East Hastings (day 1539)

I watch a line slowly trace a sidewalk
Up a wide street called Hastings.
Glitter trash slipping off
Into fuzzy life lessons in a tracksuit.

I plug my nose because last nights urine party
Leaves a sour taste that makes me uneasy.
But I like the back alleys
Where life is avoided and you avoid eye contact.

Alley walls make me think.
I look at them wondering how many years it’s been
Since the last painting was applied.
How much more graffiti can be tolerated
Before a shop owner thinks they have a more alluring color.

I stay clear of crowds gathering at bus stops.
They loiter and litter,
And ask bus drivers for free fares,
Assuming they’re sober enough to acknowledge
The annoyed union worker.

I’m not afraid to lock my bike here though.
I know the game enough to know when to be walking
Hand in hand with a lover who’s [not] scared.
I know my way home and I’ve got the good places marked.

Struggling (day 86)

Struggling to stay awake
Struggling to keep focused
Struggling to stop remembering
Struggling to ignore nostalgia
Struggling to hold peace
Struggling to find motivation
Struggling to sit still
Struggling to create time
Struggling to be zen
Struggling to grasp topics
Struggling to be friendly
Struggling to breathe air
Struggling to stay cool
Struggling to avoid fears
Struggling to still believe
Struggling to remain alive
Struggling to show thanks
Struggling to initiate contact
Struggling to not resent
Struggling to think kindly
Struggling to eliminate indulgence
Struggling to always cry
Struggling to move body
Struggling to have fun
Struggling to harbor hope
Struggling to kiss you