HYENA

No agenda. No desired goal. No end result. No achievement required. Just the cathartic process of letting go. I just make music, I just make pictures, I just write words. Hyena.

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THE FLUTTER

I’m back on the blvd. now, with the people that wear their pain. The man coming up over my left shoulder is screaming as he walks. I’m screaming inside. I walked the blvd. for over three years and hardly spoke to anyone, just built the collage. Now some nod with a flutter of recognition. I engage them back, exchanging the liquid prose of pain. Raw. I am one. Alive. 

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BLISS BABY

It’s a funny thing, but I notice dogs look at me more than people do. Big brown pedigreed ones in the front seats of their air-conditioned Range Rovers. Street dogs, gardener’s dogs, little old lady dogs.    

A beautiful man, thin as a minnow, wades across into traffic. The skin stretched over this fish of a man is deep ebony. It glistens in the blvd., its mid-summer heat. Shimmering incandescent, like nobody else’s. Hung from a string around his neck is a silver whistle. He pushes it into his mouth and…

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SANDY BLUE

The crush of night is upon me, the time when adrenaline expressed as anxiety or panic runs through me. When it’s at its best. Restless I dress, and drift back down to the blvd. From a distance, in silhouette, intermittently lit in incandescence is the shadow of the man. He is dancing, spinning, drifting to the music that has returned to his soul. It is beautiful to see him, back at it, swimming the streets with his muse, his mistress. His last one had passed six maybe eight months ago now, and the music…

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BUYING TIME

It’s about 10 PM at the Hollywood Royale Rest Home, the one on the corner of Beachwood and Franklin Ave. It sits right across from the La Mirage Motel where recovered addicts are born, but I don’t think many people know this. It backs right up, maybe twenty feet away from the 101 Freeway, but no one seems to give a fuck. There’s a lot of good oblivion being lived right on those two corners. In the Royale though, all the rooms are dark except for one. Somebody up on that second floor is trying to squeeze…

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I AM THE BLVD.

So this is where I live, just off the blvd. I live here because it affirms I’m alive. My days of running, those spent chasing stories around the world are over. My past has now caught up with me and for the first time since the age of five I’m starting to feel whole again. I’d traveled, with compassion, empathy and found the worlds suffering, the voiceless before me and my camera and the voice I never had, became theirs as I translated the pain I felt outwards into the world. I was photographing myself…

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TIGER BLOOD

The little old man with the neck goiter was an exceptional human being. Now I’ve put some miles in around this world, probably two million and his was the second largest goiter I have ever seen. It was the size and shape of a small football. Actually it was more of a back of the neck type goiter. The top of it pushed out above his collar leaving the rest of the lump to the imagination. The biggest one I have seen was in Haiti and it was a true neck goiter and he was friends with a guy who had a pair of…

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THE WRIGGLER

A woman, mid thirties, slender, dishwater blonde, somehow decides to tie her little black and white Basenji up next to the returned, loquacious leper of a man Herman. A braless shiny, who should not be braless, looks down at him as she passes by, continuing her conversation. “Twenty million ought to be enough. I don’t see what the problem is.” There is no exit for him or me, for we are common people. Everyman. Her and her conversation trail off into markets end and the shiny dog breaks the silent discourse.…

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SKINLESS PEACH

And he began..."I never did lose my way. Never. Even though it was dark. Even though it happened a long time ago. I always kept at least three bucks in my pocket. It’s what I had available you know? Just enough to get by.” The shiny boy with his little white socks pulled high, every button buttoned stood before the man and his greatness listening. He was of a species, a subset of man that he had never encountered and he was intrigued. He listened to the man as he spoke his truth. “I’m not bitter or…

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PIGEON'S WING

It’s about what people get reduced to in the midst of the dream. The broken, those fragile moments; the collective consciousness of agony, of hunger, that brings them all down to the blvd. They bring the carcass that is their life; they bring it down to sacrifice. Drawing the blood, siphoning it out, laying it onto the alter. Waiting for the priest, the agent, the demi-god. The one. The one who will tell them it’s not a blvd. of broken glass. The one who will ferret them, pigeon them under the wing, the one…

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CONFESSIONS + ETCHINGS

The “Greativeness of Sharon” is etched into what was once a partially dry sidewalk. By the looks of it, a gentleman committed a pen to his effort. Dirt, tiny pellets of rubber and dried bits of street weeds, the thinnest of slivers, fills in the great mans work so it looks like a stencil. Below it, sits a bottle of Toaka vodka, 200ml. It’s 80 proof, standard rotgut. He must have returned here to swallow back a few of her memories. She has her own star now. It’s on the corner of El Centro Ave and Sunset.…

