brown-outs and in and out from blacking out
this kingdom of cloth, yachts, canvas dogs baring oil and a glass full of scotch, yonder the dogma of breaking out. This is a bank robbery, a fight so let's break it up. Baking club. Two cups of brown sugar, four cups of flour, two packets of apple sauce, vanilla extract, chocolate chips, two sticks of butter, come on now and stir it up. Things are stirring up. Flower petals and Hawaiian Punch, gardenias, orchids, a yellow top, blue jeans, and a green house walk.

California. Top-less, top-down convertible, brief rain on sunny days, and Urth Cafe for lunch. Valet parking on Melrose and window shopping with Snoop Dog at Rick Owens just to stir it up. While some things blur, all the best and brightest with their young supple breasts get together, eat lsd, just to sieve our cells so we can watch as the day is slurring us. Our words and our dance cards are hurting much. The drive to the desert while the beat brings us together and the Santa Ana's blow the pollen from the coast towards the Getty and it seems that our allergies aren't cured enough.

Two homemade lemonades in mason jars seem to me too tart, but to the youth it's the heat that packs the punch. An ounce for three hundred is way too much, on and on like an Indie song goes, Hot Chip and our Captain, we ride the Pacific Ocean while our skins tan under the heavy sun. One woman for me if it's you, is the best, and quite enough. So write your book about sailing a 12' Sunfish through the archipelago when you were four years old, and I'll edit myself into our narrative, use a paddle if the wind won't lift the main sail, and we can try to get home before the water swallows us. Blend the tropics with the fruit, and sneeze while facing the sun, if it's too much we can use Jet Skis and let the current bring us back to the coast one by one. Don't stop or drop the beat, don't worry because we've parked for free, so long as our batteries don't die, our flashlights will lead us home, it's a miracle to you, but just a number and a ticket to me, this is where the fun has just begun. Stirring it upside down, like a glass sailboat in a bottle and a love letter bleeding in salt water, have your romance but keep the sand out of our sheets, it's not like it's our bed, so we can't just have our fun.

I've taken a photograph. Way down in Alabama. Far into the delta where there's no cell signal, and the blues plays through our guitar, if you can do the harmony, I can sing for fun. It's not easy, the sound of our friends dying, drowning, in the despair their disease has overrun. But if we double our dreams, tear our skins and skip the streamers, blow up the balloons and catch the murderers that killed our son.

We can watch from the coast, stand at the top of the plateau, throw rocks into the cove, and free ourselves from a funeral that halves each other thru the mid-life synthesis we've been putting ourselves through, we can count, use the buddy-system and whistle loudly, fuse our genitals and flirt in a party that's just me and you, you might find that there's still fun for us, and this insanity isn't real, it's just a surrealist manifesto that in this earthquake we've just been painting our paths into. We've just begun to believe what isn't really grief but ought to be an afternoon or hunting and traveling at a grueling pace, with meager rations, there's not a snake bite I wouldn't be willing to suck the venom out of you, I'm just hoping you'd be willing to suck the venom out of me in time before I'd have to ask you to.

Luiz Syphre Feb 25

We didn't go to Pen State,
But got our degree in the State Pen!
Education for us wasn't bitches at spring break...
But we'd break 'em! Fuck 'em bitches and snitches!

God bless our mothers for raising us Thugs,
Pobresitas, It was all our fraud!
We were Warriors on our turf....
Screw em! 187 on their curve!

Que pendegos, bien proud!
TRECE ESE, branding on our brows!
Eses, Paisas, Brothers and woods,
A fuckin menace...all defiant fools!

To Karma only our open wallets,
Cuz with our shorties,
We shall pay the balance!

From the streets we come and to the streets we return.

- Luiz Syphre

quick translation:
2nd stanza - Pobresitas - poor ladies
3rd stanza - Que pendegos, bien - How Stupid, very proud....
Trece Ese - Thirteen (as in Florencia 13, a local gang) Ese - Slang for Hispanic Gangster
Paisas - Illigal Aliens, Brothers - Blacks, Woods - White = Jail terminology for different races.

It was in tribute to a friend of mine's Son, as he was killed in South Central L.A. gang violence.
tamia Nov 2016

somewhere in hollywood along route 66
stood a cheap motel—
an asylum
for rockstars and their groupies,
artists and and poets and strangelings alike.
the morning only saw its residents,
drunken and drowsy,
and its black-tiled pools as dark as the night;
yet the nights were its prime
when the artists would gather
in the name of music, dance, recklessness.
the syringes would pierce their skin
and the alcohol like ocean waves
washed out the most of them,
and events too unspeakable were the norm.
the motel never attained 5-star ratings,
but it become the playground
for fleeting moments, wild nights,
brewing grounds for creation.
these nights were so loud and colorful,
but only remembered in hazy visions
and muffled sounds.

and so all those nights end here, today:
at the south of The Strip
where some modern, ordinary hotel now stands
once used to be the mess
that the likes of Jim Morrison
and Tom Waits called home.
its guests would have burnt it down,
but they would've wasted their money,
and who has the time anyway?

ladies and gentlemen, the tropicana motel
a stop over where
wild minds and wild hearts would meet
and eventually go their way,
the place where these legends
of music and madness
came to play.

a poem about "The Trop", a motel in LA where artists used to stay and meet during its hey-day in the 70's.
Spenser Bennett Apr 2016

There's no heart left in Los Angeles
All those screaming ascendants
Living with Beats around their necks
But nothing beating in their chests

They got beaches, buried toes in the sand
Can you feel the heat yet, fire from your hand


There's no love left in Los Angeles

Sad Crying Bitch Feb 2016

Mommy, the monster under my bed enter in my head
Now they are telling me to do bad things
And somehow, I want to

I can't fight my demons, so I become them
Anita Layne Feb 2016

The cars hiss by my window
but no one's honking their horns.
We're okay with the traffic,
and we're okay with the distance,
and we know you hate us --
but do you know that we love you?

