Tuesday, March 8, 2011

the february log (part i)

28 January 2011
Tent City 3 is not a place you go to meet life, though you might meet life there, you might. It's an experience, but not a nourishing one. I was paired tonight with a young homeless woman for a walk-about homeless search for the One Night Count. We were all getting community credit for participating. Our group of 10 were walking around South Seattle at 2am with flashlights and maps and clipboards. As we swept our quadrant, we got to talking. I told her about my projects and asked about hers. Jesus Christ was her only answer, more and more it was her answer over the next hour, it was her answer. Grace and the bible, goodness, put it all in His hands. I tried to broaden our search to a larger spiritual, but she was strict in her line. God and the devil, good and evil, some war is justified, it's not murder, it's only killing. O my! After an hour of this little tug of war, I asked a bigger question. What are we all looking for? Bless him, Tarkovksy reigns supreme again. We both said it at once, it was our first mutual response, love, unconditional love. Tadahh! And right meets left and war meets peace and east meets west and John & Yoko win again. And love conquers us all at the end of the night. Tarkovsky was talking about the feeling of nostalghia that afflicts us all here on earth because of our separation from the creator, that yearning to go home that is spiritual in nature &the wholeness or love that will come when we are reunited with our maker, returned to that state.

31 January 2011
i'm sort of losing site of the art project (song of tent city) & i worry about that i need to meditate it's true i'll never have that experience i'll only ever have my experience but then we're expected to vote together and work together and make a nation together and a neighborhood &politics creep in everywhere

2 February 2011
damn but my life is filled with meetings 
about a project i am not yet deeply doing 
&it doesn't feel good
today is the day 
i am told 
i'll appear 
on the cover of Real Change 
the homeless newspaper
i haven't yet seen the image(s)
did a shoot with me 
a couple of weeks ago
i realllly like his work 
he &his friend spent 
3 hours w/ me 
all business 
even told me to fix my hair
i haven't brushed my hair 
in a few years 
when did that change?
i used to wear pink frost lipstick 
&curl my hair w/ hot rollers
now i have no time 
i want to sit in cafes &write
i can't write what i want to write
about yesterday
there's so much i have to leave out
vanessa suggested a private journal 
now is the time
if i post pictures 
i can't say we had beer
or that the police swarmed us 
or if i do it has to be supergentle
i can't say what i thought of the hotel room
that's not true i can say that
the posts are handed out 
to everyone at tc3 
on meeting night
tonight for instance 
people will be getting that last big post 
about being an EC
&there will plenty of negative comments for me
so be it
one of the women i was working with 
doesn't look at me 
or say hello when we pass
my hair is longer now than it's ever been 
& i do not like it it's problematic 
hats help
i haven't yet figured out how to cut it 
not how but by what means
since getting 40 people to cut my hair last year 
for studies in melancholy
cutting my hair at a simple old 
salon seems sorta dull
i'm thinking of asking a friend from camp 
to cut my hair
i'd call the piece "a
i'd give him inappropriate tools
the first of which is that 
he doesn't know how to cut hair
the second of which is  
he sees double from a head  injury
point being 
tent city is all about accountability
but the tools are not all there 
so you get what you get
i had dreams 
i only remember a bit of them
i was in a car with several people 
the windows were rolled down
it was night or dusk 
we were at some sort of check point
someone from camp was outside 
the man who is known in camp
as the person in the good mood 
the one who makes people happy
in my dream he was taking something from us 
official papers
the landscape was urban broken earth 
there was a house in the middle ground
everything was in black& white 
the others gave him their papers
when he came to get mine 
i saw that he was not himself
he looked sick emotionally &mentally sick 
&was embarrassed by it
he didn't want anyone to see him that way
he looked horrified that i had seen him that way
he backed away with flaring eyes 
the whole scene was full of fear

