Los Angeles/Playa Vista, 2017

In this poem I picked Los Angeles and Playa Vista as my location. In my poem I reference the Los Angeles river who took a victim by Playa Vista in this recent year’s rain as a young boy tried to cross on his way home and got swept up by the current and was taken miles away from his home. I also reference carved names and I am talking about a wall by a marina that has the names of lost soldiers carved in. I also reference trolls as a plethora of our homeless population seeks refuge underneath bridges and overpasses. Los Angeles as a huge homeless problem as most of our homeless are not aware of various organizations that are there to help and their lives go unheard. My mother helped various organizations that intended their focus on adolescent homelessness. Most of the decisions to help the homeless are fruitless and people in power do not always direct their attention to the growing homeless population so these homeless civilizations have few on their side. My poem was meant to replicate William Blake’s “London” as I try and capture the same feeling of walking down the street and seeing what I describe in my poem. I used a few similar words as a starting off point and I tried to replicate the same rhyme scheme that Blake uses, abab. My punctuation sort of follows the same placement as Blake’s but it is not meant to be a central focus or decision in my poem.

I wander through each paved street,

Near where the empty Los Angeles River rolls,

And connect in each homeless face I meet

Signs of ugliness, signs of trolls.


In every sigh a desperate tear,

In every cry a worsening fate,

In every voice a certain fear

The change often comes too late.


How the workers try

And the children starve,

Every mother’s cry

All the names are carved.


But most days the streets are bare

Underneath the bridge the trolls must hide

There is nothing much left to share

Everyone must eventually pick a side.


–Alison Vining


One thought on “Los Angeles/Playa Vista, 2017

  1. The most original thing in this poem is your play on words. I think this is very unique and a strong beginning to an even stronger poem. I feel this poem kind of left me wanting more. It did not feel finished and I would love to read more of your work, great job!

    Rahma Kohin
    EC – 10/25


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