Tattoo Asylum 1

Los Angeles
First impressions
A carpet of smog
Undifferentiated whiteness
The heat and noise of airport
The new blue van with crayoned Budget logo.

Upgraded to a Lincoln
Lunched in Pasadena
Missed the Norton Simon on my left
Ended up with halibut
Garlic mashed potatoes
At Clearwater Restaurant.

I shot wildly at the Norton Simon
Causing confusion in the guards
Until I pointed out that I had taped the flash
The light residual was official
And OK

Anticipating dinner
Bought a twenty-five dollar bottle of wine
That destressed the evening in time for
Chinois on Main
In Santa Monica
Early reservation at an
Older Wolfgang Puck
With beans to die for.

She rows Saturday morning
So when in Rome
I kayaked Marina del Rey
Without benefit of safety equipment
Admiring boats with middle age names and boasts
Suggesting hate for work

I shot from the dock
As they paddled past
Noone killed
But the light was not good
Too flat
No chiascuro

Breakfast at a dive
With hint that I had eaten there
With her best friend
Many years earlier
When we were an item.

Getty up the hill
Taking the train
We skipped the art
Focused on latte and views
The fascist garden
Of controlled walkways
Discussed demassification
And deconstruction
The contrast of Italian hill village
And pharmaceutical headquarters
Walking down
We reviewed the inadequacy of light rail
Unfashionable
Feeling a little threatened
That someone might call us trespassers
And rolled on over into the Valley
For dinner at Paul's Bistro with a defective Alexander Valley twenty five dollar bottle
That had promised much at the store
My Saturday night salmon sizzled as hot could be.

And in Topanga Canyon,
Outside
Animal Farm
A musical
Reminded us of corruption in high places
Before we returned to Brentwood
In LA, sin appears to be spelled CYN
And we were in Topanga CYN.

Sunday's hike
Brought drought dust
Brown on my running shoes
Up 1500 feet
Past athletic women
And few men
Perhaps they all had died
Or were watching TV
Remotes clutched to their hangover.

I napped and drove to Venice
Muscle Beach near Tattoo Asylum
At Jiraffe, I recognized a past restaurant
Transformed
And food to die for
Who would have imagined beets, Bing cherries and nuts with marscapone?

We walked Third Street
Talking to a homeless man she knew
From downtown streets
Until we returned home
Slightly awkward at the intimacy of two
Strangers
Eating and drinking a lot
Perhaps more sharing than we were ready for
Farewell to cats
But ready for
My Monday morning return
Via oatmeal in Pasadena
An airplane conversation with a lesbian punk drummer
Back from a recording session
To her women's only bike store
Now closing down
And to the much discussed
Wine Club in San Jose
Culminating in buying BBQ for my ride home.

All in all
The secret of my successful weekend
Flonase up my nose