Years ago I brought a guest with me to an art opening at the Hammer Museum here in L.A. I was deciding whether to date this man who was considerably older than I was and a little bit of an enigma. At the end of the evening I asked a couple of friends what they thought of him. One replied, “He seemed nice.” Another said he was “handsome and smart.” And my friend Stephanie Ford gave it thoughtful consideration, then described him as “curmudgeonly and urbane.” And in her two words I suddenly understood the strange push and pull I had been feeling toward this man for months. That’s what Stephanie Ford, my friend and poet, does. She simply and eloquently reveals the heart of the matter. And her new collection of poems, All Pilgrim, reveals our ordinary day to day lives here in Los Angeles. With titles like “If Every Point is an Origin” and “Temporary Assets of the Visible West” her poems manage to see through the smog of the city and honor its light with a surprisingly hopeful undercurrent and a wonderfully specific vantage point. And through her efforts our ordinary days spent merging with traffic or gridlocked seem suddenly extraordinary.