Those of you who have read the previous days know that I have an issue with the rampant homeless problem in this city. SF just has an incredible way of denying an issue that is becoming worse and worse. Today I decided to walk through the Tenderloin, easily the worst neighborhood in San Francisco. It’s hard to understand just how bad it is, until you’ve come face to face with it. It’s also easy to ignore the homeless once you’ve come face to face with it everyday for last two years.
I myself have fallen into the trap of putting in my earphones and ignoring the pleas around me. Sweeping generalizations are easy to make when the people who really need help are surrounded by crazy and sometimes scary people. So today I chose to walk and to see. I chose to walk and to hear. It wasn’t always comfortable and some guy called me “tit whore”, but it was educational. There are so many stories that go unheard. While walking I was inspired to write a poem about what I saw.
Beneath the pristine tourist glow
Is the dark underbelly of San Francisco
The views are stunning, one can’t deny
The oceans blue; bridges soaring in the sky
But like a diamond that was never polished
The grime of the city remains unabolished
The city that I love appears to be deaf
Not hearing of cries of John, Mary, or Jeff
And so many others who live in the streets
They remain unseen and unheard lumps of meat
How can such a city nourish my soul?
That is the conundrum of San Francisco
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