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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 7, Number 2, June 2013


Johannes S.H. Bjerg
Hojby, Denmark



For the third night (and day) the homeless person sits on the same bench by the ball cage. It's impossible to say whether it's a man or a woman. Heshe is covered in so many layers of clothes. Heshe eats, drinks, smokes, read books as I do in the 3rd story flat from where I watch himher on and off. I stand (sleepless) in the early hours of the morning in my undies smoking a cigarette, heshe sits among hisher countless bags sometimes erecting a sky blue parasol as cover for . . . the world, I guess. At one point a drunk man sat beside himher smoking. I couldn't see if they talked at all. The field in the ball cage is red. Not like grass.

at times
the upside down tree in the pond
is enough



I'm back in the city where I really belong but can't afford to live. The homeless German woman who has settled on a public bench with a table at one end of a footie cage is back too, covered by several layers of plastic and blankets. She's got a good sleeping bag as well. These January days are cold. Air from Siberia sweeps across large parts of Europe and the temperature drops to around -20C at night. It has been worse, though.

fly me to the moon little by little the bread shortens

She's not your typical poor homeless. She says she has been living here for 10 years holding a job and all. A normal life, but without being registered. Thus she can't get help anywhere. Occasionally volunteers and private help organizations establish places for “illegal” emigrants to sleep in when winter comes. “But it's only men there. Arab and African men. You can't trust them. They steal your things.” She might be right. I don't know. She suffers from the misunderstanding that if she stays where she is long enough the authorities will send her back to Germany and give her a place to live. She can't get into her head that they won't. They don't care. As long as she doesn't break any laws they won't lift a finger. She could die there.

Surya Namaskar
I step on a toy train
going nowhere

She's very well organized. She has a good bicycle with a spacious trailer where she keeps her stuff. She gets her thermos filled at the all-night gas station 50 meters away or from the church across the road. I guess she could be a lot more comfortable than she is but she won't really move. She'll be away for a couple of days but she returns and settles on the same spot.

I try to pinpoint
my headache

We've called some homeless organizations. We suggested they'd go talk to her to explain to her that what she hopes for is unrealistic. I don't know if they've contacted her. She reads books at night by a flash light. Still, some people with their hearts in the right place stop by with food and stuff now and then.

New Year
mum knits me a pair
of six-fingered gloves



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