Jul 12: Sharks in the water, sharks on the boulevard, too

This morning as usual I went to the rooftop to watch the coastal fog which sometimes passes overhead and through you like a corporeal being. Also the jets taking off from LAX, one of which someday will have me for a passenger, and the Lear jets taking off from the municipal airport and flying directly overhead before turning north toward Malibu and other rich-folk locales. They must really hate L.A. traffic.

So among the aircraft this morning were two helicopters, one of which performed an amazing move, the craft piloted almost like a show horse, facing the shore while moving north. That was amazing.

Then I started noticing black dorsal fins near shore. They weren’t beluga whales, and they weren’t dolphins. They had to be sharks, because the choppers stayed around and were shortly joined by a CG cutter; I’ve seen sharks in zoos, but never in their real world anymore. That’s one good reason why I make a point of not going into the ocean; it’s not my world but theirs. I enjoy always seeing them where they are but obviously I feel terrible for people who wind up injured/killed in those encounters.

The same’s true all along the boulevard. Among the peaceful legitimate folks you’ll easily find more than any fair share of sharks. I got bitten by one, for example. And survived, happily. But you see them between here and Muscle Beach; north of here you’re talking Santa Monica and a completely different way of living. Still, I remain fascinated by Venice Beach but only as an anthropological study, a place from which to take the measure of America as it is at this moment.

It’s nasty, folks.

Sure, I could avoid the area. But I happen to like it here, not enough to live here but enough to spend a week a year, again to take the nation’s temperature, and then get the hell out. This, as Adrian Belew rightly called New York, is a dangerous place, and you have to approach it accordingly. Maybe I took it too lightly. Oh, well. I have a story to tell.

Now a note on writing: I’ve got about half a manuscript so far toward something I’m calling In 8, because the majority of the poems are 8-line syllabics. We shall see. The Sidewalk Café has become my first-draft “office” in VB, because for some reason I always have to have a “local,” as one of the poems tries to consider. The past couple of days have been leaner in terms of production, but there’s definitely a handwritten prose journal from my various encampments as well as the 20-some drafts, so I can honestly tell you I’ve been at my labors.

Of course, this is a wonderful place. Maybe you don’t want too much of wonder, for the simple reason that beneath wonder is always something harder. Toronto’s wonder also has a hard subsurface, but that’s something I’ve learned to live with. Not so here, not anymore. It’s just how I feel.

I’ll keep blogging here as a way to communicate in quick form both to the FB folks and others, also because someday there just has to be a manuscript in it all, doesn’t there?


About johnwylam1957

I'm a poet and teacher now living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
This entry was posted in Life "After". Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Jul 12: Sharks in the water, sharks on the boulevard, too

  1. Jen Brown says:

    your spirit and strength are inspiring…i could not live in venice beach either but there’s something about it i loved too…

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