Gaga & Permanent Records Roadhouse

BY BENJIE SALAZAR; ILLUSTRATION BY SARAH GROTH

Car wheels rolling on the 110 North

Good Year Blimp is hung above blue-eyed

Skyscrapers, wretched horns, dirt and windshield

Fluid-

 

One

Two

Drops on your windshield

It is raining for the 5th day in a row as the mouth

Of the sky opens in-between the Hollywood Mountains

You shove your car next to a barb wire fence and there.

You are in your body again

Your car is no longer holding you

 

We take off our clothes inside the ballet studio

To my rain-soaked boats, hair-ends,

Brown collared jacket, bare-arms

Up around my neck, a hand on my chest

“Up here, imagine there is a string attached at the top of your head”

Raise those legs, talking, sensing, 2nd no 3rd position,

Hot chocolate down the street, downpouring,

Red colored hands and a nose

 

The next morning windshield looks even worse

Cars can’t stay in their lanes

The studio is empty except for four of us

There is a leak from the roof panels

A wet spot we all avoid from our socks and bare toes

 

A month earlier, on the east side of Los Angeles

Sundown, leaving cloud lights carrying hemispheric tones

Of air bubbles all on a singular point in the sky

Car door shut, dad tennis shoes from Austin

A knitted sweater from Santa Cruz, eyebrow piercing,

Undershirt, Bat airy sleeved shirt, champion sweats

Hung loosely about my thighs

Pushed into the black floor

Moving from our pelvic bones

Twisting spines among our hands

Drum pedal machines on the surround sound

Use less, feel a shake within your gut, your car, Ana says,

Shake it all out, move about the floor, look at others in the room,

Run in place and about our explosive legs,

Turn and bounce in random directions

Know where you are in the room

Find where you are in the room

Pull your gut along the bed of your stoney legs

Groan, moan, mull yourself into a shape

Reform it, allow it to create and disappear

 

Learn from those around you, feel their sweat and their shoulders

Hold your hands out, offer something to the person next to you,

As though it is the weight of feathers, golden, brown,

Hoover, softly, tightly, loop yourself among your arm tendons,

Hurl into your face, smile, laugh, push your knees up and down,

 

A roadhouse of permanent records boxed in a house

A hill as large as a single-family home

Brown Acid, Zipper Cover-Sticky Fingers

Emily Yacina, Gracie Gray tuning guitars, beer caps,

Cigarette butts, lighter fluid, campfire stench,

A friend at my side, talking about exes and Washington state

Eastern turnpikes.

 

Easing your hoofy shoulders,

Loping about your ribs,

Feeling, fitting them into place,

Keyboard switches and an electronic device

In your feet

Shuffling about the sunken, checkered floor

 

The rain, heaving on your front mat,

Grasping at El Sereno caked roads

Laughing hysterically

Singing across your dashboard

 

We all breathe together

We sink deep into our core

We lurch a heavy hand on the ground in front

As though creaking-floorboards

Easing into our necks

Rotating, airy thighs

 

Moving about the pelted window

Draining, raincoats, warm heat

A few bodies and thank you for comings

Like ghosts, black and white abstract figures move in and out of an open-topped box with doorways.

~~

Benjie Salazar is an aspiring writer and dancer currently residing in Los Angeles. In their own words, “I grew up in North, Texas, as a Mexican-American. I am young, I drive across the southwest too often, I fall in love easily, I love oak trees, I love watching people walking by in cities I can disappear into. I write about ecology, bodies in close spaces, live music, and becoming a person. I write on different ways of loving and the spaces we occupy and revel in.”

Sarah Groth is an interdisciplinary performer, choreographer, teacher, poet, and mixed medium visual artist. After achieving a degree in Contemporary Dance and Intercultural Communications from the University of New Mexico, Sarah set out as an independent artist and traveler. She has had the privilege of moving, creating, and performing with renowned international artists across the world. Sarah has been published in the Albuquerque Journal, Blue Mesa Review, Daily Lobo, Stance on Dance, and Forty South. Sarah is committed to addressing the complexities of humanness in conjunction with self and community — aiming to bring the intensely intimate forward, creating openness within juxtaposition and identity.

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