Pedestrian Bystander


Goose bumps. Forgotten jacket. It’s fall.

Side streets are wet off Sunset.

Petrichor adorns as bold steps sound

Of puddles found. Throbbing city screams

Along. Alone, I’m lost in thought

Again, swallowed up by Los Angeles.


Godforsaken sidewalks. Goddamned crosswalks! Los Angeles

Wayfarers calm traffic. Until green falls

On idling minds, then progressive thought

Drives forward once again. Hidden sunset,

Headlights on. On the gas! Screams

At fellow motorists, only human sound.


My musing is interrupt—edifying sound

Of a street poet: “Los Angeles

Left on the rack…Freed, she screams

True. Prayers on deaf ears fall.

While days march—sunrise to sunset.

Bystanders here, dismiss without second thought.”


His spoken word dies, but thought

Is born where ennui lies. Sound

Retreats, walking backwards like a sunset,

Into a sluice of silence. Los Angeles

Anticipates twilight. I watch it fall

Like a murder without the screams.


Our daytime disguises unmasked. Siren screams!

The siren song of safety—thought,

Of a cynic, brooder, the fall

Out from hard times. Shattering sound

Breaks through clarity. Brakes in Los Angeles

Being tested, failing. Woe on Sunset.


Grotesque body, freshly dead. A sunset

For a fellow pedestrian. Driver screams,

“I didn’t see her!” A Los Angeles

Police Officer records statements. My thoughts

Collide in the intersection of sound

And mind—from eyes, tears fall.


Seasons fall away, dissolving into the next. Like day and night making it—a sunset.

Sound souls are affected by the weather and whether unfamiliar screams

Are answered, thought of as our own or recognized as hers–our lady: Los Angeles.


—J. Alexander Kinnear

Hand coded by CRUXimaging