City Poet Kim Dower’s Ode to West Hollywood

Kim Dower
Kim Dower

The West Hollywood City Council last night officially welcomed Kim Dower, the city’s second poet laureate. Dower succeeds Steven Reigns in the two-year position. As city poet, Dower is tasked with generating excitement about the written word and promoting poetry in the city, including the annual celebration of National Poetry Month each April. The city poet will also create a new body of work that commemorates the diversity and dynamism of West Hollywood.

Dower started that by reciting the poem below at the City Council meeting:



Ode to West Hollywood

La Brea pumped and loaded stretches its arms
across Route 66 its finger tips reaching into Beverly Hills
Because the Italian Cypress trees poke holes into the sky
and the flags are waving Eight Miles High
in the Hollywood Hills a man steps onto his balcony
looks out at the galaxy of lights jewels scattered below
like smiles on fire Ode to West Hollywood because
the boys on Santa Monica kiss with their mouths open
walk arm in arm wave at passing cars make us all feel alive
because the crosswalks may kill us yet because even when it sleeps
the Blue Whale is watching because we eat at Barney’s
because it’s there it’s where Jim Morrison’s throw up graces the bar
because the Whisky is always the Whisky the Roxy still rocks
Sunset Strip doesn’t care if we live or die Book Soup
gives us a place to hide the tattooed goddesses slow grind
inside The Palms where bougainvillea blooms into a fuchsia blaze
without asking questions and gas lamps line the streets whispering
our names so all us misfits can finally feel sane because grandmothers
at Plummer Park remind us of our own remind us of what we miss
back home because the city is young but has lived many lives
because “every single day someone tells us we have the best burgers in town,”
because my mother thought the firemen were hot because at dawn
everything can be forgot High in the Hollywood Hills a man embraces
our city his arms stretched pumped loaded the lights below
a feast of life dissolving the night and when he awakens
he hasn’t a clue why there are rose petals in his pocket.

— Kim Dower, West Hollywood Poet Laureate

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7 years ago

And the criteria was?

A for Awful.
A for Awful.
7 years ago

is this the best we can do? its awful. the boys kiss with their mouth open? who is this chick referring to

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