3 February 2011
i'm in my tiny tarp-covered tent 
after 2 hours on the bike reading ovid 
w/ spent legs now
&randy filled my nalgene bottle with water 
& i drank half of it
the rotary club 
was on the church corner when i arrived 
making hotdogs on the grill
what a home coming!! 
&everyone was in a good mood 
only 30 people in camp
they say at the beginning of the month 
everyone who is getting SSI 
gets their check
& goes off to do
whatever it is they do with their money 
&camp empties out
&Nicholas said it was good to see me 
every time he saw me 
like 6 times
&he agreed to cut my cut 
i said i want to film it 
i said i'm going to call it
he interrupted.. bald... 
no accountability
he said "you're lucky you're good looking 
cuz i couldn't shave you bald"
i laughed aloud many times 
this night
i had many lovely encounters tonight 
&camp is soothing
except for that one person 
who is ever rough to me
it's the first time
i've had my computer in camp
i brought it in to camp to show pictures
from the wedding

4 February 2011
The kids are coming down the street today with their teacher, waterproofed, in their little rain jackets and rain pants. The 5 and 6 years olds are straddling the gully in a line—left, right, left, right, left—wobbling back and forth, doing something I cannot do, at least for now, while I am a resident at Tent City. Me, I've got to stay on the street. I've got to behave. To be perfectly invisible. If I do anything, anyway, it must have a net positive effect. But I want to straddle the gully! I want to play in the rain! I want to be a little pirate and explore that ditch out in front of the house with the espalier. I want to! I want to!

I invited a friend from Tent City to dinner. He lit up a smoke a few feet from to the car. I said, Feel free to finish it before we go. We're not in a hurry. He snubbed it out on something, not his hand I hope, and put it in his pocket, just like that without a wrapper. No wonder he smells like smoke! On the way to the house, we stopped into the market to get food. He used his food stamps to buy us an avocado, a lemon, potatoes, ground beef, lettuce and bread. My other two friends, not "homeless" but "homed" friends, joined us. I hadn't seen them in over a week and so it was a nice visit. They brought steak and potatoes. What a feast! My friends and I shared several long hugs. We played with the doggie. We cooked. We had a sit down dinner. After dinner, we made a fire and roasted marshmallows. We each had four. My friend from Tent City watched movies nonstop. I asked him if he knew he brightened everyone's day, all the time, at camp. He's a smiler. He's a helper. He's a net positive force. He said no. When I offered him half a beer he said, No way, I won't be able to go back to camp. He's been living at TC3 for four years. He gets SSI because he cannot work. He used to own a business. He made decent money. Of all the people in camp, he seems the happiest to me. I asked if it was frustrating not being able to work. He said, Hell yes! He used to love to drive. He used to  hunt. He told a story about being surrounded by a herd of elk, trying to pick out the 3 point buck, accidentally making one little click while raising his rifle and, in a second, they had scattered.
5 February 2011
After breakfast I dropped my friend off at camp. He told me he makes $680 a month plus food stamps. Damn that twirls me into a firewhirl of confusion, because with that I could make this world fly. I am making nothing. But we must not forget I can work, I could work. He's lost his ability to. This evening I finally bought a Real Change and there I am. It's a silly picture and so many facts are wrong, but then every three paragraphs there's something meaningful and I forgive it. It is what it is, trust yourself, trust your path, all press is good press. Did I say that? I must have said that.

6 February 2011
first thing my friend says when i drop her doggie off is did you have a visitor damn
3 people called to let her know a man was standing on her doorstep smoking 
it seems you can't be near the homeless without getting in trouble
she wasn't upset i said yes i had a guest for a dinner with 2 other friends she knows
i felt strange then about that for a long while &struggled with it why
about having a friend over why because he is homeless why that's not true he has a home tent city why because he's dangerous no he's as sweet &thoughtful as they come why
i am learning am i where the homeless go there too goes suspicion
the eyes of the police the watchful forces of the public &the punishments
maybe more so than at tent city maybe more severe
each day i learn the more &much i have to know
i have to go back to tent city i have to find a way to end this project i'm ready to go back to my life whatever that looks like i have 18 days left ayieee

