Monday, April 20, 2009

the angels here
have pigeons' wings
blue collars
washed in sweat
the common salt
in tears
tongues swirl
in a stew of cultures
singing asphalt songs
in the midst of seagulls
bebop atop
the San Andreas
a humble plate
of beings

- Kamau Daáood, "Los Angeles"

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. - Hebrews 12:1

Monday, January 26, 2009

This blog is two years old today! I've been horribly neglectful, however. A summer in New York is death to an LA photo blog, but with the new year, I am newly resigned to document the city. More soon!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

- William Butler Yeats, "The Second Coming"

Sunday, June 1, 2008

And the talk slid north, and the talk slid south
With the sliding puffs from the hookah-mouth;
Four things greater than all things are
Women and Horses and Power and War

- Rudyard Kipling, "Ballad of the King's Jest"

Monday, May 26, 2008

Unknown faces in the street
And winter coming on. I
Stand in the last moments of
The city, no more a child,
Only a man, -- one who has
Looked upon his own nakedness
Without shame, and in defeat
Has seen nothing to bless.
Touched once, like a plum, I turned
Rotten in the meat, or like
The plum blossom I never
Saw, hard at the edges, burned
At the first entrance of life,
And so endured, unreckoned,
Untaken, with nothing to give.
The first Jew was God; the second
Denied him; I am alive.

- Philip Levine, "The Turning"

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I like an escalator because an escalator can never break, it can only become stairs. There would never be an escalator temporarily out of order sign, only an escalator temporarily stairs. Sorry for the convenience. - Mitch Hedberg

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Like streetlights
still lit
past dawn,
the dead
stare at us
from the framed

You may say otherwise,
but there they are,
still here
without a sound
further and further
into the past.

- Malena Mörling, "Traveling"

Sunday, May 18, 2008

You have to forget about what other people say; when you're supposed to die, when you're supposed to be lovin'. You have to forget about all these things. You have to go on and be crazy. Craziness is like heaven. - Jimi Hendrix

Monday, May 5, 2008

The people Jesus loved were shopping at The Star Market yesterday.
An old lead-colored man standing next to me at the checkout
breathed so heavily I had to step back a few steps.

Even after his bags were packed he still stood, breathing hard and
hawking into his hand. The feeble, the lame, I could hardly look at them:
shuffling through the aisles, they smelled of decay, as if The Star Market

had declared a day off for the able-bodied, and I had wandered in
with the rest of them: sour milk, bad meat:
looking for cereal and spring water.

Jesus must have been a saint, I said to myself, looking for my lost car
in the parking lot later, stumbling among the people who would have
been lowered into rooms by ropes, who would have crept

out of caves or crawled from the corners of public baths on their hands
and knees begging for mercy.

If I touch only the hem of his garment, one woman thought, I will be healed.
Could I bear the look on his face when he wheels around?

- Marie Howe, "The Star Market"

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The higher the buildings, the lower the morals. - Noel Coward

Thursday, March 6, 2008

"It is folly to punish your neighbor by fire
when you live next door." - Pubilius Syrus

Sunday, February 24, 2008

And there was a beautiful view
But nobody could see.
Cause everybody on the island
Was saying: Look at me! Look at me!

Laurie Anderson, "Language Is a Virus"

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I loathe people who keep dogs. They are cowards who haven't got the guts to bite people themselves. - August Strindberg

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The clouds sank down
down to the pavement
between five and seven tonight
taillight soup, headlight soup
we were swimming in fog light soup
down the highway in a daze
watching for the dim light
down the road, in the distance

- Raymond A. Foss, "Taillight Soup"

Saturday, January 26, 2008

One year ago today,
the first loose piece of Los Angeles tipped in to this site.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of a man at twice its natural size. - Virginia Woolf

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman's birthday but never remembers her age. - Robert Frost

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Love looks through a telescope; envy, through a microscope.
- Josh Billings

Friday, January 4, 2008

To want to write, but to lack words.
More accurately, to lack some
thing to feel.

This unpainted
desk, cars outside
proving themselves on the hill,
smoke from burning fields
slipping unnoticed under the sun
until someone drowns
in his own breath.
To listen for some wind.

To feel responsible for listening
and to be unmoved, an air sock
limp as an unfilled dunce's cap
waiting some change in the weather,
something full as the river
you fished last weekend
without luck

and then swimming saw
the whitefish
grazing on stones

the flickering trout steady
as mobiles suspended
on more levels
than you thought water
could contain.

- Ingrid Wendt, "Feeling Dry"

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Marilyn Monroe wasn’t Jean Harlow.
Jayne Mansfield wasn’t Marilyn Monroe.
Anna Nicole Smith wasn’t Jayne Mansfield.
Thankfully, there is only one Britney Spears.

But know, whoever you are,
whatever your gender, hair color, physique,
within you there does reside an unhappy blonde
archetype with enormous breasts.

It is her you need to contact.

- Elaine Equi, "#4 The Girl Can’t Help It (Jayne Mansfield unbuttons her blouse)" via Silliman's Blog

Sunday, December 23, 2007

My living will, waiting to be signed,
sits next to an old New Yorker
it's my ritual to read with breakfast
each morning, to finish
one issue before going to the next,
and this way I skip
the news merely timely—October 2004
with a fundraiser bringing Kerry
within blocks of President Bush

proves painful in December '05
but fast turning to find Graham Greene
his authorized biography reviewed,
I'm relieved, though perplexed, by
Because of an ambiguous comma
in a document Greene signed on his deathbed
other scholars were forbidden to quote . . .

and I wonder as I slowly eat
my oatmeal with raisins and cranberries
and four summer blueberries
I pick from their bag in my freezer,
gathering what pleases me, a woman of 73
with a will nearby, if I might not like
lingering in an ambiguous comma
someday, not rushing
to an afterlife I don't believe in,
drifting dreamily, held
for a day or two in its pause.

- Myra Shapiro, "Because of the Ambiguity"

Friday, December 21, 2007

Next to the writer of real estate advertisements, the autobiographer is the most suspect of prose artists.
- Donal Henahan

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Every sweet has its sour; every evil its good.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, November 30, 2007

If you don't know where you are going,
any road will take you there. - Lewis Carroll

Monday, November 19, 2007

Buy the ticket, take the ride. - Hunter S. Thompson

Friday, November 16, 2007

I am your pilgrim, who wanders
to stay home; your monk,
who keeps silent when you demand
confessions and theology.

You are too difficult to love
directly; you have no roof
or floor, and I am too pious
for your rain and mud.

So I keep your shrine, the best of you,
the clean, the smiling rest of you.

I am a stubborn priest, who knows himself
only in the dwindling oil of you,
the weeping and rebellious flame
about to die.

- Val Vinokur, "Your Worship"

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Give my regards to Broadway
Remember me to Herald Square
Tell all the gang at Forty-second Street
That I will soon be there.
- George M. Cohan

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Much that is terrible we do not know. Much that is beautiful we shall still discover. Let's sail till we come to the edge.
- Thomas M. Disch

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It can be a fascinating game, noticing how any person with vitality and vigor will have a little splash of red in a costume, in a room, or in a garden. - Edgar Cayce