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Bicycle Review Poet Of The Week

“It only hurts when I laugh…”, by BC Petrakos

Picture

at what point did I stop existing
was it when I gave away my cell phone
was it when the ride took too long
when the conversation ended with a thud
was it when the hair got cut
the days got long
the wind whispered
“vanity is all we have to look forward to”
was it when
women started the closeout sale on once prime real estate
no reasonable offer refused
men started looking in the mirror like it was a window to the
sky
at what point did I stop existing
was it when
I wondered if I existed at all
when I forgot the sound of my mother’s voice
when I realized she never called
when I decided the toys of life are temporal
when the trick is ready to leave
when the money is on the dresser
old silver coins – useless in empty pockets
honesty cannot be purchased now
or food to fill and empty soul
words left on the end table
in the ash tray,
bitter from the clocks tick
reminding me the time is up someone else has to take the room

Violets Bed

Mrs. Bentley

What It Feels Like To Be A Woman

Publisher / Performance Art Team

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Small Stories

When Angie Broke UP

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Its All Good -Broadside

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She is giving advice on the venice beach piece pavement where day old bread is stacked by sleeping bags and tied up belongings, she is talking about positive affirmations and energy, I believe her, I trust she knows better then most because she smiles and haven’t for a long time, so she must know something
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Wrapped in a blanket on the grass, every owned item in plastic bags piled in shopping basket by the wall of the park restroom in eye view, dog patiently sits near, as the couple speak to each other of tomorrow
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In line at the Co op in Santa Monica man speaks into his headphone “So tomorrow I get to drive into a Mexican neighborhood and look at some down locations for the shoot”
Mexican lady behind him in line retorts…California WAS all a Mexican neighborhood not too long ago
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Its Saturday and she is wearing her bright red lipstick, go to church dress, big hat and smile so wide like she was a queen, its one more day away from the man that sliced her cheek with a razor, tossed her down the steps and called her his bride
Its a good day to be alone, and there is nothing lonely about it
,
Young Mom:
Oliver sweetheart mommy said, no honey, please put that down, honey, sweetheart please. Get’in the car, honey? !!!
Big Sister(presumably Oliver’s) :
Quit Being an asshole and get in the car!! Freak!
Oliver responds quickly and not without kicking big sister on the way into the back seat restraint.
(And so we see the first shade of Grey)
Brown skin baby screams and laughs as white tiny girl chuckles hands together clapping
Black black toddler claps his hands too
they all laugh together each at oceans edge feeling water cold blissful earth kiss alive and
moving sweet like song like threads that connect
Together the babies dance in Venice today
They are one
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Tonight at the 99 cent store in Mar Vista, Carol King sings ” I feel the earth move, under my feet..” the Woman by the bread sings too, giving permission to the lady looking at the bad bruised fruit to join in, a different lady begins swinging her hips, we smile at eachother like we know this is a good time to sing, no one comments, the ladies move and swing hips, smile and sing, I feel like we are human tonight, I feel like I don’t have to say what color of skin we did or did not have, who drove what, what age we were..we were singing at the 99 cent store like ladies should do everywhere..we were singing with Carol King and the earth moved under our feet
Oh my america home of the free thinking
Not thinking, sheep and bastard children of revolutionary minds, slaves, and owners, savages, and drunks artist and creative freaks, leaders and gangsters, flying culture vultures, and whining spinsters, judgmental idealists, junkies and bad peoples, the best and the brightest, the sweetest and the kindest, medelers and capitalists
Dreamers and bling masters, crybabies and strong silent types, wherever I go they say , that is an American, ya, I guess cause no where else can I be this way with pride
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When Louisa cuts your hair, in her bootleg salon on Lincoln blvd, in Venice , her mother smile makes a person feel well, she deserves a 10 dollar tip because she doesn’t talk your head off, she cuts your hair in silence, she listens to quiet music and you do too, as you sit and she cuts and does a better job then west side beauties, young and groovy, too cool to be human, so Louisa wins with that smile of hers and the skill of wrinkled hands
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The white kid in black with the skate board smaking pavement and obsession with vines, brown eyes light like peanut butter, sweet like jive talking,mischief dancing teen ager with so much to live through still, he’s that guy thats not afraid he says, his dad is scary and his other father in heaven is a crow, he’s got two moms too one mother an angel ghost with a voice he has been hearing when times get strange and its always stange in southern California
Crenshaw and Exposition smells like bbq, sweet and smokey, reminds me of the neighborhood I do not have, of double dutch jump rope, aprons, sweet tea and summer, grandma smile ,new music fresh in the air, and pie
Reminds me of the kind of family I will never have, maybe didn’t want, and wish I could miss, smells good in a way
This summer shows up wearing a New Orleans mask all heat and moist overcast and drunken, in a white slip and a paper fan, humming not singing, sweating not blushing, angry not hungry, thirsty for the sweet confusing the men in shorts trying to jog as per usual, women uncomfortable in tight anything, sun most likely laughing as we little tiny egoists..try to explain
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God is locked in the bathroom
Reading a book, the good book
Looking for evidence of repentance
Recalling voices of lamentation
That take personal responsibility
Reminding him self that they are only children
Dangerous when they find knives
Afraid to be wrong
Misguided in assumption
Babies with attitudes
Screaming out side the door
Me me me
In tuneless
Need
They have to figure it out
or else they will never grow
*********************************
She walks on the tiny edge of the PCH, bus wont take her up the hill, the lady she works for gets mad if she is late, she has been cleaning her house for ten years, the lady calls her Maria, her name is Elizabeth, she sends money home, shares a room, misses her children. When you ask her a question she smiles when she answers and looks you in the eye. She sings when she mops and is content with one day off, still happier then her employer will ever be.
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Like Linus he held his blanket, like Pig Pen his feet were dirty, Like Hungry he watched the citizens, march past him, with their dogs. Dogs that had beds, and designer food, Dogs that had sitters, and coiffeurs and herbal baths, Dogs that had walkers, and “Mommies” and trainers, and he, he went through the alley, talked to himself and wanted to get high and was lost in his little mad cartoon world of us and them, only us was him and his blanket and them seemed to be everyone else
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For Jim Morrison : because ..why not

