Monday, June 15, 2015


arcata redwoods,
refuge from th’high price ‘f summer
sea fog gives him chills

th’four-oh-five, late june
ev’ryone’s going too slow,
‘n’thinking ‘bout th’bronco

back from tijuana
among th’green suburban lawns,
somewhere, th’sound ‘f fireworks

finds him out in th'haight
dealin' 'n' trippin' at th'same time,
even on the fourth

up t’yosemite
july heat ‘n’ lots of dead wood,
nothing to stop th’fire

summer ‘n people’s park
showdown, nazis ‘n’ antifas,
‘n’ what’s left of free speech

bare feet in th’crosswalk –
th'city’s tired ‘f th’influx ‘f hippies,
but all th’cars still stop

hearst castle ‘t sunrise –
by th’roadside, near th’sea, campfire,
‘n’ th’plainest ‘f cereal

coast fog, crashing waves
big sur, soothing balm, after
sizzling desert road

imperial valley –
th’canteloupes are delicious,
th’sandy soil’s shifting

look for th’right stuff t’wear –
he wants th’job near candlestick,
they’ll go t’ th’freedom p’rade

full bus t’candlestick,
folks have leisure – he needs th’job
‘t th’cardboard box fact’ry

boxes, th’wines ‘f sonoma
he mentions th’boycott ‘f gallo
as if they would care

dodgers at candl'stick,
ancient and bitter feud - pard'n,
but I'm just pass'n through

death valley camper –
knows th’six-lanes ‘n th’valley, prefers
th’unbearable heat

no use for marriage –
los gatos vintner, instead,
loves th’fine kitchen knives

humboldt redwood dreams,
ferns, rotted bark as mattress,
canopy as tent

redwood camper’s tale –
round th’golden gate, someone gave’m
a new perspective

campfires on the beach -
he grew up 'n l.a., but knows
it'll never be th'same

downtown stockton - five's
shoulder, flat tire, van 'f hikers,
impatience 'f the law

saw sign say'n "zzyzx"-
california in summer
or desert mirage?

road to manzanar -
sweat imprisons, sun rises,
camp memories burn

august, manzanar
nisei, imprisoned in th’heat
dreaded th’rising sun

th’baby, born ‘t manzanar
the stifling heat, he knows so well,
not what they promised

takes three days to get
from south l.a. to north by thumb
nights with roadside flowers

road splits in barstow,
where hopes fry like egg on road -
one hiker's still stuck

from baldy, th'hazy
valley - warm winters're good,
summers like this're hell

back from burning man, they love
th’fog on their faces

‘cross th’russian river
left th’city, labor day, t’go up
where there’s room to live

cheese, apple, skippy -
waves crash, harvest moon rises
over th'hearst castle

harvest moon on th’sea,
crackers ‘n’ skippy by th’roadside –
to th’east, th’hearst castle

camp ‘n th’woods, this side ‘f one,
go down t’ th’beach t’bathe in big sur
beats going back t’school

candlestick vendor
doesn't want to run for change -
tired of long season

long way t’watch football -
even longer, t’leave th’niners
‘cause someone took th’knee

rest’rants on sunset
th’man talks raiders ‘n’ th’new dramas,
th’laas, th’me-too hashtag

third night, roadside flowers,
vast valleys, l.a. traffic -
miss'n two-lane's colors

malibu surfer –
friends’ve gone back t’school, he remains
consumed by each wave

ravaged by th’tubbs fire
hard t’believe th’october winds’d take
ev’rything he owned

annadel, she says,
paradise, whole fields ‘f wildflow’rs –
gone in th’october fires

voodoo queen ‘f th’city,
says th’olivia street lass, th’most
famous ‘f th’pac heights ghosts

even on saints' day,
flowers blooming on hillside -
l.a. freeway bridge

halloween t’souls day,
same exit, same l.a. smog,
same roadside flowers

gated commun’ty –
lots ‘f poor folks ‘n santa rosa,
don’t want’m trick ‘r treating

souls' day cable car
rider - "how limiting 't is
t'only love women"

souls’ day, griffith park
fear ‘f th’wild cats overtook him,
been here way too long

a plain-looking gruel –
souls’ day ‘t th’mission, tells th’story
‘f patty hearst cereal

mendocino surf's
brooding crash - 'n' abalone
for thanksgiving feast


fires from th’sant’anas
easy t’see how stuff burns, but
where’d th’wind get that pow’r? 

