i passed a starving junky on the street corner
eating heroin in his veins
because he’s hungry God,
he’s so hungry
but the caste system of Calcutta lives in a cobweb
on a filthy street corner
where injustice is potent
and holy cows are sacrificed on trash dumps
and for me
hail mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with you
india makes hell look like heaven
so forget america, love,
know that on a filthy street corner in Calcutta
men and women
of flesh and bones
are sacrificing their bodies
and for me
eating heroin in their veins
because they have no rice
injustice is potent
now, and at the hour of our death
George is my friend and the former morning manager of the Mars Bar in the East Village. when the bar shut down, George lost his livelihood and his home- as he slept in the cellar below the bar for over a decade.
George is an institution at a new york city institution. he now spends his nights on the train riding from the beginning of the line to the end, and back again, until the morning comes. he told me he hasn’t really slept since the bar closed.
i use to blame the homeless in america for their situation- believing somehow they got themselves into a hole through a series of wrongdoings. i thought that through the great capitalisim of america- there was always a ladder- though imperfect- allowing everyone a chance to climb out- if they really tried.
as i’ve grown and listened more closely to the world- i realize that i was wrong. over the past few months, i have watched my friend George become homeless- and see that the ladder in which i rested my faith- that gave everyone in this country a chance- is an illusion and is failing us.
we are failing each other.
i hope that telling George’s story will somehow help him- and help us. but as i document George’s life, my deep belief in the power of storytelling is challenged. what will actually change for him? can these photographs and the words from his mouth we will share give him food, a place to sleep, a sustainable solution?
for now, i ask for your prayers for George- for food, for shelter, for a way out.
la luz de George project