I filled out my census report, affixed a stamp to it, fed it into a blue mailbox and wondered how many times I will stand up and be counted in my life. I’m one of several billion humans just waiting for the next meal to eat, the next night to sleep, the next heart to tear apart with endless talk and soft kisses. I’m sleeping through a waking dream. You move in phosphorescent ambulation. I slither through neon signage. The city is our captor. I suffer from Stockholm syndrome, but it’s Los Angeles that I love.
Your permanent sunny summer. Your girls made of desirous dreams. The way your palm trees bend in the afternoon dulcet breeze that sings La Vida Dulce. The common coolness of the poets and poster boys that hang at the Grove and shield themselves in $100 shades alike. The graffiti tattooed to walls bleeding into billboards for derelict movies and miracle skin creams paint the city a phantasmagorical hue, reminiscent of our shadows-come-together.
I love it all.
I went to Golden State on Fairfax and had a tuna sandwich and cucumber salad. I watched a basketball game from 2004 on ESPN Classic and daydreamed about Richard Brautigan in 1968. It’s so rare that we ever are truly there, in the present, in our minds; or rather we’re always in our minds but never in that place, the coffee shop, the kitchen, the desk in front of the window. We’re always someplace else, in our mind, somewhere more refined and pinpoint. I’m always a writer, at a desk, a future desk with future books on future shelves, a yellowed lampshade casting a hideous light, the radio softly humming, and the moon stalking my lover. I’m always bearded and insane, even in my dreams.
If you could give yourself any name, which one would it be?
I cut my fingernails and watch the shards fly off into space. Little by little my DNA is leaving me. There is a small palm tree growing between the cracks in the parking lot below my window, desperate reaching for the sky, where I sit, shielding my eyes from the sun. My soul is sheltered and dreaming of an implosion. It’s the middle of the summer and my body is ripe and tan and begs to explode. The constant battle between the two is what keeps me whole.
I’m listening to a cover of a Joy Division song and drinking ice water. Somewhere a baby is crying for its mother. Somewhere a lover is listening to her lover sing. Somewhere writers’ words stack up into buildings where people can live and breathe and go about their lives in quiet but wondrous splendor.
If your mind was a cloud would it rain or would it float like a little lamb?
I wrote a poem and encased it in aluminum and burnt the edges for authenticity. A couple of tacos and a bottle of Mexican Coke beckon my walking feet so I set out navigating the city streets. I discovered a song beaten out by the tires screaming over the hot asphalt. The ineffable lyrics of the urban maze, trance-like parade of people passing by, I can’t describe. It all runs through me like I were vapor — the way every day fills stones in the water pot and we slowly rise to the top. I’m made of wind-blown elements and they come together like tumbleweed. But none of this details the rollicking, joyous, dervish-almost celebration of the spirit I feel when I walk around in the sun amid the beautiful passing people of my hometown.
The flickering glow from Spanish candles and light jazz from the trendy Melrose bars spills over the sidewalk. I pass through metamorphosing atmospheres like an astronaut. Different planets. Different gravities. The night is a mystical world. Silver moons serenade blackbirds through black nights until morning suns take over and light the world until the setting suns once again cancel the day, and it starts all over again.
I sing the glee of a man walking on the bottom of the ocean, head sunk in a diving bell, discovering a stingray for the first time.
If you can get on a plane and go anywhere, would you get on the same plane to come home?
The problem with having the world at your fingertips is we only have ten fingers. We want so much more than we can hold in our hands. And sometimes all we want is to hold your hand. And would gladly drop the world to do so. Our hearts and our hands are our deadliest weapons. That’s why I wear scarves in winter and jump in midnight swimming pools in summer. Imagine if you could see into the soul of everyone you ever met… oh, the pains of being involved.
The city is an elegant nightmare. My heart races nine times a day from either falling in love or jumping away from moving vehicles; and somewhere in there is a joke about them being the same thing, but I’m in no humorous mood, no such care-free prose shall jot my page. There is a movie being played in my head that the city does its best to sneak in on.
“I never wanted to be a hero,” my hero will shout. The credits will roll and the audience will stand up and not know what to say to each other. They will scratch their heads, and this is not entirely a good thing, but there I will be, eating popcorn and still laughing at the inappropriate points.
A slow rolling fog creeps over the mountains. The boulevards and streets enveloped in the mist. With the windows wide open the fog comes inside my apartment and shrouds the furniture until I can’t see anything anymore. I sit in my disappearing room housed in vapor. I like it like this, to become invisible. Outside the city keeps moving around in the fog, everything just the same but no longer visible beyond an arm’s distance, beyond a hug.
If you could become a river, would you rush wildly to the sea? Or take your time meandering through the countryside?