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tearing the rag off the bush again
New Poem by Howard McCord PDF E-mail
One of the great elders calls LA the way it (sometimes) is


Los Angeles is the Benares

by Howard McCord

 

Of the West; it is America’s

Holiest City.

No single part is more

Sacred than the rest.

In the ante-chamber of the San Fernando Valley,

All the angels which dance on the spire

Of City Hall, dance also,

Gravely and simultaneously

In the strange mind of Warren Beatty,

Who dotes on a single poet.

The same angels dance as dance

In Venice and on the harbor’s quays.

Along Sepulveda

The yogins smile at shop-keepers

And at five o’clock cluster along the sidewalk,

Kif-smoke rising in pious ejaculations.

The city’s river, an introverted

Ganga {Neti, not a river,

Neti, not this}

Is a thwart-running spinal

Column to the body perpendicular.

I bathe my soul there

Every dawn, a concrete mirror

Reflecting all.

At Varanasi, the burning ghats

Translate our bodies

Into smoke.

Here the Holy Sun

And Coppertone are the

Unguents of transformation.

This is not mockery,

But a firm persuasion of the wit

That’s known to all.

Dissemblance is in your eyes.

Sri Lanka lies off Santa Monica.

I see it now.

Its beaches burn against the sky.

 

 

 

 
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