[Hpn] San Francisco's STREET SHEET Online -- February, 2001 -- =?ISO-8859-1?B?oQ==?=SPECIAL POETRY ISSUE! pt 2 =?ISO-8859-1?B?oQ==?=SPECIAL POETRY ISSUE! pt 2

chance martin streetsheet@sf-homeless-coalition.org
Wed, 31 Jan 2001 19:57:55 -0700

19 €


You want us out of our homes; you want us out of our city.
We want you out too.

On the night of Wed Dec. 13th we broke the windows of Zephyr real estate,
and we smeared paint on their building.
Zephyr real estate deserved it, responsible for the evictions of hundreds
maybe thousands of San Francisco families,
responsible for what happens to us after we are evicted (hunger,
homelessness, displacement)

They break our spirits, and our families; we broke a few windows
They evict us from our homes; we smeared some paint on their building
They have insurance to insurance to replace their windows; and we have
residential hotels, soup lines, and unemployment.

On the uneven field of combat we find ourselves on we are not the
antagonists, forced out of our city and forced out of homes, all we can do
is react.
We tried reasoning and understanding, we tried the streets and the planning
commission, and we tried the ballot box;
now we try bricks and the cover of fog.
What we try next is up to you, WE HAVE OUR EYE ON ESCALATION.

We isolated a symptom a real estate agent,
The cough that let us know we have bronchitis,
The disease is the government, and capitalism.
This action should not be seen as an attack, not as a response in like; we
haven't gotten there yet. It is more like a greeting card; a statement of
intent; a breaking of the ice.
The warning shot is coming, and the war after that.
Don't think that we aimed low this time, we just aimed reasonably.

Tierra y Libertad

We look forward to the day that you will leave us alone, we look forward to
peace, good education, good food, and no police. We look forward to freedom,
we dream; but when we wake up you are still there.
Please leave.


(the Army of the Working Poor)

20 €


i'd like to see the look
on the politicians' faces--
bush and gore duking it out,
cream pies at 20 paces!

since it all depends on florida,
i think it were no crime
if for a choice of weapons
they settled on key lime!

gore might have advantage,
since he has got the height,
but bush once bought a ball team
so you know his aim is right.

we'll score it just like bowling--
a full pie in the face
would certainly count as a strike,
almost anyplace.

i think it would be wonderful,
if now on, every day,
our differences were settled
in a gentlemanly way.

more voters surely'd turn out
and put them thru their paces,
if they could see politicos
with cream pie on their faces!

Dennis Fritzinger

Warrior Poets Society
via Biotic Baking Brigade

21 €


Freedom what it is, and who's holding it hostage?

Our Fears,


Pain of inadequacy,
of social rejection,
of hunger,
but what of the unspoken
and true pain,
the pain of solitude
the realization that you no longer possess
economic viability.

40 oz's never looked so good.


22 €


Obscenity is the world
of twisted hopes and
black-mouthed fools who steal the scenes,
Of eyeless drones who never dream.
The mill, the grind, and all for what?
That the few may prosper
whilst the many may not?
Politicians vomiting sugared lies
in orator's flowery, passioned words
to fool and blind the toiling mass
that bosses need never fear the herd.
The lies and hate both have a use
in helping the rulers to tighten the noose.
What use rebellion, when all progress must die
betrayed by the greedy and killed by the lie
that rulers must govern
whilst reason stands by ...?


(Reprinted from BLACK FLAG, Autumn 1993)

