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Poetry by Erren Kelly

Flower Lady of Echo Park
The Beer Coaster...after the poem The Lanyard by Billy Collins
Published December 29,  2016
Eleventh Transmission. http://eleventhtransmission.com.
Eleventh Transmission: Poetry by Erren Kelly
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Flower Lady Of Echo Park

Rumor has it
She once tried out for
The Miss America pageant
In '76
And narrowly missed the preliminaries
Some say she was once married
To a guy
Who worked with Donald Trump
But she just changes the subject
Whenever she's asked

Her flower  stand is in
Front of
Walgreens
Sometimes, I say hi to her as i'm
Going to a bookstore across the
Street

You can never read too
Much

Latinos
Outnumber whites in L.A.
Yet are killed more than
Whites
Mexican girls pretend to
"No habla.ingles,"  when they
Don't want to be
Bothered
Condos  are quickly replacing
The old school houses
Here

A Chicano poet
Thanks me for showing up
At a poetry reading on LaBrea Drive
Otherwise, he would've been
The only colored person there

I watch a white girl
Doing stand up
Wearing an NWA. t-shirt
She does an impersonation
Of a Mexican
cheech. and chong.
Would appreciate.

I joke with her
Telling her, "she does mexican
Well."

Donald Trump is obscenely
Popular and no one
Laughs at the thought
He could be president

Mexican girls look like
Kate Upton
And white girls pay hundreds
Of dollars
For a tan
some blacks and chicanas
Hate

I give the flower lady a
Five dollar bill
She tries to give
Me a bouquet
But I refuse

I know now the dirtiest
Word in the English language
Isn't the words
I hear hipster girls use
As they talk over
Coffee

The dirtiest word is
Change.



The Beer Coaster...after the poem The Lanyard by Billy Collins

the other day, as I was
quickly surfing the web
like a lab mouse in
labyrith
moving from youtube,to
extremist web page to
pop-ups about male enhancer

I stumbled upon a web site
that sold beer coasters

no soul food dish ever
eaten by an urban author
ever left a more profund effect as

I was transported in dreams
like capain kirk
back to childhood summers
in Louisiana, near a bayou
where I sat at a bench
facing little circles of wood
sandpaper, knives and watercolor
paints

we learned how to make a beer coaster
a gift, we would give to our
fathers

I had never seen a beer coaster
I doubted if my daddy even cared
but that didn't stop me from
cutting and sawing and sanding
and painting designs on it
personalizing it for
him

my father gave me half his
chromosomes
which helped created me
and gave me will, and drive and
guts

I gave him a beer coaster

here are thousands of dollars. several
years of clothes and tons of life
lessons
to pursue your dreams and hair-brained
schemes, and attempts
to impress girls, he said

and here is the beer coaster
I handed to him with a smile
a gift, I made with help from
a counselor

I'm giving you my name, my looks
some ambition, a typewriter, a broken down
car
and enough moxie to power a
train

and here is your beer coaster, daddy

and I wish to say to you now,not a smaller truth
not the rueful admission
that you can never repay your father, but that

as my father accepted this pathetic
useless, inanimate tool, I made one day
at camp

I felt I was fulfilling
my role as the good son

that I had truly accomplished something


Biography
Erren Kelly: I am a Pushcart nominated poet from Los Angeles. I have been
writing for 25 years and have over 150 publications in print and online in
such publications as Hiram Poetry Review, Mudfish, Poetry Magazine
(online), Ceremony, Cactus Heart, Similar Peaks, Gloom Cupboard, Poetry
Salzburg and other publications. My work can also been seen on Youtube
under the "Gallery Cabaret," links. I am also the author of the book, "
Disturbing The Peace," on Night Ballet Press and the chapbook, " The Rah
Rah  Girl," Forthcoming from Barometric Press.  I recieved my B.A. in
English-Creative Writing from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. I
also love to read and I love to travel, having visited 45 states and Canada
and Europe.
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