Billy Burgos is a poet / painter / designer from Los Angeles. He is the author of Eulogy To An Unknown Tree (poetry, Writ Large Press, 2012). His one man portrait painting show The Faces of LA Poetry has been shown at The Mike Kelley Gallery in Venice CA, The Last Bookstore in DTLA as well as at Ave 50 Studio Gallery in Highland Park. His works (both art and poetry) have been featured at KCET and in numerous literary and art journals.
Today I watched a large crow pick his way into a plastic bag
and push head first into it only to stifle himself on his last meal.
I often find myself there too, face pushing into the soft darkness,
like getting lost in the crevices of a foreign house after dark.
Do you remember that time we walked into traffic and you
said our life was like a Woody Allen movie without the white people?
I’ve been chewing on that lately like an unripened apple, all the piss and pride
we wore that night, all dressed up only to end up naked and innocent.
We’ve been over long ago but there are still those spongy moments.
I can see you belly laughing at the shit that ran us aground.
Then spring sneaks in under a sheet of amber pollen, it coats
me no matter where I am in that black bag chewing on heartbreak.
Looking up there are levels of sky.
The roof is blue/grey and seems to curve.
The day moon is like a circular door to what?
The winged creatures find every level.
The gnats and house flies hover where we are.
They exist because we do, feasting with us
and eventually on what remains of us.
And this is the cycle and it is not my fight.
Nor is it whether the roof is flat or curved,
Nor is it whether the moon’s sphere or saucer.
I just want a space to plant my feet firm.
I don’t even need ownership of it, just permission
to pause there for a few years with my eyes open enough
to watch the small birds and the ravens higher up,
then to see the gulls that drift inland and above them
the hawk and the eagle, the goose flying south.
Then the metal wings of the passenger jets
moving us from place to place and above them
the fighter jets spitting chemical trails. One would
say I must have a dog in one of those fights
but I have no arguments up there.
Just give me a few years and patch of earth,
with my allotment of flies and food and
enough wind in my heart to love someone.
Our Hondas and Heartbreak
There is much being undone
and done beneath the dark treeline.
The night is barely a wheeze.
Almost every sound is just white
noise that we camouflage and
stifle what could be words in our
blankets of worry. And what obviousness
the darkness is, or the sound it makes
becomes what silt is left in the
bottom of our empty soul buckets.
There are lights changing colors incrementally,
there is an amber tone, there is a droning tone as
the curve of a dark sky speaks.
What sound we do hear is an open receiver,
the whisper of a hungry kitten (and even
here in the city we can make that claim).
So caught up in our hammocks of despair,
wearing our glassy-eyed high, mesmerized by
Its pendulum’s to-and-fro, lulled to numbness
In our Hondas and our heartbreak.