Life in a High Crime Zone

Lliving on a mean street in San Jose

The prophecy, posted
on South Redwood Avenue’s telephone poles
two days ago by a bored city work crew
that didn’t really care if anybody knew,
came to pass at 2:17a.m. Saturday.

The prophecy’s thick block letters forewarned
the avenue’s residents that their tiny thorofare was
to be resurfaced, sometime during the period between
Friday, 6:00p.m. and Monday, 6:00a.m.

Those same block letters,
although in a smaller typeface,
warned any and all automobiles on the street
during those hours risked incarceration.

The racket, made by
‘Murray’s Quik-Tow’ tow truck operators
as they arrested all the cars that couldn’t read,
proved more than adequate to awaken any resident
with the short-sighted plan of sleeping
through the asphalt’s rejuvenation.

The last of the errant
autos trailed meekly behind one
of Murray’s yellow tow-trucks sometime around 3:30,
tip-toeing on two wheels towards
a fifty dollar fine and sixty-six dollar,
missed-the-warning, early morning storage charge.

The street was quiet.
The thought crossed my mind to return
to bed and the erotic dream that had been
so completely interrupted by the city’s
criminal-car crack-down.  But ..

At 3:45 the city’s
gravel trucks and asphalt sprayers
loudly announced their intentions to entertain.
Their percussion concert, accompanied by
their unique and obnoxious aroma,
ended any thoughts I had of sleep, of dreams,
of sanity or of ever again regaining normal hearing.

It was at 4:10, AM,
when the city’s giant green steam-
roller began its impression of Godzilla’s attack
on Tokyo, that I decided it was a perfect time
to write to all my friends.









Process Notes:
“I’m a 70 year old recluse living in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I’m not sure why I do anything. I’ve been thinking about animating poetry since forever ago.
This particular piece started out as an answer to my friends as to the reasons I write.”Because of where I live.” Seemed like too easy an answer. Then it became an exercise in using the animation tool I favour.”

Beau Blue has been making animated poetry films since 2002. He calls himself a reclusive cartoonist for good reason. He is.
He has done animations of Robert Bly, Robert Sward, Robinson Jeffers, Ted Kooser, Kim Addonizio, Morton Marcus and many, many others.

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