L.A.
6/2/92

Darker

Ever since the fires
It’s been a little bit darker
Street dimmers turned lower
Auto headlamps yellow and fade
Every other streetlight,every other intersection
No longer glares,smirking.

A gang of glossy black beetles
Consider a banana peel in the dry gutter
Night
after
night
after
I return home they wait,looking at the rot
They’ll be here after whatever happens next
I’m reminded of a wild looking bearded homeless man
Jeans torn,caked to his legs
Staring up at the screen,slowly…

Eating,drinking,watching.

As long as he does,he’s not loitering
Slow bites,vacant eyes
Four night not in a row
And he stands in the same spot
Like the radio that plays the same song
Every time I turn it on
“…sad but true…”

Sweeps are over,even reality reruns
Only darker,quieter
Can a city be depressed,a country?
The energy from halogen and halide sentinels
Pulled down past a fading curb
Past the patient insects…

In the air I hear what could be mistaken for music
The rhythm of machines
Instead of solos,there are soundbites
Riffs built of television and movies
A child’s need for the familiar
Oboe animals drown in sampled gunfire
And are buried by local wildlife.

Aliased realities stand in front of whole sounds
The children listen to a collage
Hybrid is reality,pure is two dimensional
A sonata of their environment
Their life a pastiche,the soundtrack matches;

The only one offered to them.

Dark,menacing pulses,stabs and bludgeons
Sonic counterpoint
In this world where
sex is death,
rain is death,
sun is death;

And it seems darker
Even with the approaching day…

We don’t get bright sunny mornings here
(this time of year)
As the light comes
The beetles follow the darkness

And I juggle,I juggle.