Tuesday, April 19, 2011

ben having his 420 goon squad tat covered up.

Monday, February 28, 2011

ben (street name: trash)
i never call him by his street name.
he hears his street fam calling him "trash" 20-30 times a day.
that is going to have a negative effect on him.
i think it already has.

Monday, February 21, 2011

chopstix and willis.
so proud of you, girl.
in college now, off the streets, all grown up.

Monday, October 25, 2010

lost, gloves & t-fiddy
street fam, 2010.

Monday, July 12, 2010

willis, dark, blakk robb, inde, cat phish, joe marvelous, sophie, aztec, jesse, patrick lost

this photo is a couple of years old but still one of my favorites.
it exemplifies a better time.
sad thing is, it's two years later, and six of these kids are still homeless.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

my street son, gloves, on left.
inde on right.
they're standing in front of a house
in bellingham that inde grew up in,
years ago, before he became homeless.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

bubbles, k-fed and o.b. at madison beach.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Vash died.
Safe journey, dear son.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

at the fremont squat.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

oliver twist and ratdog

Thursday, February 05, 2009

this was not staged.

Monday, February 02, 2009

oliver finds a tiny cadaver.
om mani padme hum

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

kelly, boxer, ninja (cat), kidd, and katie red shoes.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

gloves - i miss you, my little buddha..

Sunday, December 14, 2008

i love this photo of chopstix and oliver twist with billy looking on in the background.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

aztec and wish in a downtown seattle alley.
they had just scored a large tube of unused paper from a nearby dumpster.
very fortunate as they are both incredible artists.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

some photos from a night spent at the 'forever love'
georgetown squat.
the kids here stay under an I-5 interstate bridge.
the sound of traffic is loud & constant -
so ubiquitous it becomes invisible.

in the last photo, bubbles and mississippi look on,
quite pleased,
as oliver rips the bandages off his
bleeding raw hide caused by burns from a fire.

i could fill hundreds of pages with such photos.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

inde delights in a white mouse that was found in the bushes.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

inde, the pyro, dances in his fire.

Friday, June 27, 2008

mississippi's back after almost a year of train-hopping.
good kid. big tender heart.
he just lost his dog.
loss is The Law on the streets.

Friday, April 25, 2008

E.T. - one of the twist family mafia. She is waiting for her boyfriend, Ashtray, to get out of jail. He's in for 8 years for stabbing a guy who had tried to sexually harass her. it's a tough life out here for these kind of hardcore street kids. it's little wonder they turn to frying for some escape value.

twist family mafia (tfm) insignia. when the spiral curls to the left, as E.T.'s does, it means chaos. to the right it signifies harmony.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Here's XIII again. I wish I could hold him now like Purple is here.
But I can't. He's in jail for 1st degree murder.

Monday, March 24, 2008

inde and flitter trying to sleep off a hang-over.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

this is XIII and behind him is wes, dylan and henry.

i've known XIII for almost 2 years now and he has always struck me as being one of the smartest and more complex personalities amongst the street youth culture here.
he's also incredibly resourceful (an ex-army guy) and he has this almost superhuman will that is absolutely unstoppable. he went down to portland recently and just sent me a note to say that he's been clean for a week and is going to try to get a job there. i wish him all the best and i'll miss him like crazy.

being part of this family means lots of opportunities to realize impermanence and practice letting go. it can still be difficult not to get attached. but i am learning..

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Homeless street youth, Shaggy, holding a stranger's pug at a dog park just hours after all of his possessions were stolen.

these kids are some of my greatest teachers.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

16 yrs old.
both parents dead.

look at his face.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

XIII, aztec and vash-the-wolfunder the bridge.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

ghost and zao wait under a bridge for the rain to stop.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

inde, cat phisch and blu, all homeless.
i love this one... full view, pls.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

three of the homeless kids that i am very close to have been sleeping under an awning outside an architectural firm across from a midas auto repair service.
on sunday the kids called me and asked me to come by asap.
i jumped in the car and arrived 15 minutes later.
there they were talking to a bumble bee.
i asked what was going on and the bumble bee (dave) said he had
received a call from midas asking him to get rid of the kids.
that "they are an eyesore."
i told him that the employees of the business under whose awning they slept were fine with it
as long as they were gone by the time the business opened.
sunday the business was closed and was the only day that the kids could sleep in.
it's the only day that the kids get a good night's sleep.
(if you can call it that - they're outside, it's cold and the ground they sleep on is hard cement.)
dave said he's fine with that but right then and there the kids had to leave because of the complaint.
but you know who i felt the sorriest for?
the guy from midas who called the kids an eyesore.
can you imagine having to live with a mind like that?

