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Streets New WRITING POETRY ART PHOTOGRAPHY on a common theme


Cover image by J端rgen B端rgin SPECIAL THANKS: Emma Seymour for a being proof-reading-wonder-kid Railroad Poetry Project for introducing us to some amazing talent (http://railroadpoetryproject.wordpress.com)


WELCOME TO ISSUE ONE Ben, left, and Chris

Hello and welcome to PoV

we’re happy to have you on board By some daring means (probably involving an evil wizard and possibly a troll) you have found your way here, to issue one of PoV Magazine. Congratulations and don't worry you can relax now, your work is done. Just sit back – making sure you can still see the screen – and we'll look after you. As this is the first time we've met we should probably introduce ourselves and give you a bit of background. We're Ben and Chris, the co-creators of PoV, it's nice to meet you. Ben is a designer (in fact he designed the pages of this very magazine) who also dabbles in the worlds of photography and slightly-bad-eyesight. Chris is a film editor who more than just dabbles in the world of writing and is also trying to break the record for most tea drunk in 10 minutes.* PoV is a quarterly, themed magazine where you provide the content. We will choose a theme for every issue and let our contributors loose to do with it what they will. It's a chance for people to create what they want to, not something for their bosses at work and the only stipulation is to make it fit the theme. Oh, and it helps if it's really great. Got it? Good. So this is issue one, the theme is STREETS and you're in for a treat. Our contributors come from all over the world – the UK, Holland, Germany and the US to name a few – so expect a few ‘centres’ along with one or two ‘centers’. We’ve got some stunning art and illustrations, awesome photography, some excellent poetry AND the best new writing around. I mean, come on, what are you waiting for?

Ben Turner and Chris Pilkington Founders of the feast Visit: www.povmagazine.co.uk Follow: @pov_magazine Email: hello@povmagazine.co.uk *He’s up to 18 mugs

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WELCOME: CONTENTS

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MEET THE CONTRIBUTORS NEW YORK STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

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By James Maher

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IT ISN’T WHAT YOU THINK

Director Tom Morgan on homelessness

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A STREET DREAM

By Chris Pilkington

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TAPE ART

Max Zorn shows off his stunning street art

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STORIES FROM THE STREET PART ONE

Two extracts from Joe Clifford’s memoir

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PASSING OUT // PASSING BY

Photographs on the streets of London by Ben Turner

MOBILE REVOLUTION

The Twitterati’s view on a year of protest and demonstration by Emma Seymour

MY CHILDHOOD STREET

Sgt. Pilko takes a walk down memory lane

STREET POETRY PART ONE

By Jade Leaf Willetts

SCRATCHING THE SURFACE

Photography on the streets of Tel Aviv by Daniel D. Moses


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THE ARRANGED LINE OF BRICK BOXES FOR PEOPLE STORAGE

Chris Pilkington takes a look behind closed doors

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STREET ART OR A FORM OF INTERNATIONAL UNDERGROUND COMMUNICATION?

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THE STORYTELLER

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Elly Lacey uncovers a mystery

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Sony world.. photographer of the year .. nominee Jurgen Burgin

STORIES FROM THE STREET PART TWO

Two true events from the life of Tom Pitts

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STREET SPECTRE

Nothing is straightforward for Sgt. Pilko, even a stroll to the shops

RIVIERA-ON-THAMES

Illustrations by Chris Mount

VOX POP

Ben Turner has a chat on Brick Lane

CONCRETE COMPANION

By Jeff Chandler

THE LASTING EVENT

A short story by Chris Pilkington

THE TEA AND TOAST CLUB

This issue’s topic: My streets as a kid

STREET POETRY PART TWO

By Kyrsten Bean

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SAY HELLO TO WELCOME: MEET THE CONTRIBUTORS

Kyrsten Bean

Kyrsten Bean is a writer and a musician. She pens freelance articles for publications, including Groovemine and Bound by Ink. Her poems have been published in Children, Churches and Daddies, The Railroad Poetry Project, Amphibi.us, The Camel Saloon, The Delinquent, Breadcrumb Scabs, Gutter Eloquence, Censored Poets and others. She writes to motivate artists, writers and musicians to keep going in spite of difficulty at thestifledartist.com. More than anything, she encourages people to try and fail over and over again, because as Steven Pressfield put it in The War of Art: “because this is war, baby. And war is hell.” Kyrsten’s homepage: http://thestifledartist.com/

.. .. Jurgen Burgin

Jürgen Bürgin was born in Lörrach in Germany in 1971. He was studying German literature, linguistics and economy in Freiburg and received a degree at the Albert-Ludwigs Universität in Freiburg in 1998. He began to work in the movie business in Berlin in 1999 as public relations manager for a film PR agency and has since participated in the PR for numerous movie releases in Germany. In 2009 he started to develop his passion as an urban photographer, since then shooting in Berlin, Barcelona, Paris, London and New York. He is publishing his work on his webpage and on his vivid Facebook fanpage with more than 3,300 fans. On Twitter he is being followed by more than 10,000 followers, on Google+ more than 20,000. In 2011 he was shortlisted for a Sony World Photography Awards in the category After Dark. Jürgen’s homepage: http://www.juergenbuergin.com/ On Facebook: http://goo.gl/1W92H On Twitter: @JuergenBuergin http://goo.gl/829c4

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Jeff Chandler

Joe Clifford

Jeff currently lives in London where he works as a professional actor and singer. Being faced with a crossroads in his life, he began to write. His weekly blog entitled ‘Malleable Reality’ marries together his passion for writing and photography covering love, life and everything in between.

Joe Clifford is the producer of Lip Service West, a “gritty, real, raw” reading series in Oakland, CA. His work has appeared in Big Bridge, the Connecticut Review, Shotgun Honey, Thuglit, Word Riot, and Underground Voices, among others. He has been to jail but never prison.

Jeff’s blog: http://goo.gl/45E2a

Joe’s rants and writing can be found at: http://goo.gl/B1Njh And on his homepage: http://www.joeclifford.com

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TO OUR Elly Lacey

James Maher

Tom Morgan

Daniel D. Moses

Elly has left the shores of Blighty for that place across the pond. You know, the US of something. Anyway, she’s having a marvellous time and has rather come to love writing again; whether it’s about her incredible adventures on her blog, as a prolific tweeter or in her e-newsletter (‘e’ for Elly and electronic - clever huh?) to her friends back home. She’s written a few press releases in her time too but is quite enjoying being on the dark side for now. She also couldn’t live without potatoes.

James is a freelance studio and fine art street photographer based in New York City. He credits his inspiration to the city’s endless supply of characters roaming the streets as well as to the unique and magical moments that can be found on a daily basis on every single street corner.

Tom Morgan is the producer of These Storied Streets, a documentary film about homelessness in the United States due out in April of 2012.

James’ homepage: www.jamesmaherphotography.com

On Twitter: @storiedstreets http://goo.gl/rqVW6

Daniel D. Moses is a London based freelance photographer and filmmaker and has directed comedy, music videos, short films, campaign films and virals. With a reportage style that has been described as “non intrusive, but very inclusive” he strives to capture dynamic imagery, whilst creating engaging narratives that allow messages to be heard and stories to be told better.

Elly’s blog: http://goo.gl/74dl2

On facebook http://goo.gl/pZsor On Google+ http://goo.gl/hJgA1

These Storied Streets homepage: http://www.storiedstreets.com/ On Facebook: http://goo.gl/glUKL

Tom’s blog: http://goo.gl/FhaOJ

Daniel’s homepage: http://www.danielmoses.com

On Twitter @jamesmaherphoto http://goo.gl/RJuwb

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SAY HELLO TO WELCOME: MEET THE CONTRIBUTORS

Chris Mount

Chris Pilkington

Tom Pitts

Emma Seymour

When not illustrating for new up and coming magazines, Chris can be found bringing audio / visual delights to the world as one half of DJ/VJ/AV collective Fade In Fade Out. If you call between 9 and 5, he’ll be shaping the future of web and mobile design in sunny Maidenhead.

A drummer, father and husband, he is a film editor and cocreator of PoV. A staunch fan of tea drinking thanks to his father that has also led him on many a journey and occupation. Having worked as a removal man, trolley collector and paint mixer he finally found his calling when rediscovering his creative spark during the re-wiring of his stereo. As a film editor he is highly creative and yet loves the techy stuff, plus very grateful for a job that allows him to drink lots of tea. Currently playing drums in one of the UK’s few Cajun/ Zydeco bands Rough Chowder, he can be found looking online at vintage drums of the Premier/ Beverley/Ludwig/Slingerland variety. He has a dislike of buttons (pearlescent ones on shirts in particular) and looking smart.

Tom received his education firsthand on the streets of San Francisco. His work has appeared in Junk (a literary fix), Shotgun Honey, A Twist of Noir, and others. Look for him in upcoming issues of Darkest before Dawn and The Sims Review. He’s also a popular contributor at SF’s reading series Lip Service West.

Emma Seymour is a writer and journalist based in London. Starting out as a reporter on regional newspapers in Kent and the capital, she now works in corporate publishing. Her heart lies in writing about real life, people and what makes them tick. Other interests include human rights, politics, animal welfare and international development.

