Get Literary, Los Angeles

Following another lightning round of work at the shop for the day, it should have been just another chill bike ride home. But a force came over me as I decided it was time to give something else a try.

Just as I was about to make the swerve onto the ole block, I decided to keep going in a stroll through la vecindad. I’d gotten an idea. When I came across intersections through the neighborhood where I could find an outpost for the free literature, I stopped, took off my backpack, searched through the folder inside which contained a couple of prints, then grabbed the prints, took them out and dropped them into the boxes. I did this at nine (9) intersections throughout the neighborhood, and the results led to printed copies of JIMBO TIMES’s Los Angeles Students at the following cross-streets:

Virgil and Normal (1 Post: 2 copies)
Virgil and Monroe (1 Post: 2 copies)
Virgil and Clinton (1 Post: 2 copies)
Vermont and Clinton (1 Post: 2 copies)

Melrose and Vermont (3 Posts: 6 copies)
Vermont and Normal (2 Posts: 6 copies)
Vermont and Santa Monica (3 Posts: 6 copies)
Virgil and Santa Monica (1 Post: 2 copies)

Virgil and Lockwood – (1 Post & The Mini-Library: 2 & 2 -3 copies)

Halfway into making these ’rounds,’ I realized something. It was a job. A job that used to exist in days before I came onto the scene, when the world was a slightly more literary place. Or at least before all of it became digitized, relinquishing the power of the print into the depths of the past.

Rather than dropping off copies of the New York or L.A. Times, however, I dropped off copies of these JIMBO TIMES. That’s when something else hit me: I want to make more of these rounds for The L.A. Storyteller, one day, with my very own newspaper for the block!

I imagine the path towards such a dream is probably quite long, but then, how could I not give it a shot? During all these years blogging, the power of the written word has only grown on me, convincing me once and for all that reading and writing are mediums by which a people or pueblo can become aware of their environment in ways that are invaluable to them.

And even if Los Angeles never quite had much of a literary Intellegentsia, as Mike Davis has noted, the past doesn’t represent a world we’re confined to forever, but a possibility incumbent on those of us present to uplift for different worlds in the future.

We’ve got to do it, then, don’t we, Los Angeles? As with all things, one step at a time. We’re not afraid of a challenge when we know it’s in our veins to take it on. Indeed, that’s why we’re here.

Let’s make it happen, Los Angeles. Let’s get literary.


In Motion

What is the best way to let a world fade? Should we watch it dim from afar, like the soft light at the end of a match-stick? Or should we walk into the dimness and allow the light to consume us like that of a tunnel?

I go through the day, and in my head, I find myself confronted by the faces of so many friends and family.

The faces of these friends and family say nothing in actuality, but the fact that they appear so suddenly in my mind makes me pause.

Their faces are like those of still characters. Like those of puppets, even, of a play that won’t materialize until I give them lines to recite.

The lines I give them are my interpretations of what they each might say about my day, based on my experiences with them from our time together before, in the life of yesterday.

And yet, the lines I give the faces of my friends and family aren’t so important in and of themselves. What is more important is the voice that they recite them in. Every voice is its own entity, crafted by its own collision of forces from the world.

And what is life at its core if not sights and sounds, and the feelings created by these things? Sometimes I think that especially as a writer, what captures me first and foremost is the way the world looks, and how it makes so much ambivalent noise.

These things speak to me in an unintelligible language which is beyond words, but which I make into words anyway in an attempt to process what they mean.

I suppose that these sensations are just like the imagination of my friends and familys’ faces, then. Maybe none of them say anything; and maybe, in the grand length of time and space in the universe, they all say exactly nothing at all.

Here and now, however, neither my mind nor my heart are content with nothingness. Perhaps when my mind and heart stop pulsing, nothingness will be just fine, but while I’m still here, I want everything, including contradictory things:

I want to know how my friends and family are doing, at the same time that I want to know nothing about them at all. I also want them to know how I’m doing, at the same time that I wan’t them to know not a single thing about me.

I understand, however, that if I wanted to find out these things or share them about myself, I’d simply reach out accordingly.

I also understand that as a great writer once said: “the past is not dead; in fact, it’s not even past.”

Because every time I speak of the times, I speak of the past; because no matter when or for how long I pause to reflect, the world is always in motion.

This is when the ambivalence becomes solid clarity:

No matter how much any light may be dimmed by the times, the times are just based on perspective; I haven’t actually lost anyone in my life, because each individual I’ve crossed paths with is still a part of my lifeline.

In the grand scheme of space and time within the universe, we are all literally on the same wavelength, overseen by the same sunlight, breathing the same air, and wandering across the same ocean(s).

We forget, though. I forget.

I become wrapped up in my words, which at their core are feelings, that seem to come from anywhere in the galaxy except myself.

Maybe, they come from my friends and family, somehow.

Maybe I am with them –as they are with me– far more than I can understand in a single moment: rising together, falling together, and picking up the pieces to continue the lifeline no matter what, together.

I can’t be too sure, but the words do help me reach a kind of peace with the times. And as my friends and family observe the words, I can only hope they help them reach a kind of peace, too.

With More Soon,