from Robin Wyatt Dunn’s Farewell Ode to L.A., Carmina Burana

Here are the first few cantos of a book-length poem, Carmina Burana, by Robin Wyatt Dunn, who recently left Los Angeles and now resides in New Brunswick, Canada. The whole poem is read by the author on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVAN0i0CJMI

 

Carmina Burana

by Robin Wyatt Dunn

Come, come, come!

You old wastrels; bored and beautiful. Bountiful and diseased men and women of Los Angeles.

Bad men. Wanton women. Lackadaisical omnipaths! Ritual seekers and golf caddy sundressers.

Bogey men. Bench-sitting men. Black white and yellow, red. Ocean red.

Gay and straight garrulous hulks, masking mad fakirs orchestrating disaster, who are you come to?

What pork and pasture milks your great orison, bad chalker, mercurial disaster. Who walks the name out of your feet, and writes his peace into your sleeve, black blistered and calked into the sea of asphalt, attenuated. Broad feet, no mare, in east coast hats and west coast hair, lost to memory.

Philter philanderer of drugs; teetotaler. Ritual garbanzo bean. Maze being.

Come into the maze with me for a minute; it won’t be long; I’ve seen you before, scab.

I’ve seen you in your mighty hat, old gun, oath keeper, totem breaker, salt mine son, who was it hurt you, in the mud and main drag, over my beckon and breach, dear heart, I told you, in the taxicab, that it was I who made your mother scream, such tremulous things, written over the yellow yellow yellow city;

Well, maybe it wasn’t you. But you could be guilty anyway. You never know.

We’ve been keeping count, on our phones, like a metronome, for the right hour to speak. The right name to forget. The ordination.

Which is it, priest? My mighty priests and priestesses of los angeles!

You horrible cultists!

We’ll have a song for you.

Humming under the sleeve.

 

1.

O Fortuna

Ritual mad!

Written in lightning!

gabled and garmonized!

Glee goat and gull!

Hull me under your two bottom car, noxious methamphetamine afternoon somewhere in echo park in your gangster death.

O Fortunate Angel!

Cut into squeak.

Set sail to hair.

O Fortune

Riotous rumor

Over the telephone

Who heard your name

Who photographed your face

whose history

muddled and forgotten

in your changed name

in your new religion!

Cut down your hair!

Let out your semen!

Open your legs!

You’re in Los Angeles!

 

2.

We’re counting now; underneath the blue daisy. Where the hot plate has been heating the water but will not boil it; where the squirrel has stolen your avocado; because it was his avocado. But then it was your avocado.

Where the black man from Rhode Island explains that he will make it big honestly, and will prove it, right before he leaves in his white Acura, never to return:

No love song for you!

Not yet.

We must sing of your ambition!

ambire, ambire, delicate child, around the mountain!

Come around the mountain with me!

She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes, so demon eyed, made into music.

LA Woman, snakes in her hair.

Radiant and with no comeuppance, archangel cut into the weight of the cut of the book in wood, lightning and red, shaped into memory for your children, some story they never heard.

It wasn’t your story, not from the angels.

No rhyme with reason with your fury woman, for we’re going to burn you at the stake again, and every night, on the pier.

burn well and heavy for our dreams.

 

3.

We’re counting now;

We’re counting up

We’re counting to the memory of the event.

Some black space in our minds, filling with regret.

There is no sweeter regret than in Los Angeles, where we all came to die. I died for you in Los Angeles, like Jesus Christ, and you died for me too here, that fucking child rapist, improbable divine, made over the Emperor a lover, and sign from god, or at least some good graffito on the toilet, a good bloody mob death, to please the finest nobility of the land, in El Sereno and Highland Park, and even in grumbling Glendale, where we came to sun, and persecute our enemies, we’ve heard your name, your glorious name.

We salute you in your absurdity, bloody red, racist capital of the world. holy rocker, lone and old, broken on the cross of love.

 

© 2018 Robin Wyatt Dunn

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