Dave Roskos

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The Lexington

spent an hour at
The Lexington Manor
in Lakewood yesterday.
The Lexington is a notorious
boarding home for folks
with mental illness.
was once a glorious
luxury hotel, in its,
& Lakewood's, heyday.
it covers half a city block,
reaches 4 or 5
stories into the sky
& is often referred to as
Heaven's Waiting Room.
The word on the street
is that it is much better
than it used to be,
is no longer the crack-infested
hell-hole it was in the 1980s.
I had to bring one of our guys
there for an intake interview.
Sadly, he is not ready for
independent housing,
gets evicted from every
apartment we put him in,
& the state rescinded
his rental subsidy.
While waiting for the social
worker in the sprawling lobby
a resident approaches another
SW, says, "I don't like the way
you're handling my money!
I want my money!"
the SW says, "We're not even
your Payee, call your Payee."
"I'm gonna call a lawyer!"
he shouts, storming off.
Later on after the interview
& a tour of the building,
we're standing in the lobby
talking with the SW
& a young man walks right
smack into us & exclaims
"You need AA!"


"What happens when you don't take this?"
"I hear voices."
"What do they say?"
"They tell me to kill people."
"Oh, you better take this then."


Dave Roskos is editor of Iniquity/Vendetta Press. He is the long-time publisher of the independent poetry magazines, Big Hammers and Street Value.