My studio by the sea

The incense

Cigarette smoke

The neighbors next door racket

The dirt, the grime

Reminds me of Grove Street

And Mac, sleeping

Angelic snores from a lofted bed

Where I sat, idle in the morning

Last nights memory a circus

Holding my piss, hungry

Waiting for Forest to finish his shower

So as I could relieve myself

And head back to Long Island

Where I’d dream of dying

In my studio by the sea

Left: Mac, Right: Me looking down the hall at Forest, BK 2013-2014

Regardless of the election.

There’s a sewer pipe

in the dark, by the L.A. river

like a grave in the ground

where people sleep

by the highway, by the neighborhood

where pumpkins soon

will be replaced by

feasts of Turkey, stuffing, corn

and carefully locked doors,

then to be replaced by balsams and fern

white lights and tender eyes

of Christmas morning,

regardless of the hole by the L.A. river

where people sleep

live, and love—and pray, regardless

of the election, regardless

of the president

I still weep.

Do you?

LA River. Nov 7, 2020

In my neighborhood

Every muffler

Firework

SNAP-CRACKLE-POP

people assume is a gun shot.

I know why they imagine this

but I just can’t believe it myself, because

the men and women I see,

whose culture, features, religion

may differ from my own,

are hard working families.

And where I’ve still got fingers,

they’ve only bone.

Winnetka California 2020