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American Rust

“Man has made unlimited progress in science and no progress at all emotionally, socially, or ethically” (Lyon, Danny).


Communities that were once pillars of the American industrial economy have been left on the wayside—overlooked, undervalued and confronted with the uneasy prospect of anonymity.

The intent of this ongoing project is to shine a light on those communities, to show respect and to give attention to regions marginalized by the center of power and wealth in America.


Wedged between a steel mill and a BP oil refinery is the century old workers’ community known as Marktown. Well within a disaster blast zone, Marktown is a liability for BP who has been encroaching on the neighborhood offering between $4,545 & $30,000 for properties. BP has purchased 52 plus properties with the intent of making the area a green space and parking lot. Many homeowners, including some families, have lived in the neighborhood for four and five generations. They feel more and more vulnerable with each building that is demolished and are growing increasingly concerned about the future of their community.

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Greetings from Los Angeles

Headdress trees with giraffe necks, hot lamp in the azure blue. Sunglass faces, followers of fashion, walking with a dog or a yoga mat underarm. Joggers bobbing, hikers trekking, Mexican gardener’s shearing hedges. My car parked a mile away on a street-sweeping day. Hollywood on the mountain.


Half-built still life along a lopped off hillside. Towering pillars. Concrete and rebar. Grass and ivy. Cinder-block walls tagged with graffiti. A condom wrapper and crumpled milk jug in the weeds. Ill-fate. Real estate. Seventeen live-work lofts. Remnants. Ambition. A pink bird roosting on top of a column. Iconoclasts, eccentrics and artists, day sleeping in the hills of Eagle Rock.


Street vendors under beach umbrellas selling wares from blankets and blue tarps in McArthur Park.


STAR MAPS on boulevards, in souvenir shops, at gas stations and mini-marts. Ubiquitous as the palm trees and the billboard signs.


Church bells chiming “Ode to Joy.” Crowds massing outside a Lucky Strike. Stargazing walkways, meandering in a forecourt of imprints, thinking of Marylyn Monroe and red carpet premiers.

Underground parking garage. Sky panel ceiling. Valet attendants. Brass elevator. Artifice. Elegant. Whitewashed brick. Columns of painted wood. A marble edifice. Boutiques, fashion houses, Bugatti Veyron. Leisure and luxury, keeping the best face on things.


Urban seam. Coffee shops, muffler shops, an old-fashioned hardware store. Galleries, artisans, eateries with vegan food and Malbec tastings. Colorado bridge. Pillarhedge. Pecan pie alamode. Warm coffee. Waitress apportioning tips. Reconciling cash drawer with order receipts.


Petal boats. Lotus flowers, California fan palms. A crawling tortoise, a growling dog, hands cupping a harmonica. Lady of the lake. Movie debates. Sitting on a skateboard, PBR’s in the park.


Downtown hobo jungle, broken lights on Broadway. Freeway hell-scape’s, fender-benders, slapping blades of helicopters. Detours around a film shoot.


A thin skin of smog on suburban sprawl, tall corral buildings rising out of the haze. Tower of the six astronomers, white terrace orbiting copper domes. Looking into a picture of vistas bathed in rusty light, sending greetings from L.A.

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