Tent City


And in the chattering cold grinds the possibility that no one even
knows and that no one will win from this. That this strength to build
a soviet from nomads can not translate into the banal systems of
politics, but that if it could we could recreate the world into us and
them, and in this world they’ll have to leave us alone.  In this world, as it rains down now, the squatters aren’t asking for much up from the mud; he said, ‘we’re asking for housing, not for them to go blow the queen’ and that’s how far things seemed.

An ecology had been built within the mythos of homelessness. Amongst the debris of lives lived in such ways, was the scavenging of the tracks and the city’s refuse. As if the political body drunk on old economy wretched these things up together in steel and wood and rust and nails and tents and tarps. And you keep looking up to the train yard for red wobblies and hobos with red bandannas on long sticks and you cant help but wish someone had a harmonica to bellow some Guthrie and things seem as they should in this place with no set finical time and from the trains, conductors throw leftovers and bags of cheetos to the hobos as they chugga-chugga by and the hobos wave to the trains of tourists as they enter the city threw the gates of tent city

‘I’m living centuries ago, chasing deer and buffalo, I’m a few
centuries behind’ said the hippy, over dumpster-dived starbucks, who traveled threw psychedelic universes with dead heads and rainbow hippies and took from gatherings lives he could live and now takes from machines parts he can sell, in this encampment that has been here for a century, in this market that has been crashing for a century.
Under this crash and from its pieces have they lived for a century incamps like this. The city wants them out yesterday as if tomorrow was to be a new millennium.

In this lot of things gone to rust and seed you feel under sea looking
up at downtown glimmering over there. And in the space of night made phosphorus by rain pounding down from sagging clouds you breathe under water and under the blue tarp we are a corral. Dead things the sea has brought together but brought back to life by the other in a way that fossilizes you together in a reef. The surface is sharp enough to sink boats and between the breaks all life can be felt to be from. I’m told stories under here that if left to cry over would consume the puddles at our feet.

The second day since the cameras came gives morning to more rain and a dead fire. We have burned down a house to keep from freezing in the elements conspired with the city to force the hobos out. They are soggy and the mud monster makes its way up their pant legs. The police where here at the break of dawn and losing a philosophical battle over ‘who is who’ retreated back into the Nothing. Today’s papers are gathered and within them pictures of us. The world knows were here!
The cameras had film in them after all! Trying to get their pictures
in the paper too comes the city workers who are told to prove their
worth in salt. As if to reinforce their offer of temporary mats on
dirty cold floors they flank the camp with huge white trucks that idle like bulls. No one believes what they have to offer because they smile with too many teeth. The hobo sense now that they have bent the ear of the beast and want to talk to someone worthy of hearing them. ‘we want homes! If you not here to give us homes, fuck off!’ The white devils get in their white bulls and storm off in the mud back to Babylon that burns a little more as we reignite the fire with wet wood and gas.

When he says to me that they want him and the others out because they can run their tent city better then they can run their society I have to actually agree, and I do agree in a way that I actually believe him and hope with the pathology of hope that its true and that his son sees him, standing up from the mud, clean of shame that last night hid behind the chokes and watering eyes of the fires smoke.

The day advances in a phalanx. The hobos hold the hill. The women
return and with them a joy of families reunited. Sons have found
mothers in the newspapers and have then found them in life, alive. A hundred calls are made over my cell phone to families assured. Spines become steel and you need not look to the bird’s formations to read that no force will move these people. In place of the rained out sun a force has come together that is leading everything with a cosmic magnetism. I look to the tents and shelter and see them in a newmaterial. Ore and copper and the hardest things of earth. This outpost in the wastelands becomes a fortress of new spain. No longer the Spain of conquistadors but the spain of a new world promised by a trillion defeated battles.

And then in that the power of these people broke over the stocks of
the state. Creatures with thick voices announced they where willing to pay for peace. The demands articulated in the face of concessions would be met to the syllable. Rooms with doors and windows to come from and to see too where forfeited from the states surplus of idle property. They had won homes. From under tarps buckling under pools of rain they had captured that for what they fought. Years on the street. Months in the mud. The world was won.