Friday, September 17, 2010

Two Poems by Tomas R. Montalvo: I Live in Fear & A Peek at My Past


I live in fear
A roof over my head
Warm plate of food every day
And a girl that loves me unconditionally

Yet I live in fear

Fear of the park bench that I slept on
Trash cans that I ate from
And public bathrooms in which I bathed in
Fear of losing what I have and stepping back into my past
The multiple incarcerations just to get out of the cold
Being alone like I once was where everyone walked by me oblivious to my existence

I live in fear

Fear of the newspaper insulation
The long lines out in the freezing cold just to be turned away by the Bellevue Mens shelter
Cause they had no empty beds
Fear of not having the strength to lift myself up before hitting the ground once again

But you’ll never understand
You’ll never understand unless you’ve been there back to the ground
Wishing it were rice and beans you were eating while chowing down on an Alpo sandwich
Yes an Alpo sandwich
Yaeh you’ll never understand that I live in fear
Fear of being anywhere but here


This is not a poem
This is the life of a helpless man living in the streets of NYC
No home to go to
No menu to choose from
Whatever he finds along the way
Will be just what he puts in his stomach for that day
His resting place, the NYC subway.

This is not a poem
This is to tell you that the streets of NYC are lonely and cold
To live in them you have to strong and bold
This is to show you how fucked up humanity is
When a person can walk by a homeless woman, man or child
And not even care to look their way
With nothing but a smile and ask are you okay
But with a look of disgust they turn their faces and
Walk on by
Ooh yeah
Walk on by

This is not a poem
This is the story of a homeless man
5 brothers, 1 sister, a mother and a father
That showed not even an ounce of care
If he ate today
If he’s fine today
But fuck today, did they think about him yesterday?
No they didn’t
‘Cause you see they were blind
Blind to see that he had a problem
He had an addiction
And no matter how much he cried out for help
For understanding with a bit of affection he got none

Did you hear me?
This is not a poem
This is the story of a young man with no other place to turn to at night
But a park bench under a star light sky
No one to keep him company but his crack pipe

This is the worst two years of my life
And I know it aint right and my future wasn’t bright
Living with a hopeless dream that one day I may surpass my addiction
Stand tall
Head high in the sky
And develop the strength to leave these streets which for the past two years
I have called home
Two years spent sleeping anywhere, everywhere but home
But what is home?
There is no such thing as home
When everyone turns their back on you
Not in a hurry but fast
Did you understand me the first four times that this
This is not a poem
It’s a peek at my past.

By Tomas R. Montalvo

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