L.A. Retro-Specs

Judith Terzi

I fell for your rock & roll blitz.
Buffed bucks, skirts & sweaters matched.
First Revlon & Maybelline.
Count the times at Rexall’s photo booth.
You dig? Together waiting for b & w
squares to ooze out. So fine. Onion rings, luv,
if I hadn’t had them, I would have loved you
½ as much. Ditto for pastrami at Canter’s
in the borscht belt where I lived. Hail to prune
Danish & hair-netted waitresses whose red
lipstick spilled way over lip limits. I fell
under your spell. Ooh I did. & James Dean’s
& Newman’s & Natalie’s & Tab’s & Sal’s.
Kisses for the souls of the departed cool
whose autographed glossies I tacked
to wallpaper roses. Amen. Amen. Just you
& me slow dancing to Cooke & Cole & Mathis.
Remember Marlon in his red Triumph
next to my two-tone blue Chevy Impala?
Both of us on Sunset Strip headed for the sea.
Then alone with Heston in an elevator
during my first quake. Thou shalt not panic,
he preached. How I reveled in your Saturdays––
safe as parents imagined them––taking the bus
to Grauman’s Chinese or the Egyptian or
Wallach’s Music City, Sunset & Vine, where
I listened to 78s then 45s in soundproof booths.
Undiscoverable & pure, I was no starlet, baby,
just an ordinary girl pedal-pushing through
your shake-rattle-and-roll-about-to-explode decade.


Judith Terzi‘s poetry has received nominations for Best of the Net and Web as well as awards and recognition from journals and presses including Alehouse Press, Atlanta Review, dotdotdash, Gold Line Press (USC), Mad Hatters’, Newport Review and River Styx. Sharing Tabouli was published by Finishing Line in 2011. She taught high school French for many years as well as English at California State University, Los Angeles, and in Algiers, Algeria.