Letter To Our City
Class poem English 2600 Literary LA Spring 2020 Cal State LA–
I wish we could have performed this as a class with Mike Sonksen (Mike the Poet) and Statement Magazine. I wish we could have worked on this and polished it in person. I wish so many things…
Los Angeles is a place where hopes and dreams come to life
But can also be a place where they die,
It is a city where you can flip off a random stranger,
Then at the same time mourn an LA Laker.
It is a city where you can take a walk down DTLA,
Which is home to luxurious stores, which only the ones with money can afford,
But at the same time home to people who are homeless and poor.
It is a city of paradoxes—which is not unique—but
At the same time no other city can be Los Angeles.
Every time I tell people I was born and raised in LA
I’m always met with “Oh my God! Which celebrities have you met?”
I can’t help but laugh at people’s idea that I live in a movie.
A typical day of mine consists of waiting for the 28 on Eagle Rock and Avenue 36.
I get off on Spring and Temple to then catch the Silver Line.
No singers, no actors, no models: Just a plain old day in LA.
Angels love tacos
In LA, you can’t see the stars.
The only twinkly lights you can see
Are the string lights that hang
Around the taco stands on every
Hidden corner. Lighting up the night.
There are tacos for every Angelino.
Vegans. Meat lovers. Even for the hipsters
who won’t pay less than 5$ for a
tortilla with avocado.
Even the taco has been gentrified, like Echo Park.
Echo Park lake is full of diversity, so much diversity.
I dare say it’s a small version of LA.
The small version of LA yet it’s big, long, huge.
It’s so huge but you can feel small in there.
I feel small as I walk around it.
Around I can see the diversity.
There are ducks, dancers, skaters, stoners, children, mothers, families, couples…
Echo Park Lake is full of diversity.
Fantasy, picture-perfect imagination.
Curiosity, identity, masked, loss.
Caring what others think of you.
Light, camera, action!
Garbage, homeless, displacement;
Lights but no action.
I live in a place where there is always a reminder of the symbol of survival.
City of freeways,
Rushing from one place to another, beeping and cutting off.
Driving down the freeway fast,
Blue sunny skies, windows down.
Necessitating an increase in music volume.
On my way to work
Sitting in traffic on the 405 north as the
Sun sets over the horizon.
There are so many freeways! Since LA is so big, it speeds up our time of traveling from one place to another.
Sunny weather gives me energy.
On the flip side, I feel moody when it rains.
Pink and purple skies
Pollution—gray cloudy skies.
Cars rushing to get to their destination, beeping and cutting off.
A city of twinkling stars.
A place of never ending wonder.
The LA sky can change colors like a chameleon.
Pink and purple skies to show the end of the day.
Gray and clouded skies, though
It’s not rain.
The sky paints colors in LA.
If you blink you’ll miss the rainbow.
LA: Youth, sunny, passion, green, blue, fresh, beach, summer, cool dream, blank/drawing paper, various colors with sunsets (purple, pink, orange, yellow)
Day and night different moods (day noisy and energy, night feeling blue and silence).
People in a line
Waiting for a large coffee
Trying to get their fix.
Coffee from the bean
Impatiently waiting please
I just want my drink
Light peaks in through the coffee shop
Shades of Carlos Santana echo through the speakers,
The aroma of Ethiopian pour overs
As produced by a refugee barista from Ukraine,
Only a block away from the British pub
And what used to tbe the Japanese Family Mart
Permeated by fresh Santa Monica air
Enjoyed not by the locals because of traffic,
But by the free spirits that come to our welcoming breeze.
Fun, sunset (glowing hour, sand, colorful, lit up pier.
Santa Monica is a beautiful place to visit. South Central, Long Beach, Ventura, Love.
Love, diversity, immigration, perfect weather(not too hot, not too cold).
Palm trees that give nice shade, busy streets, good food, good views.
Burning palm trees, homeless people holding cardboard pieces, looking for help. Trash on the sidewalk next to trashcans, a no dumping sign with people dumping trash.
The sunset sky that everyone stops to stare at, dying grass/front lawns next to people with vibrant green.
Honking cars in standstill traffic. Expensive cars zooming the streets with their loud mufflers.
Elderly men playing chess in the parks of Glendale.
The beaches, palm trees of LA
The nice people associated with Los Angeles.
Image of a golden orange sunset followed by the nice warm but fading warm weather.
Mount Wilson, views of the beautiful city, lights followed by looking directly up and being greeted with the stars above.
Can we all just get along?
Talk to each other
Instead of hurting.