POETRY: ‘WeHowl’ by Brian Sonia-Wallace

In celebration of National Poetry Month, WEHOville is publishing poems by local writers. ‘WeHowl’ is a collaborative poem created by West Hollywood City Poet Laureate Brian Sonia-Wallace using lines submitted by 56 residents and visitors about their favorite memories of West Hollywood in 2022.

I saw the fashionistas and gogo dancers of my generation emerge after being driven indoors by plague, their ravenous bread-making fulfilled,

dragging themselves past OnlyFans at dawn looking for their rent, buying standing desks, folding in their loneliness, bedheaded scenesters burning for each other on dog walks, through zooms, finally unmasked —

Who went to Micky’s just days before the world shut down, broke the white picket fence with Britney Spears, nursed hangovers at the French Market,

Who became fast friends watching season 1 of the L-Word, walked into a now-defunct Lesbian bar, embraced their sexual orientation, who are still here, though The Standard is not

Who saw the sky and wandered through, in between sweaty skin and spilled well drinks that stuck their pineapple to the floor like lips that don’t quite let go,

Who met a boy in a Jeep while driving down Santa Monica Boulevard,

Who greedily assented,

Who discovered rent control and were able to stay,

Who floated under the still starlight at the Hollywood Riviera,

Who had waayyy too much tequila on Halloween at Marix where the waiter was dressed like Liza Minnelli

Who walked before dusk, cars flying by on Santa Monica, dipping into Barney’s for quick coffee and eggs 

Who saw Iman and Bowie at the checkout line at Gelson’s,

Who lived inside history,

Who roller skated down Crescent Heights just after Fountain, when everything just got so fast, who couldn’t stop and rolled and flew all the way down where the street curves and crashed — who got cleaned up by the elderly Russian ladies who raced out of their stores to help.

Who can’t share, this is a PG poem, who were too drunk to remember, who can’t tell you ’cause they’d blush.

Hank! I am with you in West Hollywood where clear skies echo rhythm and harmony.

I’m with you in West Hollywood where you reignited the creativity you’d placed on the back burner.

I’m with you in West Hollywood where you showed up to Pride as Lady Godiva in 6-inch heels and a white cord dress with nothing underneath.

I’m with you in West Hollywood near where Aldous Huxley had a house on Kings Road; Andy Warhol showed his soup cans on La Cienega, and silent movie technicians filled the bungalows along what’s now the Norma Triangle at the birth of film.

I am with you in West Hollywood & down the road after, in the back booth at Canter’s waiting for our order while staring at the ceiling — 3 a.m.

I’m with you in West Hollywood where you get an accidental gig in a coffee shop, the kind of regular gig that lasts 10 years. O Rooftop Pool! O man with the Free Hugs sign! O Oscar party, O resplendent shades of yellows, golds, and white!

I’m with you in West Hollywood where the streets fill with dancing, where Koontz Hardware feels like home, where you sing off Laurel as you bring in oranges from your trees in the backyard.

I’m with you in West Hollywood in my dreams you wander Sunset from sunset to sunrise.

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Davedi
Davedi
5 months ago

After hearing that mish mash of collective trickle consciousness, (sorry, but it’s hardly enough for a stream) I would take a page from the anti second amendment folks and pass a bill requiring a 2 week waiting period for any type of writing implement.

Joe Bologna
Joe Bologna
5 months ago

WeHo, my WeHo Many times, you let me be an unrepentant ho, No judgement, only a rainbow At the Rage, and Vaseline Alley, I got my kicks on Route 66, With a guy named Sally Boystown was grand back in the day, You could get it at the Zone, Or even on the phone, Maybe in the 24 Hour Fitness steamroom on any given weekday Saw pornstars in cliques at Big Gay Starbucks, And actor hopefuls working Numbers, It was a helluva ride for a while, And now it’s gone like thunder. Confusing flags on Santa Monica, Obscures history without… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Joe Bologna
Steve Martin
Steve Martin
5 months ago
Reply to  Joe Bologna

Maybe Joe should be next years poet laureate; thanks for the clever rejoinder!

Davedi
Davedi
5 months ago
Reply to  Joe Bologna

Now that was good!

Brian
5 months ago
Reply to  Joe Bologna

Hah! Love this!

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
5 months ago

Thank you for reciting your witty piece at the last Council meeting as it really added a much needed dose of levity! Really enjoyed it.

Davedi
Davedi
5 months ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

He must owe you money Steve. 😉

Brian
5 months ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

Thank you Steve! Enjoyed doing it

Walling in or walling out.......
Walling in or walling out.......
5 months ago

Does the WH Library have a poetry section that might contain the timelessness of Americans Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson? The Mending Wall would be a good choice.

Davedi
Davedi
5 months ago

I think they were both cancelled on Twitter by a first year English lit student at Berkeley with a 2.0 GPA.

Brian
5 months ago

It does! It’s up on the 2nd floor on the far south end, a really good selection and they can order stuff in from any library in the County system if they don’t have what you’re looking for on hand.

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
5 months ago

Good grief

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