Sunday, January 3, 2010

Street Sheet's a new year and there is a lot to look forward to for all of us. I have neglected to make a new post in the last few days not because I have nothing to say or that I don't have enough time to write. Rather, I thought that I would take this small amount of time, 48 hours or so to really reflect on this new year and what it means to me and to those around me. Plus, I was starting to feel the pressure of having to write something insightful each day, much like a lesson that Doogie Howser would have a revelation about after each 42 minute episode on television back in the day.

I have been walking the streets of the neighborhood and have truly felt the same appreciation for this city that I have always felt in the past...but love for the grit and the grime, the smell of kim chee, old Chinese grandmas carrying way too many pink plastic bags for them to handle, ambulance sirens at alarmingly loud decibels, and people simply hanging out in the street for a lack of a better place to go has gotten the best of me. I simply love it here.

While walking tonight, I felt the urge to give a dude on the street a dollar in exchange for a paper...but not just any paper I might add...I gave the suggested donation of a buck for an 8 page weekly paper celebrating its 20th anniversary in San Francisco entitled, "Street Sheet." I don't know why I have never taken the chance to pick one of these up in the last three years that I have lived here. I have certainly seen them all over town and while I would like to consider myself a writer, why wouldn't I have wanted to check this periodical out?

I was happy that I did finally ask for a copy and read it...truly read it. While I only spent a few nights out on the streets of San Francisco, I still consider myself somewhat of a transient and felt that I might have some kind of connection to the publication. I was surprised to find out that the paper was not only created to help end homelessness in the City, but also to be a service to those that are down and out and need information and resources to help them get back on their feet again. What a cool idea this was I thought. The issue that I picked up had poetry from guys on the street, an exclusive interview with Bob Dylan about a Christmas album that he had created where all proceeds go to the homeless, as well as information about shelters and where people could go when they had no where else to.

For anyone who has lived in or visited a place like San Francisco, it is easy to ignore those folks who are living on the streets. However, the sad part is that many of these people haven't made the choice to do is just rough sometimes and often leads you with no other place to go. I was surprised at how easy it was for me to find myself in similar situations and that in itself is scary. Forget politics, economics, and religion because there is no one person or entity or even concept to really blame for this kind of problem. Have compassion instead, have joy, have faith in something and do only good things towards your fellow man.

I would like to reprint a poem that was in my first copy of the Street Sheet and hopefully, the Coalition on Homelessness won't mind that I do so.


Living in my perimeter
Among the crooks and sinisters
You'll need more than a Sunday minister
More funds than the Government needs to administer
My ghetto wishes - My ghetto wishes
Just scattered dreams and superstitions
While I'm living under drastic conditions
Battling opposition during daily transitions
I'm caught up in this misery of my childhood memories
Thinking back from a seed only wishing to grow
Coming to the womb as an embryo
Nine months later just another Negro
Looking to break the chains that confine me to the ghetto
My ghetto wishes - My ghetto wishes
Just shattered dreams and superstitions
Searching for my daily bread
Is my only religion
My ghetto wishes - My ghetto wishes
Just shattered dreams and superstitions
Praying on my knees, trying to avoid convictions
Lawd, it's hell for a criminal
On the down-low, subliminal
Just like Malcolm, I'm looking out the window...

Vincent V-Dubb Williams.

No comments:

Post a Comment