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Exquisite corpse with poet and writer Matthew Wargin.

 

Casi Nada

 

Charcoal rocks begrudgingly debris. Palm trees and billboards stranded along endlessly unfolding freeways. In windows underneath satellite dishes, weathervanes, and whirlybirds, neighbors fight, kiss, and do their laundry. Paint is scraped from canvases. The sound of steel being cut reminds us that some of us still toil with our hands. California redwood, no longer legal to harvest, is piled in the back. Redwood from one hundred year old houses now destined for surfboards or decrepitude. A stop sign whitened with age and weather casts a shadow on vegetables rotting in garden beds under azure skies. Southern California is a weathered razor-blade without rust. California girls, without sharp corners. The wind can’t be roped or contained. We’re bursting at the seams and breaking the branches.

“I’ve seen too many hammers fall from too many hands”
“Why not use the piled wood?”
“I don’t want to burn it all up”
David climbed into the dump truck and began throwing wood triumphantly.
A dog yawns in the weeds. Wood cracks amongst the feral cats.
We started a fire in a filing cabinet. The evening chill bringing everyone closer.

“Green shoes and no socks, man you could be from anywhere.”
We constructed pyramids for the preservation of monuments, corpses, and sharpened razor blades.  A dog coughs in the weeds amongst the rocks.

“If dogs could talk we’d make them answer phones.”

We climbed the roofs of industry in search of sleep. Of bridges, destroyer ships barely fit beneath. Vines grow along the razor wire. Crooked fences and a clean politico pays a vaquero to sweep the streets. You can’t buy a river like this, but you sure can rent one.

He’s a self taught painter from Georgia. He finished this wine bottle study in two days in a hotel room. Self taught. As if the level of artistry attained was not to be expected. But rather, Genetic and willful.  As if nature or a degree, an institution, or an accolade afforded you the opportunity to create.  This isn’t it. Unless we bought up all of our fables. Doesn’t matter. It is still a lot of art that nobody is buying.
And yet, if no one else remembers, the bricked wall will hold the showers of our ephemeral names.

Kitchen sinks. Discourse and disease. Cotton burns quickly. Gasoline soaked clothes tossed in filing cabinet fires. The holes in your can be shoes repaired with fire. Souls by water or fire. The winds pick up and the sun goes down over weather vanes, satellite sides and whirleybirds.

———————

I.
San Diego’s discarded tires delay delay delay
Pewter silhouettes wilt the plants while
The high chair and the saxophone parade

Chessboards crumble and move
Our yellowed king and queens
Slender souls who seek monopolized ruse

Languishing smokers stare at the dirty mirror
Scoffing in angry meditation
Wistful for more tender years

The dancing skeletons of papua new guinea
Gracefully counting and dying
keeping business hours continuously

Jesse James’ bar and Noah’s ark
drank heavily with a wooden pope
Who addressed public concerns and remarks

Military men and women photograph the rustling leaves
The everlasting haunting jester
Twisting colorful invitations with ease

The apostle’s diner and destroyer ships
hastily dusting the veneer of
The painted plastic fatigue slips

Spoons display children rifling quietly
Midwives misplace the key
cavernous chimpanzees decide slenderly

Radiators of the opium den
understood diamond outlined handball courts
And a bullet ridden tan forehead

On mosque sheets of tin
Frustrated renaissance nuns sleep like
calcium crushing murals texturing the sun

II.
Trembling hands stopping to write, feeling the jaw for rigor. Borders rely upon the tired. Red lights inch their way with frustrated peace. Abused tourists bleat roughly for officers that plead socialism. Tijuana peeling paint begs loudly. Fraying wires reach hesitantly. Americans army crawl, purchasing trinkets of forgotten hillsides. Pesos for chicles. Alligator boots and handmade mexican messenger bags, no we don’t want the dog meat. Fat face and a light beer. Yellow-jackets on Los dulces, dead flies on the baking sheets. The waiting room smoking. Dried and packaged newspapers pressuring them to forget hopelessness.  Mujer suica. Assesinan a hombre presuntos policias. Your church is growing tins and twisted thumbs. We left the avenues eroded.