Thursday, July 30, 2009


It rained last night.


It was disgustingly hot yesterday and I was sweating in a very unpretty manner. I picked up my daughter from day care, sat and waited for the bus for entirely too long while my daughter smeared banana all over herself. -32145 For mom, +23432423 for baby.

It seems like the only time I like this city is when it's raining too hard for anyone to be outside.

That's the only time I like to be downtown--when it's deserted and it looks like a ghost town. I hate being there when it's bright and sunny and every single crack head, wino, degenerate, thug and state workers are crowding the streets, stuffing their faces with whatever greasy concoction cooked up by Po Po's or Georgia Fried Chicken.

I miss Linwood Avenue.

This is my parents house. I took this picture about 4 years ago.

::The August House::
by A.M. Evans

You were made for picnics and summer soltice's
For bike ride's down an endless driveway...
...For Christmas and Halloween decorations

You were a place that she had dreamed about when they all lived across the street from the bar
And she imagined you as a place in which she could sleep at night with no bottles being broken
or the lose ladies selling their 'goods' across the street.
You were the place she dreamed of when she was alone, in bed, aside from the three small children that crept in her room believing she was asleep.

You at first site.
You are whispered conversations on the veranda
You are boys climbing up the tree in the front yard to sneak into the house
You were parties and celebrations
You've held secrets and listened to tears in the middle of the night

Flowers grow around you
Rain fell on you
Wind blew so hard that we were afraid you'd fall over.

You've heard the slamming of doors
and a child's laughter
You've heard the telephone ring, and someone singing badly in the shower
You were there for high school graduations and New Year parties.

I'm inside of you.
In a room.
In a chair.
Looking at the world through your eyes.

I miss the tree lined street and the lake around the corner.

Here's the lake. I took this picture...I don't remember when actually.

I remember standing on this white bridge on the lake during Thanksgiving, watching a storm approach. Possibly one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Or time I took my neice for a walk sometime in October, and noticed how the leaves on the trees looked like there were on fire because of the way the sun hit them.

You don't see much of that in the heart of the city--maybe if you go to Cawalder Park in West Trenton...and even then, the beauty only covers about a 3 square mile radius. Then, it's back to graffiti, abandoned buildings the homeless call "abandominiums", garbage, overgrown grass, strategically placed liquor stores and corner stores selling an assortment of poisons disguised as candy and other junk.

This is where I live, and where I was born, but I can never call it home.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dem Belly full But We Hungry.

The lines in the city are never ending. On E. Hanover they were giving out produce for free--one of the many food pantries around. I suppose they believe they're doing there civic duty--and most people are too poor or too hungry to feel anything but gratitude.

Even though the food smells too 'ripe'...even though some of it is past it's expiration date.

I got in line today just to see for myself. The July air was humid even at only 9 am in the morning. There was a homeless man on a bike behind me trying to sell a box of Christmas lights. Then, perhaps feeling magnanimous, he decided to just give them away. His reason being that he didn't have a home any how in which to hang up the lights.

I stood in line, fanning myself and talking to this woman who was excitedly telling me about other pantries in the cities. She mentioned that the nuns were "kind of mean" at Mount Carmel Guild on Clinton Ave. I never heard of 'mean nuns' before. But in this city, you can't really be all that surprised.
But I stood there talking to this woman, and she pointed out this African White dove she had in a cage in the back of her car. She told me that he liked to go out for rides--so she'd take him along with her sometimes.

It was one of those conversations you are forced to listen to because it's not in you to be impolite.

I get up to the stand, and the produce looks, quite frankly--disgusting. There was a sign in front that said you were only allowed 3 items and some sort of bread. I got bananas, radishes, some sort of pound cake and veggie dip. I won't eat it. I just had to see for myself what people consider charity.

A supermarket's left overs.
What they couldn't sell.

It had nothing to do with charity.

But people eat it up--literally. And at the very least, you can never go hungry in this city. You may have to put up with mean nuns or less than fresh food. But hey, if you're willing to compromise or at the very least, lower your standards.

There are lines in the welfare office. It always smells like hopelessness and shame. What do those things smell like? Like arm sweat, root beer and some knock-off Chanel No.5. And I always wonder why the girls come there trying to dress stylishly as if somehow they're better off than the rest of us actually using what little we get to feed our families.

"I'm broke, but I dress cute and I talk on my cell phone loudly so people can think I'm important."

Too many mothers and babies there, but no fathers. Rarely. Sporadically I may see a father. But he has this look like someone's forced him to be there.

Before you walk into that office, you have to get your bag checked and walk through a metal detector.

But I guess it's necessary.

"a hungry mob is a angry mob."