7 February 2011

i don't want to go to tent city i want to have gone to tent city  like running or going out on a rainy night i'm sure it'll be great once i'm there well not exactly great but growth anyway
it's the going that's hard i want to write i've been looking for the right ribbon i'm going to put rules in my hair &have people cut them out &call it breaking the rules
i was nervous about drilling holes last year in the concrete in fremont in the sidewalk in front of lenin i put it off for a long while i had the plaque in my car for months before i got up the nerve to do it guerilla art what if the police stop me cuff me take me to jail nothing like that happened no one even noticed me i used a roto-drill right there in the broad daylight &no one said a thing if you're homeless the police will swarm you for standing in the wrong alley if you're homeless people will call about you for smoking on a door stoop but if you have a home if you appear to have a home if you look clean if you look right you can drill holes in the sidewalk in the broad daylight ahhh considering now the positive things the not so positive things all the snowdrops &crocuses pushing up considering change from stasis regarding the windows &doors i have been working &avoiding tent city a well made home made well &everyone looked after is a fine fine thing the homeless man on my boat is going into an apartment tomorrow stupendous that's the 4th person this move to go into housing i put two guys up for a very short time when they got kicked out they say teach by doing i am mostly intent on learning i can't make anyone do anything i am most intent on learning

8 February 2011
i don't know what day it is
i am overwhelmed with work &worry
feeling as if i'm making bad decisions
feeling untruthful
i am tired
i am tense
each meeting it time away from myself
from what needs to be done
i'm on a deadline
i'm irritated by the small stuff
i feel targeted
my eyes are closing
i'm suddenly concerned
by the outpouring
&think to grab the life ring
when does fixing a problem become a problem?

I'm tired. It was a long night. There was drama while I slept. The ambulance was hailed for the drunk guy who passed out, who needed treatment, who went off escorted afterwards, strange life, strange waking life. I don't know exactly when I fell asleep. I was up for what seemed a long while waiting to get warm. When I awoke at 8 my feet were finally warm.

Lyn and I met for coffee. We talked about our struggles, mine and hers. Hers were better than mine. She's in full transformation mode. She said to me, in response to what I've been experiencing at Tent City, "You're a fugitive when you're a nomad." She's right. We talked about where you go to find honesty in this world. Where craziness is known and not denied. Where you can find some degree of authenticity, people willing to say it like it is. Tent City is one of those places. In a way, it's refreshing. It makes you question what's going on with the rest of the world, what's the point of gilding the lily.

I walked home from Capitol Hill, took an hour. I read Ovid on the way. Tonight it was Phaethon's ride, a wordy longish tale about father and son, Phoebus grants Phaethon one wish and of course Phaeton wants to ride his father's chariot across the sky, to herald day, but it's the one thing Phoebus won't allow, alas but he spoke too soon, he already promised. "My promise holds--but make a wiser wish!" So you can imagine how it ends: HERE PHAETHON LIES WHO DROVE HIS FATHER'S CAR; THOUGH HE FAILED GREATLY, YET HE VENTURED MORE.

It is 12:53am. I am crawling into my tiny blue tent. The only things I have here in camp with me are my sleeping bag, my bivy sack, my fleece pants, my snow pants and my water bottle. I don't think I've ever had a drink out of that water bottle, but I have worn the pants and slept in the bag. It's too tiny and the slope of the parking lot means I have to put my head up at the narrow end which means I can't sit up. I didn't think about that when we nailed down the tent. As I was walking into camp tonight, a man was  putting on a security vest. He staggered, slurred and muttered something. The EC on duty took him into the kitchen and made him walk a straight line, which he could not. He was kicked out of camp. He had a short time to get his things. Despite the blips, camp is running smoothly. The voices are low. The desk is clear. Several smurfs have been disassembled. The move crew has been working hard. I showed Janice and Arthur the slideshow of their wedding tonight. They were all abeam. "I still can't believe it. I can't believe we're married!" No wind, no rain, just footsteps. Just smokers coughing. Cool moist air. I am winding down.

