Academic journal article Field

Made in California

Academic journal article Field

Made in California

Article excerpt

Los Angeles to be exact, 1970 to isolate the year,

my parents nude in their bedroom, kissing

and more than kissing, the war still going on,

protests against the war still going on

still going on, sit-ins and daisy chain halos,

handmade signs, the citizens demanding

with voices, lifted fists, poster boards, ink,

simply insisting, PEACE NOW. Now arrived later

with more body bags, rows of the unmade

from here to over the curvature of the earth.

~

They had made two already and decided

to make another: me. They kissed, undressed,

lust multiplied by lust. After August

folded to September, the renowned California sun

browning their fallow skin. Crosstown,

a deputy loaded his tear-gas gun

with the wrong canister: wall-piercing, 10-inch.

It made a hole in the Silver Dollar Bar's curtained

entrance, made two more-one in, one out-

in the skull of Ruben Salazar. The peaceful

~

protest on the Eastside had turned

to bedlam, you see, and he only wanted

refuge from the unfurling

smoke,

the eye-stung

and running crowd, tossed

rocks and glass

bottles, the gas-masked police

who swung

their long black batons, in the swelling

haze of tear gas

they came down quick on activists

like minute hands

cut loose from clocks.

~

All is chaos and accidental, I am thinking,

or all is systematic. …

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