San Julian and a Sleeping Bag
Wishing to hold hands in
the warm sleeping bag
Tucked in, spiteful, bitter winter.
He sleeps by a buzzing roar
by a buzzing road
by all the buzz of Downtown L.A.
If we could just walk away we would
Just walk away forever
And never utter whisper for a home.
Just running away until all
Thoughts cave in, thoughts depraved
Thoughts turn into shakes
Craving for smack
Digging for a snack
While the moneyed gawk and shoo
Away the penniless from their play zoo.
Another moment to find his
Palace in a sleeping bag.
Sleeping on San Julian Street.
Bobby talked in a scattered drone
Bobby talked ’til the birds flew
Away from his desperate pleas
To have someone to speak to
Bobby washes his arms , poker-faced.
Bobby pushes his luck
With a screwdriver tucked
In his back pocket.
The police hate Bobby’s talk
They beat the quiet out of him.
What if we took your keys
And watched your drunken
Stupor take you to Fifth Street?
Would you yell “Greetings!”
“My keys have escaped me!”???!!??
Kid’s gold and start-ups and technology
Make you better than me?
4s and 5s and girls graded
By kid’s gold for your souls-
Your naked body is a ten
With 100s of 100s of thousands at hand, at reach with click, safe penthouse.
Gentrified, petrified, chicken stand, stand in the
Rain of someone’s smashed-up storm.
Kid’s gold for a cell phone
Call to the money market army
“Better stop sleeping around the money!”
With mud-clotted boots
That Tent City is an eyesore
And this kid has loans to pay
While anything is at play.
The police will protect this kid’s gold
While a person dies at 50 in the cold
Dumped by the devil’s play police
And Bratton gets another hell
To nurture, to nurture, to protect
To clean-up with no morals but lots of money
To say, “Who cares? My daddy charges a few hundred an hour or more!”
Bratton always makes rich families feel safe
While the police boot-stamp crush
A young person’s dream
To sleep peacefully in the streets.
Kid’s gold for a coffee
And small talk and
A lustful tuck and brush-up to
A beauty, a ballerina
Of provincial youth. Being tucked in
A loft, cozy bed, cuz father said:
“Daddy’s little girl will have doors opened”
To push out families already broken
For a pile of Kid’s gold.
One day they took you away
Far from the rest of us
Running in place
Running for death
Running for life
One day you left our world.
Today Mandela is dead.
Where will we go today?
Can we lose our soul?
Buried in prison for 27 years
For voicing a world
That was not separate.
Oh, where do all the forgotten
Children run, run, run?
One day, we lost our giant
And we’re left to piece
Together shards of glass
For the violent buildings
Crashing to the ground
Years of prison system impulse
Throw ’em to silence.
Mandela spoke and
Piled on plate healing words.
One day, the wicked
Will pay! Will pay!
We’ve lost our voice, today.
We’ve lost our reason
We’ve lost the past
We’ve lost our future
Our children, our faith
We’ve lost count
We’ve lost all!
Nelson Mandela has left us today.
This poem was written today and will be included in my collection of poems entitled “Lincoln’s Place Mat”. This is in dedication to Paul Walker who died this past weekend. I was never a fan but his story from what I gather is pretty compelling. I was interested in the irony of his death speeding away from a charity event.
I’m working on three personal projects right now: Operation Noon (Planning Phase for Homeless Shelter with ancillary for-profits and non-profits, mixed-use, walkable urban design), The Disciplined City (an Urban Planning text book outlining my ideas on urban design, planning and construction), and Lincoln’s Place Mat (a collection of poems). I’m pretty much thinking of everything because I want to make this world beautiful again.
Everyone goes to the movies
Fast and furiously
To sit down and imbibe
All the good crashes
For you to see.
Paul Walker dead at 40.
And so he rides on
Until a tiny speck becomes
A spinning wheel
For a hand-out or a meal.
Will we be a box-office
Smash to tree?
Life is so quick: reality.0 Comments
This is a draft for my book proposal. I will work on my first Urban Planning text entitled “The Disciplined City”. These are all working ideas as I maintain my blog. I want my blog to be an incredible rough draft of all these ideas and impressions that I have. I want to become unfiltered and pour all of my ideas on page because otherwise I believe I’m stagnating. I began reading Kevin Lynch’s seminal text “The Image of the City “and I began to unpack my mind. Here goes, “The Disciplined City”.
