Poetry by Trina Gaynon
~Arena, Robert Flick [Gelatin silver prints, 2005]
Parking structures wear concrete armor,
Protection from severe shadows
And languid, relentless Los Angeles sun.
Mostly this fortress remains empty.
Darker and cooler down in the bowels,
Fluorescent lights create ghosts.
They take first a worm's eye view,
Then a bird's eye view of their post.
Armed only with steel cables,
Their strength lies in familiarity
With this maze, its straight lines
And rare, misleading curves.
The ghosts confuse you with ubiquitous
Parking lines in yellow, curbstones,
And arrows painted on the floor
In a battle for silence and solitude.
BACKING INTO STALLS PROHIBITED
And TWO HOUR PARKING
EXCEPT FOR PERMITS are not
Laws but customs as old as automobiles.
Just as Level Blue, Market St. Exit
Is not the heart of a sacred mystery,
But a location indicator that is useless
If you're not looking for that escape route.
Only after dark, the mystery can be found
In windblown debris. If stars were visible
In the city night, it could be found through
Clerestory windows, far above your head.