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a streak in the sky. some say the plane is part of a government conspiracy. i wonder where they’re heading—not the aircraft, but its passengers. this was easier in mar vista, closer to LAX, where the altitude & any directional change would be quite revealing. here each flight out has ascended & even the buildings are obscured to any eyes above affixed to what they’re leaving behind. there is no reason to think anything of los angeles now—perhaps there never was.

i’ve slipped on my lists, my writings. this chameleon of a world is full of predators & i am just sitting on the stoop, trying to enjoy my tea, thinking too much about caffeine. i guess it’s better than whiskey. the archive of my temptations is an extensive bibliography & my misdirection will continue, but hopefully just as footnotes. one day at a time. i’ve remembered how to write in verse once again. the rest i have yet to re-learn with these shaking, but not yet broken, hands.

the stoop out front is nothing like the table i fell through last month while on the phone with an emergency few would understand. three armenian men in suits argue a building away, but their voices flood the street & i can’t stand how pop music has devolved into shit-talking about being rich. capitalism has made a commodity of the past so every generation to come will have no culture within its grasp.

the man smoking in the street has impeccable timing as his cigarette burns out right as his friend pulls up in something fancy. a page is turned by the wind like a wildfire. i’ve set myself up. i’ve come to terms with what i’ve lost but fear the losses still to come. i pay more attention to those pangs than the pain in my back. the soil here is all spoiled in this land of secret panic & public displays of perfection.

there are no stars out tonight over hollywood.

the usual prattle of traffic in hollywood on a friday night has died down—inevitably to return soon as the bars close. cars idle, waiting for parking. the air is ‘unhealthy to breathe’ or something, but nobody turns their key toward change.

the premeditation of writing makes my mind go blank & there is a strange absence of the police helicopters overhead tonight. perhaps it’s the lunar eclipse.

years ago there would be endless attempts to capture the moon, zoomed-in through the camera lens on an iphone 4, filling up instagram feeds. now it’s all horoscopes. people used to strive to capture any moment of beauty in this ugly world—now they just search for any reason it’s falling apart. for any sense of hope at all.

there are worse places to find yourself than los angeles. i’m now more cautious about setting fires, wearing clothes not my own anymore. some never really were.

and i wonder how my friends are doing. the hummingbirds didn’t return this year—or maybe i just missed them over these months of idle revisionism. there are still things i can do, amends to make. slivers to pick at, an open sea.

for now, i’m thirty minutes late.

they say i’ll be able to dream again now that i can’t take a drink, but the nights end in the same terror that news broadcasters begin the day with. what hope was had is now pressed increasingly under the boot of capital. dreams can’t exist in the united states without human sacrifice. what an age for sobriety, or to maintain any sense of hope. the windows can’t break because they’ve been boarded up. the storm is coming soon.

new shoes arrived in the mail today—shoestrings & all. no more zip-ties, no more eyes-on. only the landscape of los angeles—as beautiful as it is brutal, as uncaring as it is obsessive. no longer crazy as i take the right pills every day. i’m not that ignorant of time or the mind, but now old songs have all sorts of new meanings.

we’ve reached a place where all that is debated are spotify playlists & sports teams. nobody can agree on all of the important things. grown adults acting like children, children terrified of a future on fire. the night is darker, earlier, and none of the weather makes any sense.


5:45 AM from the backyard of GV2

It’s been a long fall. I’m not too sure yet how to write about it. I enjoyed my last sunrise in Mar Vista this morning, the dawning of a new day which I’d end back here, “home,” in Little Armenia.

I have an unfamiliar weight on my chest. An expression of these months colliding with the future. I could anticipate something in this return to reality, but the content of that circumstance couldn’t be anticipated. For now it’s heavy breathing, some invisible hand pushing lightly but firmly down on my sternum.

The objects surrounding me now still seem familiar, but my body doesn’t. Connection is currently a strange fiction. There is a fog of peace, a threat of calm. Movement is about to push in many directions, but now I am here, where I was months ago, but where then I really wasn’t.

It’s been a long fall, I am tired & the helicopters have replaced the far-away planes in the night sky. Forgive the vagueness & abstraction, I am not ambidextrous. These hands feel useless, anyway. There is much to do.

Colin Smith (b. 1982, based in Los Angeles) works in a form of assembly within and across disciplines, both in digital and analogue formats. Following in the ideas of media theorist Marshall McLuhan, the medium of his work is often dictated by its message—the diversity of projects that result are each an attempt to represent a particular thesis, a certain context.

Educated in graphic design and photojournalism, and self-taught in the visual arts, Smith has additionally worked as an art director, freelance designer or creative consultant for a variety of small businesses and independent clients around the world.

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