Tom’s blog: http://tom-pitts.blogspot.com/

Read her Only Human blog at: http://goo.gl/Tuygf

Fade In Fade Out homepage: http://www.fadeinfadeout.co.uk/

Check his drumming: http://www.roughchowder.co.uk And some of his video work: http://goo.gl/0KSP4

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Contact Tom: revtompitts@gmail.com

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TO OUR Sgt. Pilko

Ben Turner

Jade Leaf Willetts Max Zorn

Born in the wrong century, I’m the type who would love to harp on about exotic foreign trips, filled with peculiar women who have tempted my gaze with silver trays laden with shiny puddings. But alas the nearest I have come to this was to be holding the form for a trip to poke a peasant whilst he clutched at his Nokia 3310...

Film lover / book reader / music listener / Stephen Fry worshipper / photographer / designer. Oh and co-creator of this very magazine, thanks for reading by the way. Having worked on corporate publications for the last few years where everything you do is checked by the complete and utter hell that is a “Branding Team” this is a breath of fresh air. A chance to design something I love with content by people I admire. Can’t ask for more than that eh? I also make film posters for the films you love. You should look at them with your eyes and maybe let your heart buy one. Or two.

Jade Leaf Willetts is a writer, artist and musician. He blogs at What would Neal Do? and is currently in the process of setting up the Jade Leaf Willetts Poetry Protest. This is not so much a protest, more another weird idea that he justifies in the ‘name of writing’. It basically involves him trying to convince strangers to create videos to showcase his work.

The only way to contact Sgt. Pilko is by séance

Jade’s blog http://jlwilletts.wordpress.com/

Ben’s homepage: http://www.ben-turner.co.uk

Born in Amsterdam in 1982 I haven’t much memory of the city as it was back then because – due to my father’s job – we moved in 1986 and wouldn’t stay more than two years at one place. Interestingly I have lately found a scratch book with a bunch of photos I took of different street lamps around the world during these years of travelling and I remember how intrigued I was back then about the fact that lights would give each city a very unique atmosphere. At least by night. Well, that might have been an initial trigger for the idea to use street lights as an unused but perfect exhibition spot for street art. When I moved back to Amsterdam a year ago I finally realized the idea to use lamps as a natural canvas. I started with different materials, well, obviously the tape was the winner eventually.

ributors On Twitter: @benturner83 http://goo.gl/DjLo8

Max’s homepage: http://www.maxzorn.com/

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New York was his town and it always would be...

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THE STREETS OF NEW YORK: JAMES MAHER

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THE STREETS OF NEW YORK: JAMES MAHER

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HOMELESSNESS: TOM MORGAN

IT ISN’T WHAT YOU THINK

Nobody wants to be homeless

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You may think this is a statement of the obvious. But in 250 hours of interviews I conducted this year on this topic, one of the most common things that people believe about the homeless is that they want to be homeless. See opening statement. As someone who had no previous experience with homelessness but who has since over the past year immersed

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himself into a documentary film on the topic, I thought I would share seven things that I think any smart, well-read, socially-aware person needs to know. 1. The leading cause of homelessness in the US is lack of affordable housing.

On average, states have seen an increase in minimum wage of 9% since 2000. Rents, on the other hand, have increased on average 41% in the same time period. Further contributing to the issue has been the lack of up-keep and the ageing of current affordable housing units. It is estimated that over the next four years 300,000 units will


Mark is homeless in Denver. He picks through dumpsters looking for metal scraps he can take to the recycling center, getting pennies per pound

be lost due to expiring contracts and lack of funding. The most impactful statistic is from the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Their research shows that currently there is no county in the US where even a one bedroom apartment at fair market rent is affordable for a person working fulltime at minimum wage. 2. Logically, the second leading cause of homelessness is the lack of a livable wage.

Several of the homeless we interviewed had full time jobs, and they were still homeless. If you were lucky enough to be employed, particularly in these

economic times, you most likely are making minimum wage. Half of all of the jobs created in the US right now are minimum wage. If you are making the minimum wage, you need to work 89 hours a week in order to afford an average two bedroom apartment in the average city, based on affordable housing guidelines. This flies direct in the face of the passerby who yells out to the person on the street, “Get a job!” The answer is, yes, we need to give them a job but we have to pay wages that allow everyone to afford a place to live. Hand-in-hand with liveable wage is the notion of how one “gets out” of homelessness. This sounds so simple

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(get employed, find a home) but quickly becomes a dizzying logistical dance. You can’t get a place without an ID. Getting some form of an ID is more difficult that it sounds. Depending on where you live, identification costs a minimum of $10, and if you are lucky to have the money, you also need to have to have an address. Here is the Catch-22. You cannot get an ID without an address, but you can’t get an address without an ID. Then, if you have no home, you have no place to store belongings – interviewing for jobs with the clothes on your back puts you at a serious disadvantage. Even if you get the job, your first paycheck doesn’t arrive for two weeks. During that two weeks you may not have the money to eat or for transportation to and from the job. Here is a true example that I saw first hand that illustrates what I am talking about. I met a man named Ted who, on the day we met, was going in for a second interview at an oil change garage. He was really excited about the opportunity, as he had previously worked as a manager at a competitor. A few days later I saw Ted sitting on a bench mid-day. I asked him how it went. He proceeded to tell me that he had got the job that day, and was really excited. He lived at the shelter, which had no place for him to keep his clothes, but a local church had agreed to let him a locker there. For his first day, he had to get up at 4:30 am, catch the bus to the church, change his clothes and “bathe” in the sink. Then he caught another bus across town to work. “The first day went pretty well,” he said. At lunch he sat outback and drank water, as there was not a soup kitchen or anything nearby. When the day was over, Ted hopped on the bus and rode across town to the shelter. He arrived too late to get in and so he had to stay under a nearby overpass. Because he missed dinner he “scrapped” meaning he went through the dumpsters outback of restaurants looking for food. The next day, he was up at 4 am and back on the bus. When he got to the church, someone had moved his clothes. He panicked. He told me “The last thing I wanted was

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HOMELESSNESS: TOM MORGAN for anyone at the job to know I was homeless.” Realizing the time, he ran out to the bus stop – just in time to see the bus pull away. He called his boss and explained that he had missed the bus and that he would be 30 minutes late. When he got to work, his boss let him go stating, “You really need to learn to be punctual and responsible if you want to hold a job.” Ted told me the story with tears welling up in his eyes. I asked if I could call the manager. I think, initially, Ted thought I was calling to confirm his story. Instead I was calling to ask the manager to reconsider. I explained that he had an opportunity to really make an impact, to help this man who was homeless get back on his feet. I went on to say how excited Ted had been for the opportunity and explained what had made him late. There was a pause, then his response, which I can still hear as if he were talking to me now. He said, “If I had known he was homeless, I would have never hired him in the first place.” Then, a click on the other end of the phone. 3. Drug and alcohol addiction is not in the top five reasons people become homeless

It is true that of the chronic homeless – which is a small portion of the overall homeless population – drug and alcohol addiction is higher. However, the chronic homeless are only 25% of the overall homeless population and of all those who are homeless and struggle with addiction nearly half became addicted after they became homeless. 4. More than 3.5 million people will experience homelessness in the US this year. Over 1.5 million of them will be children.

Some estimate the actual number of homeless to be much higher – closer to 5 million people. That makes homelessness the 22nd largest state in the US. Surprising to me was that there is no standard method of counting the homeless; the politics around how we count tends to get more air time that the issue of homelessness itself. The government count is through

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Housing and Urban Development (HUD) which consists of a count in January of anyone at a shelter and those they can find outside. The count is done every two years. This does not include those living out of motels, cars, campgrounds, or anyone doubled up. It also doesn’t take into account any of those who become homeless and get off the streets in less than two years. Interestingly, because of the new McKinney Vento Act, we count children who are in temporary housing situations differently now but do not include their parents – who are in the same situation – as homeless.

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5. There are four to six times as many animal shelters in the US as there are human shelters.

This statistic pains me. There is a shortage of beds for the homeless across the country yet we care more for animals? I saw this first hand in Virginia Beach where they have criminalized homelessness by issuing tickets to people who sleep outside between 8:00 pm and 8:00 am or who are caught panhandling. Because there is little shelter space, many are forced to hide in the woods. If the woods are owned by the city, the police come through and issue tickets for trespassing and


Jose who was abandoned by his family at 14, lived in the football stands of his high school stadium. Through the help of a Las Vegas organization he graduated high school and is in his first year of college

The homeless are bankers, grandmothers, middle-class, administrators, teachers and they come from every walk of life cut down any tents or camps they may have. One particular stand of trees served as a makeshift camp for as many as 100 homeless in Virginia Beach. The city bought the land, pushed out the homeless, cut down the trees, and built a $10 million no-kill animal shelter. This is a city that says they don’t have the money to build a human shelter, but was able to find public funds to build an animal shelter and displace homeless families with nowhere to go. 6. The fastest growing demographic of the homeless

population is the family.

With not nearly enough shelters to accommodate a family, more and more find themselves living in cars, tents, motels (when they can afford to), or other make-shift accommodations. The majority of shelters split up men and women, adults and children, leaving families with no options other than to go to separate shelters, often miles apart, with no means to communicate. 7. Many of the homeless have lead lives just like yours. It could truly be you or I one day.

