Thursday, September 29, 2005

Surprised "Charlene", 2005

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Somehow the "Charly series" is not complete without this shot.

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Charly on the phone with a date, 2005

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Artist extroadinaire Charly as "Charlene"

just another night around the loft. :-)

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Jarvis laughing hysterically

I had just told Jarvis a funny story about two mice I know. LOL

(Ok, but u gotta admit, the pic is cute!) :-)

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Tuesday, September 27, 2005


I have no idea why the post below appears the way it does, but my apologies while I try to resolve the problem. Ugh!

Cornel West Interview about Hurricane Katrina

*******DEFINTELY worth the read!*****************

Cornel West: Exiles from a city and from a nation

It takes something as big as Hurricane Katrina and the misery we saw
among the poor black people of New Orleans to get America to focus on
race and poverty. It happens about once every 30 or 40 years.

What we saw unfold in the days after the hurricane was the most naked
manifestation of conservative  social policy towards the poor, where the
message for decades has been: 'You are on your own'. Well, they really
were on their own for five days in that Superdome, and it was Darwinism
in action - the  survival of the fittest. People said: 'It looks like
something out of the Third World.' Well, New Orleans was Third World long
before the hurricane.

It's not just Katrina, it's povertina. People were quick to call them
refugees because they looked as if they were from another country.
They are. Exiles in America. Their humanity had been rendered invisible
so they were never given high priority when the well-to-do got out and
the helicopters came for the few. Almost everyone stuck on rooftops, in the shelters, and dying by
the side of the road was poor black.

In the end George Bush has to take responsibility. When [the rapper]
Kanye West said the President  does not care about black people, he was
right, although the effects of his policies are different from what goes
on in his soul. You have to distinguish between a racist intent and the
racist consequences of his policies. Bush is still a 'frat boy', making
jokes and trying to please everyone while the Neanderthals behind him
push him more to the right.

Poverty has increased for the last four or five years. A million more
Americans became poor last year, even as the super-wealthy became much
richer. So where is the trickle-down, the equality of opportunity?
Healthcare and education and the social safety net being ripped away -
and that flawed structure was nowhere more evident than in a place such
as New Orleans, 68 per cent black. The average adult income in some
parishes of the city is under $8,000 (£4,350) a year. The average
national income is $33,000, though for African- Americans it is about
$24,000. It has one of the highest city murder rates in the US. 
From slave ships to the Superdome was not that big a journey.

New Orleans has always been a city that lived on the edge. The white
blues man himself, Tennessee Williams, had it down in A Streetcar Named
Desire - with Elysian Fields and cemeteries and the quest for paradise.
When you live so close to death, behind the levees, you live more
intensely, sexually, gastronomically, psychologically. Louis Armstrong
came out of that unbelievable cultural breakthrough unprecedented in the
history of American civilization. The rural blues, the urban jazz. It is the
tragi-comic lyricism that gives you the courage to get through the darkest storm.

Charlie Parker would have killed somebody if he had not blown his horn.
The history of black people in America  is one of unbelievable resilience
in the face of crushing white supremacst powers.
This kind of dignity in your struggle cuts both ways, though, because it
does not mobilize a collective uprising against the elites. That was the
Black Panther movement. You probably need both. There would have been no
Panthers without jazz. If I had been of Martin Luther King's generation I
would never have gone to Harvard or Princeton.

They shot brother Martin dead like a dog in 1968 when the mobilization of
the black poor was just  getting started. At least one of his surviving
legacies was the  quadrupling in the size of the black middle class. But
Oprah [Winfrey]  the billionaire and the black judges and chief executives
and movie stars do not mean equality, or even equality of opportunity
yet. Black faces in high places does not mean racism is over.
Condoleezza Rice has sold her soul. Now the black bourgeoisie have an
even heavier obligation to fight for the 33 per cent of black children
living in poverty - and to alleviate the spiritual crisis of hopelessness
among young black men.

Bush talks about God, but he has forgotten the point of  prophetic
Christianity is compassion and justice for those who have least. Hip-hop
has the anger that comes out of post-industrial, free-market America,  but
it lacks the progressiveness that produces organizations that will
threaten the status quo. There has not been a giant since King, someone
prepared to die and create an insurgency where many are prepared to die
to upset the corporate elite. The Democrats are spineless.

There is the danger of nihilism and in the Superdome around the fourth
day, there it was - husbands held at gunpoint while their wives were
raped, someone stomped to death, people throwing themselves off the
mezzanine floor, dozens of bodies.

