"Life in L.A." by William Mikell

William Mikell - Life in L.A.

Get out the way! Get out the way!
I'm spinning out of control
where are the brakes? How do you stop this thing...?
It ain't got brakes IT'S FREE WHEELIN'!
Get out the way!
The steering wheel comes loose
Holy Hell get out the way
I'm speeding through the streets of L.A.
can someone help me?
Red light...red light...red light OH MY GOD!
This feeling inside me tells me that I'm free saying,
I'm alive in Los Angeles! I'm alive in Los Angeles!

With this crash course
please take me to my destination
or let freedom reign to your eyes
I haven't done this in a long time
but I'm going to give it a try
I see your lips and I'm taking them to a place
so relaxing it sets your body at ease
and that place is to mine,
passing through the streets of South Central &
"Always up to no good" Inglewood
to the Hollywood sign that always shines on the mountain hill top
to the "Garden Spot of the World"
with its itsy bitsy doggies & their tinny Winnie tees,
I am making out in Los Angeles! I am making out in Los Angeles!

To this girl man you should have seen her
Hot fudge banana split
her kisses were like lightening check my pulse am I still alive?
For when she dances her pom-poms,
the beat on my stereo does not stop,
vibrating the urban & busy streets setting off alarms,
waking neighbors for acres is this an earthquake I feel?
This city is multi culture can't you see
where men call themselves Kings
and women call me themselves Queen Bees.
From the East side where the cholos rock side-to-side
to the Bay where yes folks, pop and rock will never die
To Asian, Mariachi, Hip-Hop & Rap
(of East & West, where it all began), to R&B and Indie
it's all the same thing
It's the music that binds us together is that harmony I hear?
As my arms spread like a bird,
floating in the sky thinking to myself,
I am free in Los Angeles! I am free in Los Angeles!

Don't let the overrated and negative imagery fool you
This city has it all
From actors and actresses,
Turning no-talented singers into royalty,
with their production agencies
and their award ceremonies,
we have it all
Writers and artists...on and off the streets,
they may not be a Di Vinci or Picasso,
but they're out there expressing their minds
I remember seeing a man
on Vignes Street and Cesar Chaves Avenue
make roses and Jesus crucifixions
out of palm tree leaves and sell them for four dollars
I swear I was going to get one and give it to my mom
And the list goes on:
Gay and lesbians,
Landmarks and landscapes,
from the Pacific Electric Lofts up on Main Street,
where it has been used
for over 400 movie and television productions
home to the city's oldest operating restaurant
and was considered LA's first skyscraper
and was the West Coast's largest
building at the time until the 1950's
to the Descanso Gardens in Glendale,
where beauty is truly more than the beholder
for as its name "Rancho del Descanso",
which means "ranch of rest" in Spanish
tells you that this is paradise
to bringing it all the way back
to the Playboy Mansion in Westwood,
where parties are thrown and last all night long
with a man who wears nothing but PJs and takes
pictures of beautiful women in the world.
Excuse me while I whip the drool off my face
as he's living the life of every man's fantasy
there's history here, folks!
Tourist attractions and poetry lounges,
spreading the words of the soul on a mic or a map,
To five sport teams and crossing my fingers
for a soon to be NFL team,
Blue skies that keep shinning with the Sun
it's always beautiful weather over here,
Sunset and clear-blue beaches
To uncanny shopping sprees,
Cluttered streets and most importantly,
Way too many coffee stands...Starbucks
I love my city but man does it have problems
but what city is truly Eden?
I was born a member of the City of Angels
and this is my poem of you

If you want to know more about this city,
I'm going to let my friend, Mike the Poet
Tell you all about it.

William Mikell shared his poem with Departures in participation with National Poetry Month. Since not included in that project, we showcased his selection in our community poems section. We thank him for his contribution in celebration and understanding of L.A. You are invited to share your poem as well.


"Untitled" by M. T. Whitington


"The Western" by Fred Chandler