The homeless are bankers,

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grandmothers, middle-class, administrators, teachers and they come from every walk of life. Many of those we interviewed had lead lives that were not so unlike mine, and then, as if hit by a bolt of lightning, events conspired to change their course. In some cases, an injury or an illness, a loss of a job or a relationship, or a natural disaster that had destroyed their homes, their businesses and left them with nothing. Some, of course, described households where parents were alcoholics or addicts, others were abandoned at a young age, and yet others told stories of horrific abuse which caused them to run with homelessness being a better alternative to remaining in an abusive home. Several recounted their dreams as kids of what they hoped they would be. Many talked about their plan to get housed and what they were doing to get there. And almost all talked about the shame and humiliation they experienced in being homeless. Homelessness is right outside your window, on your way to work, in the bus station, on the Tube right in front of us. The issue is massive and making change seems like it will require unlimited resources, willpower and tenacity of the masses. But it will not be because our governments have figured out what to do – it will occur when we decide as individuals that we want to do something about it. Squelch the stereotypes that fuel unfounded fear that holds you back from helping. Figure out what you can do, and do it. Mardy Gilyard, homeless as a college student and now a professional football player for the St. Louis Rams, summed it up. “When I was living in my car and I was hungry, I prayed a lot. I wasn’t praying for a god to come down, scoop me up and give me a home. I was just praying for a god to walk across that parking lot and hand me a sandwich.” Get involved, volunteer, figure out what you can do on your own, do something. I mean really, we could all walk across a parking lot and hand someone a sandwich.

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QUOTE SPACE: BEN TURNER

Subu


urbia Bill Vaughan


BORED? LONELY? WEEKS BEFORE THE NEXT PoV MAGAZINE COMES OUT? Well chin up, stop sitting staring blankly at the wall and log on to the PoV Symposium, a brand new site from the minds behind PoV Magazine. The PoV Symposium is the place to go to keep you entertained between issues with more amazing work from our brilliant contributors and we want you to get involved. If you’ve been inspired to write a short story or poem, take a photo or paint a picture by the themes of the magazine send them to us on hello@povmagazine.co.uk and you could see your work online. The PoV Symposium – better than a poke in the eye.

HTTP://POVSYMPOSIUM.TUMBLR.COM

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DREAM A LITTLE DREAM: CHRIS PILKINGTON

STREET DREAM Picture this:

It is the early 1990’s, not sure where exactly, well I know where geographically, it is my bedroom and at night but I ‘m talking about the year and exact date. I had been watching ‘The Bill’. Even though I hated the program at that young age I still watched it. I am asleep in the night with thoughts of Scalextric and the like of which I would never own beyond the basic figure of 8 metro set, when my brain decides to descend into the real dream world. Now we all have this but I am lucky to experience very vivd dreams/hallucinations and suffer from mild “Parasomnia”. This means I often wake confused, or wake up but still dreaming so that reality and dreams merge, I sleep walk, talk and jump out of bed in fright for no reason. I have woken up to the sound of someone shouting in the room, possibly me or someone in my dream – all sorts. It’s loads of fun and probably has something to do with fragile/volatile brain chemistry and a penchant for licking batteries as a child. I want to relate a street based dream that has remained as clear as day to me since I woke from having it nearly 20 years ago. The scene: two coppers from

The Bill, not sure who one is but the other is good old Reg. Now I know that in the dream they are in london, sitting in orange and white striped deck chairs in the middle of the road chatting idly. They are sat near a manhole cover with the lid off. They are searching for a missing boy who was lost/missing and had been reported last seen entering the sewer system. I can still recall the loud thud/metal dong of something hitting a metal pipe. The two spring into action and enter the sewer. They emerge soon after with the boy, but his head is missing. I replay the boy being washed along a current of sewer water and impacting into an over hanging pipe. No blood or gore just noise and the feeling of shock. Up on street level there appeared to be one solution to saving the boy’s life, Reg and co accost a street cleaner and hassle him for his broom and take 10 inches off the top of the handle and insert it into the open neck wound of the boy. Next thing I see is a press conference, again the middle of the same road in which the now broomhandled-headed boy is nodding to questions and gesticulating with his hands in answer to questions. It was at that point I awoke screaming.

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By Max Zorn

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Deciding to work with tape instead of paint was inspired by a friend who worked as a car designer. These guys often use slim tapes to outline their ideas on large boards. I was surprised to see how fast they could create stunning sketches with it. The last few years has seen that kind of tape-art also conquer the streets as a new form of urban art. However, it is widely practised by using colored tape on walls or streets. The idea to use light as a medium was born during a nightly run through Amterdam. The nice old street lamps with their golden light seemed perfect to be used as an open gallery for the first test of my modified tape-art. The installation was very simple by just clamping the taped glass onto street lamps. Once the light illuminates the many layers of tape it creates a very graphic picture that seems to be selfglowing. All that is needed are flexible Plexiglass, some brown translucent tape and a cutter. The rest is taping, cutting, taping, cutting‌

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TAPE ART: MAX ZORN

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streets? it’s as much about the context of the writer and writer’s mind as it is the content.

STORIES from the STREETS Part one

In which Tom Pitts introduces the work of

Joe Clifford

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Introduction by Tom Pitts

I first met Joe in a horrific house that was widely known as Hepatitis Heights. I initiated our friendship by offering half of a very healthy speedball (sharing anything was very unusual for junkies of our ilk). No wonder he warmed up to me so fast. It wasn’t long after that I heard Joe refer to me as “just a thug.” (Although later that same day I saw him leap across the room and attack a poor soul for trying to rip him off.) For a delicate flower such as I was, I took the tough guy reference as a compliment. Joe and I soon became thick as thieves, quite literally in this case. Beyond sharing a spoon, we were stealing, scamming, and scoring on a daily basis. We didn’t talk about books. We didn’t talk about music. We mostly just fretted over the next fix. One day, as Joe and I sat sick on a street corner, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the man, he said to me, “Tom, you know, later, when you’re in some rehab somewhere, it’ll be moments like these that we’ll miss the most.” That always stuck with me. There was a sick camaraderie there, a form of friendship that could not have blossomed under any other circumstance. Years later when Joe resurfaced, we found ourselves still friends, bonded with a kind of post traumatic stress syndrome that only street junkies can appreciate. It is no small miracle that we can both be here, alive, and able to share the stories that the ones who didn’t make it out will never tell. You can find some documentation of this madness in the excerpts from his heartbreaking memoir, Candy and Cigarettes, at www.joeclifford.com

CLOSE CALLS PT.III From the memoir, Candy & Cigarettes

I hit the street in search of Becky’s car. I need to find food or at least some sugar. It is the middle of the night. Becky is in jail. She skipped her court date for the Safeway arrest and they picked her up during sweeps’ week. When I get to the car, I find Gavin in the back.

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This happens a lot since I broke the locks. I’ll come out of some skid row hotel or music studio and one of my homeless friends will be sleeping in the back. Gavin isn’t sleeping, though. He’s tweaking on speed, cutting up magazines under a penlight, like a kidnapper pasting ransom demands, a mad scientist piecing together the keys to the universe in an old parked car. I ask Gavin if he has any needles on him. I won’t drive with needles. He says he doesn’t and slinks to get in front with me. Inside the 7-11, Gavin stalks the aisles, wheezing with asthma, which draws the attention of the clerk, since it is just the two of us in there. Watching Gavin move is fascinating. With

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STORIES FROM THE STREETS: PART ONE – JOE CLIFFORD those metal rods stretching his neck and atrophied muscles pinning his gimpy arm to his chest, he shuffles along like a retarded runt Tyrannosaurus. I look like shit, I know that. I am underweight and the opiates have drained most of the blood from my face. I probably haven’t showered in a while and my clothes are filthy, but I am still a handsome man if you can look past the minor skin eruptions, and that counts for something. Besides, next to Gavin, anybody looks good. While I am filling a Big Gulp and contemplating stealing a Twinkie, two cops walk in. I hear one of them say the word “tweaked,” and know we are fucked. After we pay, we walk out to find the cops searching the back of the car. They don’t need warrants for people like us. When Gavin was arrested in Sacramento six months ago, they brought him into a back room. There was a football helmet on the floor. When he asked what it was for, the cops told him to shut up and put it on. He put it on, and they beat the shit out of him with billy clubs. The cops tell us to put our hands on the car. They ask me if there are any needles inside. I say no. One of the cops says if he pricks his finger on one of our diseased needles he is bashing our skulls in. I tell them there are no needles. They search the car and find Gavin’s needles. I am livid. Not at the cops. I am used to this. I am furious at Gavin for lying to me. The bigger of the two strides up next to me. Hand on his gun, he asks whose car this is. I say it’s mine, I mean my girlfriend’s. He tells me to put my hands behind my back. I am starting to, when his partner comes up and grabs me, spins me around, jabs a

mean finger into my chest. “What the fuck is wrong with you, kid?” he says. “Don’t you know you catch HIV from this shit?” I know that. I get tested at the free clinic, a lot. It scares the hell out of me every time. But I do it, faithfully, anxiously awaiting the results and its possible walking death sentence. “I don’t have HIV,” I tell him. “Yeah?” he says. “How the fuck do you know?”

“the cops tell us to put our hands on the car. They ask me if there are any needles inside. i say no. one of the cops says if he pricks his finger on one of our diseased needles he is bashing our skulls in.”

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“I was just tested.” “When?” “Last week,” I say. And I was. I got the results from the Haight-Ashbury Clinic yesterday. “And?” “Negative.” The cop takes his finger out of my chest and looks me in the eye. He looks long enough to make me uncomfortable, before finally dropping his hands. “Good,” he says. “That’s good.”

