Tarzana Is My Heroine

a poet considers the imaginary and reality of Tarzana


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Purple Sky/Purple Rain

This was the purple (well, maybe lilac) sky I saw two nights ago at dusk, before the rain came in.

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Tonight my Prince will come?

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Tarzana Is What Paradise?

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Tarzana Is What Paradise?

It is a finite neon thing;
A flame-out orange & spiky thing.
I think it is a final thing
I’m coming to understand.

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Paradise, acetylene torch,
Lights us up but casts a shadow

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Taking the shape of possible fates
Unrecognized as our own doing.

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Tarzana is a paradise
Of Canada geese & lost dogs.
It is jungle-fevered profit made
Off twice-removed celebrity.

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What paradise has lost its birds?
Has busy streets, but empty stores;
Not enough parks? These late fall
Days bring forth something amazing,

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Something I didn’t realize before:
Birds-of-paradise die. Fall will
Come for what’s ready and what’s not,
For the citrus and the root crops.

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It comes to the year-round summer
Spoiling us for anywhere else.
Our heaven is a tropical
Bloom wilting in the desert weather

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Of someone’s paradise idea.
Whoever planted these flowers
Forgot they die. So did I.
Tarzana is my told-you-so.


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At Crave Cafe, Sherman Oaks

I’ve been at Crave Cafe-Sherman Oaks a few times lately for lunch when I needed somewhere reliable and convenient to go during my Valley ramblings. www.cravecafes.com

I know Crave is a place where I can eat something quick but tasty, use the wi-fi without feeling antisocial, and have a decent espresso drink.

They are known for their crepes, omelets, paninis, and ice cream sandwiches made with two big cookies.

I happen to know the owner, Abe Abu-Dalu, and his family. I’ve had many fun breakfasts there with his wife, Nibal, and a couple of other friends, so you can take this with a grain of salt if you want!

Abe also owns the tasty Pita Kitchen restaurant that’s just around the corner. But at Crave, he has created a place with a lively, casual coffee house/bistro atmosphere with friendly, attentive service, even though you order at the counter and the wait staff just bring the food out. Without fail, the waiters come around at least a couple of times after you get your food to see if you need anything else or to remedy anything amiss (and with good grace, in my experience).

I really like that extra touch of good service that, as an order-at-the-counter kind of place, they aren’t really expected to do. I like it that they serve pesto and red pepper sauce as sides with every panini or sandwich.

They also serve a nice, fresh side salad with all the savory dishes–even with some of the breakfast items like omelets or bagel sandwiches.

The photos give a good sense of the ambience.

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Stop by and try it sometime, and tell Abe that Coco sent you!