Words of Fire, the Frying Pan’s new poetry section debuted this week with a series poems the new mayor should read.
These five poems by some of L.A.’s finest poets are intended to help Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti look closely at our city and listen with care to its diverse voices, from janitors to sidewalk fruit sellers to donut shop insomniacs. They are also an antidote to the platitudes of the campaign trail, and a reminder that the best political speech – and acts – can tap into people’s deepest emotions and aspirations.
the crowded foyer of the L.A. County Museum
of Natural History, and babies shriek like bats
in the elevator that lowers my daughter
and me to the basement….
by Erika Ayón
you rise, kiss Amá goodbye, the only time
I see you do this, drive away,
circles of dust and tire marks remain….
to talk to you about your government.
You are the government,
the way we are the earth and sky….
Karen Carpenter comes off
the radio at 1 a.m. The diners
complain; she’s passé, she’s so
home waving fistfuls of Tootsie Rolls, wolfed down
his supper, changed from his suit into his long-sleeved
gray coveralls or blue cotton smock and slid out of
silky stockings and Italian leather loafers….