even ‘n th’holidays,
tries t’get th’hikers t’come back with’m
down t’daly city

police on the ten
stop hikers five yards from sign -
no christmas spirit

steep traffic ticket –
eight feet wrong side ‘f th’hiker’s sign,
‘n’ a merry christmas

nob hill cable car –
gay blade ‘n’ th’handsome bell ringer
practice th’freedom ‘f speech

near carmel, th’hiker
by chance meets th’folk singer – both
want t’be home f’r christmas

savage traffic fumes -
neon diamond, sunset haze,
christmas eve descends

easy climb t’baldy
new year hits th’valley, leaves him
slightly out of breath

took four days to hitch
south l.a. to north - new year
in roadside bushes

fog ‘t mendocino
champagne ‘n’ tales ‘f his days at sea,
b’low, th’waves crash on th’rocks

santa monica
cop, no hot crimes, spends new year
waking the homeless

venice canal's edge -
old country's reflection in
a champagne bottle

week in griffith park
'f love, coffee, peanut butter -
holidays come and go

got to san diego
felt the dark east behind him -
epiphany tide

traffic ties up th’five,
curses his luck – wanted to get home
t’watch th’state ‘f th’union

west ‘f reno, th’mountains –
‘n th’bay, warm ‘n’ endless spring, here, ‘t’s ice
‘n’ th’brakes don’t work so well


long barn ice skaters
spent two months watching those fires –
th’wind whistles through th’pines

high sierra storm
ice on pines and patios
takes one's breath away

lodi trucker's drawl -
it's only green in winter,
brown, rest of the year

mountain winds whistle,
snow-laden pines sway and shriek -
long barn and its glade

art on venice walls -
they ignore it all winter,
he tags the palm tree

backup on the five
cars, sun, air con - for this we
trade scraping windshields?

santa clarita
eight lanes reflect in th’windshield
he’d got tired ‘f scraping

out off mulholland,
he sits by the pool ‘n’ fires th’whole crowd,
right through valentine’s

chance encounter, th’long-lost friends –
they share th’be mine hearts


hollywood freeway
denny’s – even th’graveyard shift,
talking ‘bout th’oscars 

sweeping clay street curbs,
he speaks of spring festivals
where weather changes

donner pass, westbound,
covered ‘n snow, even ‘n spring
don’t mention th’hunger

creek ‘t yosemite
none of th’people on th’tramway
get this far up th’ridge

sleeps days, big sur woods -
spring moon at highway crossing,
nights by ocean waves

night ‘n th’central valley
knows th’place with good cabritos
somewhere ‘n modesto


up ‘n mendocino
‘t’s easter ‘n th’city, but came t’hide,
‘n fog this thick it’s easy

city park coyotes –
presidio lass knows them all,
‘n’ knows this one’s babies

fog ‘n sebastopol
like th’hummingbird, th’lass hovers
‘t th’bright red jup’ter’s beards


th’bright jupiter’s beards,
‘n’ th’fog moves in t’sebastopol
kind ‘f stuck in th’sixties

to th’schoolkids, her love –
la purisima mission,
th’stories of th’old priests

spanish heritage –
th’bloody tales fall on th’blank stares
‘f th’lompoc schoolchildren

caught one fourth grader
had t’make th’model ‘f th’purisima
tried t’take th’pieces ‘f tile

cable car’s jangle –
he holds tight n’n frets ‘bout th’may rent,
th’kids lean over th’edge

panhachel 'til may
then bring it to malibu
in time for arts fest

redwoods ‘f santa cruz
takes th’math final, looks at th’sea –
don’t give grades, t’speak of

mother’s day, golden
gate bridge – quickly, help give her
some reasons to live!

sunday morning’s best,
ticket th’parked cars june t’august -
he climbs t’th’hollywood sign

bolinas turnoff –
he makes th’fateful decision
t’go up th’coast f’r th’summer

june evening drama -
he curses the four oh five
and all its people

victorians, flag day
none ‘f richmond was ever old,
even before th’earthquake


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