someone said you didnt study poetry at uc isla v

i said youre right, i studied everything

poetry just came out.

this is one called 22 fillmore that i wrote when i lived in frisco

“22 Fillmore”

jeff was working the express lane at the safe

way on market street when these

gunshots rang out seems these kids for

some reason ganged up on this electric

muni bus and started beating the windows with

sticks junior high school boys bashing the plexiglass

sending shivers of spider web type patterns

all over the people watched the european soccer

finals less than one block away and nobody looked

over this is today which is sunday and the little little kids

had just

cracked open the fire hydrant across from the accosted

bus

but these were different kids

little kids

cooling themselves from the uncommonly

hot san francisco weather.

yesterday we attended the

lesbian parade.

we saw roller skating lesbians

lesbians on stilts

lots of topless lesbians

some lesbians with absolute no clothes on

old lesbians lesbians in wheelchairs

most of the lesbians seemed fairly uncomfortable

hell i was fairly uncomfortable because i was stoned

and was trying to figure out exactly what was it that i was doing

at the lesbian parade.

the kids beating up the bus kept calling the bus driver out

yo motha fucka get the fuck out and get yo ass slapped

sometimes its

like the good lord just wrings as much youth as he can possibly

force and shoves it into some kids

as well as some adults

narciso was driving the bus

a handsome father of three and amazingly well groomed

and not just as compared to other bus drivers

but

narciso knew how to clean up.

gel in the hair, moustache trimmed daily

nose hairs

plucked

eyebrows

plucked

and if you could see through his driving gloves youd see

some of the most well manicured set of nails that youd

ever wanna see.

narciso took his gloves off on this hot sunday in june.

i hope you know i love you.

and reached into his coleman cooler

and retrieved

his three fifty seven magnum

unlocked the safety

and said

narciso you understand

was from spain but if you ever said to him oh hey narciso

i hear youre spanish

he’d say true yes true but i am basque

deatils motherfucka details

narciso was into details like nobodies business.

sure the lesbians were in town but so were the gays too

and people for some reason were known to jump to

immediate conclusions with narciso because of his

good looks, impeccable grooming habits

and sharp attention to details of all sorts

if you said narcisco i’ll see you at the burrito hut at seven

narciscos brut aftershave smelling ass was at the burrito hut

like at 6:58

no problem

no worries

there he is

the man of the hour.

but if you were late.

look out there brothaman.

antonio, seven is not 7:04

seven is not 7:15

seven is seven

narciso pointed that gun straight

at the lead kid who was calling him out

the kid was wearing a san fransico forty-niners

tshirt and long shorts that looked to be falling off

if narciso wanted to he could have shot that bullet

right between his eyes

narciso loved to shoot guns and loved the challenge of

absolute marksmanship.

loved it.

jeff was working the express lane when he heard

narciso put a three inch hole

in the four inch wide stick

that lead kid

was

holding

one half inch above the kids

hand

motha fuck that

narciso said

and pulled away

slowly

from the curb.

read at a story telling + rock show + book release party

chris and ramie

it was in historic Frogtown, as Chris and Ramie were so excited about

frog spot

specifically at the Frog Spot which is a beautiful non profit space right by the LA River

will and his wife

Will Campbell and his lovely wife were there. Marko 77 (far left) was the DJ, he played a bunch of great tunes from The Replacements to Soul Asylum and the Ramones. Johnny Angel (far right) read and played acoustically.

os and kim

Monty, fresh from Nashville was in attendance with Os and Kim

jeff and monty

It’s always a good night when Jeff Tsar gets to say hi to a guy with a Jeff Tsar tattoo.

SW Lauden

We were all there to celebrate and participate in S.W. Lauden’s debut crime novel, Bad Citizen Corporation, and eagerly awaited to hear him read from it. He did not disappoint.

books were sold

Lots of people who hadn’t already bought his book off Amazon snagged it last night.

basart bill and heather the rabbit

about nine of us read for 5-8 minutes before SW did. i was super nervous to read and the last thing i wanted to do was follow Heather, and thank God i didn’t have to she was fantastic. she talked about inviting readers to make love to her husband Bill, (center). Ken said she got the most laughs.

me reading Murder

i read a new poem that i had just finished that afternoon. one called “a tale of two cities… or Murdurrrrrrr”

chris said i killed. everyone was so complimentary, heather said i should hustle my work to places and just get over my shyness. i saw all, awwww. thanks everyone.

dylan

afterwards bands played including Champion, which we have all missed.

below is the poem i read.

it was tough because i had to make it palatable for kids, but i did my best to make that restriction a part of the tale, so in the end i was actually glad that there was a challenge. and trust me, it was challenging.

