Two blocks into Harlem.  White shirts, black ties, flowered dresses, patent leather shoes, tattoos and beautiful hair; the streets are always alive.   The beat mixes up.  The man with a full beard smiles, exposing a picket fence for teeth.  Conga drums call out the dance in people.  Red and purple cotton hats jive like … More THE HEART OF SONG


The intent of a rising sun encourages the impatience out of night.  From the abyss of dreams we are renewed, like ribbons unraveling while lifted from the floor.  A part of us protests, exciting the brimstone from and anxious song we hum while putting on ragged jeans a chain and a cross.  Tattoos tell a … More UP

Lowell, Massachusetts, 1937

Industry.  Merrimack River. Red brick factories.  Wallpaper sweat. Stained hats.  Greasy fingers. Oiled boots.  Gloves soaked in time. Mixed aromas.  Twelve hour shifts. Five minute breaks.  Bag lunches. Overalls with snaps.  Tattoos with faces.  Eyes glasses smeared.  Black acne spots.  Machines crunching. Narrow walkways.  Wooden floors. Noise upon noise.  Laboring fans. Glass transoms.  Metal chips.  … More Lowell, Massachusetts, 1937


He had a tattoo on his forearm of a face, faded through the years, even he can’t remember who it is. A cat rubs against his leg. He sips casually on a root beer. His boots dull from travel. Hair black as a night cave, pushed back flat like a helmet shined with grease.   … More LESTER