The last time he dreamed was on the roof
it was a real dream
with out the shadow of spirits
bottle kind
or sugar sweet cubes dropped for departure from his present
He was hungry and tired and the sky opened
in the dream
a huge black bird flew down
landed on his chest
became a woman with green eyes
She kissed him
pressing her feathered body
into his youthful hips
Then, the clouds
in the dream
warned him in a chorus song
but he didn’t listen
the bird woman was making him hard and dizzy
she flew up holding his hand
they were in the sky together
she took him to a high place and showed him all the kingdoms of the world
she said they would worship him for 6 years
but their worship came with a price
he laughed and said
“Fuck the price man
bring on the fame”
so she did

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Angie was a tough lady, looked like a man with false eyelashes, like hate was pinned on her face,bright red lipstick on her narrow lips were unsettling, when she smiled, and that was rare, it was as if the smile was such a favor a body should run. Angie was tiny and brown skinned and serious, she stabbed her husband “Only 11 times” she said in Spanish to my mom, who had to laugh, “Only 11 times, cause I was sick of getting hit”
“Best reason to stab” My mom said “Best reason to stab”
*************************************************
the animated version of The Jungle book, reminds me of summer, cousins and dangerous amounts of relatives piling in one stationwagon, the five dollar a car load drive inn, broken down playground under the movie screen, smoking when my mom wasnt looking, sitting on the roof of the car and thinking my cousin Rhonda was always going to be prettier then me, but she was nice and kind to me so I didnt hate her, in fact at that time she was my best friend
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I used to delight in driving home when all the world was going to work, the sun rising, their coffee hot, rushed comute, my bed warm and hangover cure thoughts 6am chant put me to pass out dead to the outside world , I was so smart in my banged up car not like anyone misfit smile and second hand leather coat used as a blanket not like them all the them that aint haunted and buzzing and whipped in life’s game before it started fuckum, I would say falling into slumber shoes on loose fuckum, all the same in their tidy little lives,we all end up as dust
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I am dying of terminal uniqueness striving for balance in an un balanced world swimmin up stream in hardening cement , I take for granted there will always be breath, always be more, always be something to resist, fight for, understand, and believe, but belief is not enough and will not heal this sickened soul
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The crazy man on Highland and Franklin shouting the Richard lll speech I memorized when I was 22, to piss off my professor and show him I could do the part better then the college favorite pretty boy,
reading the speech as I stood on the table in the cafeteria (to wild applause, I will add) reminds me I am as mad as the man on Franklin and Highland and perhaps always have been
**************************************************
Peace to the canterous , who pay so much attention to so many things they may need a blessing but dont know any priests, so peace from a dark heart bastard might just do the trick just take it if ya need it , Peace to you
****************************************************
720 busĀ  from downtown the fellows talk, they know the beach, and the “spot”, the songs and chat like the dirty hands were a uniform, all these men smell of pavement, one has a filthy bunny in a filthy blanket, he is making filthy jokes, he also, makes the too exhausted latin lady smile, she just wants to sit somewhere else, young man worries about the bunny future, wants to make sure they dont harm him or her, and dont make it high, that is wrong, he says, the’one with’the bunny says its fine, its all fine and I supose there are different levels of fine,
****************************************
We are all human
Trying to make our hearts full
Yearning for someone to hear us
To be silent with us
To override the fear and dread
Angry in the light of day
Confused as to where to hang blame
Squinting at beauty
We are all human
guilty and innocent and lost