In Los Angeles, something is always burning.
As I drove down the Cajon Pass into your great alluvial basin,
a deorbiting hunk of metal burned white throwing off a plume of gas across the desert sky
streaking over 8 lanes of midnight freeway traffic.
As I flew into you one winter, whole mountains were on fire. Long lines of
conflict and oxygen and heat advancing across the oversteepend rock.
I could see the firetrucks and foil-wrapped firemen, and
watch the swimming pools boil.
Unemployed, I dug down into the deepest vaults of your great library.
I lift up my eyes to the hills, the burning hills, and I drive up.
Up past Glendale into Altadena. Up to a mountain library surrounded by
Fire engines. Housewives listen on scanners to
The moral equivalent of war being waged by the men.
Save the Homes!
The men drag heavy hoses up the mountain. The helicopters race track overhead.
Everyone watches from below, but there must be a better view. I can run.
I run up, up and up. I natural navigate. I bushwhack. I top the ridgeline,
and on the opposite mountain I see flames one hundred feet high.
I see a eucalyptus tree explode like a oil-fueled bomb, scattering flaming wood.
The helicopters race over and drop their chemicals, so close you can count the rivets.
Until one stops. Over me.
It's a police helicopter. They think I started the fire. It's time to run again.
Run under cover. Run home.
Los Angeles, I run through your hills, past bunker complexes chopped into the hillside
Over the 5 freeway by migrant laborers
from the mountains of central mexico who throng before the home depot.
I run past the dogfights. I mace down a wounded pitbull.
Police recruits kick down the same door again and again and again.
With their batons, they beat a man in a foam suit until he screams for mercy.
Don't stop! He was asking for it and where is his insurance?
Los Angeles, your streets ask to be ridden.
The day spa comes with a robe and a hot-lather shave.
A latina prostitute whistles to me one night and shows me her breasts.
I find ten dollars in the middle of an intersection. It's for me.
You couldn't see this from a car.
A dominatrix late for an appointment has a flat tire and stands fuming in 7 inch heels.
I change her tire and she gives me her card and a kiss on the cheek.
Los Angeles, your most farflung tentacle is a ferroconcrete proboscis
that extends to the Colorado River, 300 miles under mountains and
moon white salt lake beds, Martian canals.
You are an insensate god.
You transmit the sexuality of one hundred thousand matadors.
Your concrete river runs from the mountains to the sea,
Where the waves crash under a moonless sky with an
electric blue phosphorescence fueled by the fertilizer run-off
of a million shitting dogs and ten thousand golf courses.
A guttering torch of waste gas burns into the night from
An offshore rig's flare stack and the dawn breaks
Red hot, the sun a pagan god of fertility and rational thought
You are the teenage grocery girl with a sly wink
You are the lovely young mother with baby jogger running against
a skyline of fake buildings
You are the dominatrix with a flat tire
You are the porn starlet pinwheeling out of control into the center divider
Running west at one hundred and twenty miles an hour and talking on the phone
I love you.