I have been homeless four times in my life. In 1992, housed but low-income, I started painting at StreetLife Gallery, a "co-op" for homeless & low-income artists. (I hold the dubious distinction of being the only person to have completed three terms as President of StreetLife Gallery, without running away or being driven out.) One day this baby cheeked young guy came into the gallery talking about starting a "street paper" -- a newspaper that would be sold by homeless people, for an income, and would publish stuff by homeless people, and about homeless people. I thought he was an FBI agent, but I showed him some of my art because I figured that if he was an FBI agent, he might be able to afford to buy some. Six months later he published the first issue of the Real Change with one of my pictures on the cover. I decided maybe he wasn't an FBI agent.
The idea was that the editorial decisions for Real Change would be made by homeless and low-income people, and one of my friends, Marion Sue Fischer, was on the Editorial Committee. One day I was sitting on the sidelines during the editorial meeting waiting for her. When someone asked the question, "What do you think we should cover?" I had some ideas, so they said, "Well, then, you should join the committee." And then they didn't learn from that, they asked again, "What do you think this paper needs the most?" and I hadn't learned either, I said, "Humor," and they said, "Well, then, you write it."
So I looked around for something to write humor about, and there were *all* these poets. Seattle's crawling with them. Even the homeless community in Seattle is crawling with them.
Hence, Adventures in Poetry. Of course, a few random things come in besides poetry: Mayors, hamsters, the City Attorney, 40-ouncers, how to be a Homeless Gourmet ... You'll find out.
Art In Balance an Introduction
How I Became Homeless for the First Time
Wes Takes a Break 12
Anitra does the column.
28 November 2002
Review of Surviving the Streets by Ace Backwords
A Homeless Cruise 28 November
New York thinks of housing homeles people on cruise ships. But what of shuffleboard?
The Joy of Smite 14 November
What little boy doesn't want to rain death down upon his enemies?
We Bad 31 October 2002
Getting use out of stale dumb stereotypes.
Fear 17 October 2002
War news, about driving cab.
Meaninglessness & CNN 3 October
Do you think somebody out there wants us to worry?
My Seven Year Anniversary 19
Historical Stupidity 5 September
I'm stupid about history. Bush & Rumfeld are stupider.
Thoreau Is Comcerned 22 August
He is in some way.
I Am Obsessed with Your Obsession 8
What is it?
I Plej a Lejents 25 July 2002
Probable effects of the Supreme Court decision on six year olds
Studies in Stupidity 11 July
Stupid is as... what?
Metaphors for Wes 27 June 2002
When is a newpaper graphic like a Sherman tank?
Out on a Limb 13 June
Wes states his mind
Wes Finds Some Poetry May 30,
Adventures witth the printer's dummy
A Nicely Dimpled Mind May 16, 2002
My Other Mind Is a Rembrandt
Wes and One Big Club May 2, 2002
What club lets Wes in?
Mother and the Book of Job 18
How Job could have been written
Throw Them to the Lions! 4 April
Just talking about morning people.
Acts of Violence March 21, 2002
Even the idea of homeless community gets attacked
Uncovered March 7, 2002
Do you want to know?
King County Made This Column Boring February
In which Anitra doesn't go to jail, blast it.
Wes's Drug Habits February 7, 2002
I'm happy enough for now, thank you very much. Whee!
Lessons in Existential Angst, Coming Up January
Much preferable to being-bombed angst or starvation angst.
All About Angst January 10, 2002
The advantages of being a socket tool kit in today's world.
Contemplating Consequences December 13, 2001
"What if I try this here military tribunal?"
Hebdomadally Speaking November 15, 2001
Title November 1, 2001
Anitra Does Time October 18, 2001
Aftermath October 4, 2001
The Power of Cheese September 20, 2001
Let us now praise government commodities
Adventures with Flying Monkeys September 6, 2001
Election Time in the Emerald City
We Need a Rosa Parks August 23, 2001
NASNA Conference 2001 August 9, 2001
Old Fart July 26, 2001
Chronic Theory July 12, 2001
Noise June 28, 2001
Reason v.s. Common Sense June 14, 2001
Alternative Housing May 17, 2001
Walt Whitman and Sales May 3, 2001
Emily Dickinson & Symbols April 19, 2001
Putter April 5, 2001
Sports in Seattle March 8, 2001
What's in a
Name? February 22,
A Moment of Enlightenment February 8,
Contemplating the "faith based initiative"
The Last Demonstration Zone January
Bye-bye, Free Speech. Write when you find housing.
The Ballad of the Palm Beach Election Board December 1, 2000
Modest Proposals September 1,
Suggestions for how to deal with "the homeless problem" in line with official Seattle thinking
A Real Laff Riot December 15,
WTO Is Comedy Overload
The Coming Apocalypse December 1,
Wes Prophecies for WTO
Ruled by Gravity July 15, 1999
Flawed Brilliance June 15, 1999
Out of Order June 1, 1999
Dead Men Walking May 15, 1999
Rocky Mountain High May 1, 1999
Word Salad Apr 15, 1999
On the Med Train April 1, 1999
Pooky's Alien Nation March 1, 1999
Pissin' in the Wind February 15, 1999
Atomic Duck Quacks Down February 1, 1999
`Cuz I Said So! January 15,
In which Wes explores authoritarianism in poetics and other matters
Torquemada Sunrise January 1, 1999
Rage Against the Real December 1998
Mayor Schell's Birthday party!
(also see Anitra's account)
My Summer Vacation September 1998
Better Inbred Than Dead August 1998
In Defense of Idiocy July 1998
Bus Burdened Eastside Earl June 1998
Analogy-ku May 1998
The One That Got Away April 1998
Kid, You're Hooked March 1998
Opus One, Ready or Not February 1998
Writers Writing Wrongly January 1998
SPD Blues December 1997
This Butt's For You November 1997
In which Wes campaigns for Mayor
Earlier columns are at Wes's
Wes's columns are all previously printed in Real Change
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