“And coagulations to you, too!”

It tickled me, as in gave me cosquillas, to hear this bloody word being shouted from the narrative rafters at Long Beach’s Peace & Unity Parade Celebration, which celebrated the life, and certainly not the death, (although, isn’t that supposed to be prize in the Cracker Jack box of Christianity?), of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr!


I feel bad for Daddy King. It’s always junior this, junior that, junior mint. And what about the O.G. Martin Luther?


Total art fag.

Of course, it was the parade’s sound system turning the announcers’ shouts of CONGRATULATIONS!  into COAGULATIONS! Nobody there was actually stoked about blood clotting although I think that’s something we should encourage kids to feel. It frustrates me when students waddle to my desk, foist a nicked finger at me, and groan, “Can I have a Band-aid?”

Try nature’s Band-aid,” I whisper.

“What’s that?”

A scab…”

The parade announcers, of which there was a he and she, coagulated each grand marshall, of which, in my estimation, there seemed a shitload. My homeslice Zzzzzzz stood with me, beneath sun which seemed to glow extra strong in honor of civil righteousness, and as our announcers coagulated yet another grand marshall, I realized that if Zzzzzzz and I were shrewder ladies, we could’ve been riding in one of those marshal drop tops on loan from Worthington Ford, flashing children and toothpick-sucking mens in wheelchairs our pageant grins, blessing them with our tin foil scepters. We could’ve been coagulated.


Cal Worthington, a king in his own right. May he someday be honored with a parade with only one grand marshal: Snoop Lion.

The parade promenaded, mmm, maybe about half a dozen blocks or so from my pad, and Zzzzzzz and I schlepped past a dirt patch of history to get there: Rosa Parks Park.

May we someday have an Órale Güey Way.

It will lead to Dolores Huerta Huerta.

Zzzzzzz and I gazed upon the the celebration drive, walk, march, scoot, trot, and folk-dance up Martin Luther King Jr. Güey. We stationed ourselves at the foot of the announcers’ tree house because their narration of what was happening in front of us was unbeatable. Those two spoke about what was parading up MLK as if unpacking a mystery for people lacking all senses. For example, as a fleet of lowriders let loose with hydraulics, the he announcer explained, “This might be a…Mercury. Yes, a Mercury. An orange Mercury.”

He let us know how the Mercury related to his desires: “I’d love to be riding in that with Halle Berry!”


The narrative treehouse silhouetted against flag-waving hair.

In order to create a narrative free of coagulation, I’ve weeded out the grand marshals and have distilled the parade to its visual highlights and corresponding narratives wonders:


A mini-Mardi Gras! Zzzzzz, show ’em what you’re made of. I want beads.


An orange car!


An Basquiat-inspired representation of Dr. King!


The Peace Corps!


A reminder to get my lump checked!


An army of one! When he dies, it’s a massacre.


They might be…Mormons. Yes, Mormons. Two. Likely…white.




Settle down.


Officer Tiny.


In the words of our announcers, “Some C’mere dancers!”


A garbage truck with an MLK banner on it which made me ponder why? til I remembered, oh, yeah, he was involved in that famous sanitation workers strike, dumb ass. How’s that degree in history workin’ out, Gerbz?


Dancing ladies, one of whom is my student, and I shouted her name and then, “Do your homework!” She looked around, frightened, losing her rhythm but by god, she did her homework.


The intro to the gay pride float.


Martin Luther Queen!


Mexican munchkins! Munxicans!


The United States of Mexico…


And for reals, the punctuation at the end of the parade: Gringo Johnny scooping up la caca!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t fast enough to get a picture of the lady parader who was going to save kids from gangs by getting them into Zumba but I hope this was enough.



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