Poetry of Existence



Capital of potholes

City of crime

County of multi-peoples

Closet of dreams

            My L.A.


Place of progress

Home of the poor

Location of locations

Space of shining hope


Ocean of the Pacific

Sands of footnotes

Land of palm leaves

Gathering of wheels


Destiny of truth

Taste of youth

Sound of noise

Grab bag of choice


Sky of clear blues

Cement of hard times

West of East

South of North


Ciudad de la musica

Residue of insurgents

Aqui de Alla

Zen of then


Bastion of politicos

Scene of green-screen

Lover of losers

Environs of laid backers


Abode of wanderers

Arena of takers

District of destruction

Grounds of divorce

Vale of hills

Breath of Santa Ana

Life of stills

Water of Owens


Posture of art

Region of miracles

Dwelling of believers

Den of integrity


Resident of apartments

Crib of pads

Nest of the unsettled

Address of the craven


Room of the lonely

Seat of the lawless

Digs of the homeless

Habitat of the forgotten


Range of vastness

Haunt of the seeker

Hangout of movements

Estate of sunshine






Siobhán Ó Mócháin Breathnach                       

April 6, 2013

Scorpio on Fire


It is November,

a hot feverish Fall

upon L.A.,

bereft of believers

in city life

cum strife, they


away in cul de sacs,

hills and groves--

paradises backed 

against wild brush

like gangsters surrounded,

in places called El Colloquiata


La Pensivista.


It can’t be November,

searing conflagrations

cluttering red-blood skies

as wisps of family histories

float down on the innocent.


Really, it is November,

voices clamor for attention

over helicoptered nights,

dreams scarred by sirens

scatter across trees

black with remorse.


A defiant sun, a crazed moon

beat down on words and images,

heroines and heroes,

cops and arsonists,

reporters and raconteurs,

agents with forms,

homeowners now homeless.


We on the flatlands,

the cement core,

some of us under freeways,

watch the story and wonder:

What was it about us

that made them flee?



Siobhán Ó Mócháin Breathnach   

November 18, 2008



I will arise

and not rush

toward security.


I will arise

and not indulge



I will arise

and defer to


rat scrabble

ant whispers


dogs stretching.


Siobhán Ó Mócháin Breathnach   

June 2004

Last of the Scorpios (After Derek Mahon)

I want to be

like the woman

who enters the ladies room

to powder her nose

and is never seen exiting.


Or the woman

who knowingly disappears

down a dark lane

swinging with her purse

indifferent to the night

and the language of exodus.


Either way, I am done

with a civilization that

lives by its past

dies in its past,

last of the Scorpios

I shall defy convention

and crush my own skull

rather than prolong the

agony in the garden.


Many years I have crawled

in multiple forms

during which time

I have stalked my soul at night

and scoured the earth by day

fending off all trespassers

upon my song,

calculating a fine scheme

of a time away from this place-

a mansion of ideas

far from reality.


But the little people

will not hear of it

and mandate my mind

to join them, awash in

car alarms, 

garbage ceremonials

and gated cities,

to be a willing 

captive of history

to exit, one of them, 

and be grateful.

Siobhán Ó Mócháin Breathnach 

June  20, 1998                                                                       


Siobhán Ó Mócháin Breathnach