en el camino con angelitos

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L.A. i said 
isn’t that where dreams go to die 
where you never say hello 
so you don’t have to say goodbye 

where crooks find love 
and lepers fornicate 
and prophets charge by the hour 
and they’re always running late 

where the weak find solace 
and the meek find compassion 
and the leeches come out to 
suck on the opulence of fashion 

where beauty can be bought and discarded 
like stretched out brassieres 
and it’s sad like a circus 
but no one sheds any tears 

where it’s just innuendos and chisme 
overheard in bars 
and conversations going nowhere 
in fast moving cars 

where the henchmen of faith 
and the vigilantes of fear 
sell tickets to heaven 
but the price is unclear 

where doctors and death 
hide themselves in the hills 
and it all drinks the same 
until you pop a few pills 

where everyone’s dying 
or just actors you see 
and reality is whatever it is 
you think it to be 

where the culture looks the same 
like one hundred dollar bills 
like the shiny chrome emblem 
on your radiator grilles 

where lawyers make love like monkeys 
and they learn how to climb 
on the backs of politicians 
to have a good time 

where the gangsters of hollywood 
and the drunk profiteers 
sell our children fantasies 
they can suckle 
like watered down beers 

where fairy tales are forgotten 
and no one can read 
and chicanos venden pistolas 
and mexican weed 

where the wicked are blessed 
and the hapless are cursed 
in a doomed civilization 
that’s dying of thirst 

where cowboys show up like sailors 
coming to shore 
and atlantis once was a city 
but not anymore 

where priests and prostitutes get together 
looking for some absolution 
and it’s a thought, not a gun 
that starts a revolution 

where princesses 
parade on the pier 
and it’s all particleboard, you know 
covered with a veneer 

where freedom is a phantom 
whispering in the dark 
to drunks no one know
dying in the park 

where all the migrant children 
grow up to be kings 
and they scratch their names in limousine windows 
with their big diamond rings 

where all the hipsters and these poets 
of dubious repute 
keep cocking their guns 
but got no bullets to shoot 

where philosophers ejaculate 
with great words of delight 
saying it doesn’t make any sense 
but somehow it’s alright 

where love comes on like a fever 
and sticks around like a rash 
and the real angels of mercy 
only take cash 

where all the emigrant gods 
come out to dance in the night 
and they take off their clothes 
and they fuck and they fight 

and the sun always rises 
and we all do it again 
walking toward grace 
to stumble like men

Greg Alston is a gardener, cook, father and some other things, too.