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THE SHACK

From the memoir, Candy & Cigarettes

I met my ex-wife Haley at Gluehead’s shack. Gluehead was our speed dealer. But he was much more than that. We called ourselves the Gluehead Army. There were a lot of people in the Gluehead Army. There was Kelpbed, who was Glue’s right hand man, and Brian Fast, at least in the beginning until he screwed everyone over. And then there was Bucky and Big Tom and Leif Irish and Troy. There were others, too. I only did speed back then. That’s all any of us did. We were all rock ’n’ rollers. Glue was a great storyteller. Because of all the speed he took, his short-term memory was kind of fucked. So whenever he told a story he’d forget that he’d told it many times before. Each time he told a story, he did so very enthusiastically. My favorite was The Prison Story. In it, Gluehead is in San Bruno Prison. One day he gets out of the shower to discover a bunch of big and nasty brothers have taken all his cigarettes. Now, if that’s me in the story, I don’t do a goddamn thing; I let them have my cigarettes. But Glue said that if you do that sort of thing in prison it makes you a little bitch, and if you’re not sold for a deck of playing cards by the end of the night, you can at least count on never eating dessert again. What Glue does, he pops the razor blade out of his shaver, and he walks over to those brothers, who are standing there, smoking his cigarettes, and he slices his own hand down to the bone. Gluehead holds up his bloody hand. He says, “Those are my cigarettes and I want them back. I’m real sick. You don’t want my blood on you.” Gluehead gets his cigarettes back. v A piano prodigy-turned-skateboarding-

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punk-turned-speed freak, Gluehead lived in a 19 x 8 shack in the Lower Haight on the back edge of some property belonging to his ex-girlfriend, who was a much bigger dealer. She dealt to the big boys; Gluehead dealt with people like us. Gluehead still played piano. He was really good at one time, I heard. He was really good when I knew him, too. But it was different because of the drugs and brain damage. There was electricity in the shack via a generator but no toilet or shower, no refrigerator, no stove. Tweakers don’t sleep much, so Glue didn’t need a bedroom but he had a mattress anyway and a coffin that he sometimes crashed in. The place was overrun with crap. There were toppled shelving units and jagged light bulb bases and spent lighters, paint thinner, books, broken furniture piled high next to spreadout clusters of dismantled radios and tape decks, milk crates and mountains of unwashed, picked-from-the-street clothes. Instruments in various states of decay lay scattered throughout the place—half a guitar here, a keyboard missing keys there, a snare drum, a horn. There were giant cord balls everywhere, instrument cables that had become so intertwined they looked like snakes writhing

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center of attention. Not even close. I’d later learn that without the alcohol Haley was cripplingly shy, and further withdrawn into herself than anyone I’ve ever met. I had to work in the morning, but I let Haley drag me out with her. The nightclub was awful and my not being high made that thumping techno music excruciating. I’ve always hated crowds, everyone dancing and hopping like a fool. I didn’t have the energy to be charming and I just wanted to go to sleep. I had a loft where I was squatting—a nice loft, as far as squats go—and a job at the airport. I was one of the few guys who even had a job in those days. While most of the Gluehead Army just hung around the shack waiting for Glue to kick down free drugs, I was actually responsible, earning money to buy mine by delivering important documents from cargo planes. (I’d be fired two weeks later when they’d find speed in my delivery van.)

“You didn’t see girls like Haley at the shack often. Beautiful, yes, but there was something otherworldly about her, too.”

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There wasn’t any, though. Hadn’t been for a while. The Feds had popped a major Mexican cartel a few weeks earlier, clogging the pipeline, the whole city dry. We were all hurting. You didn’t see girls like Haley at the shack often. Beautiful, yes, but there was something otherworldly about her, too. Long, straight black hair with a face as white as porcelain, she reminded me of a doll. She wore a short magenta dress that night, and was so drunk at one point that when she tried sitting on Glue’s lap she fell over and her legs spread apart. As she lay on the floor laughing, I saw her panties. They were royal blue. It would be one of the few times I’d ever hear her laugh. I couldn’t have known that then. The way she carried on, Haley came across as vivacious, the life of a party, a girl most comfortable at the

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I was surprised when Haley said she wanted to see me again. I don’t think she could’ve known how hopeless I was. It wasn’t until she was gone for the night that I started to fall in love with her. Before our second date, I went to Kerrie’s house. Kerrie was a stripper and older than I was. I’d once told her that life is over after thirty. I was twenty-five. She was thirtyfour. I needed to shower and borrow some clothes. My squat didn’t have a shower, and Kerrie always had nice men’s clothes lying around. Her marriage to John Wayne Newton had dissolved by then, and we’d sometimes fuck. John Wayne was one of the Boys of Belvedere, the first friends I made in San Francisco, before the drugs made things like friendship expendable. Kerrie was in love with me, and I was sort of in love with her. She was a


knockout—a blonde haired, big-titted, blue eyed girly-girl, the sort that knocks anyone out. I’d once suggested while she was still married that we run away together to Arizona, leave this city behind. Even then I could see where my life was headed if I stayed in San Francisco. I was half joking. When she said, “Let’s go,” she wasn’t kidding. Kerrie scared the hell out of me. After I showered and got dressed, I asked to borrow money so I could buy flowers for my date. Haley and I had made plans to meet at Glue’s shack. But she never showed. I sat there, with my stupid hair combed and clean clothes ironed, holding those damned flowers, for hours. v Around 1:30 a.m., Gluehead said we should go to a bar. It was cold, the fog rolling in. San Francisco, where sometimes it got so dark and gloomy you felt like a ghost walking on the moors. I was depressed. If I liked Haley before she stood me up, I was definitely in love with her now. Glue put his arm around me. “Why are you always so nice to me?” I asked him. “I’ve always been a sucker for a sensitive boy,” he said. That was Glue, a sensitive thug. One minute he’d be fending off convicted murderers, like the time Indian Paul, a maniac fresh out of San Quentin, was pounding on Gluehead’s ex’s door and Glue stared him down, and the next he’d be saying something like that. Coming over Buchanan Street, this little hill with a church at the top, a Buddhist temple I think, the streets were dead, soundless, not even traffic coming off the 101, whose off ramp was Fell Street, which became a straight shot to Golden Gate Park, which usually meant traffic, no matter what time of day or night. From out of the shadows, this black kid on a bicycle came flying over the hill, from the direction of the Webster Street projects a few blocks away. His front wheel slammed down and he flipped over the bars, face scraping along the asphalt. Jumping to his feet, frantically reaching for his bike, one foot on the pedal, spinning a wild 360˚ in the oily mist, the kid hauled ass out of there. Right behind him came the police,

“In the middle of the road lay fifty, maybe a hundred tiny baggies, each one packed with crack cocaine.” two squad cars, lights whirling, sirens slicing through the murkiness, taking air like the Streets of San Francisco. They blew past us like we weren’t even there. Glue was staring at the spot where the kid crashed. “You see that?” “Kid’s going to jail. So?” “No, that!” Glue said, pointing. In the middle of the road lay fifty, maybe a hundred tiny baggies, each one packed with crack cocaine. For the next few weeks, people would stop by the shack, hoping the meth drought was over. Glue would break the bad news. “But there’s some crack,” he’d say. The speed freaks would sigh, hang their heads. In a corner a pipe was all set up with Brillo pads and a blowtorch. Glue wouldn’t ask for money. The speed freaks would mutter how it was better than nothing, and then begrudgingly smoke some rock, spitting out fumes, angry at the government. They’d leave ten minutes later. They wouldn’t even say thank you. And Gluehead wouldn’t have expected them to. It was funny. Just over that hill, there were people in those projects fighting, stabbing, shooting each other—people who’d sell their own mother out—for a crumb of the stuff, and here we were, a bunch of tweakers, acting like we’d been forced to suffer handjobs from the pretty girl’s significantly less attractive best friend.

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MODEL: HA

MAH WHITE

r By Ben Turne

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PHOTO CREDIT: 1000 WORDS / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

STREETS AT WAR: EMMA SEYMOUR A group of protesters set off a smoke bomb in central London during the anti-cuts rally on March 26, 2011.

MOBILE REVOLUTION By Emma Seymour

The last

year has been one of protest and demonstration. People across the country have been reclaiming the streets in defence of pensions, against government cuts, in support of the Arab spring, and everything in between. The biggest strike of a generation saw 1.2 million public sector workers from across the country walk out in November. Whether you agree or disagree with the cause – or just want everyone shot like Jeremy Clarkson – only those living in a cave would have failed to miss it. In today’s world of smart phone

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tweeting it’s pretty easy to get your voice heard too, even if you don’t fancy tramping the streets clutching a banner.

So what did the Twitterati have to say about it? @sadkate Is on strike tomorrow. Paying 3% more for 15% cut in eventual pension and working ‘til 68 goes beyond taking our share of the cuts.#Nov30 Comedian Stephen Grant Shall we have a Twitter strike as well? Just harnessing the momentum? “What do we want?” “More than 140 characters” “When do we want it?”


Protests of 2011 The November 30 march may have been the biggest in the UK for years but there was plenty else to shout about in 2011. Here are just five more protests from the last 12 months: n Egypt, January 25: The country’s first coordinated demos kick-off in Cairo as the people call for democracy and the former President Hosni Mubarak to step down. The country’s first free ballot in 80 years took place in November. n L  ondon, March 26: The march against Government cuts is the UK’s biggest since the anti-Iraq war protest in 2003. Some 250,000 people took to the streets.

Bert Smith It’s cool when the elected chancellor says “you can strike and protest all you want, it won’t make a difference” GEE THANKS GIDEON @krisdeeds Just to be clear everyone; camping outside church and day off work for Royal wedding = Good. Doing same in economic protest = Bad. #strike @richeyrevol The tourists around Trafalgar Square have never had so many people to ask for directions. @shitlondon In a show of solidarity with all strikers, today I promise to contribute nothing useful to society in protest against pension reforms #Strike

@craigphilbrick How can it be fair that the public sector has been forced to pay the cost of the banking crisis? Resist the #cuts. #strike #N30 @rachelhawley I saw teachers laughing & relaxing in the pub this morning. If you’re going to strike, commit yourself to it. Picket, protest, rally, march. @josiensor Cars tooting their support for Unison anti-cuts protesters outside Royal London Hospital. #Strike @Activismtips When you’re sad cheer yourself up by going to a protest, a strike or a rally.

