California Blues

California Blues
by Vincent Cooper
So many Greyhounds from Vegas to Los Angeles
conversing with muddy vagabonds and cheap elderly women eating leftover chicken
looking to see their children’s children or just a change in scenery
Just six hours away resting my head on the window
An open desert telling her stories of pain and change
there a was a life here, once, some time ago
“We just might get to eat at The Hat in Alhambra”
Worlds famous pastrami around the corner of my neigborhood
And we’ll possibly bump into an old friend from the past
We’ll rap like we never missed a beat
and we’ll do a cool handshake without ever practicing
We smile and chuckle for the fateful meeting
And the stars dance in the California sky
with the moon looking down on you
there is doo wop music at the corner
singing you to sleep away this place you came from
tomorrow when you wake up there will be birds resting in a checkered Van’s shoe on your window sill
Saying “Good Morning” and a very kind sunrise
You’ll sit up and look around
“it feels like a million dollars in here”
and it’s only a public park
smell the air your lungs have missed
and remember everything
It’s yours and others childhood gifts
You run around those bases
pretending that your first crush
we’ll be waiting for you at home plate
and that innocent “you” that you killed off years ago
is back to say “I miss you and Hello”
Let’s take a walk and see where it takes us
And you want dead friends and relatives to jump out from behind pine trees
telling you they never left
and they’ve been waiting for you to take that trip with them
same clothes and cleft chin slick hair and paper thin
and you say, “Rest in peace I’ll see you soon
I long to be with you even if it’s in Fiction”
Hey California it’s me again
Remember me? I was the boy that for so long had you in the palm of his hand
singing and dancing making you laugh and deliriously happy
I’ve been gone too long
I went to live my life and grow up
I’m ready for my close up NOW Mr. Demille
There’s a saxaphone playing into the breezy night
and friendly eyes watching over you
a spectacle awaits this evening
old schoolers tell you stories of another time
in a city where they were young, artistic, and talented
and if you dare them – they will rip their chest open and show you a bouquet of red roses
And the artist is painting, drawing and writing
blazing a trail that no one can follow
he’s got chamomile tea steeping
and a nine month old baby girl wearing only pampers and his beret
Social Disortion is playing on the radio
And this…this might be his best work yet
The war veteran and his wife are playing gin rummy
and the sister and her son jump in too
The boy finds a way to win against them
not knowing they secretly let him
Fideo with papas awaits you at the dinner table
and you think to yourself -” if only I had a Big Red”
All of this is breathing still
How alive you want it be to was strictly up to you
The Aguirre’s still live across the street
And skateboarding is still the coolest form of travelling
We’re all here waiting collectively

0 thoughts on “California Blues

  1. A copious treasury of memories holding out hope you CAN go home again. Great details, observations. Sentimental, but hey, that’s not bad if it rings true. Which this does.

Leave a Reply