Los Angeles – #1

THE backalleys crawl with amputees, lesbians of convenience who
trade loose talk amongst hypervigilant plastic dashboard trolls
from the empire of cinderblocks and tarpaper – it’s all sex with ambitions of revenge –
dust below and an angry god above,
his devil wreathed in tangled smoke traffic lights hung
like nuremburg defendants chatter “abandon Marxian abstraction!
forego your dusty polemic –
unveil this in your history’s wrathful mirror!” –

for everything here is illustrated and animated
even though it serves no purpose and yet while you are sparking cinders in the decimated night
(all this your cool play with cigarettes), giant white crucifixes from hillside cemeteries
come to life each night to do the work of the thing you permit yourself to call lord.

There’s good bones and a heroin-hook narcissism in the celebrity lockup,
pornographic argot in the bughouses. p. hilton is the new patty hearst,
playing five dollar chips into theatrical morphology and vile and co-dependant third-rate
talent show hopefuls, wrapped in rags of entitlement
and a false dream of falseness all tied up in a conflicted sense of magic,
or some dark, Blakean machine
ripe with insinuated nakedness pearly breasts,
ruby resilient nipples or their steeple fingered Christishness,

O! all those midnights on your knees for supernatural illumination.
All for that kayfabe fifteen minutes some motherfucker owes you.

I dream, in a $40 motel on Sepulveda
I was a butterfly who dreamed they were me.
gutted by puppeteers and hustlers. but like all dreams in this city of dreams,

it is but a persuasive lie.

the one truth that is endures is that nothingness is the only thing we are prepared to meet on its’ own terms

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This entry was published on 08/03/2012 at 3:48 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

29 thoughts on “Los Angeles – #1

  1. NotResponsibleAmy on said:

    Yeah. we’re fucked. Where do we go so wrong?

  2. hellznokel on said:

    You’re looking deep into the American terror here Seb. So many great lines, it is like a verbal shooting gallery.

  3. missdirected11 on said:

    Wow. Very confronting, Seb. Some really disturbing images here – hard to shake.

  4. Vivid poetry, Seb – rips the guts out of all the myths from the glittery spin machine.

  5. Pingback: Straightforward Poems for Straightforward People « tarnation and eudemonia

  6. “O! all those midnights on your knees for supernatural illumination.
    All for that kayfabe fifteen minutes some motherfucker owes you.”

    oh, you do turn a phrase with such style – even if it is an unpleasant phrase.

  7. hans kreher on said:

    “the one truth that is endures is that nothingness is the only thing we are prepared to meet on its’ own terms”
    A remarkable observation!
    maybe because all that precedes, the hopes, the dreams, all the squalor in fears, no longer matter, and maybe a sense of freedom appears, just wondering.

  8. lindastoria on said:

    Hans has made a very prescient comment. I think that’s why we like to illuminate everything – because we don’t want anyone to see the darkness that is creeping in.

  9. darkeyesblueveil on said:

    vile and co-dependant third-rate
    talent show hopefuls, wrapped in rags of entitlement
    and a false dream of falseness all tied up in a conflicted sense of magic,
    or some dark, Blakean machine

    damn, Seb – America may not have talent but you do. This sizzles, this hurts, it actually hurts to read…

  10. We truly are our own best enemies. Thanks for sharing, Seb.

  11. thatbiatch1982 on said:

    Clever, releasing #2 before #1. Is #1 about what the city made us or is #2 about what we made the city?

  12. isiscambassassassassian on said:

    “Lesbians of convenience”

    That made me laugh because I instantly had half a dozen “celebrity” images flash up in my mind. Again, Seb, you call ’em out and they fall in front of you. Prophetic stuff.

  13. bashothegreat on said:

    My hometown. I’m not going to argue with you, Seb, but there is so much wonderful, positive stuff going on in this city you could focus on, too.

  14. I ticked like but I don’t like it – this is one of those poems where the lines get inside your head and burrow about for a couple of days and I hate that.

  15. electricaunty on said:

    This advances the idea of number one down to the cellular level – is there a #3

  16. sex2poetry4life on said:

    On of your most sharply observed pieces.

  17. Seb, you must lead a rich life. You remind me of one of those 70s writers I haven’t read yet, who record the lower? levels of society through a haze of something or other and then get to write memoirs full of ‘what! you DID?’

    • Hey Darlin’ – no, not quite :-). I am the pampered son of German American Republicans from Pittsburgh – about as far from the lower denizens of our society as one could get. But I did have my eyes opened a few years back when I went to Los Angeles on assignment with the San Jose Mercury to cover homeless Iraq War vets living on the Nickel, just off downtown. It was then that I realized just how it is America goes about making two strata of society. I guess I do have some liberal consciousness, after all. I’m trying hard to get rid of it, though! 🙂 Of course, the fact that I live in lovely Northern California means that I can never resist taking a stab at those barbarians in Southern California whenever possible, as well. We NoCals are just so much better! :-))

  18. You do barbarity quite beautifully

  19. olivesmeltz on said:

    A blistering commentary on our love affair with ourselves.

  20. Yes – it all boils down to “nothingness” and I think when we get that…there is almost a peace there. Provocative piece Seb — commentary on the illusion…. ~ 😉

  21. So it is… From on Val to all the others…

  22. You’ve got a way with words. And dark. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  23. i always love poetry where people try to capture a city…great lines here…my favs were..and a false dream of falseness all tied up in a conflicted sense of magic… and…then the closure..great

  24. audreyhipbone on said:

    But we are only truly free in the nothingness…

  25. I absolutely love the way you capture a city, from the inside out. I’m learning…
    New Delhi is half a world away from LA, but pretty much the same kind of brazen friction exists here, between the classes, the north and the south, the afflicted and endowed…

  26. antsjuices on said:

    Your eye pierces and captures.

  27. liverloverlass on said:

    This has a real chill to it – and reminds me of London, another doomed city.

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