Deadpool loves Jennifer and wrote a poem published in Street Roots called “True Love” for all Portland to see.
“It’s about finding someone that loves you for who you are, unconditionally,” Deadpool said. “(Someone who) doesn’t care about your past, who doesn’t care about what you look like, how you dress, how much money you have. Just loves you for you – and I’ve got that with her.”
“It’s easy to love you, though,” Jennifer replied.
In January, Deadpool and Jennifer went through a “handfasting,” a pagan ceremony to declare their commitment to each other.
“We took a vow to love each other. Care for each other. Respect each other,” Deadpool said.
Deadpool is originally from Scotts Mills, a small town between Salem and Portland. Jennifer says she is from “all over.” They met on the street, and both say they are learning to have a healthy relationship.
(Jennifer declined to have her photo taken for this interview.)
Deadpool said his sensitivity comes out in his poetry: “Whether it’s dark poetry or happy poetry, there’s always a part of me in there. Part of my soul. Part of me. I’ve always been able to write poetry. When I was a kid, I won third prize for a poem about my sister when she was born. Then I had a poem published about my sister when I was in prison.”
He was deeply affected when someone sent a note about his poetry to Street Roots: “They said they really enjoyed it and that they could relate to it. It made me feel good to get that, you know?”
Deadpool said he lives with several conditions that make it difficult for him to secure a permanent job. “Going out and selling Street Roots on the corner, it’s helped me a lot with getting over my social anxieties. I have to get out there and sell the paper and sell myself. I had one lady that told me I was the most enthusiastic vendor she’d ever seen.”
Besides getting good feedback on his poetry and salesmanship, he has gained something more important at Street Roots: a role model. Deadpool has learned some important coping lessons watching Cole Merkel, the Street Roots vendor program director, who sets an example as he works with vendors.
“Watching Cole and seeing what Cole deals with every day, and all the stress that Cole deals with, has taught me a lot. It’s taught me to be a more patient, respectful person – to be a better person,” Deadpool said.
Recently, when Jennifer was involved in a street confrontation, Deadpool protected her using his brain rather than his brawn. He called the Street Roots office for advice and enlisted a nearby security guard for help.
“Street Roots has taught me to be patient and do the right thing,” Deadpool said. “Instead of going out and wanting to fight the person, I’m learning to do the better thing. Be the bigger man.”