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