California

California—Of all the men, you’ve broken my heart the worst.
When I was eight the coolest Trapper Keeper covers were photos of you.
Everyone talks like you these days.

California—You look more and more like Vancouver on TV, Netflix.
You speak Spanish with a thick Asian accent.
You ruined my attention span.

California—I am sorry; none of us deserve you.
See my foot on the petal? On the freeway I pray to you.
Stop hoarding movie stars and Nobel Laureates, though.

California—Win one for the Gipper.
No justice no peace.
We’ve run out of continent.

California—Everyone hates you and feels superior but except for New York they’re all just jealous, though.
Fuck the Louisiana Purchase.
I’m afraid of Americans.

California—I love your silver and celluloid, your ones and zeroes.
Hollywood.
Silicon Valley.

California—Wait; they don’t love you like I love you.
Can I charge it?
I serve my penance in your traffic jams.

California—I still love you, after all these years.
When are you going to tell her? Or even yourself?
In my hospital room, after the six weeks of coma, I could see your Pacific.

California—I woke up this morning and got myself a gun.
I can forgive you, but I cannot forgive them.
You are too good for America anyway.

California—Not even earthquakes, plagues, and floods could stop us.
Let’s get high and do a little Manifest Destiny.
Kill them all. Fuck it, kill them all. The horror!

California—Our California who art in California, nothing be thy name.

California—Your name comes from a 16th Century Spanish lesbian pulp fiction novel.
All the California boys, the California men, their on-ramp thighs.
I heard him moan like an 18 wheeler’s engine on the midnight 405.

California—Have you any dreams you’d like to sell?
A million dollars for a kiss, fifteen cents for your soul.
What ever did happen to Norma Jean?

California—I am worried Celebrex will give me a heart attack.
I don’t have a choice because of the arthritis.
And the coma.

California—No one understands that I AM Polythene Pam!
The love that you take is written across the Hollywood sign.
Hold my hand while we jump off the Golden Gate.

California—your cool is the only thing in the world China and India can’t manufacture.
Half of you was made in China, though.
Also, your Chinese railroad tracks.

California—I am waiting for your comeback tour.
Everyone goes straight to the beach when they first move here.
I don’t know how to end this poem.

California—Seal me up in those movie studio fridges with your ancient rotting film stock.
Ansel Adams’ Yosemite prints probably won’t last another 100 years.
If you use platinum instead of silver, an analog print can last forever.

California—Like a nervous tick, like checking my email every five minutes for two hours solid.
I’ve voted for high speed rail to San Francisco at least three times since I turned 18.
Fountain pens make me feel Old Hollywood glamorous.

California—Here I come.
Here I cum.
I wish they all could be; I wish they all could be; I wish they all could be…

California—Bless me with Industrial Sound And Magic and Good Vibrations.
I have been to all your Catholic missions, each a day’s walk apart.
California—without end, Amen.

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NOTE: This poem appears in my Chapbook, “Taking Drugs To Write Poems To Take Drugs To”