We were truly lucky to have Mike the Poet, a spoken word artist and performer, come out at the Opening of Faces of Skid Row on October 2, 2010. His performance had energy and his words were powerful. The truth was spoken.

We would like to share the following piece by Mike the Poet "Skid Row" which was exclusively written for the his "Faces of Skid Row" opening night performance:

Skid Row
By Mike the Poet

Skid Row intersects
With the Toy District
But don’t get it twisted
It’s no place for kids.
Skid Row shrinks & grows
When the sun sets.
The industrial back streets
Of Skid Row by day
Do brisk business.
Hong Kong Wholesale,
Apparel, Textile Warehouses,
Underground sweatshops,
Fabric stores & Fish Markets.
When commerce closes down
go the metal garage doors
And out come the homeless.
By day they can be found in
Single-room occupancies,
Basketball courts, porta-potties,
Brick buildings & back alleys.
The Midnight Mission &
League of Women
are a small safety net.
Still not nearly enough beds,
Cardboard boxes
Are used instead;
Spread over 10 square blocks.
Lighters flicker on & off,
Some are here on purpose,
Some on accident &
Some were left.
All of them are
Sleeping with
One eye open,
Trash cans on fire,
Packs of tents,
The brave ones sleep alone.
It’s a short distance between
Heaven & hell
Along the Nickel.
Los Angeles Street
Is the Berlin Wall --
A liminal thoroughfare
East of Luxury Loft Land.
Steps away from
Adaptive Reuse,
A few blocks away
From Pussy & Pooch.
Ice Skating in Pershing Square,
The Oscars at the Biltmore,
Hybrid Showroom-Boutiques
In the Historic Core are next door
To Skid Row watering holes.
This has happened before
On the Lower Eastside &
San Francisco’s Mission District.
Redevelopment or Gentrification.
How do we reconcile
these merging worlds?
If we had the answers
Would Skid Row still be here?
Would they sleep somewhere else?
Would they sleep in the River?
To those stressed about the homeless,
What do you suggest?
People aren’t garbage,
They can’t be swept
In the recycling bin.
Furthermore the homeless
Were here before the lofts,
They were here before
The Art Walk.
They are a product of
Trickle Down Economics,
A product of the free market.
Emerson spoke of the Over-SouL
Today’s man is much more cold,
We are the richest country in the world,
But you’d never know on Skid Row..
Skid Row intersects
With the Toy District
But don’t get it twisted
It’s no place for kids.

Please visit Mike the Poet at: http://www.myspace.com/mikethepoet

Faces of Skid Row Exhibition will be on view through October 31st. Come on by! Don't miss out on our fundraiser night on October 23, 2010 from 6-9 pm.

For more info, email us at info@crewest.com


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