Friday, October 22, 2010

Hollywood Boulevard

Where are all the bars in this town, he asks me,
walking down Hollywood Boulevard.
Where are all the bars?

We pass the celebrity stars under our feet,
trod upon for fifty years.
Look, Rod Stewart, I say pointing.

I mean, he says, where do you go to get a drink?
Hank went to bars. Where are the bars?

Gone, I said, Just like Hank.
Look, I said, Marilyn Monroe.
And Chuck Jones.
And Bugs Bunny,
who is only a cartoon,
but then again, so are the rest of them.

This is one of the first times
we are off the highways,
off the 405 or the 101
or the 10 or the 110
or the other strips of concrete
that take you past,
not through,
this city.

Where can a man get a drink? he says.

Britney Spears, I said, and he snorts.
We get back to the lot and pull the car out,
the air warm, and smelling like pot.

We wait at the light and watch the people,
lined up across from the theatre, all the lights
and red carpets. They scream for another bald
actor who lifts his arm and waves limply.

And I wonder, where are all the bars in this town
as I wait and wait for what seems like forever
across from the throngs of fans, screaming
their cameras flashing and popping
and me, still waiting,
for the light to change.

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