The West Coast Poetry Project, Part 1.

Wore a headlamp in Hollywood, walked to see
my only cousin in a one-room apartment
with blue carpet and a Yankees cap
hung on the heater
One parking ticket and four apples later
we got “the hell outta dodge”
as my father would say
or as my mother would say
They both say what the other says now
so it’s hard to know who started what
And now I say what they say too
and I say “bellicious” and “Why I outta” with a little shaking fist
because Ellie says it
And she says it because her mom said it
and a kid said it and it sounds
good to hear your mouth say what your family
and your friends have said
Just like it feels good to obsess
over a spider building its own home
anew every day
There’s a reason poets are in love with spiders
There’s a reason we’re not driving straight back east
There’s a web wet with rain that’s threaded north
We must wreck what we’ve built
so we may build the home again

We’re on the road! We’re heading up the coast!

We left San Diego yesterday. The West Coast Poem Project begins today. Stay tuned for poems written along the Pacific coast and photos as well. Here’s our tricked out truck, Egret the Egret, packed to the gills and ready for action.


And here’s us driving away after a hellish half week of packing. Flower crown by Wyndellen!


The last of the LA poems (mine).

“New scenery, new noise”

said Rimbaud. I slept
through the traffic. I’m so
spoiled I get humble then
romantic. I’ve never held
a gun but I’ll sit beside you
or behind and ride and ride
Cougar on wheels

The bike changes
gears automatically—
I’m fast I’m slower I’m
skidding a little in the sand
I’m a sea snake on land
Last Wednesday

“It’s like your name is
‘Taylor Katz comma poet’
she said across a burrito
as the rain decided on us
“Hello I love you won’t you tell me your name”

I’ll be your amulet,
Lost Angeles

Goodbye hand sewn Barcelona
pouch with the three overlapping
stars. Goodbye mint chapstick
from the pack of three and the birthday
lipstick; goodbye pocket mirror with the red
bunnies from the party’s grab bag. Goodbye
eye drops, olive green pencil from the notebook
set. Adios scar like a broken trident
on the left side of your face, see you
later, see you soon

LA poems, 11-15.

Black tied

Thinking of Paris, France.
Thinking of mangy cats
in garbage piles.
A hair cut can change everything.
The Latter

“Do you think we’ll ever stop
becoming ourselves? Maybe
around 40? And then we cruise?
Or will we die at 86 having
come right up next to it?”
“Ok can we stop being serious now”

because it’s nearly 4am & late
to be a soldier for the word
“treasure” for the first time in my life,
but goddammit you are such a.
And hardly anyone knows it.
World Famous Big Dean’s

This is the first time I’ve wanted
a Coca-Cola this badly in years

yell the kids at the pretzel shop but
don’t we stop needing salt as soon
as it’s offered? Take me to the ocean.

LA poems, 6-10 (mine).

Late Lunch

I’ll have the Blue
Plate Special! We say.
What?! No blue plates
here at all?! Fucking
Los Angeles.
The fellow with the cowboy mouth

is a man I love
Return trip

Alameda Street, 6:45 pm.
I offer the man asking
for change an orange.
I’m trying to get a ticket,
he says, staring. A ticket.
Misha taught me plants

Handgrab of rosemary
from an apartment compound
on Montana Street falls
out of my lefthand leather
pocket, snap unsnapped
Not the Chelsea

The Georgian Hotel,
a deep cerulean. The bar
patrons drink, sheltered
from the sea’s easy chills
by flapping walls of plastic

LA poems (1-5 outta 20).

The Station

9pm, downtown LA,
hugging a book like
it’s my family. Maybe it is.



There’s no real milk
or cream for coffee
Just some terrifying
portioned creamers


How do we know?

A man’s on his laptop
at dinner. The drink
I order comes lidded
in a jar, sprig of rosemary.



In Venice Beach
you can buy a joint
& get your teeth
whitened next door.


Doncha know?

A hot dog on a stick,
I learn, is something different
than a corn dog.