9 February 2011
Cold night. Cold meeting. Snow pants. Winter gloves. Hat. Two sweaters. Down coat. Wrong socks. Wrong shoes. Brrrr!! We were over an hour sitting on milk crates, in the cold, talking camp business. I knew it would come to this, someday, I wondered what would happen when, if, there was no one to run the camp, no one to lead. Some of the nominees were ineligible and others were unwilling. I was unwilling. There was no one else left. We just sat there. Many long minutes in the cold air waiting, nominating, declining, nominating, declining, until finally two people changed their minds and then we went to the vote. There is a full ballot tonight. There must be seven nominees to begin the vote. Someone  not in attendance was put on the ballot, as per their expressed interest (they would, however, be in just a few short days permanently barred from camp, but what's that to this?). We're going inside tonight, we're sleeping in the church. God bless us all. Lows are expected in the low 30s. I've vowed to sleep on a pew. After the meeting, I took a 3rd bag of belongings to Janice and Arthur who have moved to Nickelsville. They were all smiles and warmth, clean and content. I'm back at MLLC now, pulling a security in the church. It is 5am. The world is frozen. The windows are ice. The clock on the wall is ticking its snow. The gentle orator from above is humming. I am in Rome now with Phoebus. Perhaps today will be the the day with no sun?

Mental Health
I was worried about you back in January, about your mental health, my friend said. Seems you're healthier now. How do you feel? Exhausted, over-extended, mal-slept, even now, but more so in January. I was trying to do three things. I was trying to fulfill my securities. I was worrying about rent. I was trying to maintain my little studio. I was working on a deadline. And, on top of all that, I was criticizing my own feeble attempts at everything, at every turn--not that, not this, not enough, never enough. There the student loan letters sit, unopened, on the desk. There goes my home. I loaned out my only home, my sailboat, to a homeless man. Trading places. Splash! Just for now.

Making Rent
Remember, Mimi, some of us cannot leave in March. Some of us are stuck. I am reminded of this, from time to time, from without and within. I know. I know this to be true. And how. We are in different circumstances. I will never know. I know. But then, am I not also stuck, in my own way, in my own life? Am I not also unfree? Or am I free? I am freer. I have more choices. I have family connections, however loose they are, however far away. Am I stuck, how stuck am I? Where, in the long run, will  I go? Will I find my home? What, in the longrun, will become of them, these strong-hearted people here in this parking lot? Will they find a home? Or will live here forever, in a parking lot, on a milk crate bed, in the rain? Will they live and die here? No. We cannot let that happen. We must protect us from this. This is our right. To live. Will they perish outside? Yes maybe, if we do nothing. And what about me, will I perish? Will I perish inside? Yes. One day I will. Will the hands of the homed and the hands of the homeless never meet, forever be reaching toward the screen, the window, the divide? Will I die before I find it? Or will I, in dying, find it? I will struggle to make rent in March. I have no regular income now. I have no health care. That went away long ago, when I decided to make art full-time. I am not collecting anything now. While my stomach is not starving exactly, my artist is. Art cannot thrive in survival mode. The Green Light Lady said to me, "These words alone are self-perpetuating. You need to paint your light green. Go." O boy. This project was never about being homeless, about becoming homeless, about pretending I could have that true experience. It was about serving an artist residency in an invisible space. About listening. What have I done? What am I doing? Have I done anything? Or have I done nothing? I am a witness, yes that, perhaps that is all. It feels as if I've done nothing until I decide that being is enough. Is being enough? I decide it is, from time to time, when I am in my self-protective mode. Next comes April. Who cares about March?! The ides will have their way. My last income was a Sprout grant in December in the amount of $1000. I am going into my 2nd month now with no income. My poor retired mother, who worked her whole life in data entry to put me through college, sent me $300 last month to help pay my rent. She followed it up with a voicemail a few day later, "I thought you were getting a job Mimi!" Sorry, Mom. I'm doing an art project. I'm living in a homeless encampment. Mimi, why? What is the worth of sacrifice? Who pays for the art in the long run? What have you gained? I sense I will know this only in the unfounded freedom of March, of April, of the forever more. What have I gained?

