The first stop is Angel Stadium, "The Big A"
The conductor says, "This stop for the Magic Kingdom."
Past the stadium, new construction,
industrial buildings, freeways,
the Santa Ana "river"
chain-linked fence with razor wire,
Parking lots filled with cars, cars, cars
Houses and apartments (the backs of them)
Acres of white and orange storage facilities
Lots of stucco
the rare orange tree.
Suburban homes of southeast Anaheim,
quiet streets, brick walls
McDonalds, Hometown Buffet
In the distance, the low "skyscrapers" of Orange County
dirt fields of unknown purpose
Next stop, Santa Ana,
the largest and most beautiful
of the OC train stations,
Spanish "Mission Revival" style
that is so popular here.
A man on crutches, wearing a bright orange t-shirt,
hobbles off the train.
A Latino man pushing a trash can.
A big old recycling center,
more public storage,
more fences and razor wire,
a burnt-down building like a black skeleton,
secretive unnamed industrial businesses
of unknown purpose,
tubing and rubber and metal of unknown purpose.
The distant train whistle,
Jack 'N the Box,
State Farm Insurance.
Lots of cars on the lots of various car dealerships.
those huge sterile square buildings,
industrial "parks" and then
track housing developments,
More enormous dirt fields,
a veterinary cancer group,
more tract housing
(these ones are brown, not gray)
Strawberry fields between cement walls and the train tracks,
stooped workers in the sun.
More stucco, tract housing,
more cement walls and brown fields,
a waste land.
A golf course, golfers golfing.
The color palate of industrial buildings is very limited.
More brown fields, low foothills in the distance,
Three Latino Cal Trans workers having lunch
in the bed of a pickup truck under a freeway overpass.
"Alright, ladies and gentlemen," the conductor says,
"We are now arriving in Irvine, lovely Irvine."
But these industrial buildings are not lovely.
There is a hint of irony in her voice.
The Irvine train station is the ugliest in Orange County.
Irvine is ugly ugly ugly
and wealthy wealthy wealthy
"Last opportunity to witness the wonders
of the jewel of suburbia, Irvine."
Next stop, San Juan Capistrano.
Cars, dirt fields, roads, desolation, scorched earth.
What are these fields?
What used to grow here?
Will it ever grow again?
These transplanted trees feel artificial,
a mask to cover a cold and
What is happening inside these
square industrial buildings?
Into San Juan Capistrano,
a mobile home park,
cement walls, transplanted trees,
dirt, brown, Spanish tiles,
a lone cactus, nopal,
Quality Self Storage,
apartment complexes like housing projects,
another golf course, golfers golfing
cement, dirt, an empty public park,
hints of coastal sage scrub,
Outback Steak House,
past the last orange grove,
the trees dying,
some already dead,
like skeleton trees.