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RIBBONS + BOWS

A little girl, maybe three, I’m not good with kid’s ages never having had one. Well, never having raised one walks by the money shaker. She pulls at her mother’s hand, taking the best of a long look. Ribbons and bows, they flow from her as the gentleness of her youth passes the soft, round man. He is the one who sits at the bottom of the Gower exit shaking his fast food cup of choice, but the money shaking thing is just a cover up, what he really does is sell crack. Certain guys pull down the off ramp and…

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JUMBO'S

I hit the streets early today going against the natural rhythm. Only people with jobs, places to go, are out early while most of us are still in our beds, but I get lucky and I catch one. I’ve walked by this place, four maybe five hundred times, nothing but a couple of stragglers puffing away on life’s last cigarette. But here they are in all their glory. The Hollywood Royale Retirement Home and today is field trip day. A Latin woman, early thirties, curled, long, tied up hair calls out the names on her…

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ACHILLES HEEL

I’m out here with a throng of people who all believe in something. There’s Johnny Depp, Homer Simpson, Freddy, Pinhead, midget Yoda, two guitarists playing Stairway to Heaven, Hotel California, Smoke on the Water and the Guns and Roses version of Knockin’ on Heavens Door. Out here it’s a big sun, shining better than it does anywhere else. Star maps are on sale today. They’re normally five bucks now they’re four. It’s a summer Sunday here on the blvd. and everyone’s fallen for the lie. The lie that says…

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635-5388

And from the blvd., it comes by way of a fallen universe. Where cleanliness and godliness, they struggle to co-exist. I inhale, snatching bits of code. Cipher them. I wrote my name upon the water on top of a star. I stood on the blvd., the crossroads of Hollywood and Vine and I waited. Hundreds eased by in the bitter heat but nothing. No great people, no notes from heaven. I know I am not beautiful, but I deserve at least a taste, so I drift down river over the red ochre stars and I wait. I wait for the…

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WRONG SIZE

Another homeless man approaches, pushing his red guitar in a blue baby carriage. I’ll bet he knows three chords and the truth. He’s one of the charcoal people, beautiful and innocent. The life preserver with the biggest hole is his. He wades out into traffic picking up a single black shoe from the double yellow line. A moment’s inspection is allowed, then he drops the shoe. Wrong size. The car horns belch at him but he’s oblivious. He’s never in a hurry to get or go anywhere. He doesn’t have any…

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LOVE PARK

And as I walk down the blvd., I simply snatch broken pieces of conversation... 

Wake up blood bags, its time to consume

I don’t really want to go to Japan, but they have everything I want there 

It’s good because it’s slow but it’s fast 

She talks to angels, that’s not the point 

Baby I can break you down 

Movie star homes 

Free paternity test 

Stomach shots lets turn around 

I mean like, like, like, I’m creative 

Tell mom I want to be a sumo wrestler 

Stop walkin’ into people before I smack you 

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AFTERLIFE

I arrived, maybe sixty seconds after the man was shot, before the police, before the fire guys. I knelt before him to my right under his outstretched arms. His eyes were pinned back before the blood closed them. The red, it poured from either side of his mouth, his nose. There was no pain as I entered the cavern of death with him. I was soon pushed aside by the ghosts of his afterlife. These men who have taken so many down its halls, have another. As do I.

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BOTTLE NOSE

To she who once swam without fear, I acknowledge you. To your Bottle Nose beauty. Your last breath, lost in the vastness of our sea. Without a voice, left to die alone. Until your body meets with my camera, my soul and I breathe back in the essence that was once you. The photographs came from a different place this time. Reflected through a 7th prism, a dimension that had expressed itself only briefly over the last two decades. I’d removed the mind from the photograph.

