Sunday Sep 22

Hoepfner Poetry Kolleen Carney Hoepfner's poetry and other writings can be found in Rabid Oak, Memoirs Mixtape, Glass, Occulum, and elsewhere. Kolleen serves as Editor in Chief of Drunk Monkeys, and is the Managing Editor and Social Media Coordinator for Zoetic Press. She is the author of Your Hand Has Fixed the Firmament (Grey Book Press) and A Live Thing, Clinging with Many Teeth (Spooky Girlfriend Press). Her main goal in life is to have Alec Baldwin smile at her. She lives in Burbank, California, with her husband and children.
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     Take Fountain    


      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
     ash
      and all the air is just smoke                             and we can’t stop coughing      and the cars are
     filthy
     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 dingy
     grey                             and they don’t shine   anymore.                                 Los Angeles is
     cracking right down               the middle                  like a disaster movie               which makes
     sense        
      I guess. Here.  I drive to work   and pass
      mansions        
     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
     you    

     how my chest burns                                        maybe with smoke     
                                                                             but also                                   
                                                                             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
                                                                                                                            in movies.

      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
     highways. 
          
                                                                 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
                                                                                                                           to tear.       
 
                                                                            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,                      
                                                                           just a
     dense                                                   layer                            of                                 men.

 

 

 
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(This poem borrows from Anne Jardim and maybe, loosely, Maggie Smith as well.)