snapshots from MacArthur Park


i walked down the hill
over a sidewalk
with years
of black polka-dots
chewing gum
bubble gum
dubble bubble
double mint
and more
looking like a giant
dead Dalmatian


walking passed the
Mexican consulate
overflowing onto the street
but not as bad
as the gush of flesh
in front of the
social services department
i crossed 6th there
and kept on walking down to
i wanted to walk around the
god damn lake
but there was a fence up
it said
it looked like it needed it
the water
resembled the Exxon Valdez


they are everywhere
flocks and flocks of
i usually don’t explain myself
but feel like i need to
this time
to get across my point
or in some lines
you may get confused
a skyrat
is a pigeon
they fly around
then find some shit on the ground
some trash or actual shit
and congregate
all around it
eating it
looking at it
wondering what it is
eating it
looking stupid

there are many of them
so many
that you think you’re going
to step on them
or have them
carrine into you
they are out of control
in most places
they just hurry out of the way
there are so many damn people
that there isn’t anywhere
from them to go
to out of the way
they may try to
step out of your line
they may try to fly out of the way
but most of the time
it is you
the human
or semi-human
that is supposed to
maneuver around
the skyrats

i saw one in the
near distance
it was trying to get up
off the ground
flapping its wings
heading right for me
i knew i should duck
but thought
that it had the room
to pick up some
but something
was weighing it down
the closer it got
i could see what it was
until it almost smacked me
in the forehead
this skyrat
was carrying
in it’s mouth
the leg
of a rat
a normal rat
it had it in its beak
right above the ankle
and the meaty
was hanging lifelessly
making the skyrats head
tilt in an obscure way
throwing off
it’s already weak
capabilities for flight

i felt the wind
of the wings
in my hair
as it nearly missed me
shocked at what i had
just witnessed
i walked towards the herd
of skyrats
huddled in the ground
attacking something
some old man shooed them away
before i got there
but what was left on the ground
could have possibly been a rat
a normal rat
but there was really no way of telling


at the Wilshire
and Alvarado intersection
there were people everywhere
people walking
people selling
people dying
the little white man blinked on
and we all crossed
in our own directions
like the main event of
Wrestlmania 6
or like a catchphrase
from Strangers on a Train


seeing this mass of human life
i didn’t feel like i was looking
at people anymore
i didn’t even feel like a person
i felt like an ant
we were all ants
running back and forth
bumping heads and feelers
running from the light
looking for some
baseboards to crawl under
no one was happy
no one was sad
everyone was just breathing
trying to get to the next place
that they needed to go to
no one gave a shit
nor expected one in return


staring at all the black polka dots
i noticed that there seemed to be
just as many covid masks
on the ground
all different colors
different levels of grime
and dirt
i thought about picking them up
and throwing them away
then it seemed someone else
had the same idea
this man grabbed a filthy one
right off the ground
in front of me
but then put it on
and made a hard right
into a a liquor store


a lady was cooking tacos
right on the street
i ordered
but the meat looked raw
i waited
there were a couple of young
one with a bro knot
and a big heavy coat
the other looked like an
albino weasel
bro knot had a thick accent
it drew the attention of this old
homeless man
wearing a very small blanket
with dried blood all over his face
and one foot and ankle
that was five times the size
of the rest of him
“where you from kid?” he asked
“chicago” bro knot said
“oh yeah? i love the statue of liberty”
“that fucking new york, pops”
“oh, oh, how about the empire state building?
been up in that too”
“that’s new york!”
“oh, oh sorry. how about Madison Square Gardens?
you been there?”
“that’s fucking NEW YORK!”

it was getting ugly
and then the weasel stepped between them
“why do you keep talking to this crazy old fuck
he’s old
who fucking cares?”
bro knot shrugged
the weasel pulled out a
violent looking blade
then started shaving his
blond peach fuzz with it
we locked eyes
neither of knowing what to do next


i was right there
next to the Rampart police station
thought i’d check it out
for some stupid reason
that doesn’t even make sense to me now
i walked in
there was a man with large Doberman
it looked mean and hungry
at least trained to look that way
there was a mother there with
6 loud kids
of various ages
and behind the front desk
hung a huge Blue Lives Matter flag
that is just antagonistic
i thought
and got the fuck out of there


i needed a piss
went into Jack in the Box
disheveled multitudes filled
Jack’s Box
there was a code
to open the bathroom door
they said it was for paying customers
i ordered an egg roll i didn’t want
and a drink i didn’t want
got the receipt
and headed for the bathroom
as i reached for the door
a woman from inside the bathroom
came out
there was wet toilet paper
hanging off of her hands
and trailing behind her feet
i walked in and shit was smeared
all over the walls and all over the toilet
i pissed in the trash can
(it was the only untouched thing
in there
it seemed the logical thing to do)
used hand sanitizer
left my egg roll on the counter
and handed my empty cup and lid
to a man on the floor
wrapped in a blanket


i got some wine
at Rite-Aid
then walked to a corner
stood next to some phoneless
pay phones
with some beautiful graffiti
pulled my mask down
lit a smoke
and tried to relax
a woman
stopped five feet away
having a panic attack
couldn’t catch her breath
kept saying
“oh my god”
then she had a cigarette
and i crossed the street
saw a torn trampled cover
of a Stephen King book
laying on the sidewalk
among the trash
it was The Long Walk
i laughed hysterically


i stopped at a food truck
that had al pastor
got a torta
looked around while it was
being made

none of these people
were bad people so to speak
there was just a shit load of them

you put 10 guys
in 1000 square foot room
they will change the world
you put 100 guys
in a 1000 square foot room
they’ll be gouging eyeballs
and slicing throats
before the last one is through the door

even the homeless
or disenfranchised
or dis-homed
(i don’t know what the correct
modern name they go by)
seemed fine
a few had been in the sun too long
but even their rantings
made a lot of sense
i too
have wanted to get into
a fist fight
with a public bus

the tents procreate through the park
like rabbits, ground squirrels and
followers of Q
it’s nice that they can stay there
but the city
should be doing more
but hey
if people are making it
any way they can
good for them

i got my torta


a man hid something in a bush
before running into the
social services building
6 police cruisers pulled up
flashing their lights
exited their cars
ran into the building
as well

my wine
my torta
headed back up 6th
to Carondelet
and started the short walk
up the long steep hill

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