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

Figaro’s

he asked why do you keep her picture there in the drawer swallowing hard i realize that you were my mother more physically beautiful than any woman i’d ever seen no makeup no artificialness in any way i lied and i said oh i don’t know looking out the window at the bus stop i opened the drawer a few more times and there you remained stoic and frozen in your place as he gnawed at the steamy pepperoni pizza hot pocket and scratched his sack he yelled why don’t you put it in a frame and fear broke out in a sweat a slight vertigo took me and i rubbed my head looking for a hit he yelled again and saw what i was jonesing for he says nope not today lets go to the art store instead we dressed in American drag t-shirted leathered and jeaned he held my hand and missed my forehead kissing my aviators instead are you mad he asked i says no and think quickly about the flamingos at the zoo and the empty dark brown bottles of Kilkenny i left in the bus stop trash can two hours ago my feet feeling disconnected from my soul i says no i won’t go and he turns around to see me i can’t keep her in a frame it would be the ultimate betrayal she was Opa’s favorite until she met my Da and ran away with him imprisoned by her vanity and steadfast love for a man of misery determined to be his only queen on the backs of everybody she had to win but death did not agree what are you spewing about never mind i said i can’t keep her in a frame all her life she was held back by her thoughts expectations disappointments and aggressions even her people wandered the deserts and were rounded up in box cars as the evil ripped out their spirit and put them in cages i forgot he said but she’d like a frame she was always a refined lady as he smiled apologetically and the homeless guy with a grateful dead t-shirt on was handed a bologna sandwich by the salvation army guy as we detoured into Figaro’s Bistrot instead

archetypes

those final days before his death were joyous for the both of us vanilla ice cream sundaes jack daniels at night splashing in the water breathing like fishes when your sister turned the cold garden hose on us then a five minute rain fell from the sky a rainbow above the 101 months later i would cry walking the streets of north Hollywood holding the black Kaiser helmet you wore nothing sweet to eat all the drink in the valley useless piss to me why am i still stuck my water was fire your water akin to John’s cleansing river never could i place flowers by your grave and the orange blossoms are falling down origami mornings freedom of the ride spirit of the brave old Jung cut with different scissors but we both bled the same i’m grateful the rainbow was there for you

it’s just a phase

the drops fall warm

like a resentful first kiss

placed crookedly on my lips

two broken children

dressed in archaic cloaks of sinful fathers

embalmed in summer rain

clasping hands in the park

you pointed at fancy bricks laid by FL Wright

your hero

we heard laughter from in the trees

we filled our heads with fantasy

of being greater than dirty jeans

booze coke

and motorcycles

what fools we were

but happy in our foolery

we’d stomp round town

wild haired green eyed queen

to her mohawked crowned king

while in the dampness of the night

we went our separate ways

on the dimly lit corner by House of Pies

to harvest broken proper mothers

up from their latest shag designer carpets

flown in from Rome

and as we punched our way through

explosive broken fathers

on Monday morning

we’d all pretend that our lives were wonderful

204 months

stars

and

peace magic

the Tip O’Neil

years latch key cutie big

eyed wild eurotrash bastard child in the days

of secret punk band shows underage law breaking a menace to the lawns

the paint on my tiny nails chewed down to the stubs scratching like a cat on the urban totem hey ho

no go not tonight the breeze cooled by something in my heart the hocus pocus speaks in tongues the snakes charm themselves to the crowds and through my throat i swallow 10 inch nails

smokey cries old men die but come again tomorrow with light bulbs in their hands of poison from the gods made with resin from the Tree of Life and so we are like them only for a while until the mercenaries come asking for our ransom in the faces who just won’t give a fuck

our communal star doesn’t point to the north but rather to a place that’s nowhere we could have been babies in the manger with the beasts to keep us warm but my momma was no virgin and your old man joe the drunkard rolling stone left to follow an alice cooper homage band i miss the days of after school of which i hardly went and a chance to interpret Shakespeare at our leisure the stars we caught when we swung high are still there and we beneath them

photo mbrazfield