vagrant observations

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West Coast Notebook Re-Entry Poem

if only all days
were the ways
in which
the rainbow propagates
into jumbo mouse ears.
wrought iron fences shaped to
hold the childhood in.
what sort of wicked porn
turned this into
a busty lustful waterfall moment
a wife-beater
wet w/ sweat moment
the are you joking me
about the avocados moment.
only in the absurd
does absolute purity
dine on skin flick

the center of the country pretends these margins do not exist
while they’re ogling all over it
while they’re licking the sweat right off!
it’s an interesting slice of pie


heyyMichele McDannold is the author of Stealing the Midnight from a Handful of Days, a book of poetry available from PUNK HOSTAGE PRESS. She was the Editor-in-Chief at Red Fez Publications for five years and is currently the editor/publisher at Citizens for Decent Literature. She has an extensive collection of flannel and rubber chicken heads. For more, please visit michelemcdannold.com.

just observations

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collageWe can sleep with the doors open to the LA air despite the smoggy edges probably worse for us than we realize. Still, there is that energy. Maybe it’s the how and why of what we find viable. Every man gets lost not to himself but to some collective. It feels like strength yet it is of another. Today I get lost with the day of Korean shopping malls. The bathrooms are good but I am fat in this world, if it matters.

04/14/16 MM

Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity)

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trading a brown bag beer
from the rite-aid
for a cold
one
in my sweater..
i told you these are
important decisions.
gliding down sunset blvd
when the gradients are just right
the differently-abled humps her walker
at the bus stop
blowing devotions
at the moon sky
& all the while
that twinkle in her eye
a judgment on the navigational
misfortune
of too many things in a day
we are what we wish for hard enough

only in LA, baby
only in LA

IMG_7075


Michele McDannold is the author of Stealing the Midnight from a Handful of Days, a book of poetry available from PUNK HOSTAGE PRESS. She was the Editor-in-Chief at Red Fez Publications for five years and is currently the editor/publisher at Citizens for Decent Literature. She has an extensive collection of flannel and rubber chicken heads. For more, please visit michelemcdannold.com.

imposterization

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the city creeps
the night screams
it’s all so noir
and smudgy-

stand next to something
real, maybe
you are
projecting

maybe somewhere else
but not here
the city here gnaws on itself
a vegan out on meat night
and the only sound you hear is
look who’s over there..
look who’s looking
look

-Michele McDannold 4/17/15


Michele McDannold is the author of Stealing the Midnight from a Handful of Days, a book of poetry available from PUNK HOSTAGE PRESS. She was the Editor-in-Chief at Red Fez Publications for five years and is currently the editor/publisher at Citizens for Decent Literature. She has an extensive collection of flannel and rubber chicken heads. For more, please visit michelemcdannold.com.

your destination is 6,555 miles away

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We set off to find the Ishtar Gate of Babylon. Not the original one… in present-day Iraq, but the reproduction of a reproduction from the 1916 film Intolerance (?? #hollywood). The version we were trying to get to is evidently just the anchor of a mall court, the area covering two city blocks or so that includes the Kodak Theatre where the Academy Awards are held, today in fact. The reason for this journey was to witness a performance art/protest that due to the locked-down, secure area surrounding the Oscars… did not happen as planned. The most I saw of it were the photos posted to facebook. They couldn’t get there either and last-minute, set up protest elsewhere. bummer…

Still, I couldn’t have asked for a better day (chill with the occasional sprinkle) for a walking tour of the surrounding area. In an attempt to get my bearings, I kept an eye on the most visible tall building around which has a large advertisement for “Trailer Park,” no kidding. After home and googling because who can tell what these ads are about anyway… it’s an “entertainment agency.” Camping is hip, ya know. Airstreams, roughing it, heck-it leads all the way to outlaws or something like that which is obviously badass. Anyway, at the end of our journey, nearing the parking spot, it was decided that a restroom break was first in order. Lo and behold, that nearest spot one half block away sported graffiti-art-type depictions of trailer parks, trash and rednecks. The Rusty Mullet. no foolin’.

lesson of the day: careful what you manifest. (take your eye off the trailer park)

Really the only thing redneck about it was the bathroom. The rest was all a bazillion TVs and bartenders with shitty attitudes. REAL redneck bartenders tend to be sweet as honey, at least while you’re paying attention, and many will even remove their dentures before certain services are rendered.

The caricaturization and glamorization of the rednecks is very curious to me, as is Hollywoodland in all its glorious absurdness. A short block from the bomb-checking area, the snipers, a short walk through tourists and busloads of street cops (good day to commit crime elsewhere), not far from the red carpet in the distance.. was a homeless man shivering on a bare mattress on the sidewalk. I didn’t notice him at first because I was trying to read some graffiti on the wall next to him. I’m getting old lady eyes and we were on the other side of the street. It said “You’re not going to leave without…” and I couldn’t make out the rest. I was about to snap a picture of it when I stepped back and saw him there to the side of it, looking pretty bad. My first thought being oh my god, he might be dying. Is he okay? Next thought… I cannot take this picture and the most disturbing thought was- I cannot look at this.

I did see some ?protesters?. The baby jesus brigade was out, kindly letting everyone know the choice is heaven or hell and we best get busy making the right choice. Choice is an interesting perspective on it. I’m not sure anyone was convinced. I think the baby jesus brigade would have done better to see and act on what I unwillingly saw, the one picture I couldn’t take.

happy accident

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sidewalk
Just here to read the books and hear the stories

i haven’t seen the hollywood walk of fame
Disneyland or the Chinese theatre
the street names seem familiar
from a movie, maybe
oh that one book
and the neighborhood names
some i know and clearly remember why

i’m told that if i meander down the wrong street
into the wrong section of town
well it won’t be good
mexicans with machetes, they said back home
here, the explanation is simply a matter of territory

i’m taken with the history
the struggle
the resilience
and the sadness
that maybe this one little crack in the sidewalk
is all that remains of what once was…

i haven’t seen the helicopters circling
or even one hooker of note
the random violence
of which i’m sure is here
as is anywhere else
none of that has happened yet

i saw the hollywood sign from a distance
craning my neck to glance it on a cross street
as we’re blowing through this section
to the next
i don’t know where i am
or where anything in relation to this is
that, i don’t mind so much
sometimes getting lost is preferred
and i love seeing things i certainly didn’t expect
but know
i already know
that i could never love driving these streets
and what the natives have forgotten
completely understandable, sure..
still– not everyone wants to come to LA


Michele McDannold is the author of Stealing the Midnight from a Handful of Days, a book of poetry available from PUNK HOSTAGE PRESS. She was the Editor-in-Chief at Red Fez Publications for five years and is currently the editor/publisher at Citizens for Decent Literature. She has an extensive collection of flannel and rubber chicken heads. For more, please visit michelemcdannold.com.