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Category Archives: Los Angeles

Kerry James Marshall Paints Big

SKIN Portrait of the Artist & a Vacuum, 1981 my black ass smiles a missing tooth over a vacuum I never use Self-Portrait of the Artist as a Super Model, 1994 photographers ignore my face until i bury it in dirty blonde hair When Frustration Threatens Desire, 1990 black cat black snake black glove black […]

Also posted in Kerry James Marshall, Museum of Contemporary ARt, Painters

The People v. O.J. Simpson

This story is in the collection “Basketball and Football”

Also posted in Football, Johnnie Cochran, Marcia Clark, Marriage, Murder, O.J. Simpson

Marvin Gaye to his Father

Dear Father, Why do you beat me so? I’m your son and love listening to your inspired sermons and beautiful singing and know someday you’ll be more than a lay preacher. Most of all I enjoy being with you and hoping someday you’ll be proud of me. I know you will. You’ll hug me, and […]

Also posted in Berry Gordy, Cocaine, Detroit, Divorce, Marvin Gaye, Mental Health, Motown, Murder, Music

Money in the Bank

There aren’t any good jobs in L.A., and I’m sick of work anyway. I don’t even want to sell drugs anymore. I’ve got a better plan. Two friends and I are going to knock off a bank in Bakersfield. It would be too tough in L.A. In Bakersfield we’re dealing with hicks. I figure we […]

Also posted in Bakersfield, Banks, Crime, Theft

Kobe Decides

This story is in the collection “Basketball and Football”

Also posted in Bakersfield, D'Angelo Russell, Jerry West, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal

Deli Delight

I was hungry and the manager of the gallery showing wild faces said the deli across the street’s world famous go on over and get something. Okay I said and pressed the steel arrow to red-light busy Melrose Ave. and allow me to cross. Inside the deli large glass cases featured food I began studying […]

Also posted in Food, Hollywood, Lawyers, Mental Health, Painters

Bathroom Slip

At age eighteen Bill tossed everything into his old car and moved to L.A, yearning for a life of wealth, women, and major league sports close up. He knew he was destined for distinction, he just had to figure how to proceed. He’d gotten a job sweeping concrete floors and stacking boxes in a south […]

Also posted in Falling, George Thomas Clark, Health, Insects

The Las Vegas Lakers

Have to admit, I don’t sit courtside when I go to Lakers games in Staples Center. I suppose I could once a year, if I find two tickets, but it would lighten me a month’s salary, so I sit up about twenty rows and that isn’t cheap either but is doable a few times a […]

Also posted in Basketball, D'Angelo Russell, Jack Nicholson, James Worthy, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, Movies

Sophia Loren v. Jayne Mansfield

By delightful coincidence I was dining in elegant Romanoff’s restaurant in Beverly Hills that 1957 night when young and ravishing Sophia Loren entered, accompanied by several movie executives who, once seated, gazed across satin tablecloth and widened omnipresent smiles, laughing at her every utterance. I understand their behavior for I was equally captivated by the […]

Also posted in Boxing, Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Jayne Mansfield, Mike Romanoff, Movies, Sophia Loren

Architectural Delight

This story is now in the collection “Tales of Romance”

Also posted in Architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright, Hollywood, Marriage, Murder, Short Pieces - GTC

John Wilkes Booth Today

We mustn’t permit deed of John Wilkes Booth to stand and therefore shall remove from time and place and raise today in theatrical family thriving in Manhattan and nod when Hollywood beckons splendid Booth who becomes movie star in early twenties making millions while he drinks and snorts and occasionally crashes cars but fires only […]

Also posted in Abraham Lincoln, Assassinations, Civil War - American, Edwin Booth, John Wilkes Booth, Movies, New York City, Racism, Short Pieces - GTC, Slavery, Theater

The Tumble

An old woman carefully descended steps of a museum amphitheater, stopped at the second row from the front, and said, “Excuse me.” I immediately rose, and she planted about half her foot on the step, a semi-high heel hanging over, spun ninety degrees and fell, her hips landing on the first step and then her […]

Also posted in Falling, George Thomas Clark, Health, Short Pieces - GTC

Executive Jack

Monday after high school graduation kid was required to become adult, moving long miles to Los Angeles and working in south central warehouse owned by gray parental friend named Jack who invited to dinner first night. In large Palos Verdes home south of city Jack and wife greeted kid and promised he’d have great summer. […]

Also posted in Alcohol, Families, Football, George Allen, Short Pieces - GTC

Bakersfield at the Movies

Legions of teenagers and adults march into theater carrying troughs of buttered popcorn and sodas large enough for elephants, and guffaw during previews of teddy bear wrestling man, creamed pants jokes, president slicing face open to reveal he’s bullet-dodging, axe-wielding “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.” Amid chomping and slurping, I wonder how many here have watched […]

