Home > Poetry > In Defense of Los Angeles
Published: Fri Jul 1 2005
Diego Isaias Hernández Méndez, Convertiendse en Characoteles / Sorcerers Changing into Their Animal Forms (detail), 2013, oil on canvas. Arte Maya Tz’utujil Collection.
In Defense of Los Angeles

The daily shock of the almost death
persists too long in memory.
A near automobile accident, a step
back from the crumbling ledge of the odd cliff.

The news will be there to inform you
if I do not make it. If I am kidnapped,
decapitated, thrown from a moving car.
The news will be there with its clumsy

weather moments, its bubbly laughter,
designing a composition of two parts
fear, five parts segueing into dismissive
jokes, all of it creating a joyous bipolarity

As if to soothe us, all night the jets release
their weary whale cries, and the city responds
with gaudy striations of what
used to be neon, of what used to be meadow.

But is now all that we have pulled
from land, all that we have put into light.

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