The City is as much a riddle and idea as it is a holding place for structures, businesses and residences. The City can be an eyesore or it can be exalting but the constant motion of the urban propelled by ordinary people elevates the City into poetry – a poetry of everyday life. I drive through street corridors and bypass the Freeways of Southern California many times because I feel like I’m a part of the urban experience of living.
The City is disciplined at all times – it is the expression of the social structure frozen in the reactions and sentiments of city-dwellers. There is an innocence to the urban even if the streets are the launching place to a world of undisciplined, inequity, seedy areas attracting shady people. The Disciplined City is everyone behaving or else becoming subject to ridicule and derision. The Disciplined City is a beautiful entity that swings people forward and backward through the channels linking home, work and places of consumption and leisure.
The legible is the sanctions posted for the world to see and guide them into a disciplined whole*. The City manages the person’s culture and the social order. As I define them, the City can be seen in all places – in small towns, in the country side. The moment that more than one individual comes together, a City-like entity is formed. The actions that the individual chooses is filtered through the eyes of another person. When inequity is consumed between multiple individuals, a new order is formed and new sanctions take hold – a new understanding is born. The Disciplined City allows for individuals to come together and separate from their small units of interaction and social consumption. My career hinges on tying the socio-cultural with the physical.
The Disciplined City is the City as if observing fasting rituals. Everyone suspends their everyday practices for the moment it takes to go from one situation/structure to another one. Most accomplish this without attracting notice. Some do not follow the strictures of discipline imposed by the Disciplined City which gathers the attention of others. Police interact with the public and regulate the actions of the undisciplined. The City is a place where many come together and when many people come together a multitude of undisciplined persons also arrive to the Disciplined City.
There is music frozen forever for us to ponder. The more structure – palatial, ordinary, relatively benign, commercial, provincial, plain – the more meaning is found in living. One of the purposes of life is to build meaningful relationships with others. The Disciplined City is the structure forming through our lives and adding meaning to everyday interactions. Structures follow two sets of specifications – the engineered dynamics that build and press these structures into place and the social dimensions of living in a world defined by Public Works. If Public Works did not exist, humanity would cease to exist.
*One passage in Kevin Lynch’s classic text “The Image of the City” stands out to me: “Despite a few remaining puzzles, it now seems unlikely that there is any mystic ‘instinct’ of way-finding. Rather there is a consistent use and organization of definite sensory cues from the external environment. This organization is fundamental to the efficiency and to the very survival of free-moving life” (Lynch, 1960: 3). This does have a connection to the Disciplined City as I see it.
The Lonely Leaf
The last tear drop
Puddle like pool
Of snow, of snow
The magic of one
Makes new with
She makes me whole
Counting trees with
Hands on everything
Hands on anything
Hands on watch hands
So we can be back
Arm in arm
Quietly drifting asleep
She’s my everything
Picking me up off
The ground like
A sole, lonely leaf.
I love my bird
She sings personal
Lullabies at night
She rocks me to sleep
With her hypnotic
She makes me bow
With little dances
I love her as she
Boots her way through.
Just another day that I miss
Her, all day. I’m her
Lonely leaf scattered by wind.0 Comments
She planned it all along grasping every scheme
Maggie, with her hands on my every sense and dream.
I’m waiting at L.A. Union Station for Metro
Like a bus will take me to the planning row –
All of this squawking about roads and ugly cities
Millions of hands grabbing for love and it’s me she fancies
I will take my worries home but she’s waiting
To love me, to love me! As if our wit is debating
The extent of our fate – we hold hands and wait
For these moments – many tensions give way to checkmate
And to the millions of flowers – I say, it’s well within reason…
Our first date was like a long-lost “whatever happened to you?”
And then it became known with a shrug and let’s see
What these moments do to us growing sad and blue.
I will carry all of these flowers for maybe a century
If that’s what it will take to come close to calculus –
That measure of heartbeats piled upon heartbeats.
One day I will take each and every flower away to focus
On her perfect smile and giggling chatter that greets
Me like the anger I feel that I spent 33 years away
From her, from the love of my life, the answer to “why” today
And to the million of flowers – I say, it’s well within reason.2 Comments