 

a tale of two cities, or Murduhhhhhhhhhhh

his name was David
but he looked more like a Jamaal
or a Shaquille
or a Montell
or a La’Twann
he was dressed like that one dude from the Black Eyed Peas who writes all the terrible songs.
but he was shorter.
had an expensive jacket with crazy patches, baggy pants
shoes that were untied
a belt that didnt have a clasp
his eye glasses were tinted even though it was night
i had been camped out in my Mercedes in front of the W in Westwood
waiting for one of the many East Coast consultants
to ping me on the Uber app.
theres an option on there that you press if you want a Mercedes or a Lexus
instead of the typical Prius
the price is nearly tripled
which is why I was a little surprised when
Will.i.am Jr
waltzed over to the passenger side, while never raising his eyes from his iphone.
David?
he sat next to me, which is also uncommon, he eased the seat back
allllll the way
i clicked my app and looked at the destination.
Inglewood?
yup
Crenshaw and Manchester, i said out loud, steering towards Wilshire. i know that spot, i said
and he finally turned and looked at me with a raised eyebrow.
my man the colonel, g!
there WAS a KFC there, old school. David admitted. Jack n the Box now, he corrected. and went back to his phone.
i hit wilshire.
what kind of music would you like?
93-5 he said.
KDAY is my jam, i lied. and we made it to the 405.
he kept to himself and when the station broke to a commercial i said
oh theres children present?
i said excuse me, governor, instead of enduring these adverts, allow me to switch over to satellite radio
shade 45
gangsta rap, i believe it’s been dubbed.
after a few minutes i heard him sing along quietly. i had succeeded.
there was a bit of traffic on the 405 but we sped along without a care.
yo, cut the track, he ordered and i muted the radio with my thumb
he spoke into the phone using all sorts of slang and made up words but even though im very light skinned
not only do i share his race, but i used to live in the neighborhood where we were headed.
basically he was asking his friend if he was interested in meeting him at the home of an acquaintance for an important matter
that conversation segued into kidding about something they had both read on another gentleman’s facebook page
something involving the law, an incident, tears,
Murder?
no. a voicemail that they both found amusing
and how they both agreed the gentleman in question kissed men.
“but seriously, my friend,”
my passenger said into the phone which he held up to his mouth–
palm up like he had just taken a healthy gulp of mead from a chalice,
i implore you, join me at Lord Leroy’s castle tonight, i shall be bearing inebriants of the highest quality.
his friend agreed and “David” ended the call by lovingly exclaiming
My N-word.
a’ight uber driver, we gonna hit that Jack, then run across the street to the smoke shop,
normally i dont like to take several stops when im driving an Uber because i really only get paid when the wheels are turning
but what was i gonna tell mr I Am Jr? No?
his conversation concerned me because i hadnt overheard what the matter was that they wanted to meet over
i concluded the worst
Murder!
we arrived in Inglewood and i said that’s where Mr. Jims used to be
It takes no teef to eat Mr. Jim’s beef 
i offered my hand, which he slapped in approval
“Old School” he said, and it fit.
we drove down one of those streets near the Forum
we turned in the drive way.
i’ll be right out. chill.
he left behind his glasses on the seat, next to a paper bag
OF CASH?
and the latest novel by S. W. Lauden.
soon he returned and he showed me a large bag of illegal, but natural, vegetation.
also inside the bag were three hand rolled
to be honest, i dont know, what it was, it was dark.
wanna get hiiiiiiiiiigh uber?
that’s very generous of you, david, but i’m driving.
oh come on old school lemme get turnt with my uber dude
i stopped at a stop sign and turned down the music a little.
listen my genetic relation
if the po po see two handsome n-words in a benzo
high af
blasting biggie
there will be no judge. no jury
they will escort us out of this beautiful ride
and take it for their own.
if we’re lucky they’ll only beat us a little bit.
stay in school
just say no.
we headed to the head shop after a wink
David ran in then out with a bag of this and that,
it was none of my business.
we went to another apartment and i waited. and then another.
i was beginning to become suspicious as to this most unusual ride because every time he would get on the phone or text someone he would ask them to join him in some dalliance and they would decline.
so whose homes were we stopping by all around South Central?
finally he said ok, we’re going over to my man Xavier’s house.
as we approached the address he got on the phone and said
n-word we here! where you?? im in this fly 250, like what Ray Ray had. n-word’s got his blinkers on
throw on your blinkers, old school
the gentleman located us and got in the back, where David joined him.
they talked about this person and that one, and then Xavier asked about Yolanda.
bruh Yo Yo has me broken hearted.
for real, asked Xavier?
David just shook his head and raised his voice, Old School, you ever fall in love?
only every other day, i said.
the gentlemen laughed, slapped hands
when they laughed they laughed like this
ahhhhhhhhakdlfaldkjfs
David followed up with, ever get your heart broken Uber?
routinely, i said.
Preach! David challenged.
i said her name was Anna. i was so in love with her.
she said if you love me so much why wont you show it in the most disturbing ways?
MURDAHHH the gentlemen asked?
no, she wanted me to kiss her in the
MOUTH!
THE MOUTH they said?!!?
I KNOW!!!!
Disgusting, X said. Everything goes in the mouth. Food, Drinks. Fingers. And whats on Fingers?
Newsprint! the boys said
and i said Exactly!
totally gross. and she told me all of her other suiters would kiss her there.
And i said, if the mouth is such a great place to kiss then why did the Good Lord give us two cheeks in which to target?
and the men rolled around on their backs in the back seat laughing and laughing and omg
BECAUSE IT WAS TRUE!
i kept driving and after the laughter ended Xavier coughed a little and said,
id kiss any white girl, black girl, mexican asian right in the mouth, but thats me
fo real? David asked.
100, Xavier confirmed. You telling me you aint never kissed a female in the mouth?
David smiled sheepishly and said I mean sometimes a brothers gotta do what he gotta do
Ours is a heavy burden, my n-words
and we rolled down a back road that cut towards the remains of hollywood park.
oh, this is where theyre going to kill me, i thought, kill me and steal my car.
i thought about the girls who wanted me to kiss her there and how much i loved them, still,
and how if theyd asked nicely, i Would have probs
gross as that is.
and i overheard some noise in the backseat.
well here it is one said to the other.
A GUN?
A KNIFE?
no it was the hand rolled thingamabobs.
Xavier was looking at it as David was explaining,
bruh, my heart broke, we gonna sit in my crib and imma have to cry on your shoulder a little bit
you a real friend. i aint never forget you was here for me.
now uber turn leff right here.
we drove towards a typical apartment, one like youve seen a million times.
you sure you dont wanna partake in this completely illegal activity with us strangers and park your luxury vehicle on this dark street in inglewood always up to no good?
well, maybe for a minute, i said.
and David said really?
i said, next time super fly
they laughed and as they left, X said, look out for that spot over there,
full of Crips
i took note and drove off into the darkness
and was promptly murdered.

