Published on Academy of American Poets (

Location LA

Never arriving in a city missing in locational drift
plates shifting under building facades and whipped décor,
seas rising and falling at the edge of amusements
and surf. The migrations migrating elsewhere,
monarchs lost on their way south, children coming north
in droves on their way to anywhere else.
The city of lost souls blowing in the Santa Ana winds
and people who are not us no matter who we are.
Where is she now, he asks, what ever happened to the girl
named for a saint, the one with the ankle tattoo
the one who dropped out, lost out, & only just arrived.


Copyright © 2015 by Martha Ronk. Used with permission of the author.

About this Poem

“‘Location LA’ is part of a series of short poems on the vulnerable city I live in: climate change, earthquakes, Santa Ana winds, drought, high school dropouts, homeless, and newly arrived families. Yet, as many cities in Calvino’s book Invisible Cities, it has always remained invisible, slippery, an enigma.”
Martha Ronk


Martha Ronk

Born in 1940, Martha Ronk is the author of several collections of poetry, including Vertigo (Coffee House Press, 2007), which was selected by C. D. Wright as a part of the National Poetry Series.

Date Published: 2015-01-14

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