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n L  ondon, August 6: A small protest following the police shooting of Mark Duggan in Tottenham erupts into days of riots across the capital. While the Government argued the violence was the work of a ‘feral’ underclass after a new pair of trainers, a study by the LSE and The Guardian argued rioters were fighting against social injustice and poverty. n U  S, September 17: The Occupy Movement begins its first act of defiance by occupying Wall Street. The movement, which spread across the world including to London’s very own St Paul’s, fought against corporate wealth and greed. n M  oscow, December 25: Tens of thousands of people marched against Vladimir Putin amid widespread accusations of fraud in the Presidential elections.

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MY CHILDHOOD STREET: SGT. PILKO

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N S: S G TR ATIO ILLUS

The newsagents at the bottom of the hill was a grand old place, the object of some racist desires where one could take a small mind, buy something and then later negatively refer to it in a joke with ones friends. Not me though, why bite the gracious hand that should give me comics and sweets. Lemon Bon-Bons in particular. Old ladies would sometimes appear and feature on this street, one in particular, who wanted to chat about the appearance of a football in her garden, had a bright green bogey on her coat that had fallen out of her nose. It made me feel sick and still does whenever I think of it. Ice would form on the inside of the window during winter, but that’s to be expected when you only have one wall and sleep in the garden. My mother would tire of this and call me into the house, “you’ll catch your death out there, idiot” she would bellow. My father would follow me in shortly after, having given up on his dream of becoming a lewd mountain man. Much to the relief of the neighbours. After seeing the shadow of a man shuffle past my window* one morning I was convinced it was evidence of God, it was in fact the next door neighbour escaping from his wife. I peeped through the curtains to discover that he had no trousers on and he had discovered that my wire bird feeder (made by me) would not meet product safety regulations. He became horribly entangled in the nether regions. In winter the Street was treacherous in the way it treated the inhabitants’ cars. When icy, the camber of the road would work in an evil manner against any cars who had dared to move. Even those on foot had to be wary of the malevolent icy intentions. My house was Orange, I developed a life-long dread of hairdressers, it brings a foul taste to my mouth whenever I see a comb.

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*If God was ever to be seen carrying a suitcase, an armful of clothes, a paint roller, wrapped in nothing but a towel then you can share my divine image.

With this reminisce in my mind I have dug out all my old maps, to enable me to traverse the streets of my youth. In my own head I can see it all… In fact it reminds me that I never finished my compass rose in the corner… Most likely to be the Northern end of the street, where the camber in the road was less like a buried leg, there was sited, a non-haunted/haunted/slightly spooky so most likely haunted, house. At least that’s how I saw it, the sounds of spectres drinking from cans that turned out to be squatters drinking from cans is my idea of romance. Now the man walking the street with the right outlook and a pouch full of gold will see it not as a haunted house but as a solid investment opportunity. Not me though, I prefer to look at it as a Haunted House. I grew up in a tall house on a wonky part of the street which had suitable ambient lighting at night, which attracted dog walkers of all varieties. Just then twenty years ago my dear old Grandma burned her sleeve while cooking milk. The culinary world revolves around tomatoes and milk so she would say. Her shriek caused her voice to bleed and hence I never heard her call for dinner. I would later carry on my search for the smugglers inside the sandstone cliff. It was a Tuesday. The Police would come and say ‘hi’ from time to time to some of the neighbours, it was always the same with them, they couldn’t wait to get in – I’d heard they made good fairy cakes and judging by the way old bobby would charge in without waiting for the door to open I assumed it to be true. Like most streets there was one time warp field that allowed a man to keep his MK1 escort (in brown) to remain in immaculate condition and he never had to see to the woodwork on the front of his house. He aged in the usual fashion however, suggesting that time warp fields of this kind only affect building materials and not flesh and bone.

T. PILK O

I was raised by wolves. The football team… No not really that one was from my cream cracker… Now to business!


QUOTE SPACE: BEN TURNER

THE SMITHS

ON THE STREETS OF LONDON


POETRY: JADE LEAF WILLETTS

Trailer trash: who didn’t understand the endearment, the mock insult Trailer trash: who walks with no shoes through glass and beer and blood never cutting her feet perfect feet dark dark, pale but darkened by the street the street a sanctuary a home Trailer trash: trashing traditional beauty with sandals, with bare feet with too much gold and not enough clothes with slang, with beautiful vulgar language with cheap wine with cigarettes and green

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Trailer trash: who brought tears enough to melt the skin from your bones igniting something in your soul that cannot be extinguished who the moon broke down for crying tears of amber, lighting your way your way that saw me stop dead in my tracks to lay down and die in the heavy rain of my broken head and heart who caused me to write words in blood that were washed away to nothing

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Trailer trash: carved of stone and dirt still playing cards with the door open and the light on Trailer trash: who gave me water on the steps when I was thirsty a few summers ago who remains there smiling in my mind.


behaving well I move into town drink at a faster pace, In a hole of a place race to the next bar and pick up pace mix the grape and the grain I chat up cheap women, people I am not interested in I sound nothing like myself In fact I sound like them I carry on mindless like a fool dancing to music I despise because the girls like it and right now that is all that matters as I dance to some soulless noise inside I can hear Miss Holiday and I think about art and death and the sparrow I saw earlier In the day I spend money that should see me right for days I waste it like spilled beer

I get covered in bruises from fights that I could never start or finish I am in a room full of bad memories and girls with sad stories my phone gets broken In an altercation along with a bone in my hand I make a dozen or so calls to my ex-wife (from the payphone) there are girls hanging around like shadows masquerading as angels I try to erase the past from my memory as she deletes my message from her answer phone I take another drink (for the road) we leave when they tell us it is time and line up at meat counters we pay for fake meat lashed with sauce and I walk in the direction of a temporary home alone for hours in the rain and the part that really kills me Is that I know I will do it all again.

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PHOTO CREDIT: BEN TURNER

I open a bottle of wine at 6, the sun has gone down I need no more justification I am quiet, reflective, I have good intentions

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Scratching the surface The streets of Tel Aviv by Daniel D. Moses

The streets of Tel Aviv are a bustling hub of activity reflecting the cultural, political, historical and cosmopolitan diversity of the city. At one end stands the ancient port city of ‘Yaffo’ (Jaffa), whilst at the other ‘Rabin Square’ housing city hall, named in memory of the former Prime Minster Yitzhak Rabin, assassinated in the square in 1995 campaigning for peace. Those inclined can relax on the beach, as shoppers browse the ‘Shuk Ha’Carmel’ market for literally anything they can think of; musicians and entertainers showcase their talents on the streets with intricate wall art presented as a part of the landscape. Only scratching the surface of Tel Aviv and old town Yaffo, these photos are part of my rediscovery of the city after a number of years away.

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THE STREETS OF TEL AVIV: DANIEL D. MOSES

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THE ARRANGED LINE OF BRICK BOXES: CHRIS PILKINGTON

The arranged line of brick boxes for people storage

By Chris Pilkington

Contained

neatly, amongst lighting, heating, water piping and questionable decorating, boxed in amongst designs for heat capture and retention. Numbered in an odd way on one side and even on the other, the street, is home, on the way to and on the way from. It is passing scenery or the last stop. Or even a place of departure. Mostly though it is a bullet point list of stories hidden away behind a wooden door. Often the sort that is kept hidden by the daily greeting and by a thin veil of dull thumps, thuds and neighbourly privacy. Number 63 The stamp enthusiast, Timothy (something-or-other, when referring to his surname) was and is a pleasant and quiet character. He was always with a keen set of eyes. The sort of eyes useful should one need to look for mice at night while out walking. Also of useful tongue and nimble finger when he was allowed to hold them. The Black Penny was something of a joke to him, having acquired one through questionable methods and later having to swallow it to prevent his misdoings catching up with him; he was reminded of the paper quality of such a stamp when it re-emerged 4 days later. (A testament to his high-fibre diet). He had it framed

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and it garnered much curiousness from visitors when many questioned the existence of the Brown Penny. Number – N/A The bored housewife – actually this is an umbrella term for any woman who has rushed into marriage for the wrong reasons and is now unhappy with her lot or the type of female who is only happy when she can feel sorry for herself. The Umbrellas themselves are fine. As indeed are the ladies themselves whom mother nature has reserved for her revenge on mankind, the Lady brain being used for its computing power, enabling the Gaian network to number crunch ways of wiping out humanity to enable a rebirth on the planets surface once again. So I’m told anyway when one finds the time talk on the lay lines. Often in the 1970’s one would see the side affects of this natural subconscious algorithm, emerge as a quick fling with the milkman. Number 26 Upon a stern looking sofa, there is a man whose idea of a terrifyingly enjoyable night is to parade his sticker collection- gathered almost impossibly through the ages, and is brought to your beautifully bored eyes in his sitting room. Which, luckily is a dirge brown to accompany the predictable and stereotypical emotional setting. This fanatical mediocre bore was such a

