If the cops catch wind of this they'll throw my ass in jail. I was told never to return here... because I am a "transient"... because I am homeless... therefore I have no right to camp in the National Forest or on BLM land. I am a treaspasser on private property. A treaspasser on public property. I have no right to occupy space. This is America.

Land of the Free as long as you can pay for it.

I came here to the same spot where I was confronted by the Forest cops... so determined to arrest me... who went through the contents of my truck convinced that there was pot in there somewhere... because their dog smelled "something". It was all in vain. There was no pot but they wrote me a ticket with an egregious fine I could not pay for being homeless on public lands. That was the end of the road for me in 2011 but I am back here... because I have a gig the next day just a few miles down the road at a winery... and because... fuck you. I should have the same rights as the rich old farts in that RV across the road.

I suppose I should have learned my lesson. They had already tried to teach me before... that povery is a crime. The only night I spent in jail was in Sarasota Florida. I was staying with my brother in his studio which was near a housing project. Nearly every night I walked through the neighborhood the cops would stop and frisk me. Being from a Middle Class family I wasn't used to being treated like a criminal... especially when there was no clear evidence of a crime being committed nearby... so I resisted. I argued. Things got heated. The last time they chased me into the local bar. Bad idea. I had an audience now and there was no stopping me. I am skilled at debate. They gave me a scholarship for it. It is best not to argue with me in a public space... especially a bar... if you are a cop. "I smell bacon..." "Oink!" Clearly the audience is on my side. There is only way this could have ended: With my face slammed into the wall and my body dragged out in handcuffs.

A night in a cage certainly wasn't enough to break me but inside jail I could see how the system could wear me down systematically. Those projects are prisons. The cops that swept me up nightly and put me against the wall are the guards... making sure no one gets out. If I grew up in those projects... with a different skin tone... headstrong as I am... where would I be? There are really only three options: Jail. Death. or Escape. Would I be The Lucky One somehow using my intellect to excel through school, get a scholarship, a degree and leave the project behind? Or would I pick I fight with the authorities who already had it in for me... like I did that night... and lose... and waste a lifetime in and out prisons? 

I think the latter is more likely.

The cops didn't catch me this time. In the morning I walked barefoot through the desert gathering wood for a breakfast fire. I put a can of corn beef hash and some eggs in the Dutch oven. Delicious. Before the fire died I burned the rest of a sage bundle I bought from the Hopis just before I was "busted". It was probably the reason the dog "indicated". They say burning sage cleanses the area of negativity. Perhaps it can cleanse the negativity of what happened here that night two years ago. Perhaps it can cleanse the negativity in my truck... my faithful steed... who I know I am pushing now never having the money to properly maintain it. Perhaps it will cleanse the negativity within myself... the negative roles I have taken on. "John the Homeless." "John the quasi-criminal." "John the Poor."

I travel lighter than anyone and yet there is still baggage. There's always baggage... even for John the Musician... Traveler... Artist... Writer. "Get behind me! Get behind me Poverty! Get behind me Failure! Get behind me Desperation... Depression... Homelessness... Obscurity. Sweet sage take these screams into the loneliest canyons of this desert... where its echoes can go on forever and not be heard!"

Now is the time for my Song.