the other week i agreed be part of a story + poetry reading + rock show

poetry reading

no one wants to be the guy reading the poem at such an affair.

especially me.

but it’s being organized by my favorite drummer in rock, Steve Tsar.

also it’s nice to have your comfort zones stretched.

i dont like reading my poems. like my niece, i dont like being the centre of attention.

i like sitting in my helicopter at about 5,000 feet and blogging once or twice a day and veering off into the night and fighting crime anonymously.

then i like to eat soul food with a pretty girl and lick the bbq sauce off her finger tips.

i dont think im a very good writer. i dont know how i got in the college of creative studies. i dont know how i got in the nexus.

i dont know why LAist hired me and i for damn sure dont know how the LA Times hired me and let me write on their political blog.

and for surely sure i know i cant write a poem to save my life.

i do know though that poems make girls take off their pants – even the bad ones, which is why i will write a brand new epic poem for this fiesta.

i know exactly what it will be about, it will be about this conversation i had with a gang member drug dealer i met in south central the other day

and how we talked about having girlfriends who wanted us to lick their asses.

because i think poems and poetry readings are painfully boring, i think i will name this poem

tony please wont you eat my ass.

because if i was at a story / poetry reading / rock show and some weirdo got on stage with a cubs hat

and said this one is called tony please wont you eat my ass, i might actually pay some attention

even though i dont like attention, even though i cant write and even though i will be betraying the trust of someone who was once dear to me

who asked me to do her that favor since she obvs couldnt do it herself.

now the easy part: writing the epic poem. which i will do as close to the event as possible in order to freak myself out. thanks.

Sylvia Plath 1932-1963

sylvia plath

“I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited.”

best poem i ever wrote about jeanine? prob this one

“oj and courtney and everyone but you”

i writer everyday
and ask her to come back
but i do not send em
i think about younger girls
or bigger girls or wilder
girls arent what im lookin for now
but you know that
and its not super, man, thinking about all of whatever happened
that added up to this
which is me alone at 2am
suckin on a pen
thinking of how i write and write and nothings

you drive through the desert
and you see two things
oilrigs pumping and windmills spinning
motion and no movement
spirit, no action.
whirling and whirling
typing and hoping and praying
and thinking
im gonna die without her
thinking im so stupid to even be thinking

