Archive for the ‘displacement’ Category

Shadow Game

February 23, 2017

The door of a room was open. A woman stood with her cat. She made a noise, a noise she did not intend to make. The man, she thought. The menace will wake up if he hears it. Another door opened; the fat man stood several inches away from her. His eyes were not friendly. She could tell this even in the dark. As she was about to close her door and pull the curtain, his shadow looked like danger. Quickly, she shut her door.


Place, My Place

February 10, 2017


A Place, a place with a capital P. No one knows the importance of Place better than the homeless. Finding a place to live, a roof over one’s head is important, often more than important. It can be a matter of life and death. My heart is in agony, sheer agony. I cannot afford the street, the sidewalk, and I cannot afford a roof. The first is cold and stiff and the other has to have lots and lots of dollars attached to it. I look for answers. I have been looking for answers for years. I have found nothing.




The Menace, Part 2

February 2, 2017

The Menace Part 2

It was late at night. A cat had slipped out of the woman’s room. The cat was a healthy cat; all she wanted to do was run around the house she thought was hers. The fat man walked into the kitchen just a second after the woman had gentlypushed the cat back inside. I am sorry, little one, she told the cat. The menace is too close to us. I want to protect you from that thing. The fat man stood looking about him; his beady eyes had meaness in them. His legs were wide apart, as if ready for a fight. The woman watched him from behind her closed door. She swallowed hard and sat down in the dark.


The Taste

January 20, 2017

The Taste

I can see it. I can feel it. I can taste it. A home—it is a home; it should be my home. The home is a welcoming place. Nothing can ever hurt me inside my home. It wants me and my soul. That is the same soul that hungers for peace and quiet, for a way not to be rejected and unloved. I walk by a building. There is an apt. in the basement. The window is made of clear glass. I see a stove, a table with 4 chairs and a tea kettle. All those things should be mine.


























The Menace

January 17, 2017

The Menace

He stood with his legs wide apart. His thick and fat arms had tattoos all over them. The look in his eyes and face resembled the look that a security guard has before he kicks/escorts an unwanted person out of a building. A cat had escaped from one of the boarder’s room. Je told the fat woman with the dyed hair that the cat was not welcome in his living room. Since when was it his living room? The boarder adjusted the belt around her thick robe. Something in the pit of her stomach told her to shut the door of her room. This one is a menace, she told her cat. We want nothing to do with him. How dare he threaten me?

I was Great–Once

December 25, 2016

You don’t know. You think that because I wear ill-fitting clothes and shoes that have seen better days, I a m not much–much of anything. You think that my life was always ragged and topsy turvy. No. You don’t know. You don’t know me and it’s no use my telling you that I was like you, or almost like you, once. I could do anything. I had resources. I could go anywhere and not have to ask strangers for help. I didn’t have to feel like Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire.

His Macho Land

December 25, 2016

I am beyond myself; I am more than beyond myself. The fat man with the pony tail saw me go out the door and when I tried to get back in, the door was locked. The fat man had been drinking. His excuse the time was Christmas Eve. When I confronted him and said that it had been wrong of him to do what he did, he just looked at me with his beady eyes. He pretended to be innocent and mentioned something about my having respect for his home. I stared at him. His home? It isn’t his home anymore than it is mine. He’s just lucky to sleep with the landlady. At one point he snapped his fingers at me and in his broken English, told me to go. Fucking Bitch was what I heard when I closed the door of my room. The fat girlfriend, the one with the dyed red hair sat in her chair watching all this saying nothing. I had to tell her to please shut him up.

Sidewalk Face

December 24, 2016

Hit the ground. Yes, just do it. Just hit the ground. Do it now. Have part of your face, the cheek area, touch the pavement. Fall asleep. Fall asleep while you are seated on the milk crate. Before you know it, you’ll be down. You’ll feel blood in your face. No one will be there to pick you up and send you somewhere warm.

Stop that Guy!

December 7, 2016

Stop that Guy!

It is about 7 in the evening. A homeless man and his companion are out on the sidewalk. The man is on the makeshift bed with his head on a pillow. The woman is near him, glancing at him from time to time. There is a large coffee cup by the woman’s left leg. Some coins and about $35 dollars are in the cup. A young guy comes over to where the man and woman are. In his hand there are several coins. He pretends to put the coins in the cup. Quickly he grabs the cup and runs away. The woman gets up from her milk crate seat. No! No! she shouts as the young thief rushes down the subway stairs. He stole her money, somebody says, rushing after him. The woman stands by the subway stairs. Her leg is in pain. I can’t go after the thief too. I might fall down because of the stress. She goes back to her milk crate and dials the operator. Call the police, the operator tells her. The woman knows where the nearest police station is. Only 3 blocks, corner of Lexington. The young officer behind the information desk has a plate of food before him. Yes, can I help you? The woman tells her story as the officer gives her an up and down look. Where do you live? He asks her. She answers nothing. What does this have to do with being robbed she asks herself. The officer repeats the question. The Bronx, she says. I live in the Bronx. And you were asking people for money. She smiles faintly. The Bronx is not exactly Palm Springs, CA, she wants to say but doesn’t quite dare.  I am about to be homeless and I was with my friend. Is it your money, the near $40 or his? It’s his money, she says. Then tell your friend to come here tomorrow morning to file a police report.  Tomorrow morning? He was robbed tonight. Yes, tomorrow morning. The woman sighs. I must have disturbed his dinnertime, she thinks. Thank you, she says and walks away. What happened tonight with the guy stealing the money was the lowest of the low. I didn’t even get help from the police.

Life without Dinner

November 18, 2016

Life without Dinner

Not today—definitely not today. Not last week, either. Not even a month ago. How many days, how many nights, without it? It once was called a square meal. A square meal seems like a dream, like it happened so long ago that it never happened at all. It’s bread and cheese. Bread and cheese with maybe a small yogurt. That is what passes for dinner these days.