Also posted in Abraham Lincoln, Bakersfield, Food, Movies, Short Pieces - GTC

Tobacco: The Holdouts

This story is part of the collection “Paint it Blue”

Also posted in Art, Drugs, Painters, Robert Colescott, Tobacco

Garden Party for William H. Johnson

(A major feature about painter William H. Johnson, 1901-1970, will be posted later this spring.) I wish William H. Johnson, gifted painter of a unique world, were at this party honoring young African American artists, staged by the foundation bearing his name, at an elegant old two-story home near the Wilshire district in Los Angeles. […]

Also posted in Art, Food, Housing, Mental Health, Painters, William H. Johnson

John Wilkes Booth Today

mustn’t permit deed of john wilkes booth to stand instead remove from that time and place and raise today in theatrical family thriving in manhattan and nod when hollywood beckons splendid booth becomes movie star in his early twenties making millions while drinks snorts and occasionally crashes cars but fires only slurred words To see […]

Also posted in Abraham Lincoln, Assassinations, Civil War - American, Edwin Booth, John Wilkes Booth, Movies, New York City, Poetry - GTC, Racism, Slavery, Theater

Freeway Flow

another gridlocked nightmare on hot 405 south in santa monica mountains needing to pee late for work ready to drive on shoulder or in emergency lane must get hell out to civilized community would’ve imploded when whitecaps whooshed me through cloudy cold canyon flowing too fast to stop

Also posted in Cars & Driving, Dreams, Poetry - GTC, Sleep

Getting to Madrid

My journey to Madrid began on a Sunday morning as I drove from blistering Bakersfield down Highway 99 toward Los Angeles and punched sports talk radio but heard an ESPN guy strain to be funny and cool but sounding lame: most jockeys lack comedic skills and can’t sustain the purported subject matter of their shows. […]

Also posted in Bakersfield, Barack Obama, Dennis Miller, George Thomas Clark, George W. Bush, Madrid, Madrid Vacation, Mexico, Michelle Williams, Movies, Pornography, Radio, Ryan Gossling, Spain, Travel

Material Handler on the Road

I still wonder if my adult working career for many years progressed like a tortoise in sand because of apathy or a reflexive hatred of manual labor that began too soon, at age nine, when my mother remarried and her new husband, a drill sergeant masquerading as an electrical engineer and contractor, drafted my stepbrother […]

Also posted in Abraham Lincoln, Alcohol, Auburn, Babe Ruth, Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan, Burbank, California, California Youth Authority, Carmel, Cars & Driving, Chico, Clint Eastwood, Coast Ranges, Construction, Drugs, Electricians, Errol Flynn, Families, Frank Lloyd Wright, Fresno, George S. Patton, George Thomas Clark, Grass Valley, Hollywood, Interstate 5, Manual Labor, Marijuana, Media, Mental Health, Monterey, Newspapers, Pacific Ocean, Rocklin, Rolling Stones, Sacramento, San Francisco, Seattle, Sierra Nevada, Stephen Stills, Stockton, Television, Unions

Clippers Carve Kings during Thanksgiving Feast

On Thanksgiving night I made my first visit to Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles since New Year’s Day when the defending-champion Lakers hosted an aroused and hot-shooting group of young Sacramento Kings who would’ve prevailed if Kobe Bryant, with customary flair, hadn’t swished a three-point jumper a millisecond before the final horn. The capacity […]

Also posted in Basketball, Blake Griffin, Demarcus Cousins, Eric Gordon, Gavin Maloof, Joe Maloof, Las Vegas, Lebron James, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Michael Jordan, Oscar Robertson, Sacramento, Sacramento Kings, Tyreke Evans

Cruising in My First Car

I wish I’d been more on the ball and returned to somehow punish the scoundrel who sold me my first car. The deed occurred on an ominous weeknight when my stepfather drove me east of Sacramento to a fine suburban home where a slender dorky old man at least forty-five opened the door and said, […]

Also posted in Alcohol, Babe Ruth, Baseball, Basketball, Cars & Driving, Civil War - American, Elvis Presley, Football, George Thomas Clark, Grambling University, Grapevine, Highway 99, Jim Cleamons, Kentucky, Lebron James, Louisiana, Luke Witte, Mississippi, New York City, Niagara Falls, Notre Dame, Ohio, Ohio State University, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Racism, Roberto Clemente, Sacramento, Siege of Vicksburg, Tennessee, Texas, Travel, Ulysses S. Grant, Vanderbilt University, Western Kentucky University, Woody Hayes

Basketball in Downtown Los Angeles

Trust yourself. You’ve been to the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles many times, so you know you’re walking the right way, south on Figueroa Street a couple of blocks to the arena. Okay, then. Where is it? It’s got to be there. They haven’t moved a building holding almost twenty thousand people, have they? […]

Also posted in Basketball, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, Phil Jackson, Tyreke Evans