Archive for July, 2009
so many things happened tonite and today. i am not sure how to say it all. i drove 3 and a half hours to a civil war museum in virginia that seemed to be an revisionist shrine discounting that the confederacy and war between the states had any significant connection to slavery. it was in a strip mall. then i got drunk and recorded vocals and tried to tried to smash a bottle in the shower but it wouldn’t break.
then i spent $18 on one shot of stunning whiskey and read about how dead bodies were collected and named during the civil war. then i walked home a leaned into a juniper bush a shined an LED flashlight into it to see what i could see. the cops asked what i was doing and i said “bird watching.” they said “where is your book?” and i said “the best book i ever read on bird watching said not to bring one but to really see them and not be distracted by cataloging until you get home.” he said.”ok” and turned his spot light off of me, laying in a bush.
in the South there are so many more bugs than in California. i cannot get over it. i shinned my beam into a gardenia tree and saw a huge web with a light green spider in the middle. there was also a purple flower caught in the web about a foot from the spider. if i shone the light just right they were floating together in nothing.
there is a church on the corner of my new block where people play ecstatic church music until 4 am most nights. you can only hear it outside usually. tonite there were 3 drummers all playing 3 drum kits to a record and totally going crazy physical and not really listening, just feeling themselves move. it is so beautiful. is that what i am doing here? jasmine the cat is trying to catch a beetle on the other side of the glass.
it has been an odd day for email.
a woman who was a parent at a school that i worked in for about a month when i was 19 wrote and said she is still thinking about my mouth. creepy.
i do not remember who she is or who her child is but she did correctly state the time period and school.
PLEASE EMAIL A PHOTO OF YOUR MOUTH TO BE POSTED HEREAFTER! email@example.com
Crunch crunch of lettuce and dried pinapple in my teeth
Running water over my skin
crunch crunch crunch crunch
pitter patter of cat paws pawing at each other
creaking of the fan
buzzing of insects
death due to pitter patter pawing
crackling of my kretek cigarette
Beth – Dover, DE
It starts with the almost silent, inaudible, barely there sound of air filling my lungs, (or what’s left of them). I once heard that you do not burn holes in your lungs, they are filled with pockets of tar.
Followed by pulsating beats from angered music, which I quickly swap for a more calming tune.
All of this is accompanied by the whir of a fan.
Inside, there is an orchestral piece playing that differs from the noise that surrounds me. My thoughts are moving with rapidity falling without meaning swirling around among gelatinous nerves I am abandoning town soon swapping suburban nothingness the sound of crickets yelping at five in the morning for the ever present soundtrack of cars and planes trannies in heels marking the concrete never sleeping.
A woodpecker knocks on my roof.
A car rushes past. Then, another.
Life on a highway leads to this. Life on a highway leads to unpleasantries.
Since, there is not much audial stimulus, I’m finding, I’ll replay the sounds of yesterday.
Memory induced tinnitus: Metal grates against steel. Hot fenders collide. Everyone screams. Conceptual intercourse, or just another accident on the curb?
“I can’t believe you wrecked my car fuck you you fucking asshole fuck you fuck.
Traveling, tiptoeing back inside. Turning all extraneous noise down, blocking out everything. I am left with the sound of my breathing irregularly dispersed along the beats of my heart. Occasionally, the end of an exhale spills over onto the beginning of an inner “thump,” which flows directly into the next inhale.
It’s as if someone captured all that is bittersweet and looped it seamlessly.
“a popular poem that appeared in several versions in the black press illustrated this conception of achieving equity through equivalent suffering. a “brave confederate chief” is killed in battle and is carried home to his mother, who greets the death of her only son with “frantic sorrow.”
her “aged slave” comes to offer her not consolation but justice. “missus,” she declares, “we is even, now.” the white mother had sold all ten of her slave’s children, so now neither woman has any remaining offspring; the two mothers are alone together in common loss. the mistress must now, in the words of her slave, “to the Avenger bow.” the war is God’s instrument for balancing the accounts of righteousness:
Payment shall be made for wrong!”
Sex Offenders Forced To Live Under Miami Bridge
May 20, 2009 · In Miami, a causeway in the middle of Biscayne Bay has become home to one of the county’s least desirable populations: sex offenders.