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menace that girls coming of age would be warned via officially sponsored pamphlets. In later years, being set into the folklore of the area, Japanese tourists would flock to his gate only to leave with a growing sense of anger at the world. He, like myself, had a remarkable ability to resist the charm of attractive weather ladies on the evening and morning telly. Number 43 A legend in his own mind, the wouldbe effeminate tailor who lived in a bright Orange house. Unfortunately having been blessed at birth with the mind/body/voice and soul of a burly builder, he had set within him an inner rage and conflict. Which meant he not only lashed out at the freely “effem” and homosexual but also had a deep hatred of builders, DIY, and the city and guilds as a name. By the time he had reached the age of 50 he had not only forgotten that he was married but that he was also a father and business owner. Having been consumed by rage and confusion he was alas found hanged in the loft amidst decades worth of browned paper detailing a tailoring service run akin to a mobile hairdresser. Fancy. Number 28 Locked away, dull eyed and alabaster of skin, reliant on mummy and daddy but with the street facade of a warrior: The middle class drug user. Who will one


ILLUSTRATION: BEN TURNER

day fall from grace and be devoured by his sins. Fingers crossed, anyway. For now, he can chomp away on his own vices and then become self aware of the spiral of decent that he has embarked upon. But not until after tea. Number 33 and indeed many other houses... As with legion (for they are many) there are the lonely pensioners and the well accompanied pensioners. All complete with ‘sweets’ in cupboards and cluttered sideboards. Gas hob begging to be switched off as they head off to bed or the smell of lavender that seeps its way out into the street and hangs there like an invisible lilac mist. (One street on my route home is like this and either it has the spirit of a lavender merchant loitering in the middle of the road OR it has a house containing an old lady – a nan – nearby that is full to to the maximum capacity of lavender scent that air struggles to carry out its duties. The scent drifts and hangs across the road. I get a mouthful of this and it takes me back to being bored rigid in a field in Norfolk.) Number 4 Pacing this street in a military like fashion, is the avon lady, rain, snow, winds of misery will not stop her. She is only ever seen actually enjoying herself when pressuring those who wish to evade her perfumed grasp. Once, long ago, the milkman and pools-man were a common site but now only their ghosts are visible to those who can be bothered to witness them. You may also see... The glow of large rectangle TV’s are gradually drying out and cooking the idle members of the population whilst cats hold secret meetings on table etiquette and the finer things in life, once again out in the quiet dark spaces. Lovely. If you like, on the space at the bottom of my leg feel free to add your own story for this segment.

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QUOTE SPACE: BEN TURNER

corner street At any

s b a f o g n i l e e f e th


ce the fa an in any m e k i r t s n a c y t i d r u s


STREET ART THAT SPEAKS TO ME: ELLY LACEY

By Elly Lacey This is the street I look out to…well, it’s not really a street, more like an avenue…and it’s in 9th place but it’ll do. It’s mine, you see. I take ownership of it. Like I took ownership of my first street. Sure, that time I did it with a fuchsia pink Raleigh bike but it’s much the same. I imagined walking down My st a street like this one as I walked down another reeti a n around 3800 miles away. It turned out well. avenue sh. More o f really. But I’m not going to get all philosophical on you, .. that’s not what I do. And anyway I have some serious business to be getting on with… I’m a walker, you see, so streets are important to me. It’s the street the cool bar/ first boyfriend’s house/school/shop with the great dress/new flat/office is on that I really remember and care about. I’m a lot about the loco. My mum always told me “to look up” and there are some wonderful things up there, don’t get me wrong, but if you look down you may just see something magical….I’m not talking about foot-trodden black chewing gum or footslid dog shit, no, no, something much more intriguing… Let me bring your attention to exhibits one and two: I’ve seen this little man in Philadelphia and Washington DC in the space of 2 months. And to exhibits three and four: These tar sketched faces have followed me to Brooklyn and the Meatpacking District. Now, I don’t want to scare myself into conspiracy theories but this is weird, non? Yes, it may just be some artist expelling their creativity wherever they can because they cannot afford canvas or feel (in hopefully a hugely pretentious and wanky way) the street is their canvas. But better still, is this part of some international underground communication method for spies?! Or am I actually in the Truman Show, as I always suspected, and some of the cast are trying to tell me by coded street art?! All totally viable explanations, I’m sure you’d agree. So I call on you, dear PoVers, to reveal the true meaning and designer behind this street art, please. Otherwise I may have to start my own campaign…might do that anyway, just for the hell of it…and PoV can give credit where credit’s due to more creative minds.

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Exhibit two: Robot in DC

Exhibit one: Robot in Philadelphia

Exhibit three: Tar man in Broo kly

n

Exhibit four: Tar man in Meatpacking district

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THE

STORYTELLER STREET PHOTOGRAPHY FROM BERLIN, LONDON, PARIS AND NEW YORK

.. .. By Jurgen Burgin

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THE STORYTELLER: JÜRGEN BÜRGIN

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streets? it’s as much about the context of the writer and writer’s mind as it is the content.

STORIES from the STREETS Part two

In which Joe Clifford introduces the work of

Tom Pitts

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I met Tom Pitts sometime in the late 1990s at a shooting gallery, on top of a very high hill in San Francisco, called Hepatitis Heights. In a drug world filled with liars, thieves, and criminals, Tom fast became a rare commodity in my life: a reliable doper. He was my best friend. Even then, in the middle of all the junkie bullshit, Tom considered himself a writer. He used to tote his computer, which contained all his stories, everywhere he went. But this wasn’t a laptop. We’re talking a big ol’, straight for the ’80s, bulky-ass desktop. Tom would drag that computer with its tangle of cords and keys up these giant hills, dopesick, trying to duck the crooks looking to rip him off or the cops looking to drag him in. I thought he was fucking nuts, but such was his commitment to his art. He believed even then he’d get out. I wish I’d shared his faith. But he was right. He got out. We both did. And he took his stories with him. Here are two stories from my friend, Tom Pitts. Both are as accurate pictures of life on the streets as you’ll find. Honest, humiliating, hilarious. Because if you can’t laugh out there, you’ll lose your mind. You can find some more of Tom’s work here at http://tom-pitts.blogspot.com

HIGH SPEED CHASE IN L.A.

Introduction by Joe Clifford

L.A. is a cold and closed down place. I was an outsider there. It seemed like everyone was an outsider there. I didn’t see movie stars walking down the street. Even though I lived two blocks from some of the biggest studio lots, the closest I felt to the movie business was peddling by the huge billboards on my endless loop back and forth downtown.

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Looking up at those billboards was a constant reminder that I was shut out from the magic of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles of the mind, the Los Angeles that existed in box office totals and Billboard charts. The glitter and the glamour would continue on with no help from its ocean of citizens, the leagues of poor bumping into each other down on the streets—where I was. I was alone there and, except when I was copping, I spoke to no one. I knew no one. It was hard to cop. Each day I had to peddle my bike from Robertson and Venice all the way downtown and back. This journey I made three times a day— usually sick. It seemed as though once for every three times I went downtown to cop, I was jacked up by either the cops or some gangsters. But if I was mugged or chased out, I had no choice but to go right back again. It was hit and miss and I needed to reach out and find a better way to score. I called a friend in San Francisco, a girl that came from LA, a rich girl. “You know who you

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STORIES FROM THE STREETS: PART TWO – TOM PITTS should call? Mercedes,” she said. I liked the sound of the name. It certainly sounded better than risking myself on the street again. I called and talked to the girl with the luxurious sounding name and envisioned a junk bearing angel with movie star good looks. She told me how to get there and I got on my Scwhinn one-speed and started peddling toward Hollywood. Mercedes lived in a classic Hollywood bungalow with another junkie roommate. The place was sparse, undecorated, and dark. Cigarette smoke hung in the air. There was no music playing, no TV on, only Mercedes and her roommate sitting in their tiny breakfast nook waiting for me. She was pretty—rich girl pretty—with arched and plucked eye-brows and well bred features. “Hi, I’m Tom,” I said. This was the first female close to my age that I’d met since being in LA and I was happy to make a friend, especially a friend with common interests. “Hey,” was the unenthusiastic response. Her voice was flat and uninterested. She looked bored and irritable. Her roommate looked up and her chin made a barely perceivable nod. “Hey.” Silence hung in the air. I stood there feeling ignored. “So …” “Yeah, let’s go,” she said and, still making no eye contact, got up and walked right past me out into the daylight. We climbed into her big SUV that looked more expensive than anything I’d ever sat

in and headed downtown. I tried to get more information about where we were going. The need for a new junk source was exciting and important. I was trying to plan my daily route, calculate how much more dope I could get for so much less money. Mercedes was evasive and seemed too annoyed to answer my questions. She kept her face tight and her eyes squinted at the road. After a few more minutes of being ignored, I settled back into my seat. “Here we are,” she finally said. I was confused. We weren’t parked, we weren’t looking for parking. We were downtown, only a few blocks from where I scored daily. It looked hotter here than on my corner. “Here?” I asked. “I thought we were going to someone’s house. Don’t any of the Mexicans deliver down here? Everybody cops in the fucking street?” A deadpan “yeah,” was all that was returned. This didn’t seem safer or smarter than what I was doing. I watched the cars ahead of us. Drug dealers ran up to the window to compete for the sales inside. There was no one on the block but junkies and dealers. Every time a car slowed the dealers swarmed it. Like lepers grabbing at Jesus, I thought. I was terrified. Next it was our turn. There was shouting and confusion, hands reaching in the window. Flashes of aluminum foil and balloons. Bartering and exchange had to happen within seconds. Before I knew what was happening my money was gone and I had four balloons in the palm of my

“I called and talked to the girl with the luxurious sounding name and envisioned a junk bearing angel with movie star good looks.”

