Los Angeles – A Poem By Ron Olsen

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Los Angeles
by Ron Olsen

 
She sucks you in
With glamour
Gold
And glitz

With whispers of wealth and fame

They answer by the thousands
Overachievers
Approval seekers
Ladder climbers
Feeling a need
To be somebody
Or at least try

I arrived
Turning right
Off the ribbon of light
Feeling less than connected
Flying off the Hollywood Freeway
Down onto the land of moving earth

Disconnected from the soil
No longer weighed down by the gravity of the East
The heaviness of well-considered thought
Floating somewhere above the sandy soil of the Valley
Without any need to think about why

Never mind
That’s just the way things are
Here on the edge of the ring of fire
With too little rain
Only the hot Santa Ana’s refrain
To remind you of weather’s call
That with the sameness
Sometimes it’s there at all

L.A. doesn’t welcome you
She dares you to stay
If you can handle
The lack of connectivity
As the ground shifts beneath your feet
And your thoughts float away

A social register replete
With no one to meet
For any real reason
Other than seeing and being seen
For the full and meritorious value
Of maybe getting someone famous
To give you the time of day

Or perhaps gain fame yourself
If you’re tough enough
Smart enough
Strong enough
To hang on

To keep from flying off into space
As the ring of fire shifts once more

 

 
©2015 Ron Olsen – all rights reserved

 

Poem: The Great Obliviators by Ron Olsen

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The Great Obliviators
by Ron Olsen

Stuck in Afghanistan
Without an exit plan
While drones fly
Where no soldiers need go

All this after
Vietnam
Iraq
Pakistan
And now Syria, too

We were warned this would happen

The glorification of war
Never-ending militarism
Not to be questioned
Or risk being accused of being less than American

Ike told us it was coming
Back in 61
The “rise of misplaced power” he said
The Military Industrial Complex
Now it’s here

Eisenhower, knew war
Those who now make war do not

But they are locked in
Not about to let go
As imperial America
Bites down
On the world

A pit bull in every yard
An urban assault vehicle in every garage
A gun in every drawer
Pepper spray in every purse
To fend off neighbors
Against the oncoming imagined apocalypse

ISIS beheadings
Plastic sheeting to cover your windows and doors
Smallpox in the mail
Sarin in the subways
Hijackers on our planes

The necessary threat

Without it, there is no fear
And without fear, no motivation
Without motivation
No public funding

Keeping the prophets of fear
In power
Cash fat sociopaths
Caring only for themselves

Gutting the middle class
Keeping the nation at war
To satisfy the greed
Of those whose greed knows no satisfaction
Only the need for more

© 2015 Ron Olsen – all rights reserved