Life: Through the Eyes of a Hobo

There is such widespread prejudice towards the homeless, a widely accepted prejudice. They have become a new minority group hated by everyone. To become homeless is akin to becoming a leper. They are look at as mutants, outcasts and derelicts. A people to be ignored. For most of them homelessness was forced upon them with no other options. Once a person is introduced to such a level of abandonment and hopelessness, it affects them, on a deeply psychological level. Substance abuse is a logical step for someone who has lost everything they care about. Too afraid to die, they live in the moment wanting the pain and sorrow to end. They become stuck in the moment for fear of the future which is as terrifying as death.

At the rate America is producing homelessness, there just isn’t enough programs to reach all those that need them. Society doesn’t make it any easier, imposing so many restrictions and boundaries on the homeless communities. It seems like being homeless itself is a crime, which encourages the populace to look down on and even resent those who are thought of as not human. It seems to me that the prejudice against the homeless population is encouraged on most levels of society. You may think otherwise. But this is my opinion based off my own experience, spending the majority of my life as a vagabond. I just want people to be aware and recognize, that the homeless are still humans deserving human rights.

We as a species have become disconnected from our mother the earth (from which all life on this planet has sprung!). We well as each other. In city life we live in such close quarters but we don’t even know our neighbors. Our community has no community. We are afraid of the wilderness and its common knowledge that people think dirt is harmful. If concrete doesn’t give way to natural vegetation we won’t have a planet to live on. This conquer and subdue the land attitude need to be reconsidered. Because the conquered usually end up dead.

The Unsung Homeless

The Down Trodden,
Outcasts and misfits.
Sociaty’s cast aside,
Stepped on,
Stepped over,
Stepped away from,
And left to die.
Striving to live.
Fighting for life.
And disregarded.
And poised.
Ravaged by addictions.
Forced vagrancy,
Arrested for living.
No help for those that cannot help themselves.
The truly left behind.
The derelicts and garbage!

Fighting Against Life

I’m living off the scraps of a dying people.
Who fancy themselves conquerors.
Conquerors of what they cannot say.
The evidence is clear in cities of decay.
Unknown to the populace,
Of each metropolis.
They are all rebels at war, with the natural world.
Behold the cancerous concrete,
Street by street,
Eating up what could live and breath.
Black and gray but never green.
Unable to live in harmony.
All because of a terrible belief,
That humanity should hold dominion.
The pinnacle of evolution,
And that their only solution.
No other species is allowed in.
Only as slaves never as friends.
No silly animals can be intelligent,
Only trained as entertainment.
The silent screams of the indigenous.
What would nature say? Would we listen?
We, trained to be afraid of the wilderness?
Lines drawn to separate sides, a battle neither can win.
I’m just a hobo on the outside looking in.

The Social Forms of Art (SoFA) Journal is a bi-annual publication dedicated to supporting, documenting, and contextualizing socially engaged art and its related fields and disciplines. Each issue of the Journal focuses on a different theme in order to take a deep look at the ways in which artists are engaging with communities, institutions, and the public. The Journal seeks to support writing and web based projects that offer documentation, critique, commentary and context for a field that is active and expanding.

The SoFA Journal is published in print and PDF form twice a year, in June and December by the PSU Art & Social Practice Program. In addition to the print publication, the Journal hosts an online platform for ongoing projects.

SoFA Journal
c/o PSU Art & Social Practice
PO Box 751
Portland, OR 97207