Poem of the Month: Los Angeles Stairs

When anxious, blue or simply dreamy
I walk Los Angeles stairs
up beside back gardens
belonging to Tuscany or Puebla
down through drooping trees
unpruned, tumbling ivy
sun-hot railings overhung
with wild anise lace
collections of paper bits
bougainvillea blossoms, snail shells
dried like sleep in step corners

Blood pumps on the way up
knees complain on the way down
sometimes you can’t see at the start
where you’ll let out
which way you’ll need to turn
to get back home

Laurel and Hardy dragged a piano
up one long flight over and over
always losing purchase just before the top
they watch the piano fall
in clanging disharmony
they descend, resigned
heft it once more, lose it again
today a plaque marks those steep stairs
footnote to film history
and the errands of earnest fools

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *