loss six

another loss – vi

faith is porous on the streets. you only have what you see, and anyone wants you to believe there’s somethin more for you, if only you trust them for a moment. you gotta keep your faith deep in your heart, and not extend it to those who would use you… i tried explainin’ to you about your bike, and how i needed to switch it out for mine, and could get it back to you tomorrow if that was okay. but you lost some confidence in me and could i blame you? we did not run in the same circles anymore. we argued for a while. i implored you the bmx was safe inside my new digs on Magnolia. i offered you collateral if you wanted, i would leave my rings with you. if you wanted we could go and get it later. you thought about it and either you extended some faith in me or else you didn’t wanna argue anymore, and let it lie. i helped you pack your stuff and clean your place so you could get your deposit back, and you let me shower there before checking out, because where i was going, well, they might have had the law behind them and plenty of cash, but these corrupt attorneys letting me a room, well, they coulda been arrested for uncleanliness…

loss five

another loss – v

the sun was edging into view and we were beginning to wake up to the reality of the world and our meagre places in it, the year twenty ten and family nowhere to be found, nobody’s fault but yours, nobody’s fault but mine. i was on the move again and it was your last night staying there, too. i began helping you pick up your place, between runs i made to Magnolia with my own belongings. check out time was noon and the landlords were no nonsense; there was a security detail they would call to kick people out. you see, something you understood about me and i related back to you was, on any given day, having no place to call home. all we had was our friends and our music and our journals, back then, and maybe a storage unit with our name to it. and out into a new day in the city, intense and unpredictable, helping one another a little bit when there’s no one else you can trust, hoping to survive…

loss 4

another loss -iv

i borrowed your bike because mine was already locked up in my future home, this cool and windless morning, and after passing through De Fremery Park,  i found my key under a stone and let myself into the ranch on Magnolia surrounded by high and gapless fence. after catching my breath, i switched out yours for mine, as my Motobecane was twice ten speed and yours BMX. i determined it too dangerous to travel slow through West Oakland at dawn. the lady of the house, an attorney corrupted by law, was dead asleep ina sheet ona couch in the living room. i held my new key close to my heart, and walked down the hall to see the project i had recently completed. two new coats of eggshell paint covered four walls, ready to receive the light and warm a heart or two. all the cat dander raised up in the disturbance, in my lungs now,  soon to wake me with fits of asthma overnight. once i would be lucky, with my dear Kali at my side in the cot, fourth of july, to help with pressure points and rifle through my many backpacks for my inhaler , to rescue me without breath.

loss three

another loss -iii

I was in
between pages
a book without
binding

You let me stay
with you
one night
a moment’s notice

we were friends
our lives derelict
unusual

the music
the midnight
oil

bands like us
cannot make it
no more

traded street level
stories

left out
again. in the sunlight
soon to be
exposed

before dawn

you were kicking
back. i was several back
packs deep to and from
Magnolia street

several unsavory characters
wanted a piece
of me they
could not catch
me

thank god
for this
bicycle…

loss two

another loss -ii

We stayed up all the night long tradin’ EDM cuts and smoking, and kept mostly quiet about all the damage our exes done us, knowing in our hearts the damage we done them, too. This here was as close to the street as I ever got, out of luck on the room I had paid for every week for several months, (someone had spotted my cat and complained, again, pets were not allowed) with the half-promise of a room in West Oakland, from the mouth of a corrupt attorney with one foot in the dope game and high all the time. I had no other recourse, none at all! This was twenty eleven. I had only to be willing to scrub and paint a small room full of furniture and covered in multiple cat stank, and I could stay there for the summer. This was the house of a second attorney, an alcoholic moonlighting as a cat doctor at home, who got in over her head on Magnolia by DeFremery Park. The day I met her she asked if I wanted to make a quick buck, and walked me downtown while instructing me how to serve papers. I remember hesitating as I approached the window, a government agent behind glass, and looked back to get a nudge on from under the wild gray-hair, permanent slouch, and a wandering eye. She offered me a drag off her pint of Southern Comfort on the way home. I was fifty bucks richer, cash, and desperate. My unemployment had finally run dry  in this boarding house on 28th @ Telegraph, telling time by Kojak episodes, and my friend whom I shared a room with finally got sick of me or spun out, and bailed. By that time I was already sharing a bed with a punk I met, upstairs, and not around much anymore. On my bicycle most of the days, a Motobecane i had mail-ordered online several months ago, and always brewing pots of some of the finest grounds from Indonesia I procured from Sweet Maria’s down the way, a local coffee distributor a stone’s throw from the Port of Oakland. Didn’t have a job and wasn’t really looking most of the time. PTSD was my common denominator, and divided up my senses, hanging them far and wide by the neck, until dead…

loss one

another loss -i

You let me stay one night in your room, many years ago,  i was in between places and spaces and a kick in the gut had landed me in Oakland with nowhere to go. Brown-outs were my life back then, and nobody can tell you what your psychosis is gonna look like or how it will feel, because they aren’t buried behind your eyes. Electronic Dance Music was one thing we had in common that night, and we had what was left of my battered laptop to trade tracks that touched us…