23 €


In the beginning
There were the flower days
They followed the days of heroin and hypodermics.
It was a time of cleansing
The smell of burning grass
Washed away in the stench of old cookers
Fish-hook hypodermics
And selling myself to old men
On the streets of the worm-apple core.
Suddenly it was like Tinkerbell of the Peter Pan story
Had finally appeared on my window-sill
And dropped the magic on me
I flew that night
We all did
We danced the Woodstock even before it happened.
At first it was the window-pane
The four-way Sunshine
the Owsely Blue Acid
And they sang to us to "Love the one you're with."
And we did.
We didn't know that it meant to love ourselves.
But we loved you with a passion.
Getting high was the quest for god.
Getting high was sweet love in the mosquito-dusk.
Getting high was old friends
In the soft-afterglow of the moonshine.
Getting high was the sweet smell of hemp
In the cloud-mountain morning
Back at the commune.
Getting high was the sent of the she slipping back
Into the sleeping bag with two joints rolled
Rolling acid on her tongue
And she kissing the power-hit pungent smoke
Deep into you
The sweet organ honey from the night before
Was the perfume dancing you deep into each other.
There could be no going back
Who would want to?
Then the nightmares crept into the dreaming
We would dream awake.
Flying on crystal meth for days.
The loving ended.
The fucking began.
Seven days later we wondered when we had last slept.
Pulling away from each other as sweat poured from pores
And blood spilled from our genitals.
Searching and running crazy from one damage to the next.
Faces eaten by the drug lust.
The dealers cutting the dope with screams and rat poison
As the needle boys slithered in the snake- skin soft.
Getting high was hiding from the face of an Alien God.
Getting high was she
Leaping into the air with blood running
Out of her nostrils and ears
And screaming for someone
To take the shot back out of her vein
When no one could.
Getting high was seeing her die and not being able to stop.
Getting high was lockdown on maxi-tier
Someone slipping a joint through the bars and after you smoke the pinner
Peace and love and all that shit
Your cell mates asks you
"what would you do if I set you on fire
while you sleep?"
Getting high was hands shaking
Sitting on the shitter at MacDonalds
Dope in the cooker
You drop your vial of clean water
And draw up the water from the toilet
To shoot the dust of lost dreams into your veins.
Never dreaming it could end like this.
Never dreaming angels could die and blow away like dead leaves.
Never dreaming that the alleyways would be home to so many.
Never dreaming hospitals, institutions, and death demon- sigh in the night
Past lovers becoming hag-bag legions pushing shopping carts
Genius poets screaming rhyme through haddol haze
Praying for electro-shock to take them home
Would become acceptable facts.
Never dreaming that you could dream again.
Even the old men didn't want us anymore
Blown away powder-boys and girls of the sweet sixties.
Dead leaves burning in chemical piles
On the heated grates of cities that should have no names.
Some of us still remain
To tell tales of how it was
And how the times of light became darkened.
We only sing tales
Like tellers of old because we were compelled
By what was once an Alien God.
Come sit by the fire and we will sing you a song
Of how it was.
They were the flower days
In the Beginning.


24 €


Look at the friend,
Running around.
Erping and gerping,
Stuck on the ground.
Look at the friend,
Messing his pants,
Sick like the devil
And needing a chance.
Look at the friend,
Begging for change.
Or selling his body,
Nothing too strange
Look at his friend,
Finally got well.
The circle starts over,
In his self-imposed hell.
I look at the friend, look in his eye.
As I shatter the mirror and then start to cry.

Unicorn Dreams
aka Steven Dulclercque

25 €


Yesterday, I was talkin' with Fred.
I asked him was God dead?
Has he been arrested, sitting in Valley St. Jail?
Got nobody to make bail?
Has he been to the drop-in center?
Had a look around?
Does he want people sleeping on the ground?
Has he eaten at the shelter or gone without?
I don't know, but it is what I pray about.
Did God forget the home-less?
Like we are just a mess?
I had a home, not a manger, but prayed with mom
Now the streets are home - where I stay alone
And God is a stranger
And life is danger.

A crow don't know
Just eats, and goes
I like crows

Jerry H.

26 €


I've been hopping the freight
for half my life
Always bring a jug of wine
and carry a knife
Wake up in the morning
With the blues on my tail
I guess it's better
Than waking up in jail
This boxcar's so cold
But I don't feel a thing
I just think of the brothers
and how their hammers would swing
The whip on their backs
when they laid these tracks
This train leads to nowhere
and always comes back.

Jaime Kupchun

IS GOD DEAD? and HOBO are from the anthology
Under the Bridge by The Under the Bridge Project,
Manchester NH
ISBN 0-9707247-0-5
29 €

love poem to the cuban revolution

the old man tells me how tenderly you taught him to read

and i imagine you sitting next to him tracing the page word by word

the committee president thanks you

for watching her kids while she works

and i see you lift them giggling into the air

the sugarcane farmer sings your praises as he plows

and i hear you applaud as you hand him the deed to the land

children on havana sidewalks drink your free mango nectar

and i taste you sweet in the equal rations

but when i wake in the united states

i see kids try to learn in schools with more cops than books

i meet mothers who can't get jobs that pay enough for childcare

i touch the callused hands of a farmworker that earn barely minimum wage

when i wake in the united states i thirst for your july rains

so i begin to work in your memory

and search the clouds for the signs of a storm

Maria Poblet

30 €

I used to love the rain.

It goes back to my childhood;
my mother wouldn't let me out in it
at first, and then it was a treat
to feel it plopping on my waxy yellow raincoat
under the big bright hat like a fireman would wear
or a fisherman out at sea in a hurricane,

drops falling splat splat in the puddles --
water out of the sky -- how amazing
and how grown up to be walking in it
all by myself.

