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Otherwise, jump the line below if you’d like to crawl around inside my head for a little while, maybe see what’s underneath my work.
Of course, you can click on any of the menu items above. Whatever suits your fancy.
I’m from LA. Very few can say that, at least generationally. Dorothy Parker thought she understood the place when she wrote Los Angeles was “72 suburbs in search of a city.” As a start, it’s not bad. But the place is more than a collection. It has a heartbeat. It has a feel, a way of being.
LA has moods. Just like us.
Happy? Take a drive down the Ventura Freeway (at 3AM), listening to your favorite cassette or Sirius station. Thoughtful? Head to the Huntington Library and mix with other thoughtful people. Liberated? Provocative? Needy? Any suburb that doesn’t have “Hills” in the name will do. I’d head to Silverlake. Stay away from Santa Monica — they drive like self-assured nuts over there. Maybe Downey or Diamond Bar. WeHo. Wander in the City of Wanderers. Nobody belongs. We’re all just here, enjoying the movie.
You’ve found this collection of writing against all collective inertia towards fame and the famous. That in itself is kind of amazing. I am not a name, after all, and am old enough to realize our culture’s other calling card — abs — is probably not going to attract too much attention. Not with so many model/actors parading perfection. It’s kind of a miracle, given the way our paths are dug by algorithms and our desires developed by “Profiles with FacePics Only,” that you are reading these words. They aren’t commercial. My poems don’t have to exist (and, in the view of internet metrics, don’t); neither do my stories. They are, I think, beautiful, but they aren’t necessary in the sense that most find food and water, or earthquake standards, necessary. They are, I think, more beautiful than necessity.
Just like my city. We shouldn’t be here, but we are. We should have succumbed to safety, but we didn’t. In the face of massive practical pressure, we somehow went wandering into the land of no. We want more. We could’ve moved to to a place where the earth doesn’t shake, or preferred our tamed husbands to the men fixing cars in Van Nuys garages, but we said no. Peace versus desire? No question. Why? Because desire is literally the foundation of life, and desire is preferring the bird in the bush to the two you have in your hand. It is impractical, just life life.
So, deserts shouldn’t support cities, and yet LA rises from a desert floor, mission-stucco and steel, defying nature as we forge an incomprehensibly honest reflection of our strange selves. Our daydreams probably won’t attract material wealth, and yet I don’t see many people willing to let go of their fantasies. We hang onto to them because we like them…and because we are strong enough to hang onto them. We are adults living in city of adults, and we’re old enough to see the truth: LA rakes in billions of pornography dollars precisely because when given the choice, in the privacy of our own Google searches and screen-viewing, adults choose the fantastic over the useful. It is the hope, the wish, that drives us on, drawing us to leave necessity in favor of mood, feeling, and imagination.
If you agree, you’re right where you’re supposed to be. Just like LA.
What, then, are you in the mood for? Are you looking to voyeur your way out of a motel into life? Discover that someone else, yes, tried to parlay a supportive shoulder into sex? Maybe you want some poetry — not mazes of words that require a key, but pieces of experience written honestly, one friend to another. You choose. But know this: these thoughts, stories, and poems are not practical. They are my life. Like my city and Sense8, they say there’s something more to being human than playing it safe.