Cringeworthy Treacleland Venture

By Gerard Sarnat

A doc who ministers

to Silicon Valley and Stanford


I’m struck by the swift

unconditional love,

and unlimited cash

lavished on animals.

Striving to staff non-profit

(on purpose) shelters

— a modest proposal

that often is more Grimm

than Portlandia —

I’m a “homeless person.”

Taken in lots over my life,

they’re family

till we boil them.

Many people have homeless babies —

homes are small

so it makes sense.

Fewer folk can keep homeless adults,

at least inside. 

What you do see quite a bit

is what we call

“community unhoused.”

These live outside

as local free-range, not feral.

Dishes are set up

with fresh organic feed

so they’re plump and seem healthy.

I hand out treats.

Some are skittish, hard to pet. 

A bunch hang around our building

— neighbors

must cook them.

Domesticated humans without homes

satisfy me.

Can’t imagine

fulfillment without

at least a couple in the frig.

Gerard Sarnat is the author of two critically acclaimed poetry collections, 2010’s Homeless Chronicles from Abraham to Burning Man and 2012’s Disputes. He has been published or is forthcoming in over 85 journals and anthologies.  Harvard and Stanford educated, Gerry’s been a physician who’s set up and staffed clinics for the disenfranchised, a CEO of healthcare organizations, and a Stanford professor. For “The Huffington Post” review of his work and more, visit “Can Do” and “Cringeworthy” may appear in his third collection, 17s, in which each poem, stanza or line has 17 syllables.