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BOB'S SNORKLE SHACK

“You having fun yet? Nope. You having fun yet? Nope. You having fun yet? Nope. You having fun yet? Nope. You having fun yet? Nope. Pass me a fucking banana would you…” And that’s how it all began, as the baboon tourists sat, waiting with their bellies full of boredom, apathy and misery. They looked fresh off the bus from the Lithium Institute with nothing but pick axes and death in their eyes. The one big fat guy with his mask on his head, wetsuit on backwards with bulging pink limbs full of high blood…

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ANGEL CITY

For the abandoned and the neglected, for the overflow of life there is a safe house. It is both a home of hope and a home of sorrow. I am conflicted. I find myself drawn into each of their faces, their emotions, and I am held in that moment as they are. A reverse image is made of me, my camera, my presence. I am long forgotten by them now, but the conflict, the guilt is my being able to turn and walk away from their corner of the world and just vanish. They have shared their very essence in that brief…

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THE BLVD INTRO 

I spent 3 1/2 years on foot chronicling, looking for the last few glimmers, the last few rays of hope the blvd had to offer before that chapter closed. I too was cleared, evicted from my rent controlled Villa Carlotta. We gotta make way for the next big wave of money, and that wave, totaling billions, would change the face of everything. It already has. The graffiti, the spray paint, the murals have all been consumed, white washed, purged and painted over. The six mile circuitous walk I used to hammer provided hundreds of growing, ever evolving works of art in varying states of decay. The streets, the blvd, was a living breathing entity. That same walk today yields only two sanitized pieces. The voice of the blvd, born from the hands and minds of so many talented men and women has now moved on too. I am fortunate to have walked the blvd in its perfect time. We are both now obsolete, and our time in this era is now done. Above and below are excerpts and photographs from the blvd project.  

 

THE MICROCOSM

For the blvd. it was a day that unfolds only so often. The convergence of souls, the dance between the atoms, the energy was perfect. It began in the deep light of winter’s shallow afternoon. A man, pink and sweating was running small twenty-yard non-concentric circles in the top half of an empty parking lot. I gather he’s getting some exercise and he must have a thing about waiting for traffic lights to change. Either that or he’s a human goat tied to an invisible spike in the asphalt that only he could see. I asked the guard who’d just let in his first car. “Hey, that guy been up there for a while, he’s really giving it hell?” “Yeah man, I think he’s nuts. He’s already fallen over twice. I’m gonna have to get the cops here pretty soon if he doesn’t leave.” “Good luck with that” I offer, heading back down further into the blvd. My window perch where I do most of my writing awaits, empty, screaming at my half tired cerebral ass. It has provided both a grace and graceless view, and today is no exception. The beanery of choice is Starbucks, not because they provide the best coffee, but because they have on offer an accessible bathroom that others do not. 

 At the moment, suffering through our current economic paranoia they have chosen poorly, and have overcompensated by laying off two of their four staff. This puts twenty people deep waiting to order and another twelve to fifteen have walked in looked at the line and left. In the middle of this silent debacle, a black stretch limousine pulls slowly into the red zone with the driver promptly exiting a man contained within an exquisitely tailored, immaculate suit. His shoes are also perfect, as was the hair parted perfectly to one side. Graciously, he made his own way to the door. Once inside, he briefly surveyed the line, and in a moment of inspired genius, swanned his way past the patrons to the front and tried to place his order. Some words were thrown, and the immaculate man was forced to wait with the peasants and returned to his place at the back of the line. He pulled out his blackberry and sent a text to his driver who pulled away moments later. He then scanned his PDA, looking for words of wisdom in times such as these, and probably found his own words staring back at him. The man standing before me was Deepak Chopra, forced into commonality. Out the window from a distance, came another vision. She was a Latina of average height, hair dyed auburn in a crème and beige perfectly matching ensemble with cheeks blessed with a little too much rouge. The mind bender was what she had balanced on her left arm. I stared in disbelief as she moved closer and closer into my view, my window. Onto my soft retina it settled. It was her gelatinous double, with the exact same clothes, same hair dye, and same make-up. And the way the arms giggled, man I tell you, it looked like her three-year-old identical twin. I can only imagine the conversations she must be having with herself. Or the guy on the receiving end, the guy who had to fabricate her miniature, taking all the measurements. I couldn’t tell if she was married, but that would be a tough work around for the husband. I’ve never seen her since, but that is the way of the blvd., all of us taking in the same air, all of us exhaling our converged energy. The man with the two Oscar’s license plate drives by for the second, still desperate time. I don’t know, maybe his two best friends are named Oscar? He’s now looking though at two other guys, and so am I. Outside, pressed against Frederick's windows are two tattooed handcuffed men placed there by the desire and hunger that has brought them here. The sun, it bends off the windows and into their eyes, while the sweat-less men in black do God’s given right. I snap their indignity into my little black box for safekeeping and reflection, entering the stream of consciousness that makes up our world. The blvd is simply a microcosm, a three block radius, and it’s a trailer to the movie I call life.

MOTION + SOUND