i am concerned as always about knowing myself
about fixing myself with a cosmic adhesive
about avoiding myself by injection about allowing myself time
&space about nourishing with the landscape
the complexity of mimi persists
what i am trying to do is change the world
i know what i'll end up doing is changing myself
i realize i don't have to do anything for that to happen
we all get the same results in the end the world is changing
but i know too &firsthand what i need to do
paddle climb swim walk
so on i walk one dung hill at a time
ok so not strategically but rather flailingly or erroneously
or flouderingly or confusedingly sometimes i feel errant
sometimes i feel deviant sometimes i feel less than free
sometimes i feel more than free
sometimes i feel like a poor guide of myself
whoever in this world knew what they wanted who ever ever ever knew who was free
o i can't wait for april i can't wait to be a hermit to work to rest to hear the coyotes &birds &chipmunks
to fear what is coming in the night to befriend again the moon
&all the little lights above ooo i can't wait i can't wait
the man on my boat his housing fell through so he is continuing on
off to city hall to be a poet off to cafe fuel to be a board member
off to tent city to be a resident today is a 4 meeting day whoooSh
someone turned on my processor & i am processing sooo much
most pressingly most dramatically the tent city diorama &my relation to it
that's what i need to make a tent city diorama to smallen it shrink it to size to something seeable
i thought it was a puppet stage but it's a shoe box with a hole in it for the eclipse
i went through an intense period of it last night
feeling targeted unfairly suppressed wrong &wronged feeling at risk
but nothing came of it i questioned my judgement
when ye cannot rely on yourself woe
i was alllllll knotted from within
&those things are more a reflection of who i am seeming
than who i am gads gads gads
i need thicker socks i need heat i need to sit &write
i miss my research i've put in my time a home is less important than the time to use it

10 February 2011
A very wonderful 12-year-old girl named Hannah made, delivered and served dinner tonight at Tent City 3. Greater Seattle Cares coordinates a hot meal calendar for Tent City 3 and various supportive businesses, organizations and individuals contribute their time and resources into providing one hot meal to the residents of Tent City 3 on an almost daily basis. Hannah's mother was along as a helper, as was her younger brother who served the cookies. This meal was part of Hannah's Bat Mitvah project. She's been working on it for months and was so happy and her mother was happy for her and proud and all of the hungry people at Tent City were pleased and thankful and complimentary. We enjoyed a delicious dinner of pasta and salad and garlic bread, standing in the parking lot at Maple Leaf Lutheran Church, in the streetlamp light under the night sky. The gratefulness a person feels for the hot food that comes in at dinner time, when they are with or without hope, is immense. I would like to honor all of the people who have brought in food donations over the past 3 months, including the Beardans, Upper Crust Catering, Our Lady of the Lake...

a pew has never been so comfortable i got up at 4am to go to camp
i did a security from 4:30-6:15 then slept until 6:45 on a church pew
it is cold outside every says so it's cold it's cold 
we are not looking forward to going back out
i am meeting with vanessa this morn a 4-hr meeting
as of 2 days ago i've been falling asleep in all the wrong places at all the wrong times
woah woah the sleep monster is coming
i'm on security at midnight more meetings meetings
an english fellow contacted me &wants to come for a tour
saturday is filled with vanessa &documenting 8 hours
sunday is church bless me father but i'm at tent city
&helping kate move furniture to make way for baby nathan
then i'm meeting with karen who says she has an idea when will i sleep
&what do i need time air green things a goal work hard hard work water the ability to come &go 
a community i can tap into variety some crazy formula of stability that i haven't yet found 

