California is burning all of it but really the heartheat is right here
in Los Angeles where everyone is suddenly bad but you know
they were always bad, always been this way— bad men
(and women too) but mostly men probably all the time— men.
Anyway we’re on fire, there’s no end in sight, just a steady fall of
and all the air is just smoke and we can’t stop coughing and the cars are
so I don’t even bother to go to the car wash. I just wipe
the windshields at the gas station.
All those pink stars on the sidewalk
are a dingygrey and they don’t shine anymore. Los Angeles is
cracking right down the middle like a disaster movie which makes
I guess. Here. I drive to work and passmansions
pass homeless people pass oil rigs and pass billboards
but I think that’s what I love about it. It may sound stupid but have I ever told
how my chest burns maybe with smoke
when I glance
down Hollywood from Vine and everything is lit up like Christmas
(especially at Christmas), how my heart feels
how the city sometimes still feels like hope or magic, the magic promised
How do you get to Hollywood?
Take Fountain, take Fountain, take
Fountain I repeat to myself as I drive to work avoiding the
freeway—here they’re called freeways not
For every broken woman there
is a woman refusing to be broken.
Hollywood. For every predatory
man there is a man—
no— scratch it.
For every man
there are a hundred women.
And they have discovered
they’ve always had teeth
Hollywood. We can fix this,
maybe this city. We can put
our elbows into it really scrub until it’s
a new kind of shiny
once we realize it’s not soot covering everything, not ash,
dense layer of men.
(This poem borrows from Anne Jardim and maybe, loosely, Maggie Smith as well.)