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See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers reading her poems “Job of being Homeless” and “Over and Over Again” 9//16 at “Poetry Aloud” open mic at the Georgetown Public Library (video filmed from a Canon Power Shot camera).
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See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers reading her poems “Quiver with no Home” and “Guilt” 9/24/16 at “Poetry Aloud” open mic at the Georgetown Public Library (video filmed from a Sony camera).
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See YouTube video
of Janet Kuypers reading her poems “Quiver with no Home” and “Because This Is What We Do” (cut off) 9/25/16 at the Austin open mic Kick Butt Poetry (filmed with a Canon Power Shot camera).
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See YouTube video
of Janet Kuypers reading her poems “Quiver with no Home” and “Because This Is What We Do” (cut off) 9/25/16 at the Austin open mic Kick Butt Poetry (Canon Power Shot; Edge Detection filter).
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See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers reading her poems “Quiver with no Home”, “Because This Is What We Do” and “An Outline to the Apex of Rites of Passage” 9/25/16 at the Austin open mic Kick Butt Poetry (the video of this poetry reading was filmed with a Sony camera).
video video
See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers reading her poems “Quiver with no Home”, “Because This Is What We Do” and “An Outline to the Apex of Rites of Passage” 9/25/16 at the Austin open mic Kick Butt Poetry (this video was filmed with a Sony camera, and then given a Threshold filter).
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See YouTube video of Janet KuypersJuly 2017 Book Release Reading 7/5/17 of Down in the Dirt’s book “On the Rocks” poems “Job of Being Homeless”, “Quiver with no Home”, “out there”, “census”, “judge”, “Nobody Finds Me” and “Cast in Stone” in Half Price Books Community Poetry (Lumix camera).
video video
See YouTube video of Janet KuypersJuly 2017 Book Release Reading 7/5/17 of Down in the Dirt’s book “On the Rocks” poems “Job of Being Homeless”, “Quiver with no Home”, “out there”, “census”, “judge”, “Nobody Finds Me” and “Cast in Stone” in Half Price Books Community Poetry (Sony camera).

Job of being Homeless

Janet Kuypers
9/23/16

So, the magazine editor in me
has gotten to the point
where I start to base my opinions on the homeless
by the writing submissions I receive.

Now, the poets
send me submissions
of a homeless man at one corner
who lost his leg in the war,
and a homeless women
at another corner
who has two children to feed.

And then I get the short stories,
the prose about life in th streets,
about a man who recently lost his job,
got the ropes from another homeless man in Austin:
Don’t take someone else’s corner,
And only put in two hours a day
of asking for money on the streets
and you’ll have enough drinking money
until the next day.
Follow everyone’s code here,
print on your cardboard sign
that you only want a dollar
in the winter months,
but after Memorial Day
get a new sign
and only ask for a quarter.
And whatever you do,
pull on the heart strings
for anyone who claims to be a Christian,
and make sure you sign
ends with the words
“God Bless.”
It might be hard for the first few days,
But you gotta put your pride on hold.
This is tax free,
the government doesn’t own you,
and as I said,
just two hours a day
to get drunk at night
and sleep under the stars.

So, as you see,
I’m a bit torn,
because I keep getting
these two different perspectives
on the homeless life,
because this is what the creative people
send as submissions
to my literary magazines...

So, I don’t know what to do.
I don’t know who to believe.
Do I have hope for the wayward soul
or do I ignore the drunken bum.

Which idea do I support
when I see one man
selling free newspapers to commuters
until he gets a job
and can break free of the cycle,

before I see a man
get out of his parked car,
say good bye to someone on his iPhone,
put it and his ear buds in his denim pocket
and grab a cardboard sign
to walk to a street corner
for his next shift of tax free work.

I’ve heard some can make six figures.
As I said, tax free.

So, I’m a bit torn,
and I don’t know what to believe.


Copyright © Janet Kuypers.

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