Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April is the cruellist month


Before its name was bowdlerized to make it palatable to Oprah Winfrey and the general public, Sacramento's so-now-called Tent City was known as the Wasteland.

I like that name -- the Wasteland -- even as we must all have known that for the encampment, or the idea of an encampment, to survive, something more taxpayer-friendly needed to be found. Thus the wholly generic name Tent City raised its hoary head.

Mayor Kevin Johnson, at an announcement with Libby Fernandez by his side, said that sometime before the end of April, the Wasteland would be wasted, swept away with whatever residents remain removed.

Truly, it is uncertain if the idea of an encampment for homeless people in Sacramento will endure. There will be a rally on April 21, sponsored by Sister Libby's Loaves & Fishes. It might be the last puff of attention before the notion of a permanent village of tents in Sacramento disappears into the aether.

"The Waste Land" is the name of a famous poem by T. S. Eliot. Its first few lines are these:
APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful green tarp, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.

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