Los Angeles - 1995

In the beginning
were the angels outside my room
and the stars rented out
the Hollywood palace of a one-night stand
downtown without any pity
anonymous for Madame X
except for the cry
of the boy child calling himself Dorothy
putting on his blue blouse
where mother could not be
and where brother
wore togas made from wet sheets
and sister borrowed
Holly Woodlawn's sunglasses
and the wizard in apt. 3
thinks he's Einstein
trying to make life relative
and is shot down
by his great aunt
under her veil of lace
and the chicken hawk evangelist
on the Playground
extolling Christ
Come unto me,
you little ones,
and the businessman
of no importance
showing off his tail
to the secretary's male
war bride,
while at Cedars-Sinai
the last Jew
from Poland
having died many times
again reads his own obituary
believing in his rising son,
and Bobby the bartender-poet
quoting Bukowski
in the barrios,
and the junior Senator
from Orange County
holding up the store
with a rifle in one pocket,
a badge and a water pistol
groped by the boy-faced State Police cop
at the Viper Room
fresh from riot duty

somewhere in East L.A.

but everywhere Senator
still sporting his "Nixon's the One" pin
on his lapel
and the preacher man
taking off his white bodice
slowly before the mirror
imitating Lana
on the night of her Death
praying Natalie Wood
and Janice Joplin and Mama Cass
would come back to life
raising hellfire
to his own lips,
and in the end it was night
and all the angels
left quaking the earth
of the emerald city.

- B.Z. Niditch

© 1995

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