Life Unhinged: It’s Hard to be Homeless.

It is hard to be homeless,
and alone.
I am traveling with a shopping cart,
sometimes pushing it,
sometimes riding in it with
effortless propulsion
over vast empty parking lots.
But more frequently
there is a sidewalk with uneven cement sections
and I have to lean on the cart to raise the wheels
as I navigate through litter and beer cans.
In the cart I have a small duffel bag
but I have no idea what it contains.
My most treasured possession is a small sack I hold in my hands, treasured because
there is a knife in it, an important tool for
my protection and survival.

I have a vague sense of direction
but I cannot remember street names.
There was a place I stayed
a few days back, and I am
looking for it. I only know
an approximate location.
There is a main street,
a crossing, and about a dozen
parallel streets to the north.
I have gone up and down
the street perpendicular
at the crossing, but I cannot always
make out the street names.

I know I will remember it
when I see it, but I don’t know
what I will do then.
I have no recollection of where on the street the place is that I am looking for
or even what it looks like.
I only remember that there were people around,
and commerce, and food, and in among the goods
being bartered, there were three
semi-automatic rifles that were valuable
and that I could take with me to sell
if there was a way I could conceal them
or a place to store them. Not having these things
I am continually trying to cover them so others
won’t take them and use them for
an ill-suited purpose.

Two women encounter me
trying to navigate a narrow sidewalk,
uneven and littered,
and ask me about books.
I have no books, only the mysterious duffel
and the small sack. I tell them
it is interesting that they mention books
because I am a book seller and collector,
but my voice is unfamiliar, even to myself,
and I struggle with the wording and a way to explain, and there is disbelief
in the women’s expressions;
somehow they cannot associate me
with literacy, and I have trouble
making the association myself.
There is one person
who saw part of a gun stock protruding
from a protective cover
and I hit him on the head
with a small stick of wood,
or piece of iron (I cannot remember which),
and his head was collapsed
and misshapen. But I don’t think
the tap I gave him caused it;
I think his head was deformed before.

After that a memory
of beaches and surf wafts in
like an approaching fog.
There are things out deeper in the water
that I desire but cannot get to;
the memory dissipates like steam.
Just before I woke up
I was navigating my cart backwards
through a large and barren,
indoor corridor, crouching in the cart
with my back toward the handle,
moving it by pushing the air
with my open hands,
the way you would
if you were in the water
and your grocery cart was a boat.
I pass two men and one pats me
on the head and I am comforted
by the gesture. I look
over my shoulder
and see the two men,
shaved bald, and talking
excitedly, exiting
through a steel door.
It is hard to be homeless,
and alone.

– Larry Berger.

Submit a Comment

Saddle up for June w/ Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper!

Saddle up for June w/ Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper! - Saddle up this June for the best things to do in Greenbrier County and surrounding areas!  Sigrid House, owner of Mounted Blessing LLC, invites you to her farm for summer horseback riding lessons. Jason Scott with B-Sides and Badlands interviews Black Garlic about their new album. They play at the Wild Bean in downtown Lewisburg on Saturday, June 22. Gibbs Kinderman with the Mountain Music Trail celebrates Dwight Diller, who won […]

Stay Updated w/ HashtagWV!

Want to stay updated with the paper or thinking about advertising? Sign up today for the latest HASHTAGWV monthly newsletter!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Best Things to Do in Lewisburg, WV

Best Things to Do in Lewisburg WV! - Spending a day in Lewisburg? Here are a few of the best things to do while you’re visiting. Start your day at the Wild Bean coffee shop.  Located downtown, this cafe offers premium coffee, tea, veggie cuisine, wi-fi, entertainment, and more! The breakfast menu consisting of breakfast burritos, egg scrambles, breakfast sandwiches and granola w/ […]

"Over the last 10 years, we have tried several avenues for advertising. Beyond a doubt, our greatest return has been through HASHTAGWV. Whether it be in the HASHTAGWV print edition, or online, our customers, both locals and tourists, really do look for this media form to be in tune with what’s going on in the area and for destination shopping. Advertising with LBSPY (now HASHTAG) has unequivocally been a great asset for our business!" - Craig Miller w/ Serenity Now Outfitters. Ad rates start at just $20! Click here for MEDIA KIT  

Patrick4CMPLTshrp "LBSPY is the best thing that has happened in Greenbrier County since I have been here for seven years. Maybe the whole state.... a first class operation and a lot of hard work," Patrick O'Flaherty (pictured above), The Irish Pub, Lewisburg, WV

Donating = Loving

HashtagWV remains D.I.Y. in nature and it takes hundreds of hours a month to research and write, and thousands of dollars to sustain. If you find any joy and value in it, please consider making a one time or recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of coffee at The Wild Bean and a good dinner at Food & Friends
Adam DeGraff "LB Spy always has their finger on the pulse of this community!" - Adam Degraff (pictured above), (The Weight/ The Dueling Fiddlers / Pianafiddle)


  • For the second year, lords and ladies, knights and knaves are strolling the grounds of Hollow Hills Farm every weekend this June. There’s shopping, entertainment, stage shows, live music, games, food, and all sorts of participatory revelry inspired by the days of the Renaissance. @wv_renaissance_festival
#lewisburg #lewisburgwv #gotowv #simplygbv #greenbriercounty #westvirginialivin #renaissancefair #wvrenaissancefestival
  • Happy West Virginia Day from your team @cartierrainespa in Lewisburg! West Virginia and the people it brings to us are simply amazing, including this spa team! 156 years and going strong 💪💙💛
#lewisburg #lewisburgwv #gotowv #igers_of_wv #wv_igers #greenbriercounty #simplygbv #spalifestyle #cartierraine #cartierrainespa #AlmostHeaven #LetsGo
  • Chinese buffet tho 👀 @ China Palace in Lewisburg
#lewisburg #lewisburgwv #gotowv #westvirginialivin #simplygbv #greenbriercounty #igers_of_wv #wv_igers #smallbusinessesrock #chinesebuffet #allyoucaneatbuffet 🇨🇳

Follow Us!


Wonder How HashtagWV Remains Free?

WONDER HOW HASHTAG LEWISBURG CITY PAPER REMAINS FREE? - Wondering how Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper gets published and distributed FREE every month in-print and online? Do we have wealthy parents or did one of us seduce a millionaire? No. Are we financed by bank loans or grant money? Nope, not that either. Until we hit it BIG in the lotto, every issue of HASHTAGWV comes […]


P.O. Box 744
Lewisburg, West Virginia 24901


"Here at WHEN PIGS FLY BBQ, we get the most return advertising with LBSPY. New customers tell us all the time how they see our ad. They then come see us!" - Mike and Kellen, owners of When Pigs Fly BBQ, Lewisburg, WV.
"Christina, Thank you so much for the cover and the ARTICLE. Your LBSPY is fantastic! We hope to grow this ride and other sports events in our area. Your magazine will do this. Again thank you from everyone in the GVBike club. Come ride with us sometime." - Janice Centa


LBSPY is a free, full color arts and entertainment tabloid dedicated to providing useful information in the areas of Greenbrier County, Pocahontas County, parts of Alleghany County, and more. We distribute 7,000, full color issues every month.


We are engaged in promoting local music, arts, events, dining, and shopping. We reach our audience where they live, eat, shop, drink, play, and fill up their gas tank. BEHIND THE SPY


"LBSPY is the best thing that has happened in Greenbrier County since I have been here for seven years. Maybe the whole state.... a first class operation and a lot of hard work," Patrick O'Flaherty, owner @ The Irish Pub