Nico Reznick Jan 2016

We got out of the murder motel early,
while we still could,
before the rental car got stolen
or our room underwent dynamic drive-by refurbishment.
There was supposed to be a
complimentary continental breakfast,
but the coffee machine was broken
and someone had already swiped all the donuts.

My only frame of reference for Inglewood was that it was Sam Jackson's character's home turf in 'Pulp Fiction',
leading me to suspect it
probably wasn't a nice area,
although the fat hooker smoking outside
when we'd checked in at 2am
had seemed very friendly.

You were right about LA, about
how there must be a sun, but you can't
really see it, you just
sort of assume it's up there somewhere
behind the fog huffing in off the Pacific
and the toxic breath rising from the
city's gridlocked mouth.

We made for Venice Beach, because you
don't fly all that way and then not go,
us figuring ourselves early enough
in the grey, jet-lagged damp, to
avoid the junkies, the winos and the crazies,
the symptoms of America driving itself mad with
unrealistic dreams.
But they were already there, muttering and
shivering on sand and cement, some
under rags or cardboard,
just waking up in
spite of themselves.

A woman with the hungriest face I ever saw
threw a cigarette lighter at me, then yelled,
shaking in her filthy clothes, that she wasn't giving it to me, bitch, FYI,
FBI, CIA, JFK... then
started screaming about Kennedy and all those lying fucks up on the hill.

The ocean sucking away at the land behind us, like it was
whetting its appetite for the day when San Andreas splinters, and the waves finally get to

The hungry-faced woman was still shouting when
we walked away, through the graffiti and
gangs of bastard-huge, hulking seagulls.
If I'd stopped and tried to talk to her, if I'd
gotten anywhere close enough, I was
afraid she'd tear a bite out of my face,
and I didn't know what shots I'd need if that happened, and we didn't have medical.
Which was a shame,
because I'd have liked to hear
what she had to say about Kennedy.

We walked to where you'd street-parked
the car which
still hadn't been stolen.
On the way, some guy, a stranger
coming the other way, called you
'Football Dude' and asked you
to catch his neighbour if she
jumped off her balcony, but
I think he was joking.

Oh, and the car was yellow.

This poem is featured in my Kindle collection, "Over Glassy Horizons", available here: >
Nateive Son Dec 2015

Arturo Bandini didn't smoke Marlboro Reds
Didn't need to
The dust was enough to choke his soul
And John Fante put it all down
In a little guide
For Bukowski to update some
40 years later with his
Wild, wild shit
About good ol' USPS
Baking in that hell hole
All the movie stars call
City of Angels
As his skin pulled in from
Gallons of beer
All sorts of rotgut
Leftover from that spiritual
Bunker Hill
Daydreams of the 30s all over again

Can also be read at:
Ellis Reyes Nov 2015

Tradition says he’ll come today
With the wind,
In a ray of sunshine
On the arrival of a friendly bird

Was that creak his footfall in the hallway?
Was that warm breeze his breath upon my neck?
Is that his familiar scent or just my deep desire to have him here with me?

We’ll set out candles
Prepare his favorite foods
Bathe our home with love and light
Because today the children,
My child,
Returns from the grave

For Jack. Who left us far too soon.

I had walked miles that day.
Finding myself in these old
Los Angeles side streets,
was to travel back in time.

Bougainvillea, overflowing
with color, festooned the
weathered cedar cottages.
Heavy trumpet flowers,
sleepy in the filtered light,
stirred beside huge green
leaves, in the easy marine air.
I walked on.  

Evening had come, and with it,
a few stars shone over the ocean.

After a perfect dinner, I still
craved a bit of sweetness
on my tongue.

Walking back from the end
of the pier under deep
cobalt, the night sky held me.

Just ahead, tiny birthday candles,  
and warm, kind faces, welcomed
me into their midst.

Softly, they sang 'Las Mañanitas'
in one voice, and I sang with them.

Someone's hand
reached out to me; a
thin paper cake plate,
heavy with treasure,
was silently offered.

Tres Leches, soaked
with tender love
and milky sweetness.

Heaven could only be
more of this.

('Las Mañanitas' is the lovely, classic Mexican birthday song. Traditionally it is sung in the morning to awaken a loved one on their special day. Tres Leches, the cake of the' three milks', has no equal in moist, sumptuous sweetness. 'Dulce de Vida' means  'The Sweetness of Life'.)
©Elisa Maria Argiro
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