Wednesday, 13 of December of 2017

Tag » Los Angeles

Dick Barnes – Bagdad Chase Road

AWord LikeFire   
“…Barnes, who died in 2000, at the age of sixty-eight, seems to have written a poem only when he had something to say. The occasions are mostly personal and local, the personal being, often, skirmishes and truces in the war between men and women, and the local being the “other” Southern California—the mountains and the desert east of Los Angeles. This is where Barnes grew up, and where he spent his career, teaching at Pomona College.

His poems are lightly spiced with mysticism, though mysticism in the way of the Beats—an honest man’s recognition that the world is a little weird. What makes them extraordinary is something else: the naturalness of the voice, a vocabulary and a tone so “spoken” that the minute you finish a poem you want to read it again, just to see how he did it.” —New Yorker
Black-Tailed Jack Rabbit
Within the immense circle of the horizon
only the two of us on two legs
that didn’t have feathers on. Hello,
horned lark. Hello, loggerhead shrike.
Hello, dove-sized bird with black fan-tail
fluttering along the ground, a jackrabbit
would jump as high. And for the vast
absence of our own species,
thanks, thanks, thanks. Not that you
didn’t dig the mines and make this road
to them; but it’s your absence
today that earns my gratitude. Thanks too
for the monument and bronze tablet
marking where Ragtown was, and the railroad
down the hill to Ludlow, so I can rejoice
that it’s already all disappeared
with hardly a trace. Thank you sky
for speaking only after lightning. Hello, jackrabbit,
hello groundsquirrel, good luck raven,
I never saw you hover like that.
Thank you, rain, for flavoring our jaunt
with a hint of danger, and for the splashy mist
when you lashed the desert hills
hard wrought to show what you
can do when you mean business.
Thank you, other two-legged bare featherless creature,
for sharing the jagged horizon of my life.
Thank you, rainbow over the East Mojave
low to the ground, so early in the afternoon:
thank you for being there with us.

Dick Barnes
December 22 1987 Earth First!

Maria Quintana – On The Road

dedicated to the Mazda Miata

Mall mall mall mall
strip mall, deluxe mall with waterfall
Nicaraguan Sweetwater malls four to a corner
Dadeland, big air conditioned mall
car mall, food mall, big parking lot
lots of parking lots with every mall

Road road road road
getting bigger
just around my neighborhood
Red Road, Dixie Highway
Bird Road, and the up-and-coming
roads for smart drivers
way ahead of their time
who have been around
Miami more than since yesterday
Alhambra, Blue Road, all Coral Gables shortcuts

Road road mall mall parking parking
air conditioned parking with a
fast food restaurant at the exit
they all look alike, flashing discrete income categories

Romance of the road, the road to nowhere
used to be the road was filled with mystery
like pioneers going over the plains
watching for the mountains in the distance
the mountains are still there, but as for the mystery…

the malls of Los Angeles, I can see them
rising behind the Hollywood Hills, taller even
even more deluxe than the Aventura
Burger kings more luxurious
I can hardly wait to get in the car

It was a time of hopelessness
There was a sense of doom
The first traffic shootings occurred
Wild animals began to disappear along with forests
air and clean water
It made great rock and roll

Maria Quintana
September 22 1990 Earth First!

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