11 February 2011
night is a metal flashlight &the hamlet is far away &made of hair anyway i held the camp secure from midnight til 3am at 6 i pre-found dawn it was all a darkness i slept for 3hrs then in a sliderule balanced on a church pew my glasses on a bible i was woken by accident at 4am &realized i was cold my side was numb my freedoms gone my life done &everyone around me was shifting with this same news i could not sleep

all the troublemakers are inside i do not know how to write this up this incident i do not know how to get around it (rips paper) she told me a month ago when she was deaf she told me she was incapable of whispering (shout this into a tube) she told me to whisper it tonight shhhh she growled mister faulty is here too collecting nano-waves from the toilet door conferring with every pilot in town about how to avoid this pretense of life this is training for the end of time the big sleep if one is unable we are all unable we shall suffer together this bad heart 

this is the queen who stole the village fire this is the fire she sold to the poet this is the bard who bought it this is the queen the one sunning herself here before the fire which rises but also sets &so &so off with her head he said my head isn't right &so &so off with his head too i'm thinking of stepping down he said but before i do who should we bar let's get it done right i want to go to sleep soon hey i know i know let's lock them all out let's lock out the faithful if we can't curse then we should be able to pray nothing is going right anyway our bones are cold cold to the core

i'm going outside going to check on the dome does it even exist my flashlight is in a ditch where the water drips a permanent drip she knows better than that it's 2:40am time to disinfect the handles waking is smoking is pregnant is a host of halos is a hard rock running from the radio is the quietmakers union making quiet but the snorers too are raking in the rock garden we must protect their silver pillow i am percolating now with chemical heat my gloves are erupting into small blue planets at last the sirens are coming into the distance my left hand is improving me slowing me the coffeepot has its effect

life in tent city goes on and on and on and on and on
they make you wake at 6am for a 7am departure from the church ridiculous
it takes 2 mins to walk out the door depending on who's in charge things are gentle or rough
last time we had a gentle wake-up at 6:30 &left of our own devices at 6:50
this time it was brash at 6 so i bolted i was hiding on my way out cuz
i didn't do an hour indoor security & i felt certain someone would flip about that
but then i was only in the church for 3 hours it all breeds the worst in everyone especially me
at least we can say the folks at tent city say it like it is they're honest &nonplussed

i have had enough of tent city i had enough of it loooong ago
i have had enough of a lot of things but most especially tent city
i have 2 more weeks i am going to make it
i have hair that needs cutting maybe i'll cut my tent up &make a nest of that

the pew last night was cruel
it bit into my side
put my bones to sleep
&sleeping bones
as we know
talk to headstones

12 February 2011

i did a super litter buster last night from 9-10:30 
wore a bright yellow security vest walked up and down 35th 
picking up cigarette butts felt like a prisoner 
nicholas came with me though that was nice of him
walked up to the chinese restaurant where he ordered chicken wings
while we waited i pecked the spent butts out of the tree wells
slept at tent city it was a warm night & i was tired
i slept long with my head at the low end my tent is backwards to the slant of the land 
no way to fix it now it's all nailed down with a tarp atop
i woke to sunshine & busy talk about dismantling tents
the guy i was supposed to meet has twice canceled on me 
if he'd a lived at tent city he'd have lost his home
i didn't find the homeless writing group at vita so i sat &wrote
i am getting sick my head hurts i long to sleep 
my hands are cold i fell asleep with my head on the desk
for 15 mins my jacket &hat are still on i am slanting to the right

15 february 2011
i was 2 minutes from being bagged &tagged (kicked out) it was 11:58pm when i rolled in from my art gathering it was a studio day i was on capitol hill before that i was sick for 3 days head sliding from one countertop to the next before that i worked 11 hours i wanted to sign up for church on saturday but i was too sick to get in the car i wanted to go to church on sunday but i was too sick to get up i had wanted to sign in on sunday but i was too sick &tent city is the kind of place you have to be to be because who else will run it if not you sick people too make the camp run it's true i can leave this is the difference if you are not there you will be kicked out because the city needs guards and diplomats i am not a diplomat i am trying to live another life now to write to fulfill my obligations while i am taking a little i am also giving a little i do not eat dinner i do not take bus tickets i do not make trash i do not charge my phone i do not cause problems or do i

