Demolition City

They sterilized the land

the art deco department stores

and the stumpy roots of the

buildings of the Pacific Southwest Exhibition

have been buried under concrete and rubble.

every timber and brick that once shook

during the earthquake of ’33

every roadside diner

every steepled church;

flop-houses and mansions

torn down for mini-malls.

the Tongva Indians

who lit signal fires on the hill

are dead.

and the hill, dredged and leveled

can hardly be called a hill anymore.

Every city hall demolished and rebuilt

in the style of the day

until there’s no there there

as Ms. Stein would say,

only the slick glass

and pre-stressed concrete

of the lowest bidding developer

and a lack of imagination and history

so stunning

that the liquor stores are filing for

historic preservation

before they become landfill for

another Jack-n-the-Box drive-through.

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