tent cities

he unclenched his fist/a few peanuts and raisins/that were his/three course meal/his chocolate brown eyes/peeked through the window/droplets of the November rain/dampening his raven hair/he zipped up the window/and buried his face in the pillow/his tummy grew hollow/as he rested/on the frigid concrete/beneath his bones/that he called/home — skid row, ‘a cognitive canvas’ pg. 163

last week, i was driving through west hollywood. miles and miles of palm trees swaying north to south, the mansions perched on the cliffs of the hollywood hills, the sun beaming, the sky blue. as if someone had turned up the saturation in a photograph, utterly perfect. it was a typical, out of the movies like january afternoon in the city of angels. then i took a left…

along both sides of the road, rows and rows of make shift homes made of tents, shopping carts, mattresses, sheets, and other items. 

as every angeleno, i had known about skid row and other homeless communities in los angeles. but this was new, along with the four others i drove past on my way to run errands. 

since the pandemic 567,715 people have become homeless in the nation (source: endhomelessness.org) with california holding the highest number out of all states. there are some amazing organizations like “Project RoomKey” who’ve provided hotel and motel rooms to the homeless during the pandemic, and as stated on their site are working to ensure that after the pandemic these individuals and families won’t be back on the streets. 

in addition, after having lost their jobs many families are short on food. having a space to socially distance during these unprecedented times is a privilege, having food and a job is a privilege. 

never forget to be grateful 


here are some sites where you can get more information/help those in need: 



the pearl in the oyster

in the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives pre-pandemic, when was the last time you stopped and looked up at the sky? the beautiful buildings? the trees? how long has it been since you spent a sunday cooking with mom, or pulled out those spanish books you’ve been antsy to get to but couldn’t because your commute to work eats up two additional hours of your day? 

a very long time I bet. 

as devastating as the impact of covid has had on our lives, I choose to see the glass as half full. yes, these are scary times. I lost my father in august 2019 to something similar to covid, valley fever, also an infection of the lungs. I wouldn’t want anyone to experience that level of pain. 

think of how these unprecedented times have changed our lives…

spending time with a small group of people whom we feel the most safe with, cooking at home rather than eating out, having small intimate weddings and/or other gatherings with those who mean the most to us, spending that time you would be driving to and from work to catch up on some reading or doing an art project to help your mind relax. 

from enjoying movies & shopping from the comfort and safety of our homes, to companies shifting permanently to remote work once they realized how much can be saved by cutting back on office space expenses, to families spending more time together with loved ones. or that much needed time to just relax, and not do anything with your freed up time except turning your mind on mute for a bit.

whatever it may be, take this as a blessing in disguise 

pandemic life has truly changed our lives forever. 

P.S. thank you to all of our frontline workers for their selflessness care and love during the COVID-19 crisis: doctors, nurses, grocery store employees, and anyone else I may have missed. 

wear a mask, save lives.

a major part of writing (or any work) is having a work space, where you solely work. here is where all my ideas are put onto paper