Thursday, August 15, 2013


walking toward the sweet reward of burned sugar and chocolate
passing scents suspended, fresh grass, diesel and fertility
disguised as a soft reflective cloud casting blue beams on pubescent fruits
soft skins of delicate silver veils and costume jewelry
her lovers and children circle for none penetrate her consummate stratus
or discover reclusive noxious molten landscape swirling beneath

breathing in her breath of silken ice, her legs wrapped around you
sweet and glistening pearls fall away and float in spite of physics
how dare I fly and walk at the same time?
Gravity knows no forgiveness, becomes enraged with such attempt;
but overhears laughter as I roll and tumble and roll again
for the adventure is journey and journey sublime.

As laws redeem themselves the wheel again is pushed, momentum gained
still I am laughing through an opiate glaze
remembering the freedom, running in the wind through fields or warm sand longing
on the very top shelf in the right corner of my mind dancing in flowing skirts
barefoot on hardwood floors warm of gracious rotations
surface never cool enough to be hospitable- but the sky!

Sky beckons and welcomes for sparkling wisps of promise (or promiscuity)
she can never love me as I love her, both her curse and sovereignty
beauty encapsulated, ever isolated longing to feel the imperfect superlative
sugar on my tongue and the slow country walk gracious from pain and habit
kissed by her stellar halo for I am of the veil of mist rising between the hills in the distance
from such valleys filled with magic flowers, stardust and mysterious tales of mythological beings

.april 2012

long lens

mysterious candlelight dances upon curtains through the long lens, silent
equally disquieting as comfort

brushing treetops dusk sneaks flight past sunset for miles
bay doors laughing
for coquette eyelashes invariant across the ladder smiling

distracted and tripping over weeds along the launch
undertone, undertow
dark matter miles distilled to moments in accord

half moon endless pursuit shatters in a liquid chandelier  
loves me
follows relentlessly, kissing my eyes, embracing my thighs

forgiving fear

I accept

Friday, August 9, 2013

OUR Next Housing Crisis

This is the beginning of our fourth year homeless.  

Single Disabled Mother of Tween Seeks Shelter

I realize that there is a lot of confusion about the difficulty we have faced and the seemingly impossible blockade which has prevented us from obtaining a more permanent shelter over these years.  I will attempt to explain this for you, but let me please first address the more time sensitive issue: we need some space.

We can easily share a spare room.  We have  a limited budget which we have managed to sparingly cover the cost of our food and living expenses- except for housing.  We are quickly approaching another school year (my talented and bright daughter is starting 6th grade), and it would be a great relief to have a stable place to eat, sleep and do homework.
For the most part, we incur little expense to a household, though an increase in electricity is common.  My allergies and eating habits have repeatedly proven that a shared household food budget is nearly impossible, but I am a seasoned chef and and happy to participate in preparation in the form of a barter.  I am also a knowledgeable gardener, capable of reducing your own grocery bill (if you have a yard or the space for a potted garden).

My first choice would be North Kitsap- primarily because my daughter wants to be with her oldest friends from school.  We managed to make things work for almost 3 years, using the McKinney Vento act for transportation to NK, but will not be able to use it again this year because of the discouraging backslide we suffered from trying to move to California (see FAQ below) If we can’t acquire a NK residence, second choice would be anywhere on Kitsap will work as long as we have access to public transportation- we can fairly easily enroll her in NK and get her to school with Kitsap Transit.  Third choice would be anywhere in the Seattle or fourth San Francisco Bay area- both in which we have managed to find support and community.

We can NOT pay rent.  Here is a breakdown of our monthly budget:

storage $108
phone $45
transit $50 (in kitsap this is a flat fee, in other counties it will be more expensive)

food: $340
cash (TANF): $380
child support: $0 (all child support is captured by TANF for repayment of welfare)

food: $260
cash (TANF): $510
child support: up to $50, usually $0- $25 (the rest is captured by TANF for repayment of welfare)

We are able to make contributions to utilities and I believe it is only fair to do so, we really can’t afford anything else.

