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Ode on the Venice Skate Park – Jessalyn Maguire

Venice beach skate park
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Ode on the Venice Skate Park
after John Keats

From empty pools thou com’st, thy ancestors
    A labor of inventive, idle boyz.
Thou shirtless theatre of practiced gestures,
    Bizarre creature abetting peacock ploys,
Escapist honey bastion of old ways,
    Who now, tell me, are the new baddest dudes?
            Inheritors of the all day all night.
O! Dogtown, Zephyr, Z-flex, SMA
    New Gods who trick to your great altitudes
Can’st not forget the sun of your spotlight.

Seen flying decks are gnar, but those unseen 
            Are none, therefore, thy dyed red hair confers
Enough to pop the rad of your machine,
            Outshining all, you not long amateur.
Fair youth and roller girl, thou love sweat be
            A dance. While her revolves replete with pride,
The teenage boy’s consumed with his pursuit 
Of strangling fame, not love of his Gen-Z.
     She’ll fade not, for their instas more than cute,
            Yet never will together be their stride.

Though, thirty may be old here, you can see
        Behind the shades the ease of someone great,
Vibes so chill wheels round do low-key screech
       To get a dap, a tip, a splash with fate.
Lo! His drop in! Such happy, graceful riding!
Contending joints and bones and ages yore
       Forever skating, and forever pining;
All crushing human talent that man bore,
   Waits on the precipice of subsiding,
                 Despite the life of dogged refining.

Who is this muscle pulling up for sport?
        Why care he so what shape his arms may take,
That sights are made before a group of folx, 
Who no currency they give the glistening rake. 
       His lighten hair and nipples are for show
As are the asses covered just by thongs. 
        O! sirens may have much with to contend,
          But do all sing their ribald, pretty songs.
Life here is rough, yet where they all do grow
       For on the heights of glory they attend. 

O Concrete Tribute! Sweet gift from Jesse.
    For years, until the prices drove him off,
Away blew shit and nevertheless he,
    For Venice men and maidens far too loth,
On fitful morns his unrequited love
Shone upward through the palms that he tended.
Though weighed by fog of money, waste, and time
Our friend, this job, he may have ended,
   Yet the park speaks what cannot be rid of:
The zenith to which persons here can climb.     

Bio -Jessalyn Maguire is a writer, artist, and filmmaker based between New York City and LA. Most recently she produced and edited the documentary feature, Wet House, which premiered at The Atlanta Film Festival in Spring 2021 and is enjoying a festival run. She also wrote, produced, and starred in the feature film: Maggie Black (available across digital platforms) about the dangerous and under-reported phenomena of mania in pregnancy. As a poet, Jessalyn’s work has been featured in the HBO Inspiration Room, short-listed for the Fish Poetry Prize, nominated for Best of the Net and can be read in december, The Offing, Crack the Spine, The Helix Magazine, Mortar Magazine, and others. Currently, she is painting a lot, see her works in the Web of Healing edition of Muff Magazine; writing her next narrative feature film, Big Misgivings, a late-stage capitalist odyssey; is writing a book about cognitive biases and evolutionary biology with comedian Shane Mauss; and is pursuing her Master’s in Social Work at Boston University. 

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