He is a ghost.

You can tell by the w1-DSCF3322ay they pass but do not see. He is tethered there, rippled by time and indifference. The tilted shadow of injustice mocks him, as do reminders of the destruction reaped from his passing. This is H Street, NE, in Washington D.C. Things are finally changing–but not for them. Not for the unwanted ones.

By April 5, 1968, he’d left this mortal coil, and so did the hopes of those he left behind. Washington did not explode so much as self-destruct. It tore through its heart, killing Anacostia, burning small businesses in the purge of the ‘almighty whitey.’ It killed H Street too, shattering Kay Jewelers and the

1-DSCF8479one real department store chain that had serviced its people. They never returned–not to Anacostia, not here. Certainly, the city flourished, but not for those at the bottom of the economic ladder. The view from the bottom never changes and it smells a lot like ass.

Martin’s people, you see, had missed his point. So he lingers here, watching, across from the reminder of the anger of his raging people. “You can’t kill whitey,” he would tell them, if they listened, “because whitey never existed.” They raged against boogeymen, but the true weapons of inequity are fear and indifference. In their futile rage, they’d wielded the first and foredoomed themselves due to the other.

So, the 20th century passed, with Martin being canonized, but his real legacy ignored. Chocolate City had melted into a puddle of economic futility, and no one noticed; no one cared. The businesses never returned, and the people there never prospered.

1-DSCF3341The century died, was buried, and only the liquor stores noticed. That’s what ‘hoods’ are for, aren’t they: guns and liquor? Well, guns, liquor, empty lots, and shattered hopes. But things are changing, now. Can you see it? The trucks roll in and carry with them the winds of economic prosperity and gentrification.


It’s no longer H Street, but Gentrification Boulevard, the big G Unit. Gee, and that rhymes with flee, and that means for good. Get thee the f**k out, poor ones.


So Martin sits along the wall, watching the tide turn for H Street, but not in their favor. It already smells different, with down-home cooking replaced by uptown fare, and the light is brighter, the streets more colorful, and the century has been upgraded to Twenty-one. And it’s all good … except that nothing ever changes for the poor ones.


No business plan for them, you see, except for what they can hustle on the streets. No one stepped in during the 80s when the city tried to murder itself. No one noticed during the Raygun years or the Clinton Bubble or the Bushleague Fiasco or the Old Bama Drama. No one ever notices … them.

With the influx of the Washington Nationals major league baseball team, the creeping edges of Anacostia have begun to blossom, driven by the millions poured into the local economy. Likewise, the wealthy few knead their hands over the prime real estate along H Street, walking distance from Union Station and the National Mall, and wait. The cable cars will come, albeit late.


And Martin will disappear, when someone tears down the metal gate from which he watches as a new, improved H Street appears: one without his people–not the blacks or the whites or the latinos–but the poor, forgotten, separate, and definitely unequal.


This is going to be a nice place one day. 1-S0038485

Deep in It

For those whose blogs I’ve not visited recently, please know I’ve not lost interest. I’m deep in an ocean of work and trying to swim to the surface. One book is in the can, so to speak, and I have two others I’m working simultaneously. Effectively, I have time to produce, but little to consume.

When I can again see the dim rays of sun through the still blue, I will resurface. Thanks.

I Have Too Many Blogs

I’ve started some blogs and will be phasing out a couple of others.

Raw, Naked Art

I also have ADHD. As a result, I have three things I can do with my almost boundless energy: 1.) Try to ignore it, and watch myself self-destruct in a ball of fiery tension, 2.) Use it to worry about things over which I have no control, or, 3.) Use it as an outlet for creative energy. I’ve chosen to use it for Good instead of Evil (that’s pronounced EE ville).

Anyway, I want to use this post to introduce you to some new blogs, and others that I’ll be phasing out.

First of all is THIS Blog – “Just Me” – I list this first because I will be reblogging the hell out of this post on my other blogs. This is the only blog on which I will try to post “behind the scenes” stuff — that is, longer bits that explain more of the process…

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2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 22,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


Many thanks to my Top 5 Commenters:

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Spam Spam Spam Spam & Spam

Yeah, piss off.

Just a bit of an alert and notice. The “new” way to spam people on WordDepress is for companies to create blogs and then randomly follow you so that you will reciprocate and view their daily spam adverts posts.

Um, not gonna happen (at least for me). The one sure giveaway is that these folks are auto following you, without “liking” anything or commenting. Just as a notice, if you follow one of my blogs and we’ve never interacted, in even an indirect way, expect me to ignore you.


I’m Still Blogging

I clearly sent a confusing message with my last post. To make it clear: I have no intention of killing my blog. Instead, I’ve decided to stop my web serial, as I could tell that people (those interested) were having trouble keeping up. My initial thought was to slow it down, but there is no way to know how frequently to post, as I was being spammed by fake likes.

That was the real intention of last night’s post – to say “please just stop the fakery.” I will be here; I’ll just focus on shorter things that don’t rely so much on interaction.

Just to Be Clear

I’ve had quite a few people follow my blogs lately, mainly, I believe, because I’ve been a lot more active. However, I’m finding photographers follow my writing blog and vice versa. Now, I’m fine with that, but I wonder if people are doing so only to be polite. No need; if you don’t want to follow me, my ego will remain intact.

I’m 54, and I’m actually cool without praise. 🙂

Nonetheless, for those who might be interested and confused as to why a writer is clicking on photos (or who thinks it’s because photos are less work to view than words – don’t you hate that?) let me assure you. I have A LOT of blogs. However, specifically, I have 3 that I keep active.

There is this one, “This Blog Blank,” which I devote to my writing, as well as griping about writing, book marketing, with some tips I’ve picked up along the way. I’ll probably be whining about the editing process for my current work in progress, Hard as Roxx, or the next book I may or may not write. This will be interspersed with crap that pops into my head, like trying to get people to STOP MAKING THE GRAMMAR ERRORS THAT BUG ME! And stuff.

My photography blog is “Ordinary Luminary,” which I devote mainly to street photography. I’m not sure why it’s only street photography, since I do more cityscapes these days and I’m probably better at shooting animals than people (with a camera), but it is. It looks like this:

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The other blog I update (less regularly, but increasingly) is called “Fix Your Mirror.” It is devoted to life coaching, specializing in (hopefully) inspiration and essays on changing yourself. This blog looks like this:

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Those are my parents on the front page of the blog, on their 1st date. My dad called me this week to say he’s personally taking credit for my photography since he bought me my first camera. I told him he gets credit for pretty much everything I do right. The stuff I screwed up, I did on my own.

I have a blog specifically set up for Hard as Roxx, but I’ve pretty much shut it down. Editing on the book has stalled, and I’ll be looking for a proofreader soon. So, nothing to update really. The readers “like the story” and “think it’s well written,” but nobody’s finished it. Talk about freaking mixed messages. I’ve also shut down Charlie and Robin’s (lead characters from The Stream) Tumblr blog, primarily due to lack of interest.

Can you tell I (1) have ADHD, (2) never get tired, and (3) am single? I thought you could. 🙂

Anyway, I hope this clears up the blog situation. Feel free to follow (or unfollow) as things interest you. Feedback is always welcome.