Although my daughter is reaching an age (tween) when she is quite verbally and sometimes proactively resistant to housework and community participation,  I have found that the two of us as a team can contribute greatly to the daily functions and needs of a household.  These may include light duty house and yard work, child or elder care, cooking, minor carpentry and gardening/ landscaping... The fibromyalgia may make this process slow- but it has a side effect of making this same process thoughtful.

Q:  Why do we need assistance?

A:  Disability.  I have fibromyalgia.  I have witnessed some people who are able to work with this condition- unfortunately, I do not fall into this category.  If I did, I would still be at the garden nursery, doing what I love and working aside people I love and respect. (see below; "what is fibromyalgia?")

Q:  Have you applied for Social Security?

A:  Yes.  We are on our third appeal.  Despite a three inch stack of medical findings, the most recent adjudicator “decided” that in contrast to the conclusions of 4 doctors, I do not have Fibromyalgia, but rather have “myalgia” which is simply ridiculous.  

It is my conclusion that it is the job of the SSA to put off distribution of any monies as long as possible (much like the current status of the VA) as is evidenced by the lack of a time limit of their response to the most recent appeal.  I find this to be a fraudulent system.  I worked for many years for these benefits, as did my first husband, which is important because I can legally draw on his contributions as well as my own.

My lawyer said it could take as long a year just to hear a result.  In my favor are the recent changes to the diagnosis requirements of the AMA (American Medical Association) and the recent changes to the status of fibromyalgia within the social security administration’s guidelines for medical conditions which should be considered favorably for benefit.

Q:  Why don’t we have public or emergency housing?

A:  There is none.  There are waiting lists to get into shelters, and once there, the time limits imposed are not suitable for our needs.  As stated above, it could be as long as a year before we hear from SSA, and even then it could be another round of appeals before we get a favorable judgement.  Time limits in shelters are generally either 2 weeks or 30 or days. In both cases, this can be extended by petition, but in both cases require a “back to work” program because they are designed to be temporary help for those who are able to work but need help while doing so.

Section 8 housing is closed, and even if we were on the list- it takes years to move up the list in order to receive benefits.  

I have been all over these programs in three states trying to find a way around or through, but the fact remains- there is no housing for disabled single parents.  I am (still after 4 years) shocked by this discovery.

Q:  What happened in California?

A:  The short of it is that it felt like a bait and switch.  I was offered one thing and discovered it was quite another.  I am still feeling rather tender over the duplicity and don’t think I can report about it in a logical or clinical manner.  This has only to do with my housemates, and nothing to do with the amazing activist community I was able to discover in our limited time there.

As an aside, the ridiculous San Mateo public transit schedule didn't help matters. In the small town I was staying in- it was seemingly designed to assure a zero tolerance stance on poverty.  It was quite similar to Kitsap, but has a MUCH larger population.

Q: What is Fibromyalgia?

A:  It is mostly a lot of pain and fatigue.  It is often difficulty with my working memory.  Managing it means a lot of laying down.  I try to find ways to get out and walk almost every day- because if I don't, I deteriorate.  It has caused moderate osteo-arthritis from my knees to my elbows, and I worry for my hands.  When I began to seek diagnosis, I had no arthritis and within two years had developed mild in my knees and elbows to moderate in the ilium (hips), sacrum (below lumbar), lumbar (lower back) and cervical spine (neck).  My inference is that the skeletal muscle contraction caused the bones to rub against each other and leave abrasions susceptible to the arthritis, but I am no medical professional.

I think that sometimes people who observe me think I am laying down because I am on the computer- but the fact is that I am on the computer because I need to lay down.  I am able to use it in an attempt to retrain my neurons to find new pathways where the old ones are failing me.  I am horribly bored while laying down- but I have discovered ways to feel I have an impact my environment (rather than feel impotent to change it) as well as entertain myself.  It’s an amazing tool.  

I can’t think of any more questions.  If you have one, feel free to ask.

A homeless population equivalent to the size of Los Angeles is unacceptable, and with over five times as many empty houses, we have not only a moral obligation but also an economic imperative to come up with a creative way to fix this travesty.

There are more than five times as many vacant homes in the U.S. as there are homeless people, according to Amnesty International USA.