Rhapsody for Angels

Los Angeles (part of it) as seen from the Getty Center
This town is restless;
Glowing bright from the aggregate
of millions of individual souls
burning themselves out.
Some burn brighter than others.
Come for the dreams, stay for the work.
It’s a blue collar town.
Our nouveau riche pay top dollar
to manicurists
who scrape the shit and dirt out
of recently ascendant fingernails.
Our lowest gutters are steps away
from our loftiest heights,
and the transition between the two
(or complete lack thereof)
has driven people mad.
It’s a citadel with self-healing teflon walls.
And there are walls within walls.
It is a zigurat;
a tower of Babel;
a temple of the profane and a sanctified bordello.
It’s a western town.
uncontainable as all outdoors,
It won’t be fenced in.
It’s a storyteller’s town. A myth-maker’s town.
An unreliable narrator.
It’s a town that everyone
who has never been here
knows everything about,
and those who call it home
will never fully understand.
It’s a town where
the idea of the place
lives simultaneously with
the reality,
and the two may overlap at points
or stay
This town will give you blisters,
but you’ll never walk anywhere.
This town will stay with me
like a limp
or an accent.
It may take a lifetime
to fully appreciate
everything it has given,
and everything it has taken away.
This town is just a place
on a map,
not some mythological land,
or “wretched hive.”
And for we lucky few,
even for the briefest of moments,
it’s been a home.

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