Detail of Los Angeles in which the Bandleader Does Not Appear
In the painting one angel got left out
In the name of John the Baptist
and a few more rocks. When you're
On the road there's one less angel
In this city. I lay by the pool
And watched the plane
Fly overhead, my hand reached
Up and it seemed I almost touched
The belly of the thing.
Jasper said, "You're in love"
And I thought of the day we found
The house in the canyon
How we didn't think it suited us
Until we walked to the balcony
And I could see Catalina. Oh
White walls, wood floors, coyote
in the car port. Jasper brought
every sweet boy home.
I'd wake and find them sleeping
Naked by the pool. There were parties
That went on for days. A man in a white
Shirt read "The Lotus Eaters" aloud.
A woman placed her hand on my thigh
And said, "Where are you from?"
Pasadena. Land of my father, land
Of the rocket builder and crisp pressed
Shirts. The woman said, "Yes. But where
Are you from?" I took her upstairs,
Watched as her clothes came off
And she sank to her knees. I looked
Out the window at the bandleader's house
A canyon away. There's a blue in the painting
That the monks asked for specially,
"Ultramarine" The girl said, "What
do you like?" I liked hearing the music stop
and going there. I liked sending the tailor
and the tiger away. All those girls
walking down the hill toward Sunset
and some other band. I liked
the sun coming in and warming the blue
sheets. I liked leaving before the bandleader
woke. How I'd pick a grapefruit from the tree
and eat it as I made my way home.