By on Dec 11, 2015 in Poems, poetry | 0 comments

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  1. Thursday. On a whim my lover, D, and I, go to the horse races. We bet on some horses, mostly mid range long shots. We win, we lose. We are at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, and it’s pretty run down, pretty grungy, but there is something about its rundown, offbeat air that I, in a weird way, love. Like the green bathrooms with their eerie lights and vintage smell. The old men are studying the favorites in the newspaper, yelling when theirs comes in on the rows of TV screens above our heads. In between races I walk way, way out to the car, where the parking is free, to get the book I’d brought to read. On my way out a black man comments on my legs, says he can tell I haven’t been hanging out in prison, cause my legs don’t have marks on them, they are pretty, he says. I smile, just a little, to keep it friendly. I keep walking. I hope I don’t have to see him on my way back.
  2. It’s not beautiful here. K said to me, in a private post via our private Tumblr today, “…if you’re Lisa, truth is best when it reveals all the far out beauty of anything, including the very words it’s written in.”
  3. Yesssssss.
  4. And, she said, “…poetry is both the place, and the map to the place.”
  5. There are white irises in the parking lot.
  6. The book I brought to read is a book of interviews with people who have survived unfathomably difficult events – the Holocaust, being thrown out of a window while sleeping, AIDS – and how they have good attitudes, even have gotten more value out of life, as an after effect of these experiences. Which I’m telling you, when you feel like shit like I do and there are no more positive thoughts you can think, this is a hard bit to swallow. (Not even good enough at bombing out, at failing!) It’s dark where we’re sitting, under a bank of small, double stacked TV screens and old guys keep yelling. I read while D goes to the betting windows to place our bets. We win, we lose.
  7. We smell the faint, sweet stink of marijuana when we walk out to the sunshine, to the bleachers where you can see how under attended this place is. D, with a disturbed look on his face, says he remembers when he came here and smoked some, before he got sober. That was a long, long time ago.
  8. Me, too. I was here a long, long time ago. I was twenty two. Maybe we were here at the same time. Maybe he was getting stoned while I won my rent money betting on a freak long shot, selected purely by my intuition which blared at me as I stood in line outside the front gates, before I even got inside. A horse named “Inner Peace.” In those days poetry was all that really mattered to me and I didn’t yet care that it was an impractical pursuit that would leave me persistently broke and yearning. I felt the desire for poetry like lightning, like the scent of something delicious that follows you everywhere.
  9. The sun is going down and the light is chalky, the air reeks only very slightly of failed expectancy. When we leave this place, we leave with about the same as we came in with, which I think is lucky in its own way. I look for the white irises as we walk out to the car. I wonder if anyone else here knows what I know.
  10. That I, like poetry, am both the place and the map to the place.


art is lovelier


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