Drinking Beer in East L.A.

by William Archila

This is how he always wanted to remember himself:
leaning against the green Impala, something brown and juicy,
like Willie Bobo blowing out of the speakers,

sweat steaming down the eyebrows, his buddies
hanging out like lions in the heat, spread out over the hood,
watching the sun melt the asphalt,

the boulevard glowing with a line of low riders, puffing,
bouncing all the way down to the bald,
yellow mountains, where the outline of smog thickens
and the rickety houses wait for a can full of rain.

He would hook the bottle opener to the neck,
pop the cap off—a geyser of foam—a shot
for the lady tattooed on his back, his throat
ready for the long, cool rush of a false god.


  1. The young lions basking in the heat and spread out over the hood[[-- now that's one I'm not going to forget anytime soon!

  2. Being a native of Los Angeles, I especially liked this poem. The heat of the sun, the lowriders bouncing down the street....I can add one other thought - a slice of pie and coffee at the pie shack at Fern Dell Park in Hollywood, under the Griffith Observatory on a fall afternoon. Wonderful blog you have here!!!
    Love, from Mrs. Slug

  3. I could use a shot of that foamy stuff shooting from the neck of the bottle--false god or not. There are times when it's handy to wash down all that other people have to dish out.


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