Published by KotaPress
ISBN 1-929359-03-9
Limited edition, out of print
Price: $14.00



The Homeless One:
A Poem In Many Voices

by Esther Altshul Helfgott

This poetic drama is dedicated to the legions of homeless people who line the streets and under-paths of our society. It is particularly dedicated to those homeless who suffer from schizophrenia.

Sorry...KotaPress version of this title is out of print

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When the voices start
and talk about something other
than what youíre doing, what happens?

They interfere with me, tell me to do the opposite
of what Iím trying to do.
I have to be especially careful of safety things,
have to watch to make myself put cigarettes out,
have to watch myself carefully,
canít stop watching.

Where do the voices come from?
How do they get in your head?

They aren't in my head.
They're outside my head.
If they were in my head,
theyíd be like the voices
in everyone elseís head.

I donít understand.
I thought you heard voices.

I do hear voices, Esther,
but the voices come from outside my head.
The voices inside my head are just like the voices
in everybody elseís head.


Author Bio
Esther Altshul Helfgott is an independent scholar and poet. She holds a doctorate in History from the University of Washington, has published extensively and has been teaching writing classes and facilitating workshops for over 20 years. Shelter, as a practical reality and as a metaphor for living in community, is at the core of Esther's thinking. She views the page as a haven, not for the purpose of hiding, but as a means of cultivating that place within the self that works most effectively to bring about real and metaphorical shelter - regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual preference to all who live among us -- the homeless, the mentally ill, the disabled, the different, the old. Her book-length poem, The Homeless One, about homelessness and schizophrenia, was published in January 2000 by KotaPress and has been performed as a play.

Esther coordinates the popular It's About Time Writers' Reading Series where beginning and experienced writers and poets read from their work. As a writer and teacher, she views the reading series as a shelter for self-expression and healing, a way to share one's inner self (outside a therapy room) with others, a place where language-masons maintain contact with each other so they can contribute to an on-going dialogue for progress--and for peace within the self and in the world.

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