was some meth enthusiast with tax problems and a wife who was the daughter of an LAPD cop Abbey shared her Jack in the Box with me sometimes and we’d talk about Belmont HS years in the 60’s the student marches and such i just looked at her while flipping her records with my bony hands self-branded with the Anarchy sign i liked Abbey she never took drugs or drank not that i knew about she was just angry and beaten

in the lobby Mr. Petrucchio sat and read Time Magazine the same one for months on end the one on the Contra Aid scandal he was Sicilian from Corleone he turned me on to The God Father one and two he also shared that the movies were too glamorous i never asked what his first name was he was always Mr. Petrucchio to me it sounded hella cool i liked it when he taught me the dirty words in Siculu like fetuso or puttana or minchia but you kinda have to draw it out he said

i met Amos in the lobby one summer day i was reading the LA Weekly about the night stalker having been caught Amos had an intriguing accent and beautiful ebony slick skin eyes like black olives bright red lipstick and was wearing mermaid cut dress in peacock with crystals on the yellow satin sash i liked his wooden platform shoes he carried them guess he got tired

i must’ve been starring Amos looked and asked who i was i froze he laughed like the Un-Cola nut guy ay Mr. P is this your grand baby Mr. Petrucchio responded by shaking his head no and blowing out pewter smoke from his pipe what’s your name honey never mind what you doing here where yo momma at that’s a cool dress can i touch it Amos’s laugh echoed through the musty lobby shifting the dust sure it’s crushed velvet are you a drag Amos’s laughter roared making the glass at the front entrance rattle i smiled like an idiot

the last bus to east Hollywood pulled up and i left black safety pinned book bag and markered skateboard with a black flag logo returning after a few weeks Abbey was sick i took her a Jumbo Jack and chocolate shake she told me she lost a baby i said oh as i gulped tears back we sat silent in the lobby as she didn’t want to sit in her room anymore we didn’t cry