It is nine in the morning and already too hot.
Ninety degrees in the San Fernando Valley
It is truly a dog day of summer.
At ten-thirty in the morning it is two hundred degrees.
Hot enough to keep a pie comfortably warm,
so when you are ready, you could scoop
vanilla ice cream on top.
At one in the afternoon
it is six hundred degrees.
Hot enough to cook a family of four,
though certain laws request you don't.
At four in the afternoon
most of the Earth's surface has burned away.
I'm writing this underneath the
last remaining palm tree
in a place as far away from the equator
as one could be.
A gaggle of deceased penguins
stares at me wantingly.
Nine o-clock in the evening
I got to bed. It is too hot to be awake anymore.
Probably fifteen hundred degrees.
I'd check the news for tomorrow's potential
but they are gone. I'm going to sleep
until the ice monsters come
until they develop clothing especially for this
until the breaking of the fall.
Rick Lupert has been involved with L.A. poetry since 1990. He created the Poetry Super Highway and has hosted the weekly Cobalt Cafe reading since 1994. He's authored 14 collections of poetry, most recently Death of a Mauve Bat and Sinzibuckwood, and edited A Poet's Haggadah and the Noir anthology The Night Goes on All Night. He is regularly featured at venues throughout Southern California and works as a music teacher and graphic designer for anyone who would like to help pay his mortgage.