17 february
my mind body is flagging again after a sleepless night 2 nights ago
then a short night last night on a church pew but it was warm while it lasted
when this project is over i will be free in a way i never was nevernever was
it can be over when i say it is over yes i could stop right now
i could have stopped last week i could have stopped in january
why do i keep going when i am only half going
growing up we had to finish everything on our plates
my friend clinton doesn't understand what are you doing
why are you hurting yourself i laugh &say b/c i'm homeless
i had a bazillion dreams last night &can't remember one
the wake-up call was rude 6am lights up all the way
waking is such an important process &should be slow
&if not slow then gentle &if not gentle then respectful
the mtg last night was not so bad except the consultant to the camp
who is always in attendance has a unique way of dampening the rain
he brings an attitude &sense of shame with him
3 people were told their questions were imbecilic
i can't think of anything more hurtful to say
to a group of cold frustrated homeless people in a parking lot
i was on the verge of making a motion that no one at the meeting no one
be allowed to make shameful remarks to anyone about what they said
i considered my time remaining the job i had to do &held off
my brother reserved a new plane ticket for me to go see my mom
i didn't go home at christmas time but the date is wrong
he has me flying on the morning of the big tc3 move
from meadowbrook to cherry hill so i said no go
again clinton said wHat you helped with one move
you don't need to do another it's more important to see your mother
but the culture at tc3 is intense around issues of accountability
& i feel deep in it & feel i would lose so much of the work i accomplished
if i don't help with the move that was always the plan
ok it wasn't always the plan but it became the plan
to stay for one full move from start to finish 3 months it's most amazing to think
i haven't been barred or given extra securities most amazing
i have a huge knot in my hair i blame the beret i slept in my clothes
jacket hat brown cord pants wool socks i got 6 hours of sleep glasses on a bible
i did a security from 9pm-midnight
it was mostly it was good
but the accountant was in a bad mood &reprimanded me
for asking to take myself off the security list for tomorrow
seems my new saturday meeting counts for 2 securities
&with the one i am pulling tonight i'll have 3
tomorrow would make 4 i don't need it
he said you need to come to me to ask that question
that's what i'm doing i'm asking now
there are no special circumstances no no i understand
&there haven't been not for the poet not for nobody
i got someone to pick up the shift within a few minutes
then went out to pick up cigarette butts in a 4 block radius around camp
in prison mode in my yellow vest nice to be out walking
but freezing but the full moon but the smashmash moon
someone stopped me on 103rd got out of her car &shook my hand
said thank you for being here for all you're doing keeping the neighborhood clean
she gave me a piece of cake emily on 103rd that was nice
someone has been spitting their gum out in camp
roger & i used a putty knife to scrape up 15 coins of gum
just another night in tent city
i slept 6 hrs last night & not at all the night before
before that i was sick for 3 days i haven't bathed in a while

&we all stood around watching the moon
&it stood around watching us the pack of us
i asked someone what do you think the birds think 
when they fly over tent city
someone smiled & said 

18 february
i did another litter buster today wore an orange camouflage vest
you really only have to pick up trash for 20 mins but i went wild 
i went for 90 mins to 95th &30th &filled a bag
the world is once again hermetic zipzip i picked up cigarette butts
cans wrapper bits of foil lollipop sticks wet plastic bags
each time i bent down by a parked car
to pick up something small a bottle top
i imagined the home owner inside wondering
if i was casing the joint peering into his car
into his home preparing to come back
to break in i felt watched &criminal

i talked to my mom today we were good until just after hello
i told her i was 9 days away from being thru w/ tent city
she asked what happens then i'm a different person then that's what
it is winddddy today i am going to nickelsville at noon
for a long meeting called power lunch which happens every week
i am representing tc3 this week me &monte
it's where all the SHARE business happens or so i am told
afterwards i'll meeting with monte about his resource book
&about some other ideas he has

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