after reading hemingway

Los Angeles could be Paris
if only we let it;

we are not the Lost Generation
but other generations
are convinced that we
are, in some way, lost;

instead of two pencils,
a sharpener, and a notebook
we travel with computers,
A/C adapters, iPods;

is it so wrong of me–
or worse, pretentious–
to have wished so not-so-secretly for
simple half-starved days
begun with mornings
writing over coffee in a café,
the security found in the
sound of pen scratching
paper scratching poems
scratching stories scratching
my piece of history permanently
onto the ultimately impermanent?

And then I see:
Los Angeles has been
a sort of Paris–
a Paris for young
brown refugees’ children;

we who speak American
English more easily
than the language of our
parents;

we sculpt
a language for
ourselves,
carve it with
our voices,
exhale stories with
vodka-laced cigarette breaths,
our poems are grayed by smog;

no, this is not Paris
and we are not lost

this is our Los Angeles
we are making it.

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One thought on “after reading hemingway

  1. shortnmorose says:

    AMAAZING! you are, btw, one of the reasons i am okay w/ LA.

    pure truth: to have wished so not-so-secretly for
    simple half-starved days
    begun with mornings
    writing over coffee in a café,
    the security found in the
    sound of pen scratching
    paper scratching poems
    scratching stories scratching
    my piece of history permanently
    onto the ultimately impermanent?

    will you print this and sign it and frame it for me? love it and you and your writing.

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