A digital image of a judge pounding a gavel. In his fist he holds a handful of hundred dollar bills. Beneath the image is a cityscape, as if he is pounding the city with his gavel.
Inti Gonzalez/Youth Spirit Artworks/intigonzalez.com

My life is like quicksand: I’m not sinking, but I’m stuck. Family rumor is I was an accident, a mistake in an old truck. A no strings attached jolly good F#@K. Over and over, so I’ve been told, I can’t forget her voice, hostile and cold. My story’s not unique. And trust me it gets old. But I’ve learned never to look backwards from an open road. Yeah I can travel light but I carry a heavy load, have scars I can’t show, secrets I can’t tell a soul. Living underground is not just for moles. Emotional wounds simmer and burn like coals.

I take naps in the park and find peace feeding ducks. At least one of us is not shit-out-of-luck. A quarter saved becomes a buck. I budget pennies and keep a nickel tuck’d. I’m quite certain homelessness is a social-construct, labeled a non-profit burden, I dream but not much. Though homeless I still marched for “Black Lives Matter.” The powers that be are desensitized mad-hatters. The fabric of “one nation” in tatters while the one percent get richer, politicians get fatter. C. Wright Mills’ “power elite” is very alive, conservative and crazy, the very same who say homeless persons are conartists and lazy. That we’re so high on everything, or reality is purple and hazy. 

“Not true, not true,” and I quote: we homeless need to unite and vote. Sign a petition and send congress a note. Have some bills written and propositions “WROTE.” Senators please quit the sound-bites and bullshit. Mismanaging state funds and sending tax-payers on a fieldtrip. Philosophically speaking, “ignorance is not bliss.” For the record, where are “our” f#@kin lobbyists?

Please forgive my freedom of speech, but…how come allocated funds never reach the impoverished, down-trodden and needy? It’s the fleecing of America by the selfish and greedy. With their off-shore accounts and pocket stuffing patterns. In the dark alley deals of congress perhaps they need a few lanterns, so the less fortunate can see those who starve and those who eat—government negligence and bribes clearly no longer discreet. The homeless and other voiceless can’t compete, crippling taxes weigh down those who have the least. Whole families struggling in the streets, yet Capitol Hill spends billions to stabilize the Middle-East. I’m exhausted with their photo-ops and campaign tweets. We should all push mute when city council folk speak. “Blah, blah, blah,” doesn’t put shoes on homeless children’s feet. 

I hate to be cranky and rude, but willful cruelty puts me in a terrible mood. I’m sure you can relate but hunger creates an attitude. Well here’s a vision: more Modesto Gospel Missions. It’s underfunded did I mention, we need more residential shelter, self-help centers and kitchens for the less fortunate and poverty stricken? We got rappers dying over “beef,” who I gotta kill for some chicken? I’d mow your lawn for leftovers or the table scraps you trash, or allow to develop an odor. Makes no sense, people hungry and homeless in a nation of hoarders. For fame models and actors “choose” eating disorders. Before Donald builds the wall perhaps I should cross the border. In Los Angeles the homeless are being exploited and murdered. A million hits on YouTube, fighting over a burger while energy and tech companies make billion-dollar mergers. 

You wonder why I’m mad? My bad, you’d rather I be sad. How do you sleep, I mean, is poverty and suffering necessary? Paying $900 dollars a plate at the Nebraska primaries. The current oval office admin is on the morbid side of scary. Okay I’ll give it a rest, I’m sure republicans and dems gave it their best as the homeless become more endangered and stressed. Hope and a voice are all we got left. Why can’t the child who doesn’t “have its own” be blessed?

Douglas Levon Dawkins aka Truth N. Poetry is a poet and writer born and raised in the Bay Area. Prior to his incarceration, he was homeless, and says poetry and art have helped him in his lifelong battle with depression. He is currently incarcerated in California.