Under the long green hair of pepper trees,
The writers and composers work the street.
Bach’s new score is crumpled in his pocket,
Dante sways his ass-cheeks to the beat.


The city is named for the angels,
And its angels are easy to find.
They give off a lubricant odor,
Their eyes are mascara-lined;
At night you can see them inserting
Gold-plated diaphragms;
For breakfast they gather at poolside
Where screenwriters feed and swim.


Every day, I go to earn my bread
In the exchange where lies are marketed,
Hoping my own lies will attract a bid.


It’s Hell, it’s Heaven: the amount you earn
Determines if you play the harp or burn.


Gold in their mountains,
Oil on their coast;
Dreaming in celluloid
Profits them most.



Hollywood Elegies (Translated by Adam Kirsch)

Bertolt Brecht


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