freedom is the recognition of necessity

—engels, anti-duhring


the palm trees of the san gabriel valley must always look stern and stoic and a little sad like foreigners doing their duty far from home

the cardboard box must be set out at the curb, festooned with a bit of colored paper on top

citizens must wave at each other, wash their cars, or drive away

the pleasant elderly woman in the vietnamese restaurant with a face wrinkled by pleasure must answer her cell phone and say,

“how are you? i am here with my friends, we are eating. we are very well, we stayed at your house last night.

you’ll be home tomorrow? yes, i am leaving today…”

the other parties in the vietnamese restaurant must look so endearing—

the woman closes out her phone call, “yes, thank you. i love you too.”

i must look at these people to muse about them and a woman must watch me as i rise to leave

outside the san gabriel mission two small girls must run back and forth at the fountain

the woman must lie on the grass watching them, earplugs in, tapping her ipod

she must yawn

she must have that look on her face

the football team must do a poor job washing my vehicle at their carwash fundraiser

the teens must be fooling around, slacking off and not half of them doing their jobs

the assistant big roly-poly coach must not even pay attention, instead spend his time jibing his young charges,

saying things such as, “I could be at a UCLA spring training game today,” and, “You are a homosexual.

That means you like members of the same sex.” he must say this—

—i had to give them $10—

brilliance of sunshine must pour down like joycean literary figurative snow on all the living and dead

in a half an hour i must drive down valley blvd to attend the memorial for cesar who died a week and a half ago

(colon cancer, he did die as we must)

over all, the sky must pour implacably, brilliance

bunker hill