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hand. I closed my fist and said, “Let’s go.” But we couldn’t go; we were stuck in a jam of narcotic trafficking. The car ahead of us had not finalized its deal and was not budging. The car behind us had what they wanted and began to honk. Finally we reached the corner and Mercedes took a right at the red light. That’s when I heard the whup-whup of the police siren. “Fuck,” said Mercedes. “Shit,” I added. All this trouble and I was going to get busted. I should have stuck with risking my life at 12th and Hoover. We both were silently hoping that the siren was for someone else, that the police would fly by on their way to a real crime. I heard the whupwhup again and looked over at Mercedes. Her face was still tight, her eyes focused and determined. She wasn’t going to pull over. “Fuck,” was all she said. The SUV sped up, so did the cops. Mercedes hooked a hard right, a surprise left, sped up when she had space, slammed on the brakes when cars got in front of us. Goddamn it, I was in a high speed chase in downtown Los Angeles and there was a madwoman at the wheel. I promptly stuck the four balloons deep into my underwear, under my ball sack and clenched in between my butt cheeks where I could feel each individual balloon. The chase went on for several more blocks till Mercedes decided it was futile. She pulled over on the side of an overpass and took a deep breath. I sat silently waiting for some kind of direction, some kind of cue, as I watched the cops in the rearview march toward the vehicle. There was no command to show our hands or to exit the vehicle slowly, the officer just opened up the door, grabbed me by my shirt, and pulled me out of the car. When he had me standing upright, he pushed me back against the car—hard. “What the fuck is your problem? You

“Mercedes hooked a hard right, a surprise left, sped up when she had space, slammed on the brakes when cars got in front of us. Goddamn it, I was in a high speed chase in downtown Los Angeles and there was a madwoman at the wheel.” fuckin’ deaf? You not see us behind you? Where’s the dope?” I wasn’t sure which question he wanted me to answer. I began to shrug. “I didn’t see you,” I said. “Bullshit,” he bellowed and a little of spit flew off of his lips and onto my cheek. “We know you just scored, we watched you, so give it up.” He was poking me in the chest with his index finger. I could hear the other cop giving Mercedes the same treatment. “I’m clean, I swear,” was all I could muster. It even sounded like bullshit to me. It was a line the cop had heard a thousand times and would hear a thousand more. “What are you doing down here then?”

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STORIES FROM THE STREETS: PART TWO – TOM PITTS “Down where? I’m not even sure where I am. I’m from San Francisco, I was just riding in the car. I don’t know anything about any dope.” “What did your friend from the street want? Directions?” “No, to sell us dope, but we said no, we waved him away.” It sounded good to me, sort of a partial admission to make the story more palatable, but the cop’s face just turned an angrier shade of red. Just then the other officer brought Mercedes around to my side of the car. “No dope, huh? Roll up your sleeves,” he told both of us. As I began to slowly and laboriously roll up my own sleeves, I saw both the cops staring at Mercedes’ arms. I stopped what I was doing and turned my head. Mercedes arms were unlike any I’d seen before. They were lumpy and scarred. It looked as though she’d been attacked by a swarm of bees, over and over again. Arms that damaged didn’t belong on someone so young. I could see the disgust register on the policemen’s faces. “No dope, huh?” the cop repeated and turned toward me. “What the fuck are those?” he said, pointing to a red line on my arms that was crusted with tiny puncture scabs. “These? Ha, no these are at least ten days old. I’ve been here six days already, I told ya I only came down to kick. I’m clean…” The cop gruffly grabbed my arm and held it up under his nose. He studied it closely and decided there was no way he could tell how old those marks were, but there was one thing he did know: All junkies were liars. “Empty your pockets,” he said and I did. I could feel the balloons of heroin clutched between my cheeks as I began to spread my possessions on the hood of the car. Change, scraps of paper, my empty wallet, a twenty dollars bill, which confused him, (why would they have a twenty on them after copping?) and the coup de grace: a small marijuana pipe. “Hey,” the cop said to his partner. He held up the pipe. His partner looked back

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with disappointment. We were minnows in an ocean of easy drug busts. He pointed at Mercedes and said, “Next time you fucking stop when you hear a goddamned siren behind you,” and that was it, they both walked away, leaving us in the midday sun in downtown LA. No arrest, no ticket, and most importantly, we still had the dope. We climbed into the SUV and were on our way. When we were rolling again I reached deep into my pants and retrieved the balloons. I pulled out three, looked at them confused, and reached back down my pants again. I searched around like a magician searching a top hat for his rabbit. “Fuck, I think I dropped one.” She sneered at me a little. How could I be so lame, so stupid. “Well, good thing I didn’t swallow them,” I smiled. She stayed silent. When we got back to the bungalow, Mercedes’ roommate was already waiting at their breakfast nook with spoons and water. She could tell that Mercedes was pissed off. “What happened?” she asked. “Fucking cops. Then he …” there was enough of a pause before he to let me know she didn’t know my name, “fucking drops one.” There was no point in arguing now. We all wanted to fix. So fix we did. I knew I wasn’t going to call them again. I left them with one balloon. We were supposed to split it 50/50, but the chase had changed the equation. It was my money, but they were supposed to turn me onto a new place to score. I wasn’t going back there either. I figured one balloon was pretty generous. After I hit up, I looked at my hosts, they were beginning to nod. I guess one balloon was plenty. I walked out to my Schwinn one-speed and, before I got on the seat, reached into my pants and pulled out that missing balloon.

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PEANUT BRITTLE Plink. I waited. Nothing. Plink. Still nothing. If I threw the pennies any harder they might crack the window. I’d been out there for what seemed like an hour, but, in reality, it had only been a few minutes. “Jimmy.” I tried to both yell and whisper. It was one o’clock in the afternoon, still early for Jimmy. I didn’t want to piss him off; I needed to get into that apartment. I’d known Jimmy for years. We worked together, we were drinking buddies. We shot dope together. He knew my weakness and I knew his: Junk. “Jimmy,” I squeaked again. I was sick, broke, and desperate. Business as usual. Finally, the blinds moved. I tossed another penny. Jimmy’s annoyed face appeared at the window. It took him a couple of tries before opening it. “What?” “What do ya mean what? Lemme in.” “I don’t have anything.” “Come on, Jimmy.” I decided to keep my agenda a secret, I just had to make it inside, then he’d have to agree. I pleaded a few more times before Jimmy realized I wasn’t going anywhere. He threw down his keys and I made my way past the garbage cans, up the back stairs, and into his apartment. He’d left the door cracked. I walked into a tiny studio choked with cigarette smoke, so dark that you had to let your eyes adjust before you could see the mess. Jimmy sat slouched in a ratty recliner, remote control in his hand. Cable TV was Jimmy’s other drug of choice. “Zup?” he said. “Zup?” I answered. I sat down across from him on the couch. “Watching this lame-assed movie, not fucking funny, just stupid.” That meant I’d woken him up. If Jimmy could stay conscious during a movie, he loved it, but if

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he nodded out, it was shit. We sat staring at the screen for a few more minutes. I yawned. I yawned again with purpose. I moved to light a cigarette, grunting a little when I struck the match. “I told you, I don’t have anything.” Jimmy always had something. He never looked uncomfortable, never wore the mask of discomfort. I felt like shit. “I’m sick.” He was already one step ahead of me. “I can’t call him; I already owe him eighty bucks.” “I could call.” It was an insincere offer; I owed the Mexicans more than Jimmy did. “He’ll never show up.” “There’s always the peanut brittle …” “No,” said Jimmy, flatly and completely. If there’s one thing you can count on melting, it’s a junkie’s resolve. I sat there, letting silence argue my case. Silence was winning. “No, dude. It’s not okay. I can’t let you.” “You’re not fucking sick then.” “I’m a little bit sick.” Jimmy lied, sniffling a little for added effect. “Come on then, let’s do it. It’ll be fine, good even. Let’s do it.” He caught the excitement in my voice; I knew that I had him. v Jimmy was a bartender. I worked for Jimmy. I was a bar-back, a gopher, a fetcher, considerably further down the food chain than a bartender. We worked in a big nightclub downtown, a disco located in the belly of the Hearst building. I stocked bottles, wiped tables, picked up broken

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STORIES FROM THE STREETS: PART TWO – TOM PITTS glass. I had my senses beat senseless with relentless hip-hop beats; I stared at impossibly beautiful women and mopped up their vomit when they had too much nightlife. The more glamorous job belonged to Jimmy. He was behind the bar, center of attention, clown prince swirling ice cubes. Jimmy was where the cash was. Every night he’d make out with a fistful of dollars. Tips were cash, and that meant it went straight to the dopeman. He never had any trouble finding a twenty to call the man with in the morning; he usually had a couple of half gram balloons waiting for us when we got home from the club too. The second we entered the apartment, we dropped our jackets on the floor and went straight for the balloons. Jimmy would stand at his stove, swaying back and forth, “How much you want?” “All of it,” I’d answer back. He would always hold back a little till morning. He’d soon return to the couch with two syringes loaded with thick brown goo. We’d then begin the long and painful process of finding a vein and trying to hit it. Sometimes this process would take minutes, sometimes an hour. We never got it on the first try. v

