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Responses to yesterday’s sidewalk poetry – although it is said homeless people do not pay their own way, money really has nothing to do with anything, but money; even so, not having it ain’t the same as having it post at this website:
I like your 2nd poem, but I think they were looking for a KW/tropical connection. I won w/ one about orchids. Hope I can get to KWTN to see who the others are! Am in the Panhandle headed for Florence, Alabama, then east and north. Home for Sheri’s FF parade party, to which you’re invited as always.
The poem she liked was:
Only fools rush in
where angels fear to tread,
But if there were no fools,
Who’d lead the angels?
That fell out of me in March 1994.
The second poem I submitted fell out of me when I started goodmorningkeywest.com in 2007, and is in the header of the homepage:
Key West, where people accused of being weirdos some place else can come mingle with real weirdos.
Me to Connie:
I thought the theme was poetry, by KW poets.
Maybe I missed the theme in the promo. If I had seen it, I probably would have let it slide on by.
I don’t do contrived poems, to order. Poems just jump out of me, or they don’t.
Beyond that, poetry is quite a bit bigger than something on paper. Poetry is life itself – everything is poetry, including not winning a poetry contest, and not knowing it was on a particular theme.
Agreed. I won awards in high school–then zip for over 50 years. . . .and re theme, there wasn’t one stated; it was only my guess that the judges preferred KW themes–still don’t know who else won–will try for KWTN.
We’ve met before a couple of times.
Not sure if you remember me or not but I work for WEYW TV and host a talk show.
I am interested in interviewing the people you wrote about in your article, Polar-Axis Shift- Key West Homeless Miseries and Beyond.
How can I find them?
Hi, Jenna – Yes, I remember you. Will ask them as I see them, but will surprised if they agree do live interviews. Perhaps they might agree to meet you somewhere off camera and off recording device, on condition you not name them, their hangouts, etc. More likely the woman, than the man might agree to that. Sloan
Hi again, Jenna -
Saw the woman tonight, she says she would be happy to be interviewed, if she had a secure place to live inside all the time, but she does not and she is terrified of what the police would do to her, if she gave the interview.
I wrote you a second email earlier, saying you might wish to interview me, but it seemed to have disappeared before I sent it. I have done many radio and TV lively interviews. Maybe 300 in all.
Sent from my iPad. I HAD GIVEN UP ON YOU FOR A LONG TIME SLOAN BUT UR ARTICLES IN POLAR AXIS IS RIGHT ON ,AT THE HOMELESS SUMMIT MANY YEARS AGO,,,,MAYBE 15 YEARS AGO,,,,,,YOU TOLD ALL THE UNEDUCATED COMMISIONERS AS THIS TOWN WILL ALWAYS HAVE UNEDUCATED PEOPLE IN CONTROL THAT THE BEST THING TO DO WITH AND FOR HOMELESS PEOPLE IS TO DO NOTHING.
THESE SO CALLED COMMISIONERS ARE PROTECTING THERE BUSINESS AND WE ALL KNOW THIS BUT DENIE IT BECAUSE WE DON’T WANT TO LOSE THERE FRIENDSHIP AND THESE ARE THE KIND OF PEOPLE I NEVER WANTED TO BE.
PUTTING A BEER ON A BAR AND ASKING $4.50 FOR THE TOXIC BEVERAGE DOES NOT MAKE YOU INTELLIGENT AND FEEL THAT I ,,,,,GUESS ITS TIME FOR ME TO HANG WITH THE POWER TO BE………
THIS COUNTRY DOES NOT ALLOW PERSONAL WARS SO TO ALL YOU CLOWNS WHO THINK YOU KNOW ALL ABOUT HOMELESS AND HAVE A WAR AGAINST THEM WE ARE TELLING YOU TO STOP IT AND IF YOU KNEW ANYTHING AT ALL YOU WOULDN’T HAVE MOREBUTT ON YOUR PAYROLL. [Robert Marbut]
I HAVE HAD MANY HOMELESS PEOPLE TELL ME THAT THE LONGER THIS TOWN PUSHES THEM TO LEAVE K W THE LONGER THEY STAY,,,,IT’S CALLED DEFIENCE, AND IT’S ATTENTION,THEY CRAVE ATTENTION EVEN IF ITS NEGATIVE ATTENTION THE CLOWNS OF THE TOWN DON’T GET IT..
PUTTING A CAN OF WHEEL BEARING GREASE ON THE COUNTER AND ASKING $6.50 FOR IT DOES NOT QUALIFY YOU TO BE IN PUBLIC OFFICE.
OH HERE WE GO,,,, ARE YOU ANGRY THAT HOMELESS PEOPLE DON’T PAY $4.50 FOR YOUR BEER OR BUY YOUR GREASE LETS GET SOME INTELLIGENT PEOPLE TO RUN AND OVER SEE THE HAPPENINGS OF K W ,WHAT WE HAVE NOW ARE DISGUSTING INDIVIDUALS,UNEDUCATED AND FULL OF HATE,,,,,,NOTHING GOOD COMES FROM HATE.
