Jake Goetz

Sunrise, Venice Beach

For John Forbes after "To the Bobbydazzlers'    

Sunrise, Venice Beach

For John Forbes after "To the Bobbydazzlers'

this is the scene: HD morning
clear blue sky, an LAPD chopper
cuts along the coast
to the McGyver theme song
setting an inconspicuous tone
close in on a young poet
in a small café, waiting for a flight
to Sydney and writing to you
of the long-haired surfer
skating down the boulevard
the crazed busker singing
Cohen’s Hallelujah across the sand

and to sing how it is
to be alive amidst
this high Aussie dollar
rising China mining boom
technology revolution     
sun rising over Venice Beach
after driving from San Francisco to Vancouver
sleeping on the side of highways
in a pink Wal-Mart tent
spray-painted Fox-Den and Achtung

then waking in a northern Seattle apartment
with a girl from Sacramento
winding through the Rockies
in Idaho and Montana
stepping in black bear shit in Yellowstone
stoned five days straight at Max’s in Denver
and being met by a billboard in Texas

     America, it’s time
     to say yes to America

but i don’t care if they’ve changed
McDonalds to Maccas
or that people think of computers
when they hear Apple
i say no to the talented earache
of (north) American capitalism
and liberate the self
from their world sentiments

the same way i shared myself  
with a Danish girl on a hammock
at the University of Texas
and watched a Minnesotan and Brit
get hitched in a church in New Orleans
abandoned after Katrina
throwing rice and lighting bungers
listening to an Israeli
play acoustic guitar by the organ
while French Canadians
got pissed on Sparkling
telling me this is the place man
the church where Louis Armstrong
was baptised

or how i flew to Buenos Aires
and bussed my way through Chile
Bolivia Peru Ecuador
back and forth over the Andes 

ending in the Colombian Caribbean
for no other reason other than no reason
pure derive, all the while thinking
like Che Guevara
of the necessity of socialism
the inherent contradiction
in being as itinerant as the sun
that kicks down on LA
like that gram of coca pura
i bought in a Puerto Lopez tobacconist
the wind opening my book
of Baudelaire

     One should always be drunk. 
     That’s all that matters;
     that’s our one imperative need.

     So as not to feel time’s horrible burden
     that breaks your shoulders

     and bows you down, you must
     get drunk without ceasing.

but he’s not talking about
hitting the piss, more so just living 
and so this poem takes the face

of an ode: to you, to travel
to the way your poems are
like a southerly banging
the fly-screen door on sordid
mid-summer Miranda afternoons
like the tie-dyed hipster beside me
resembling Jim Morrison

‘Hey man’, he says, ‘yeah dude, you
just wanted to let you know, cool

that your writing’, and later
‘yeah man, if you hang round

long enough you drink from a bottle
and find you’re on acid’
then lying on his side
he rolls down a grassy slope
not thinking about twenty fifteen
poetry or you in Sutherland

and i wouldn’t say this vibe’s Bondi 
but i think it’s a fair comparison
though really it’s still your average

smart phone culture
taking selfies at the beach
as if the curve of the Pacific
could be replaced by a satellite dish
or take the image of a woman
walking with her arms crossed
completely immersed in a dream
‘who ate dog shit in prison’ she yells
‘Not Mark Dunlap!’
and i close out on the Pacific
as old and fixed as the British monarchy  
stretching to the beach where you sat, John

staring toward America