Sketches Of A Hollywood Night


Only one night in Hollywood,
we leave our little bungalow
under the Hollywood sign,
me and a buddy, and make
our way down to Hollywood Blvd
where bums sleep on brass stars
and the fragrance of rotten piss
and despair wafts thru the air.

Hollywood – the backdoor
of civilization – remnants of a dying
world. The wild-eyed tourists are
scattered like ants with phones out
trying to make sense of it all.

We duck into a dive bar called the
Frolic Room. Bukowski used to drink here.
There’s a painting of his damaged face
hung high up over the cash register.
No one in here has read Bukowski. No one
in here has read anything worth a damn.
The hipster clientele that now litters the place
deprives the ambiance of its nostalgic wonder.
We sit and drink and ponder old Hollywood.
A pop song comes on the jukebox.
A grown man with a slavish smile
dances to it. We shake our heads
in disgust and drink harder.

Then, in walks a blonde beauty with her uninspiring
man and they slowly make their way beside us
at the bar. She orders vodka. He orders water.
It was doomed from the start. He moseys on
to the bathroom and she makes eye contact
with me, gazes brazenly at the tattoos on
my arms, slides in a little closer and smiles
that devilish little smile that got her this
far in life. The devil tends to whisper in
ears of the lonely. I don’t look at her. I stare
straight ahead as my buddy says, “holy shit man,
she wants you.” I take a sip of beer and eye
the painting of Bukowski. Love is a dog from hell,
he told us. Her “man” comes back and they take a table
in the back of the bar. We down our 3rd drink.

I look out the door into the street.
The commotion seems senseless to me.
What are they after, these people? The
idea of progress has got them
all in a frenzy. Perhaps they’re
running away from themselves.

I scan the bar to see if there’s anyone
in this legendary place with a little style,
a little edge. I can’t find one. Our eyes
meet once again by mistake as her man
sits across from her. She takes a sip from
the straw of her vodka drink, does a little
something sexy with her tongue, then bats
those little bedroom eyes as I turn away.
They pay the check and walk out into the night,
her poor man completely in the dark
of the preceding scandal.

After another drink, we pay and head out too,
buy a six pack from a seedy convenient store
and drink beer up on a hill under the Hollywood
sign. We talk poetry and philosophy and listen
to the sirens and watch the lights of the city
flicker below us as we await the doom of
another dawn.

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