I Hear My Brothers’ Heartbeats

Cover of the Street Sheet poetry issue 2021. The bottom half of the page features a path leading to two cities, one decorated with words like "pain", "loss", and "death"; the other words like "life", "strength" and "care".

yeah sweet baby
I hear my brothers’ heartbeats
and see yo tears of blood
dying fo our eyes
on dem cold fuckin’
concrete streets

systems made to kill
not heal
people gettin’ rich
off po’ mans back

so have a drink 
sweet darlin’
it’s on me
oh yeah baby
humans not made
to die like animals
on filthy streets

while people walk by
hatin’ the po homeless man
eatin’ outta garbage cans

police arrestin’
the poor
fallin’ down
from hunger and neglect

yeah baby
i hear
my brothers’ heartbeats
and see yo tears of blood

your piercin’ screams
echoin’ in da night
beggin’ one person
to give a damn
if yo sees
the morning light

so darling
have a drink on me
yeah sweet baby
this one’s on me
man’s not made
to die on cold filthy streets
and tomorrow 
it  could be me
it could be me

yeah sweet baby
I hear my brothers’ heartbeats
and see yo tears of blood
dyin fo our eyes
on these cold fuckin’
concrete streets … READ MORE

Poems by Rodney McClain

Cover of the Street Sheet poetry issue 2021. The bottom half of the page features a path leading to two cities, one decorated with words like "pain", "loss", and "death"; the other words like "life", "strength" and "care".

The Smile 
The Smile has a radiance of Power.
It can change the course of your life 
and others as well.
A Smile can be healing, I believe 
that it’s an indicator of love and happiness. 
I’d like to see a day when the whole 
world smiles at the same time all 
over the world. 
I think it’s the cure for just about 
everything in existence we suffer from 
in this world. 
I’m positive that the smile can bring 
us all together 
It is the key to unity & … READ MORE

“Livin an Dying on Dem Cold Concrete Streets”

Cover of the Street Sheet poetry issue 2021. The bottom half of the page features a path leading to two cities, one decorated with words like "pain", "loss", and "death"; the other words like "life", "strength" and "care".

livin’ and dyin’ on dem  cold concrete streets

virus ragin’ on

no place to 

sit stand or pee

not even

a garbage can 

so i can eat

tonite may be 

my last

on dem cold

concrete streets

virus rages on

no place 

to sit stand or pee

not even a garbage can

so i can eat

livin’ and dyin’ 

READ MORE

Cheap

Cover of the Street Sheet poetry issue 2021. The bottom half of the page features a path leading to two cities, one decorated with words like "pain", "loss", and "death"; the other words like "life", "strength" and "care".

“Oh, God! that bread should be so dear. And flesh and blood so cheap!” [Thomas Hood, 1843] 

I have 15 cents and the landlord with two beamers says it would be a hardship to reduce the rent. I have 15 cents and the shirtless man holding a crystal to the bodega window needs cereal and milk (and a Mug Root Beer would be nice). 
I have 15 cents and Mayor Breed’s aide laughs at me open heartedly over the telephone line. … READ MORE

Awapoems

Cover of the Street Sheet poetry issue 2021. The bottom half of the page features a path leading to two cities, one decorated with words like "pain", "loss", and "death"; the other words like "life", "strength" and "care".

12/13/20

Metal

Shadows of great metal walls have got me stuck in the maze. 
I look in the east and see warm mountains, where does that light come from? 
How did I wander into rain and fog and cold? 
I remember a day when I looked out from a high hill in the morning, 
Thirsting for water, my bones and muscles and senses broken, I stood there.
Then I sang from my heart “come, Spirit, come” and my heart became the living sun.  … READ MORE

Poems by Tommi Avicolli Mecca

Cover of the Street Sheet poetry issue 2021. The bottom half of the page features a path leading to two cities, one decorated with words like "pain", "loss", and "death"; the other words like "life", "strength" and "care".