I used to love the rain, even
when I came home from the storefront Methodist
church my parents thought would be good for me
full of Noah and the fire next time

daydreaming of water over the ditch
up the hill and into the driveway, water
over the curb, into the basement,
water up the front stairs
and the door, flooding the whole world
to the windows; then we could all go around in boats.

I always loved the rain
in the Bible, falling
with loving impartiality;
the real rain would remind me of it
and make me smile; the air felt clean
as if it were already done washing

and on a rainy night you know
the psychic power lines are buzzing
so anything can happen, anything--

When you're an overpromised failure at college
inside-out and shriveling with loneliness,
you might venture out on a sleepless midnight
to find a wandering stranger at the doughnut shop
(holy-eyed and ranting of past lives he'd seen you in)
to invite you to a mansion in the Berkeley hills
where a young woman fifty thousand years old
waits to initiate you into mysteries;

anything can happen on a rainy night
when you need it to happen, when the time is right;

you can move in to protect
a woman you're mistakenly in love with
and adore her from afar in her own living room.
You could steal her a Christmas tree
thirty years ago when I did it
though I wouldn't recommend that anymore.

(The rain came down in drops crowded together
each drop like a fishbowl, the wind tearing at the world
while I sat cozy inside the window.)

I always wanted it to rain; I wanted
to feel the angels washing me clean again
for another start, another adventure,
or maybe just the simple love of the rain.

There was a time, once
when a decent person might love the rain
and it wouldn't have to mean someone was shivering;

it wouldn't have to mean people sleeping in wet clothes
with no mommy to put them in a hot bath
so the wouldn't catch their deaths out in all that.

I have seen my country ruin itself
in a frenzy of willful ignorance;
I have seen mercy despised, cruelty accepted--

heard men like ants prattling of "freedom"
to create "wealth" by picking each others' pockets--

I have had to learn to live
by swallowing indignation
but beyond all that
they have stolen my rain

and that is not even mine
to forgive.

Forrest Curo
Street Light

31 €

Placing Life Within

The factories of the day
Of the seed
Of the mind 
That was planet
Of the fertilizer
To use to grow within
That tree today
Of the factories that
Were used of the
Fertilizer today
Of the tree
To make it strong
And that it would not linger
And fall
Within the society today
But who to say
What is righteous
In our society today
Everyone false within the opinions
Of the tree which stood so tall
And strong by the wind
The tree grows very fruitful
Thoughts for the minds
Around them
So when the trees were tired
Of standing so violently and
Wanted to rest it's trunk
Then everyone turned against
The tree to make it lie down
On it's trunk
But where was the support?
As long as the trees stood tall
For them
To feast
They all gather around the fruit of the tree
To feast
But now
Everyone wanted to condemn the
Tree because ? (he-it) did no longer
But now the trunk stood tall
Again to see
Was understood
Of the knowledge that He placed within
Them to be
As long as he kept his fruit on his tree
He would stand taller to be.

Ricky Teague

32 €


Forget about liberty and your rights.

The age of rules and regulations is not over...

Love, Love is for the fools.
The fools who don't understand
don't understand
don't understand
neo classical economics.
The same fools caught in
the rolling adjustment period.


33 € 


el viejito me cuenta cuan tiernamente le enseρaste a leer

y te imagino al lado de el, calcando la pαgina palabra por palabra

la presidenta de comitι te agradece

por cuidar sus hijos mientras ella trabaja

y te veo alzαrlos, riιndose, al aire

el granjero canta alabanzas de ti mientras ara

y te oigo aplaudir, mientras le entregas el tνtulo de la tierra

niρos en las veredas de la habana toman tu nectar de mango gratiuto

y te saboreo en las raciones iguales

pero cuando despierto en los estados unidos

veo niρos tratando de aprender en escuelas con mas policνas que libros

conozco madres que no pueden conseguir trabajos que pagen lo suficiente para
el cuidado de niρos

toco las manos con callos de un campesino que gana apenas salario mνnimo

cuando despierto en los estados unidos estoy sedienta por tus lluvias de

por eso comienzo a trabajar en tu memoria

y busco en las nubes alguna seρal de tormenta.