SORRY FOR THE SPELLING SLOAN I USED TO TYPE 145 WORDS PER MINUTE WITH NO MISTAKES.
HOMELESS,INTELLIGENT AND LOVING IT .
No clue here why you gave up on me, I been a pounding this beat since the spring of 2001. I been in their faces a long time, saying what nobody else will say, because I don’t rely on outside help to get by, which they have any hold on. I don’t worry about not being invited to the proms, in fact, I detest proms. I don’t worry about violating the political correct religion, because politically correct is a terminal spiritual disease. When Mayor Cates made his homeless tour back a few years, I was the only person on the tour who actually knew a bit about homelessness. Mayor Cates tried to talk me out of being there, and I laughed, said I will be there. I am given lots of different stuff to work, Robert, because I’ve had lots of different experiences in Key West, the Keys, and elsewhere, and I’m not reluctant to wade through shit to get to the bottom of it, although I wish it didn’t cause me to feel so poisoned lots of the time, like I feel today. Something I dug into today was really vile in the spirit realms, and I’m feeling it big time.
I ran into Bill Verge today at Harpoon Harry’s. When he asked me what did I think really could be done about homelessness, I said nothing really can be done about it. Throw money at it, throw lots of money at it, and find out. Miami did that and is in a big distemper over how it turned out. That was after Miami got busted in Federal Court, that would be the Pottinger case, which Miami is now trying to get the Federal Court to set aside. Cities all around America are waging war of some kind against homelessness. Might as well wage war against breathing or eating or shitting or pissing, but there is no way I can convince the powers that be of that. They think they know everything, are God-ordained, or whatever. They will try. They will throw money at it. Did the war against cancer end cancer? Did the war against drugs end drugs? Did Prohibition end booze? Hell no. Did the war in Iraq end al Quaeda? The war in Afghanistan? Hell, no. But those wars wrecked the US economy and created lots of homeless battleshocked veterans, with which you, a battleshocked Vietnam veteran certainly can relate.
Threatening this newest crop of homeless reformers, and worse, will have zero effect on them. Perhaps the most fitting thing would be for them to end up homeless. Verge blamed a lot of it on closing the public mental hospitals. I suppose there is some truth in that, although most people I know in mainstream are insane, but not in the same way as mental hospitals view insanity. The President of the US who launched the wars in Iraq, and then in Afghanistan, was insane, as were all who voted for him, and later supported him. Ditto for his successor and his followers.
Verge said word on the railroad (the national homeless grapevine) is Key West is a great place to be, if you are homeless. Hell, even Marbut discovered that. How do the local know-it-alls deal with that, other than shooting and killing all homeless people in the area, and word of that filters into the railroad, or, as I wrote today, there is a polar-axis shift and Key West ends up where Greenland is. Verge said the sun is beginning to show sign of a polar-axis shift itself, not imminent, but it’s coming, and when it happens, this planet will follow suit, and it will be sudden, not gradual. He asked what did think that would be like? I said the end of all large animals, including humans. Amoeba, bacteria, viruses would survive, but the big animals would be thrown several miles into the sky, and during out assent and descent, volcanoes would spring forth everywhere and we would fall into the volcanoes, maybe still alive and kicking to be fried crisp, or maybe already demised.
The shit people worry about today, who can say it won’t seem like pure gold some day, compared to the shit they worry about then?
Me, I’m trying to figure out how I let Patrick beat me so badly at chess today. Just when I feel I’m getting on top of his game, he does something I never imagined and all of a sudden I’m in oh shit city, again.
I had a slew of dreams last night about my first wife, mother of all three of my children, all the dreams were easy. In waking life, I suppose she still views me as the Devil. I suppose she has plenty of company. It’s a lousy job, but somebody’s got to do it, I suppose.
My dreams about her, and bumping into Bill Verge yesterday, and hearing from Robert yesterday, returned me to the biographical part of yesterday’s post, specifially the part about my changing my name to Sloan Young in early 2000. When I arrived in Key West later that year, Robert met Sloan Young. He knew nothing of Bashinsky. When Bill Verge, a member of the Key West Planning Board, and Father Stephen Braddock, CEO of Florida Keys Outreach Coalition, met me maybe a year and a half later, at a city commission meeting, after I had told the elected officials there was nothing they could do to change homeless people (back then it was just street people, the financial crash had not yet happened, there were no what now are called “new homeless peopled”), they did not know about Bashinsky. Nor did they know about Bashinsky when, in 2003, they asked me to run for mayor, and gave me money for the filing fee, since I was still broke and was living in FKOC’s shelter on Patterson Avenue.