What began a few years ago as a stopgap solution has become de facto public policy. For sex offenders with few resources who want to stay in Miami, there’s just one option: an encampment of tents and shacks on the Julia Tuttle Causeway.
The encampment got started a few years ago, when Miami-Dade County, like other communities across the country, adopted an ordinance banning sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of anywhere that children gather.
It’s a law that applies not just to sex offenders on probation but also to felons who have served their time — people like 31-year-old Juan Martin. He served an eight-year sentence for exposing himself to a teenaged girl.
After Martin got out of prison in 2006, his probation officer brought him to what at that time was just a small camp of several men and a few tents under the bridge on the causeway. After three years of living here, he’s angry. He says, “The state is forcing you to live like an animal.”
‘Why Do I Have To Be Here?’
What once was a collection of tents has now become a small village. There are a half-dozen shacks, some with kitchens and working toilets. A few of the men have built a dock for fishing where some small boats are tied up.
Right now, 67 people live here. And nearly every week, probation officers drop off sex offenders, recently released, who have nowhere else to go.
Voncel Johnson recently became the first woman who was told she’d have to live under the bridge. She says when her probation officer dropped her off at the camp, it was unexpected and frightening.
“I’m thinking she’s bringing me to a three-quarter-way house,” Johnson recalls. “But when I got here it was … pitch dark. The first thing I saw was men, and I’m the only lady here. … I broke down. I’m asking her, ‘Why do I have to be here?’”
Johnson pleaded guilty to a charge that she exposed herself to a friend’s children — an incident she now says never happened.
As Martin says, the people who live under the bridge aren’t saints.
‘People Break Down So Bad’
During the day, most of the people who live in the encampment leave for jobs or to visit their families until evening, when their curfews require them to come back and live in what Martin calls inhumane conditions.
“We’ve had two heart attacks here,” he says. “And we’ve had a couple of times where people break down so bad — they don’t eat, they try suicide attempts.”
Martin shows me his left arm, where there are scars that he says are from his own suicide attempts.
Safer With ‘An Army of Angry, Homeless’ Offenders?
State prison officials and probation officers are not happy about the situation under the bridge. They believe it is leading sex offenders to stop registering with the state and go underground.
That’s one reason why state Sen. David Aronberg has been working to replace the hodgepodge of county and city ordinances with a new state law. It would set a single 1,500-foot restriction for sex offenders that would enable them to find housing inside of communities.
And, unlike the current law in Miami, it would also restrict sex offenders’ movements during the day, creating child-protection zones that would keep offenders away from places where children congregate.
Aronberg says the laws as currently written make little sense. He asks, “How is it that an army of angry homeless sex offenders who are roaming our streets [makes] us safer?”
Resistance To Changing Restrictions
So far, officials in Miami-Dade County say they see no reason to change the ordinance.
Jose “Pepe” Diaz is one of the county commissioners who sponsored the law. He concedes that the growing encampment presents health and safety problems but notes that it’s the state, not the county, that’s put the sex offenders there. And that’s a population for which he has little or no sympathy.
He says, “I have to deal with people everyday that I get calls from … looking for jobs because they lost their house, they don’t have a job. That’s my most important priority.”
The fact is, about half the counties in Florida now have an ordinance similar to the one in Miami. There are fewer and fewer places sex offenders can legally live in the state after they are released from prison.
Fred Grimm, a columnist for The Miami Herald, has been a regular visitor to the camp on the Julia Tuttle Causeway.
Grimm is convinced that county officials know they made a mistake but are waiting for outside forces — action by the Legislature or a lawsuit — to resolve the problem.
“You don’t lose votes by being tough on sex offenders,” he says. “We’ve all seen… spontaneous homeless camps pop up. But this is a camp created by public policy.”
And it’s a camp that is getting crowded. The space under the causeway can’t handle too many more people.
Miami-Dade County officials may have to find a new location for sex offenders or take them north to Broward County. A highway bridge there recently became home to the region’s second encampment of sex offenders.
since i have moved to the durham i have been called a faggot three times. today it happened at (WTF!!!!!!) trader joe’s grocery store.
the last time someone called me that to my face was in 2002 in line at a gas station bathroom in atlanta. one gets used to not hearing it.
i hate this fucking town more and more every second i am here.
if you hear of there being a huge, consuming fire in the area hunt me down and kill me for i will have been the one who set it.