Maria Poblet

34 €


Mi tristeza es por algo
que en la obscuridad de mi
silencio eterno
tiene deseos inmensos
de trepar universos
y construir amores

mi tristeza es de sed
apagada y sin fuego
mi tristeza es profunda
es deseo de tener
un espacio un lugar

mi tristeza es de minas
de metales muy duros
es de males obscuros
es de ansias y de lluvias
recuerdos que lastiman

y que hacen que ella a veces

Nancy Esteva

35 €


Poetas naurales de la tierra,
escondidos en surcos,
cantando en las esquinas,
ciegos de callejσn, oh trovadores
de las praderas y los almacenes,
si al agua 
tal vez como vosotros hablarνa,
si las piedras 
dijeran su lamento 
o su silencio 
con vuestra voz, hermanos,
sois, como las raνces.
En el antiguo corazσn
del pueblo 
habιis nacido 
y de allν viene 
vuestra voz sencilla.
Tenιis la jerarquνa
del silencioso cαntaro de greda
perdido en los rincones,
de pronto canta 
cuando se desborda 
y es sencillo 
su canto, 
es sσlo tierra y agua.

Asν quiero que canten
mis poemas, que lleven
tierra y agua, 
fertilidad y canto,
a todo el mundo. 
Por eso, 
de mi pueblo, saludo
la antigua luz que sale
de la tierra. 
El eterno 
hilo en que se juntaron
y poesνa, 
se cortσ 
este profundo 
hilo de piedra, 
desde tan lejos 
como la memoria 
del hombre. 
con los ojos ciegos
de los vates 
nacer la tumultuosa
la sociedad humana,
el primer beso, 
y en la guerra 
cantσ sobre la sangre,
allν estaba mi hermano
barba roja,
cabeza ensangrentada
y ojos ciegos, 
con su lira, 
allν estaba 
entre los muertos, 
se llamaba 
o Pastor Pιrez, 
o Reinaldo Donoso. 
Sus endechas 
eran allν y ahora 
un vuelo blanco, 
una paloma, 
eran la paz, la rama
del αrbol de aceite,
y la continuidad de
la hermosura. 
Mαs tarde 
los absorbiσ la calle,
la campiρa, 
los encontrι cantando
entre las reses, 
en la celebraciσn del desafνo
relatando las penas
de los pobres, 
llevando las noticias
de las inundaciones,
detallando las ruinas
del incendio 
o la noche nefanda 
de los asesinatos. 

los poetas
de mi pueblo,
pobres entre los pobres,
sobre sus canciones
la sonrisa,
criticaron con sorna
a los explotadores,
contaron la miseria del minero
y el destino implacable
del soldado.
los poetas 
del pueblo, 
con guitarra harapienta
y ojos conocedores 
de la vida, 
en su canto 
una rosa 
y la mostraron en los callejones
para que se supiera
que la vida 
no serα siempre triste.
Payadores, poetas 
humildemente altivos,
a travιs 
de la historia
y sus reveses,
a travιs 
de la paz y de la guerra,
de la noche y la aurora,
sois vosotros 
los depositarios, 
los tejedores 
de la poesνa, 
y ahora 
aquν en mi patria 
estα el tesoro, 
el cristal de Castilla,
la soledad de Chile,
la pνcara inocencia,
y la guitarra contra el infortunio,
la mano solidaria 
en el camino, 
la palabra 
repetida en el canto
y transmitida,
la voz de piedra y agua
entre raνces, 
la rapsodνa del viento,
la voz que no requiere librerνas,
todo lo que debemos aprender
los orgullosos: 
con la verdad del pueblo
la eternidad del canto.

Pablo Neruda



@WP, Adam Arms, David Aquino, Paul Boden, Joseph Bolden, Anthony Camel,
Miguel Carrera, Jaime Crespo, Steven Dulclercque, Nancy Esteva, Jennifer
Friedenbach, Dennis Fritzinger, fukiya, Gabby Gamboa, Mark Goldfinger,
Angelique Gonzalez, Kathleen Gray, Jerry H., Jackie Henderson, Bianca Henry,
Jack Hirschman, Jewnbug, Jaime Kupchun, Celeste Lear, Darren Lewis, Allison
Lum, Lumpen-in Paradise, Mario McCarthy, chance martin, Sarah Menefee, Jacob
Mikkelsen, Joyce Miller, Leroy Moore, Anna Morrow, Mabel Negrete, Joseph
Perryman, Maria Poblet, Vlad Pogorelov, Ruth Pleaner, Mara Raider, Ron
Rucker, Brian Russell, Keith Savage, Naomi Szoke, Ricky Teague, Ray
Thompson, Tiny, James Tracy, George Tirado, Mariana Viturro, Arnett Watson,
Wildman, John Wilson, LS Wilson, Jane Winkelman

A Publication of the Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco
468 Turk Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
415 / 346.3740 - voice -- 415 / 775.5639 - fax

9000+ articles by or via homeless & ex-homeless people
INFO & to join/leave list - Tom Boland <wgcp@earthlink.net>
Nothing About Us Without Us - Democratize Public Policy