Reel by Doug Draime

(shot in 3D)

(John Lee Hooker’s, Blues Before Sunrise, weaves in and out till final wipe)

(close up)

She snores like an old man

(quick cut)

She lies in a bathtub fingering herself. The water bubbles up. She can
hear her husband walking in the hallway. And she can hear her children
asking for Cheerios.

(slow dislove)

In the middle of the room she leans over the table with a straw up her
nose. Does 2 long lines in record time. She smiles at Mary. Mary’s
husband works at the Shell station. He has no idea, and won’t be home
for several hours.

(fade)

Her mother, an invalid, in a wheelchair, writing a check on a Sears catalog.

(cut to her daughter)

She is slamming a screeen door over and over again, screaming at her
husband.

“You fucking asshole, you dirty son-of-a-bitch. Fuck you!. Fuck you, I hate
your fucking guts, you fucking piece of shit.”

The screendoor falls of the hinges. Her husband is sitting in an old rocking
chair just inside the broken door, rocking their 2 year old son, who is crying.

“Your mother loves you, “ he says softly several times.

(cut to flashback)

A car is weaving in and out of the California mountains. It jolts to a stop on
the edge of a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean.

(zoom to close up)

She is smashing her head on the steering wheel, crying and laughing hysterically.

(slow fade)

She is amazed that a plant is living in her house.

“Look,” she tells her husband, “this spider plant is actaully still alive.”

(close up of plant)

(wipe)

(slow fade in)

Her mother in her wheelchair sitting in front of a muted big screen TV, shaking and
crying, tears flooding down her cheeks. She tighens the dirty grey blanket she has
wrapped around herself. A male nurse leans over her.

“Can I get anything for you, Mrs. Bergman? Is there something I can do?
Mrs. Bergman, Mrs. Bergman …?”

(slow fade to her daughter in her car on the cliff)

(zoom to close up of her face, her breakdown)

(wipe)

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Los Angeles Terminal (Poems 1971-1980) by Doug Draime reviewed by Jack Henry

Before reading Los Angeles Terminal, I couldn’t pick Doug Draime out of a poet line-up to save my sorry ass. Blame that on my lack of being a true reader of the underground press. Doug started out in the 60’s and has been a part of the underground arena since. I had no idea what I missed out on.

Covert Press has put out another great chapbook in Los Angeles Terminal. It does what a good chapbook is supposed to do: it makes you hunger for more. Doug Draime is a true poet, one of exquisite talent, insight and observation. He is the bridge between the last Beats, Bukowski and modern writers. He is the poet I want to be.

When I first read this book I got pissed off. There are poets that challenge me, poets that make me laugh and not in a good way, and poets that make me want to shove a sharpened pencil in my eye. Doug made me get my sharpener out.

Twenty-seven poems with acetylene focus outline a darker image of Los Angeles. For those that live here you already know it’s a shithole, after reading this book, others will find out. But the color and life put into each line make the visit worthwhile.

More than a few poems stick out.

From Steak & Eggs Special, a haunting look at the search and fear of companionship in the big city.

a girl in a leather dress
a stranger
sits down across from me in a booth

you havin’ the special? she asked
yeah i say
i am too she says but adds:
separate checks ok?
ok i agree

It ends w/a kicker.

then she takes her shoe off
& gently puts
a slender
black-nyloned foot
against my crotch

There is certain loneliness and longing in LA that Doug captures well.

From All I knew About Her…

I knew she
chanted at a
box she called
an altar,
words in Japanese,
she didn’t
know the
meaning of.
I knew she
feared the
darkness &
ran from the light.
I knew, I knew,
the sound of
her tears.

There’s also a great deal of insanity in Los Angeles, which might be true of most cities, but in my travels I have never seen as many crazy people as I do here in LA. In A Night On The Boards Doug discusses the insanity of trying to get a beer and a sandwich, how reality can explode and mix w/the lunacy of survival.

…Someone laughed as Mary spilled a
pitcher of beer
on her hot new satin dress.
oh, jesus, i thought, all this shit
for a couple of free beers
& a sandwich?

The last poem is perhaps the best, in my opinion. Los Angeles Terminal: After A Friend’s Suicide Attempt. It’s a piece that harbors a sense of despair, a sense of detachment that is so common here.

…What we thought were smoke singles
(or whatever they were) have stopped
and now there is only the smog.

Indeed.

If you are a slacker asshole like me that never read Doug Draime you need to change that right now. Go to http://www.covertpoetics.com and buy this book. It is well worth your money, and it will make you appreciate truly great writing.

~ Jack Henry deadbeatpress.com