everyone gets over theirs
i got over mines
whats so damn perfect about this little flatchest grrl
with her perfect hair and lips
we’d kiss and cry and lie all night
slept in so many rooms
all over california mexico and foreign lands like
gretna and maui
whats the good lord got saved for me
do bums in the street with heaps of dirty clothes used as sheets
snoozing away in a doorway think about what the lords gonna bring em
and who am i to ask when theyve got real dreams
i just want my little girl.
clouds pass by overhead silent in the nightsky
theyre going to where clouds die
and theyve seen her why dont they tell me hows it really.
the rain, it rains, and it pours on a little pink girls bike
half falling down no kickstand
im damned why wont he say it
in a holding cell not hell but close someone in the cloud has a rope
but theyre scared id use it the cheater way and youd see dangling converses
in the morning with milk but i got better plans dear fans
i just want my little girl.
and they bowl as the rain pours tears from sobbing saints twentyfour hours it flashes
semis blow past spray mud on the corn and i wish sometimes i wasnt born
you dont need me what role am i bukowski kicks the crap outta this guy
dont sex good anymore and i cant hit a curve
i teach fools how to sell im the king of the nerds
so whys he got me breathing still aint i paid all my bills
maybe thats it.
shit.
i still want my little girl.

super cool gaucho girl just sent me this poem

mysterious lake in downtown LA that no one likes

“Each Moment a White Bull Steps Shining into the World”

If the gods bring to you
a strange and frightening creature,
accept the gift
as if it were one you had chosen.

Say the accustomed prayers,
oil the hooves well,
caress the small ears with praise.

Have the new halter of woven silver
embedded with jewels.
Spare no expense, pay what is asked,
when a gift arrives from the sea.

Treat it as you yourself
would be treated,
brought speechless and naked
into the court of a king.

And when the request finally comes,
do not hesitate even an instant–

Stroke the white throat,
the heavy, trembling dewlaps
you’d come to believe were yours,
and plunge.

Not once
did you enter the pasture
without pause,
without yourself trembling,
That you came to love it, that was the gift.

Let the envious gods take back what they can.

— Jane Hirshfield

since nothing in heres true, lets rock

her name was rosa linda
she lived in a shoe
said i love you baby
she said i love me too

started hating dreams in high school cuz they were intense and terrifying
dreams where the cubs always lost or i was alone or i couldnt scream
then they got worse. then thunder crashed and people whispered things
there were shadows but they werent.
there were light blasts
there were moans.
there were dreams where an undercover federal agency of spies
tapped into the thoughts at night of a private boys school
made it so we couldnt feel any pain on the football field
made it so we couldnt forget anything we read anything we heard
made it so we could esp each other and esp right back.
made it so our dreams disappeared.
which we loved them for, and would do anything for them
especially if it meant fighting evil.
cuz fuckit compared to those dreams
fighting was like licking ice cream.

hated dreams even more in college cuz it made us doubt if the xbi was still in us
cuz when they were, there were no dreams.
and we were invincible. undefeatable.
fearless, and super respectful.
sorta like rosa linda, who lived in a shoe
said i want you baby. said, i want you too.

would dance for you in the back room of deja vu
tight spaces back there, dark places back there
and two for one dances on wednesdays for you.
she said whats in here,

nothing in there
but you.

i had the greatest first day at work today.

but first an old poem.

“the best virgin marys”

The Italians painted the best
virgin marys
next to the Dutch
and she looks like the dark haired
olive tint
not the complete Mary but her complement
her knitting friend who Mary
whispers to
“Joseph last night was so cute”
Mary tells her as the donkey drinks from the river
“he leaned over to kiss me
but he stopped himself
I told him we’ve been married ten
years
our son is the messiah
you have nothing to fear silly man.”
I teller she looks like Mary’s best friend and she
smiles trying to sleep with her hands in praying formation
under her head
gold inexpensive earrings still on
eyes closed teeth shimmering
as christmas lights sparkle in my bedroom.
are you marys friend i ask
did you come down here to keep an eye on
me and warm not just my heart but
it feels like this whole house is alive
my fruit punch soda tastes bubblier
my burrito tastes guacamolier
my old face seems happier
did you come down here to do all
that for me
shes sleep
I whisper is mary your best friend and you seller
tupperware
and she sells you avon but you dont
wear it cuz you just dont
but you love each other
and now you love me
yes yes she says now hush she smiles opening one eye

nolan ryan

19 years ago
nolan ryan had this guy twenty-six
running straight at him
nolan’s forty-six
the guy was mad cuz
nolan
hit em with the ball
and when the guy got at
nolan nolan put him in a headlock
and said
now im gonna hit you with my
fist.
then nolan got the next 13
of 14
batters out.
i really miss you jeanine
satan and the lord put job thru a lot
satan said if job had everything
taken from him he wouldnt love
you God why should he
God said fifty bucks says he won’t crack
God and satan make bets on me how
i’ll start writing
sad poems again
n just get sadder
but nolan proved sometimes
you cant lose.
for even
satan
hates poems about baseball.