culture · poetry · travel

Snapshot of L.A.

Batman cruises by in a compact,
adjusts his speed for a photo-op,
and the woman in front applies
mascara without slowing down –
all on the way to Los Angeles.

My eyes burn in the smog
where traffic creeps along
the freeway like post- concert
attendees pushing their way
out of the crowd, and I wonder

are they visitors like us, or
trapped in this swell of compressed
stress, immune to the claustrophobia
of L.A. where elegance poses next to
the indecorous, apparently desensitized?

We lunch in Marina del Ray –
watch grebes swim amongst
the yachts, while the woman
next to us, with over-plumped
lips, has difficulty enunciating

and I try not to gawk, but she
is loud and sends shards of light
scattering everytime she moves
drawing attention to blonde,
boobs, and leathered skin.

We drive up Sunset Boulevard,
entranced by the towering trees,
and stop at a neighbourhood
Starbucks, where moms in spandex
buy frothy drinks for school-aged kids

and mutter under grimacing breath
about ex-husbands, and rigorous
routines; and we ponder the cost
of real estate, as we coast past homes
sets atop hilltops with ocean views

before rejoining the parking-lot
highway, inching our way back
to the suburbs, still choking on
far-reaching pollutants, mountain
views clouded in a haze of disdain.

(Our visit to L.A. is documented on One Woman’s Quest II.)