Where I’m @; and the March for Humanity Organized by an 18-year old Temple U. freshman (Pictures)

I took this while standing on the railing. Other photographers saw that this was a SPOT IN THE SHADE; MY FINGERS WERE NUMB

I have Walt Whitman on my kitchen floor. Picasso too. John Fante is there. And Shakespeare. (Much Ado About Nothing.) Hemingway is holding up my self-portrait which I did a few nights ago — the creepiest painting I’ve ever done. These are my friends.

I have my most recent works lined up against the railing. Other works are resting on my windowsills. I have three windows facing east, across from where I’m currently writing on the laptop on my kitchen table. These windows no longer have their blinds. I broke each of them, individually. They were cheap, and plastic.

I like it better this way. I can watch the airplanes endlessly coming across the Delaware River, heading for the Philadelphia International Airport. Their big lights shine brightly, incessantly, over and over again. When I stand up and walk to the windows I can almost see the Ben Franklin Bridge and the Walt Whitman Bridge.

This is the land of liberty and freedom. Sure. And tax documents. And bills from public utilities. Bills from Comcast cable company. I even get bills — before I’ve even said Yes — from the Wall Street Journal.On that envelope I scrawl the name of a book I tell myself that I should read. On the other side, I keep track of some of the articles I’ve finished copy editing.

One book that stands out in my kitchen, currently, is on the second chair as I listen to classical music when most human beings are currently watching the Super Bowl — and my entire apartment building is empty with an eerie silence (I’m usually the one making the most noise, as I clank and clink dishes, stomping around while singing or dancing, playing my guitar, or I’m up late at night, writing, smoking cheap cigars, drinking whiskey or bottles of beer, laughing to myself — if I’ve got energy to spare) I saw my closest neighbor today as I was coming back from the art store with the biggest canvases yet, 16 x 20'’, and when he saw me he looked like he almost wanted to cry, I am the strange dude and he is the dude with adult braces, I think, and we’ve most recently clashed because I am noisy in my disregard, and he is a respectable citizen with hopes and dreams. I’m sure of it.

“Hey, how’s it going, man?” I’d asked him.

He winced. The entire galaxy was trapped in his irises, he barely said a word. Just held the door open, then walking down to his awaiting backseat ride to somewhere else….

And here I am. I can see the flickering lights of planes off in the distance. Three of them, currently. Red, white and blue. Twinkling. In the stardust that is planet Earth. Oh, baby.

Anyway, I’m writing and listening to violins and drinking, making ready to cook, read, write and paint. Big deal.

Yesterday, I attended a rally. It was a March for Humanity, with regard to the fact that the city of Philadelphia is considered a sanctuary city. I know the importance of having a sanctuary. For people who have nowhere else to go, nothing and nobody else to turn to — a sanctuary can save your soul.

I know this. So I had to be there. Nothing rattles me more than to see people coming together for a distinct purpose other than: making money.

I have everything I need. Food. Beer. Whiskey. Books. Painting supplies. Blank canvases. Nearly everyday I remember when that wasn’t at all true. Days when I swipe that chunk of plastic, and it goes through — to the other side. Like magic.

And I guess there’s something important, too, about people coming together, on a living planet. Wanting to be healed. Or whatever other words there are to be furnished with regard to this city, and its people. I am in awe of seeing what happens, in the present and into the future. It makes sense to me.

I think it’s worth noting that this rally and march around Philadelphia yesterday was organized by an 18-year old student from Temple University. Thousands of people responded to it, when he’d announced the idea on Facebook. At least a thousand people showed up. Maybe more.

In tandem with the Philadelphia Police, detectives, sergeants, et cetera. And there was even a dude in clogs and a t-shirt.

“Dude,” I’d said to him, at the front of the march, “aren’t you cold?”

“No,” he’d responded.

Come to think of it, I believe he had a lightning bolt on the front of his t-shirt.

Mother fuckers just keep on coming.

HERE ARE SOME PICTURES:

Anybody can make a difference, tra la la
Local coffee shop via this dude was handing out free hot coffee
this woman was obviously thrilled to have a mustachioed stranger taking her picture
SIGN OF THE DAY
you know it
sculpture at JFK plaza
this dude asked me to take his picture with his (broken screen) phone. i told him his battery was at 4%, and that he wasn’t prepared! so i offered to take his picture and sent this to him. he was from South Carolina. i told him where Independence Mall was and the Reading Terminal, and how to get there.
awwww
crowd listening to the speakers. one of the first was a 17-year old Muslim girl who read a poem from memory, nearly in tears, and made half of the crowd of adults cry. another speaker was from Dakota Access pipeline protests. and the 18-year old freshman from Temple also spoke. he organized the protest via Facebook. “anybody can do this,” he’d said.
the march around Center City with at least a thousand people. the cops made it possible. kids led the way. in the midst of the march, the West Philly orchestra started playing Rocky’s theme song.
this is one of the speakers, in the center, who had also read a poem. girl to his right was another one of the speakers, a poet. this is where prayers happened at Independence Mall, right near the Liberty Bell.
squad, praying in the middle of the street, in the freezing cold, backed by hundreds of protesters and the police. lots of people taking pictures. lots of respect among human beings.
march going strong, heading back west on Market Street toward City Hall, one of many Philly detectives leading the way. no problems. no arrests. freedom of speech in the streets made possible by the police and the voices of people wanting to be heard, highlighted in the city of Philadelphia.
Me, chillin the next day

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