Israeli director, Alma Har'el (right) with Benny Parrish on Bombay Beach
dogs, cats, and cigarettes;dead soldier beer bottles
and floating booze;
dogs, cats, and cigarettes,
and cheroots soaked in water
burst open like a deathly flower.
the yacht club is a Stonehenge
with sun and shadow portals
and happy hour;
investment in the future,
can't-miss, dead fish capital
at the end of world war two.
Everybody on Bombay
Beach, well, they love everybody,
‘cept the nasty,
prejudice white guy here;
I will not change who I am;
I will not ever change my color!
The white guys are tilapia,
and they get too much sun,
too much by far,
ninety-four – a million died…
just fill up my ice and beer,
and I never gonna miss him, no.
Social Services will come
take the birds and fishes
and the wetlands;
dogs, cats, and cigarettes...
play my one-string mandolin,my golden, golden thong.
Alma Har'el did a documentary on Bombay Beach on the Salton Sea, and that it the antipodes of the USA of Washington, Vegas, and Wall Street.
The voice in the poem is not hers, nor that of any one person in particular. I think it was supposed to change and mutate.
The voice changes as it becomes voices from the various documentaries I have seen on the Salton Sea and Bombay Beach and the neighboring communities. Everyone is talking in this poem, everyone.
The million dead are the tilapia fish, dead in 1994 "ninety-four"