Road maps and vinyl letters on paper. 2016. 18 x 24".

The radio drones on. Sunshine assumes the wall. The cat splayed in a patch on the carpet. Pull chains rattling from the fan. The torrid afternoon. Her green blanket, the bedspread, thrown atop the one oblique arched window. Shade for my art table that she wanted for our dining table. Casually it falls to the floor like a dress. So graceless I’m surprised. The X-Acto blade is dull. The Elmer’s runs and doesn’t dry. My palms scintillate with sweat and the entire thing is smudged. 4 likes on Tumblr. I rest my head on my arm.

Outside the summer weighs on me, each structure stark and languorous. The light a mass of yellow. The pink bungalows where the Salvadorans live wholly lost to the dazzling sun. Car hoods shimmer and the concrete burns. The sprinklers douse it outlandishly. As if a succulent garden could pretend an apartment was in Los Feliz. Spectacularly oblivious to the mattresses dumped on Normandie. To the WHITE FENCE tag scrawled across the Armenian day care center. The violent diagonal “E,” painted over and written again. Palm trees make the paradise. The pay phone is missing its drug dealer.


The pet store is still having its Grand Opening. The banner’s been up for weeks. The parking lot is empty. Inside is air conditioned. Rectangles of fluorescent lights severely trace the aisles. In bands they reflect off the stainless steel of the unused grooming station. I browse the treats but don’t have the money. The litter’s too expensive. From behind the counter the clerk eyes me askance. He tells me he knows the owner. I wonder if they’ll make it. Leaving I take the receipt but know that she won’t pay me back.

Now Hollywood Boulevard is dreamlike. Its lackluster belied by brightness. A gutter punk trudging towards me asks if I have a cigarette. “Not on me.” I skirt around him. I hide my smoking so I don’t have to face it. “Hey man!” he calls after me. And lackadaisically I turn around. I could just as easily ignore him. “You know where I can find a cheap motel around here?” He wears his heavy garb like a plight. And his brow is knit. “Just down Hollywood” I nod. “You’ll find one.”

He glances over his shoulder though retains the same expression. He doesn’t trust I get it. “Look man” he appeals. “I don’t mean a hotel. I mean a crappy motel with fleas and porn and shit. Know any of those?” His stubble flashing like steel wool. My forearm tenses beneath the litter. 28 pounds. Stolidly: “2 blocks that way there’s a sign that says ‘HBO’ and ‘Porn.’ Looks pretty cheap.”

He didn’t come from Western. The only stars on this side are stenciled on the sidewalk. But the real shitholes are on Sunset. By the 99¢ Store. Vacancy and acrid piss. I only think to tell him later.

+ 114 prints
Never give an inch.