Michael C. Ford
        For forty years Michael C. Ford has been a force in the LA poetry scene. The very first book of his I became familiar with is called The World is a Suburb of Los Angeles—I came across it one day many years ago as I was loitering in the stacks at Cal State LA’s JKF Library. I liked the title so much I borrowed the book and read it in one night.

        Michael C. Ford’s work is a pungent mix of prose and poetry; he’s a cross between LA Confidential and Bukowski. He’s defiantly local, writing about everything he loves and hates and loves to hate about this place. Consider these lines that open the poem “Visitation Rites”:  “There’s the feeling Los Angeles should be a legacy of palmtrees bordering avenues named after unknown Indian explorers. But inside it’s just a place where you can get channel 5.”  Indeed.  Michael C. Ford writes about “the scheme of the things and the scam of things.” He’s often angry, and that’s great, because often poets need to be angry, and the way things are isn’t usually so good. Michael C. Ford writes about the “siren intrusions boycotting the supermarket of night.”  In “Local Anesthetic” he writes, “I want to see a suburban Jesus resurrect and spit splinters of the cross into the hype and chisel of landlord greed.” Michael C. Ford is angry and bitter and it’s great. And on occasion he speaks without adornment:  “sometimes”—he writes—“it’s necessary to be arrogantly preachy in order to reveal the truth.” At times he can be surreal; at times he invokes the stars of another era:  Jean Harlow, Gene Tierney, Humphrey Bogart.  They are alive and well in his mind and they come alive again when he reads his work. With “wonderful sowing machine eyes” he has witnessed, and he’s here to tell us what he’s seen.

A Man Mad Enough to Live Among Monsters

I am a man mad enough to live among monsters,
Inside this blighted lightless place, where there are
Too many eyes, with nothing human looking out.

It’s a place where a Dr. Frankenstein is seen lurking
Around every corner and waiting to create beasts of
Dark malevolence; where weapons are sniping at

Innocent bystanders from turrets on tract-home
Prison rooftops. It is a place where there are too
Many being poisoned by the radiated grunge of

Industrial profiteering; or where they are terrorized
By landlords whose hands always get a firm grip on
Gears of the guillotine. Take me to a place, where

Jacaranda trees spill pills of purple cotton over
Pitted roads of passage; and, endlessly, leading
Back to that demonic country, where passports
Will always be issued for re-entry.

First published in The Demented Chauffeur, Ion Dive Publishing, 2009  

2009 Michael C. Ford
Michael C. Ford was a Featured Poet who read his poetry at the September 2009
and November 2010 Second Sunday Poetry Series.