pages Hollywood and Highland

by Diana Rosen

Published in Issue No. 270 ~ November, 2019

Sunny. It’s always sunny. Buskers sing, pitch their CDs. Vendors sell cut fruit, fragrant sausages and onions. John slumps in his wheel-chair, one foot on the sidewalk, the other shot off in Vietnam, then the leg amputated up to his knee. The subway empties. People off to the Bowl, others here to watch the latest blockbuster. John dozes sometimes, his tin cup dangles from his forefinger, nearly emptying it of the few coins, the small American flag. All in gold, a Michael Jackson impersonator moonwalks. Shrek, Chewbacca, Marilyn in her white flared dress, pose with tourists. Spiderman climbs a light standard. Traffic is endless. Herds of visitors read off every name, pose for selfies with the medallions on the fabled Walk of Fame. John spent years polishing these brass medallions to bring some sparkle to an area ever on the verge of gentrification. Now, he is too tired to clean the detritus of engine exhaust, endless trash. The sun wanes. John waits for the bus ramp to unfold, heads home to sleep. Maybe. Street lamps come on. The night sky, bereft of stars or moon, is a milky cataract blurred by glitter, headlights, rainbows of neon. Music from bars, dance clubs, tinkle lightly under the cacophony, people laugh, chat in the line to see the Jimmy Kimmel Show, shop for Oscar memorabilia (made in China.) The CVS is open 24/7 in case you need anything, anything at all.






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Diana Rosen is a poet, essayist, and flash fiction writer with credits in RATTLE, the Altadena Poetry Review, Tiferet Journal, and other journals and anthologies online and in print. "Love & Irony" has been accepted by Red Bird Chapbooks, and forthcoming work will appear in "Far Villages" from Black Lawrence Press and "Lottery Blues." Her poem, "Lucky Me," was nominated by Poetic Diversity for a Best of the Net Anthology from Sundress Publications.