no room
by Tommi Avicolli Mecca
© 2020

there’s suddenly no room 
at the inn
the shelter in place hotels
no room for 
2,400 homeless people
high risk seniors
sheltered for months
no room
not even a stable
only a vague promise
of permanent housing
that always ends
up broken like treaties
no room
for 2,400 homeless people
now housed
but soon to be back 
out on the streets
in the dead of winter
during the rainy season
just before Xmas
in the midst of 
a pandemic
no room
in far too many hearts

America is starving
by Tommi Avicolli Mecca
© 2020

America’s hungry
it’s always been hungry
it stands every day 
bundled up against the cold
masked and socially
distanced in lines
as far as the eagle 
can see
outside food banks
and soup kitchens
hands always extended 
on the cold callous street
there’s little change
trickling into the cup
little compassion in the air
America’s food stamps 
have been cut
there’s no relief check in the mail
unemployment’s running out
America’s always been hungry
these days
it’s starving

man on a bench
by Tommi Avicolli Mecca
© 2018

you were sitting at the other
end of the wooden bench
outside the café
I was waiting for a friend
checking my phone 
every couple minutes
a small framed old man
with bruises on your cheeks
and forehead
you picked at a scab
as you commented on the weather
a man suddenly turned
the corner swinging his 
bag at your face
then spit on you 
calling you a “homeless
piece of shit”
I yelled at him
told him to leave you alone
he hurried across the street
through the heavy traffic
a waiter came out
told you to move on
I asked why
he said customers had
complained
you got up and left
so did I … READ MORE

555 Folsom, Colourblind, CA, 94105

Cover of the Street Sheet poetry issue 2021. The bottom half of the page features a path leading to two cities, one decorated with words like "pain", "loss", and "death"; the other words like "life", "strength" and "care".

the     sun did   start setting    this        mourning 

Awake    a     wake tumbled in from        the 

gritty shores     of yesterday. or next year        ?

i replaced the     filament     but brilliant       tungsten 

could     not rival         the     peculiar light

of     orange        beams sprinting   out     of sky

rubber        soul       

READ MORE

Humanity

Cover of the Street Sheet poetry issue 2021. The bottom half of the page features a path leading to two cities, one decorated with words like "pain", "loss", and "death"; the other words like "life", "strength" and "care".

Being a Human 

Not necessarily saying all people but the status quo.

Not just have to, want to exist a person in a functional individual in society.

Not just being, but functioning in a humane way. It’s okay to say have 

a nice day, it won’t hurt you.  

That’s called being a human 

READ MORE

Irving and 5th

Cover of the Street Sheet poetry issue 2021. The bottom half of the page features a path leading to two cities, one decorated with words like "pain", "loss", and "death"; the other words like "life", "strength" and "care".

There’s a magistrate in the fridge: 

It’s time to get rid of these old ass tamales. 

Freezer burn babies of beef and cheese and I step into quiet wasteland. 

Not a desperate land for Mad Max. Just cold emptiness like Gravity. 

Big, Snorlax man outside the market. Beard like Klaus. Fingernails that pulled flowers from Golden Gate  Park. 

N95 masks headed in and out as though tear gas wailed around like the Kashmir Valley.

READ MORE

The Concrete

Cover of the Street Sheet poetry issue 2021. The bottom half of the page features a path leading to two cities, one decorated with words like "pain", "loss", and "death"; the other words like "life", "strength" and "care".

I am not afraid of poverty

I learned at the age of three that oxygen wasn’t free

And the expense of life was madness

That would forever be submerged

In a ice cold bathtub

If I watched my brother die would I freeze?

Without feeling powerless

I try to escape my right to frost

By submitting to the inevitable

I hugged the ocean’s waves

But I lost my mind at night

Survival is for the unfortunate

For sordid dreams to collapse by a broken family

I collected my whims in jars

And the moon captured my fears of governance

To be disregarded in history

Man without a home

A misery

READ MORE