On the streets of Venice

Why I Write:
Inspiration teacher
I, only a student
To discover
The beauty of the streets
The beauty of the streets
How do I make it work in the
City of angels
Sound sworn beats
Self-erasure
Language
Of drop deads
Drop beats
Down and out beats
Beats with no stools
Beats that only teach
Color
I want to give poetry back to the people
Back to the people
A different kind of

re-turn.

 

We drove to Venice in her thirteen-year-old car. It was the eleventh of May. Traffic in L.A. is always bad and always the same. We sliced through unruly traffic in her silver Camry making our way through Koreatown. Koreatown is a neighborhood with colorful markets and a vibrant people.  She said, “Most Korean and Mexican neighborhoods are closer in proximity.”

We listened to Bad Romance by Aziz Ansari. He made fun of people who listened to his book rather than read it. He spoke of love in a digital age. He wanted to express how complicated it was through qualitative research.  It is only complicated for people that want the re-turn.

We rode our trusty steeds to the Santa Monica Pier. We were on a hunt for salt water taffy. Not finding the ultimate hardened sugar we desired, we rolled down south. Winding through worn sand castle paths, we continued our hunt. On one side was the ocean, the other a possibility of candy.

After finding mango gummies and chocolate glories, we went to sit on the beach. Past the graffiti walls, past the freak shows, past the tourism, past the many ghosts of Venice, past the people who buy but never enjoy, we sat on the banks of granular sediment waves waving by. We ate our candy, becoming ill with every bite.

We spoke of the sadness of our times. We spoke of what may have been the sadness of every time. Sad of the lack of soul, sad of the lack of commitment, sad for the game players. Fear-worn torn souls. Robots belong to every time.

We wandered back to our personal chariots of gold riding onward. On our hunt for a snack, we found ourself thick in what people call California. Indifferent supermodels on their iPhones, three well-dressed men drinking proseccos, an older man with a trump like toupe, three younger girls dressed from a catalog of someone else’s making, many trendy looking purses.

We began our search for beyond broke but stumbled into beyond baroque. It was a song for David Metzler. A tribute and memorial for a beat now gone. Poet after poet got up to pay their respect amongst a flowered Van Gogh stage. There is no glory in being a poet. There is no money. There is the only choice you have, to follow your essence, to put it on parchment. To drip the ink of your soul as you slowly sink inward.

A man in a red sweater embroidered with white numbers and cowboy hat forced us to hear David’s music while playing ukulele draped in wind chimes as he searched for his long-lost memories on war-torn parchment.  As we left we asked one of the Jazz musicians, “Where is there a good Jazz venue in L.A.?” He said, “ You used to be able to go to clubs and get a good meal and hear Jazz. Now, it’s sad, it’s like LaLa Land, it is all gone.” I had never seen this so I did not know how to be sad.

Life works in mysterious ways. Even though sometimes I have wanted to do something, I could not. It is the difference between what is and what was. Resist Resistance. Accept Acceptance. There is no stop to love but there is always a funeral procession if you choose. The poets will take the world back. Jazz and Blues will have their own second line in the City of Angels.

The black Surly and the white Knight raced down Venice Boulevard then wound our way back through worn down spiral sandcastles on a desolate boardwalk of ghosts who have too much money to keep the lights on in their vacant homes in Venice. Winding, winding we went, two or more genres, a journey to take poetry back, back to the people.

 

The re-turn of

love.

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