Shortly after I filed to run, the angels told me in my sleep, “Your passport was issued by mistake.” That probably was the forth or fifth attempt by them to get me to change my name back to Sloan Young Bashinsky Jr. The first few attemps were too subtle for me to understand. But this time, I got the message, for after I changed my name to Sloan Young, I had my passport reissued to me as Sloan Young. And, this was the first time the angels had indicated, as I read the message, they, not I, had made a mistake in having me become Sloan Young. And, in having me formerly renounce my inheritance from my father, which I did not mention in yesterday’s post. Nor did I mention yesterday, the angels had told me to write a letter about how all of that had come to pass, as explained in yesterday’s post, and mail it to my father, my brother, my sister, my two daughters, and their mother. Our son had died in infancy; we would have called him Young, instead of Sloan, if he had survived.
So, during that 2003 mayor’s race, against my better judgment, for I really liked Sloan Young, the truest, toughest person I had ever known, I had a judge in Key West change my name back to my birth name. And, I wrote a letter to my father’s lawyer, with whom I had gone to law school, and told him I unrenounced the renouncement of my inheritance. A letter I also regretted writing, because it felt entirely wrong to accept an inheritance from my father, who seemed to wish I had never been born. Some time passed and I recanted the unrenouncement in another letter, for the same reason. It just felt wrong to take an inheritance. Then, the angels told me to recant that recant, so I sent another letter doing that. Not long afterward, my father died, and,after his estate settled with the IRS, I received the first part of my inheritance on Valentine’s Day, 2006. Thereafter, being homeless ceased to be a threat for a while. Thereafter, I ran for mayor of Key West two more times, the county commission three times, the school board once. All at the angel’s “bidding” – do it, or else, was how I read it.
The internal going was terrible, reflecting the shit in the spirit realms in the various races. I never had liked politics, and I grew to thoroughly detest politics. My nearly life-long love affair with the Florida Keys evaporated, as the result of all the things I had loved about the Keys being covered over by all the shit I was engaging. I grew to not want to be in the Keys, even though I had made many friends here. Probably more friends than any man deserves.
Going back perhaps a year in time, I have been dreaming about Birmingham, Alabama, my hometown, via various people from that era in my life. The dreams last night about my first wife seemed to be a continuation of that dream thread. We moved to Birmingham from Tuscaloosa after I graduated from Birmingham. Our daughters were born in Birmingham. Something is coming down for me, which has to do with all of that, perhaps related to my father and his estate, which is on hold as long as his widow lives.
Also, nearly two years ago, the angels had me create goodmorningbirmingham.com, which started out pretty good, but then became a sporadic endeavor. The angels surely had something down the road in mind when they had me create that website. Maybe they later changed their minds, but it sure looked to me that eventually they would move me back to Birmingham, after whatever I was doing in the Keys and Key West ran its course.
The Key West city election is three days from now. The outcome of the cruise ship referendum will be known on that day. I see little else I can do to affect Key West’s homeless saga. I also shot my wad on banning cruise ships from Key West altogether, Truman Waterfront, Wisteria Island, North Roosevelt Boulevard, Key West having a nude beach, converting lower Duval Street into a pedestrian and street artist and performer mall, banning conch trains and trolleys from Key West, straightening out the Tree Commission (Nazis), getting trees trimmed back from power lines, the school district, the county government, No Name Key. I did lots of poetry readings. I got into the newspapers a good bit. I wrote and published thousands of pages on just about anything and everything, including a really good novel, which ended up in the dust bin.
I did not become able to live independently, earn a living by my own work product. On that, I gave up, after the angels gave me every reason to believe the novel would produce a revenue stream, and the soul drawings/art, which started coming after the novel, would produce a revenue stream. No revenue stream appeared. In that respect, I’m no different from any homeless person I know. But for what I inherited, I still would be homeless. I would not, according to City Commissioner Tony Yaniz, be a citizen of Key West. My homeless friends, according to Yaniz, are not citizens of Key West. My homeless friends, according to my mainstream friend Todd German, are not members of Key West’s One Human Family, because they do not contribute to Key West.
My friend Patrick would be homeless, if he did not have a rent so low in a Housing Authority project that even he can get by on just his disability check. Patrick is known and loved by many people in Key West, but very few of my mainstream friends know him.
I told Bill Verge yesterday of a conversation I once had with Jim Hendrick, who did meet Patrick and play chess against him. The conversation was about Jim’s running mate, Pritam Singh, a hugely successful devoloper, who, according to Jim, was homeless when he first arrived in Key West.
When Jim told me that Pritam gives lots of money to save the whales, I said, what does Pritam give to help Key West, where he makes all of his money? I asked Jim what he gave back to Key West, where he makes all of his money?
Just my opinion, Patrick, Goofy and the homeless man and woman about whom Jenna Stauffer wrote to me are far more important to Key West than are Pritam Singh, Jim Hendrick, Mayor Craig Cates, the six city commissioners, Ed Swift, the Walshes, the Bernsteins, the Spottswoods …