Friday, December 07, 2007

I recently spoke with my friend Ghost, a homeless street youth in Seattle, about dumpster-diving.
Here's what he had to say:
"I do this with no shame. I’ve been doing this a lot of years. A lot of people look at it as embarrassing to go through another person’s trash, like it’s demeaning on the ego. But I and others do this knowing that every trash bag has a treasure in it and there’s going to be something that someone is going to need or want. That’s the way I look at it. I’ll carry around a bag of useless items to me but I know when I open that bag someone’s going to see something and say, “Oh, I need that!” And I’ll ask them what they got that I need.
The things you find, it’s like currency out here."

For the full transcript of my talk with Ghost go here.

Friday, November 30, 2007

someone made a photo of me and the street kids hanging out at the westlake stage.
from left to right - vash, shaggy, victoria, me, wes, athena and willis.
all of the kids pictured are homeless and represent a tiny fraction of all the homeless youth in seattle.
to them i'm Mama Dread and to me, they're family.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

faust and vash at freeway pk.
faust lives in an abandoned warehouse.
it's dingy and dilapidated with broken glass covering the floors.
vash sleeps in different places - mostly under awnings just feet from the sidewalk.
the bumble bees (roaming street security in yellow vests) wake him up every morning
and tell him to move on.
and he moves.
on and on and endlessly on.

i feel sad a lot.
i think it's because i can't really feel good about my life
and all i have (shelter, food, enough $ to get by)
when so many others don't have those things.
how can i feel good?

these kids...
they're so beauty-full.
they deserve so much more.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

orpheus faust and vash the wolf, both homeless street youth, are pictured here at faust's squat - an abandoned warehouse 10 minutes out of the city.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

leaving faust's squat.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

vash called yesterday to tell me he has some big, painful abscesses growing on his body.
on the way to getting him some hydrogen peroxide and dressing i ran into rosco.
he told me that the country doctor clinic on 19th was open and free to youth that night.
Awesome. i took vash up there and he got some antibiotics.
still, i'm worried about him. he's not in good shape.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Vash is back from Portland! I was immensely happy to see him. He's one of my closest street sons and one of the few street kids that I trust with All. He had a bad case of scabies - angry rashes and bumps covered his legs and back and he was continuously itching. Yesterday I brought him to my place where we cleaned all his clothes and bedding and he showered and applied
a scabies medication that he got from new hoz. it was thrilling to see him all squeaky clean and know he had a 'fresh' start.
Here he is pictured with his new companion, scraps.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

this is faust being adorable while munching on a sandwich.
it's getting damn cold here and i've been asking the street kids what their needs are. most of the squats, from what i've seen, are very well feathered with blankets.
faust told me she needed a sleeping bag. i promptly got on a seattle list and asked if any one had a spare.
i collected 4 in 2 days. turns out daimey, joey and miles need one too. perfect. all accounted for.
it felt really good to know that there are some
kind and caring people out there.
sometimes i forget that is the case.

Friday, October 19, 2007

ghost shoulders his pet rat while she gets a drink from purple.
they'll be leaving in a month to go hopping trains for the winter.
good kids - will definitely miss them.

ghost took me down to the CHID pit - a new squat located UNDERNEATH a city park. extraordinary how we got there and a virtual cop-free zone. (one hopes!) astounding how resourceful these kids are.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I spent some time with 8 of my street kids (homeless) at the Georgetown squat. They're perched high on a hill under the freeway - a cave of sorts. At one point Olly yelled out as he saw Cat Phish and Athena crossing the railroad tracks toward us. Some homeless adults (who are known to drink a lot) in a camp at the bottom of the hill and across the tracks thought Olly was yelling at them. They got very belligerent and about 10 of them started to approach at the bottom of the hill yelling that they were going to come up and fuck up the kids and take their stuff. WTF??! They're fucking KIDS. my god.. Olly, Tarzan, Daimey and Erin ran to the mouth of the cave with rebar and bottles, posturing and ready to defend themselves. Thankfully the threats died down and the aggressors backed off. it just boggles my mind that these kids have to live this way in such an affluent society as ours.
let's put some politicians under a bridge for a week and see how they fare.
sometimes i think that is the only way that people in power will finally get it.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Shy, my closest homeless friend. My street daughter. I love her very much and miss her terribly. After giving birth to baby Cecilia she moved to Spokane, WA - 600 miles away - with her boyfriend to be near his mother and the help she could provide in getting them an apartment for 1/3 of what it would cost here in Seattle. I'm happy that she finally has her own place. I just wish it could've been here.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Street kid, Jynxxy in an outdoor squat at Freeway Pk.
The photo was made the moment after Inde told her that her ex had cheated on her.