It was a war of all against all - 'you're on your own' - in the centre of
the American empire. But now that the  aid is pouring in, vital as it is,
do not confuse charity with justice. I'm not asking for a revolution, I
am asking for reform. A Marshall Plan for the South could be the first

Dr Cornel West  is professor of African American
studies and religion at Princeton  University. His great
grandfather was a slave. He is a rap artist  and
appeared as Counsellor West in Matrix Reloaded and
Matrix  Revolutions.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Monday, September 19, 2005

"Untitled NYC Street", 2005

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"Jefferson Market Library, Greenwhich Village", 2005

You're just on the other side.

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Sunday, September 18, 2005

"Superior Markets", Brooklyn evening (from the car) 2005

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"Abstract branch reflected in water", Prospect Park Lake 2005

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"View from 11th floor, Long Island College Hospital", 18 September 2005

Parting shot as Bill and I left the hospital.

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My best friend Bill was released from the hospital today after spending 4 days "inside". When i picked him up, i suggested we go to Prospect Park Lake so he can clear his lungs of the hospital.
This image surprised me in that the wavy orange lines capture the release of elements in his lungs, as well as depict the movement of sound in the notes of Bill's Native American flute.


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The Raven

One of my FAVORITE poems by Edgar Allen Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
" 'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door;
Only this, and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow, sorrow for the lost Lenore,.
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore,
Nameless here forevermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me---filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
" 'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door,
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door.
This it is, and nothing more."

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is, I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you." Here I opened wide the door;---
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into the darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word,
Lenore?, This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word,
"Lenore!" Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping, something louder than before,
"Surely," said I, "surely, that is something at my window lattice.
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore.
Let my heart be still a moment, and this mystery explore.
" 'Tis the wind, and nothing more."

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven, of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door.
Perched upon a bust of Pallas, just above my chamber door,
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven thou," I said, "art sure no craven,
Ghastly, grim, and ancient raven, wandering from the nightly shore.
Tell me what the lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore."
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning, little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door,
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as "Nevermore."

But the raven, sitting lonely on that placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered; not a feather then he fluttered;
Till I scarcely more than muttered, "Other friends have flown before;
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before."
Then the bird said, "Nevermore."

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master, whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster, till his songs one burden bore,---
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
Of "Never---nevermore."

But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore --
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
                                       Meant in croaking "Nevermore."

Thus I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl, whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee -- by these angels he hath
Sent thee respite---respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, O quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!"
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore!"

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!--prophet still, if bird or devil!
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate, yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted--
On this home by horror haunted--tell me truly, I implore:
Is there--is there balm in Gilead?--tell me--tell me I implore!"
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil--prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that heaven that bends above us--by that God we both adore--
Tell this soul with sorrow laden, if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden, whom the angels name Lenore---
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels name Lenore?
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."

"Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting--
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! -- quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming.
And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted---nevermore!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Katrina isn't the first, nor will it be the last.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. People seem to forget that hurricanes are a force of nature that happen all over the world, and most certainly affect people of color the most. Last October, I traveled to hurricane -ravaged Gonaives, Haiti, where Hurricane Jeanne turned the city of Gonaives into a big soup bowl. Keep in mind, there was NO infrastructure in most of Haiti. Haitian people went WEEKS without food and water, and were susceptibe to disease such as malaria, e-coli and others. Social problems existed and just like New Orleans, the problem was exascerbated by the wrath of the hurricane. You might also know that medicine is almost non-existent in Haiti. Countless lives were lost and almost a year later, you can rest assured that the city still remains in rubble. 
While CNN ran stories for about a week at the time, there was little other media attention, and support from the United States. Frankly, I'm not surprised. Though hurricane Jeanne affected many BLACK lives in Haiti, it still did't happen on US soil. So, it remains largely washed away from memory. 
I've heared the "black" race card used with regards to Katrina...mostly from other blacks. I wonder where the sentiment was when hurricanes hit Haiti, Jamaica, etc. Oh. I get it. It's not a black-AMEARICAN issue. It's a Carribean issue. 
i pray for the survivors of Katrina. i have seen first hand the resulting pain and anguish that comes to those many people who have lost family, homes, property, etc. Imagine a situation when you had NOTHING to begin with, and still lose? 
You can view my photoessay on The Aftermath of Hurricane Jeanne at 
PS- I'll b trying to get to New Orleans in the coming weeks, preferrably withy humanitarian organizations. 
Any leads would b greatly appreciated. 
Peace & Light

"Woman Sitting on the Rubble of her home", Gonaives, Haiti Tropical Storm Jeanne 2004

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