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It was after one of these nights that I woke up on Jimmy’s couch and asked if he had anything left for a wake up fix. “I got nothin’,” he said, as usual. “Nothing? What happened to the shit from last night?” “What do you mean? You said ‘all of it’ so I put it all in. You did it, we did it. It’s gone.” He said it matter of fact-ly, like he wasn’t too worried about it. He had to be lying. “That wasn’t a half gram, what happened?” “Maybe I spilled some.” “Spill some, how do you spill some? Spilled some where?” It seemed impossible that anyone would leave something so precious spilled without some kind of action; a mopping up, a wail of agony. Maybe it was bullshit. I jumped up and went into the kitchen to investigate. I couldn’t see anything on his stove but a couple of black splotches where he’d set down the burned spoon. “Spilled where? I don’t see anything.” I could hear Jimmy sighing with futility as he put a great amount of energy into getting up. This way, I would know that it was

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pointless to look for the dope, it was gone. “I cooked it right there,” he said, pointing at the gas burner. Most people found a disposable lighter sufficient enough for cooking dope, Jimmy, who was excessive to the core, apparently roasted his dope over the blue flame of the gas burner. “Fuck, Jimmy, no wonder that shit always comes out looking like molasses; you’re burning the shit out of it.” I squinted at the burner. “I still don’t see anything, are you sure you spilled it?” “Yeah, it happens all the time, look.” Jimmy reached past me and lifted up the black grate that guarded the burner and pointed to a light brown gooey substance around the base. “That’s heroin?” I asked, astonished that it’d just been left sitting there. “Let’s get it out.” “Dude, that shit is fucked up, you can’t use it. It’s full of … food and shit.” “Are you fuckin’ sick or not? How do we take the top off the stove?” We cleared away his kettle and a large frying pan and lifted up the metal cover of the stove to expose the bare burners. Our eyes grew wide when we saw a large brown puddle to the left side of the burner he’d been using. “Holy fuck, how much dope did you spill?” Jimmy didn’t answer. He was confused; there was more dope there than we’d even done last night—or any night. I reached down and touched it lightly with my finger. It was sticky, hard, like sugar candy. We both realized at the same time what it was. Jimmy had been coming home fucked up, night after night, sloppily cooking his fix, spilling again and again. It had been collecting here over time, condensing and hardening, re-cooking, distilling. “Dude, it’s nothing, there’s bacon grease and ramen and all sorts of shit in there.” Instinctual denial. But I knew better. I knew that Jimmy never cooked. Any junkie, if he didn’t have to, he never would. Jimmy never had to. His kitchen garbage overflowed with Styrofoam take-out containers and pizza boxes. “I’m gonna try it.” I said, holding a butter knife in my hand to wedge out the goo. “What do you mean? If that’s dope, then it’s my dope.” Instinctual greed. The technicalities were lost on me as I began to remove the dope. Discovering the


“we suspected our warm buzz to actually be the beginnings of a fever... What horrible plague had we contracted by shooting the feces of vermin directly into our bodies?” goo was harder than I thought, I hit it with the butt of my knife and it cracked apart like toffee. Jimmy and I both picked up a little wedge and held it up to the light for examination. It looked like dope, it almost smelled like dope, but there were little black spots in it, crumbs or food particles. “What is that shit?” asked Jimmy. “Eh, that’s what filters are for,” was the best answer I could come up with. We sat down and dropped the wedges into our spoons. The stuff melted quickly, except for the black crumbs that were left behind. We weren’t fools; we knew that we didn’t know what we were doing. We used extra water and extra big bits of cigarette filter to suck it through. “I’m too sick to try to find a vein,” I said, plunging the needle straight through my jeans into my thigh. “What the fuck,” Jimmy agreed and stood up, dropped his pants, and jabbed in his share. We lit cigarettes and sat back waiting for the slow moving muscle shots to hit. Soon, that familiar warm glow began to both relax and invigorate us. “Goddamn. That shit’s pretty good.” Jimmy smiled as he got up to stretch. We were both surprised. It was the best high we’d had in a long time. I felt good, instead of just better. I wanted to get out and get things done. I felt energetic, positive. Jimmy started to move about his tiny apartment, picking up empty cigarette packs, dirty clothes. He opened up the blinds; the sunlight came streaming in.

“You never pick up your shit, man. Look at my fuckin’ coffee table, there’s black shit all over it,” he said pointing to the smudges from my spoon. The daylight had transposed the whole room. The dust coating everything was visible and the air was thick and grey with smoke. Jimmy picked up the spoons and walked toward the kitchen. He stopped suddenly. “This is shit!” “Yeah,” I replied. “Good shit.” “No, really, this is shit.” He threw the spoon onto the table. The black spots clung tightly to the cotton. His face was repulsed with horror. I picked up the spoon and looked closely. Clustered around the cotton filter were at least six tiny mouse shits. In the daylight, there was no question; there was mouse shit in my spoon. Immediately we suspected our warm buzz to actually be the beginnings of a fever. That familiar fuzzy feeling was now coiled disease. What horrible plague had we contracted by shooting the feces of vermin directly into our bodies? I squeezed my eyes together to see if I had a headache, if my vision had blurred. How long would it take, I wondered, till my muscles ached and I began to foam at the mouth? We sat, smoking in silence, waiting for our deaths. An hour passed, Jimmy had fallen quietly asleep. Comatose, but, like me, still quite alive. I got up from the couch and crept into the kitchen. I decided to break off another piece of the dope that, in the afternoon light, looked just like peanut-brittle. It wasn’t peanut-brittle. It was better.

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POETRY: KYRSTEN BEAN

REQUIEM OF A STREET KID In Golden Gate Park
 bushes that had grown 
 to the point of obstruction
 hid the mattress where our friends shot dope

 “Sid and Nancy”
 the junkies 
 who wouldn’t share their supply

 We slept a couple of feet away
 on cardboard boxes in our
 piss-stained pants
 swilling Schlitz and smoking GPC’s
 which we dubbed “Gutter Punk Cigarettes” 
 or 
 “General Public Cigarettes” 

 a witticism I mentioned to my next boyfriend
 years later in Hollywood, but

 he didn’t get it. 



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In the morning, we filled an empty plastic milk jug
 with water
 drank it until the shakes went away
 panhandled enough 
 for a cup of hot water from McDonald’s 
 to cook our packaged ramen. 

 Sometimes we ate it dry. 



On Haight Street we’d panhandle enough cash to buy 
 a bottle of Barrett’s whiskey or 
 a case of Natural Ice
 to take to the stairs across from the police station
 drinking to get well
 before we crashed, laughing, back
 into the shrubbery for the night

 It was a wandering life full of cheap quarter pounders and 
 bad booze, drunken sex and fistfights
 But we felt free. We didn’t have to grow up or
 get a job

 mostly a thumbs up 
 got us a free ride.

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I feel like I’m still that guttersnipe kid, although It’s been well over a decade since I walked down the streets panhandling for a bottle of cheap whiskey Now I beg for writing gigs

 Enough money to 
 purchase the basics

 tattoos chocolate a place to live

 still irrelevant to larger society Still renowned for a lack of reliability I struggle to make ends meet 
 mock 
 other people’s fortunes
 think opportunity is a curse word 
 used by the rich
 to validate a monopoly
 on the poor Liberty, then, was having a green Alice pack, a box of Lucky Strike cigarettes and
 a fuckbuddy 
 to keep me warm against cold nights spent in Golden Gate Park.



Liberty has become 
 a right to own my own autonomy

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PHOTO CREDIT: BEN TURNER

Now 
 my jail cell is
 the nearest cubicle and



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SPECTRE

STREET

STREET SPECTRE: SGT. PILKO

Streets. That is the theme, the mission and the bulls eye of the creative dart board. For this week anyway. My name is Sgt Pilko and I’m taking this very very seriously. My furrowed brow will tell you this and for good measure I have pressed my forehead onto the screen against this text. NnNnNnGhgHG. This is how I work, no rules, no trousers. Drafty. Oh and every word of the following is most definitely true and did happen. To get to grips with this I head out onto the street. It was bin day and I have the right bins out. My bare legs feel the breeze tear off the downs and rustle my leg hair. Maybe trousers are a good idea. Donning a pair of my wednesday best I take a stroll through the lowly twittern (sussex talk for alley way) down to the local shops. I live in a quiet corner of the world that ostensibly votes with its right arm. The Big Issue long ago gave up trying to place it’s vendors outside the Tesco Express, after each who dared received a good lecture from passing old ladies.

M dancer

Words and illustration by Sgt. Pilko

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It had begun to rain and I am passing the bakery, thinking about how the fragilefaced teens who work inside, cope with the early starts followed by another thought concerning how much bread used to cost. Should each loaf be made by a red jolly faced baker, instead of a grumpy teenager? Clutching my notepad and pen as it gradually gets soaked, along with the rest of me, my eyes come to rest on the overpriced electrical retailer, kept alive by local loyalty. Spinning on my heels, I can feel the gaze of passing locals who are wondering why I am spinning on my heels, so I stop. Which is the precise moment I came face to face with the menace. It turns out that spinning on one’s heels can grab the attention of the following: most people and restless spirits, especially those of wandering Morris dancers. The latter was what I was currently looking at. He was tall, bearded and looked like a retired schoolteacher. There was an air of Local Ale about him and the bells attached to his arms and legs rang in a reversed

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sounding manner. I turned to take my leave after nodding my head to him and strode off with a confident stride toward the library, not once looking back. In the library I head for the nonfiction section and begin searching for anything to do with urban street cool. I found some wonderful literature on local history but nothing of use to this. I looked up and standing to my right by the audiobooks was he, the silent Morris dancer that I had picked up from the

street. Sighing, I realised that there must be some reasoning to what was going on and how I must somehow help this spirit, I ran out as fast as I could and into the warm sanctuary of the Tesco Express. Knowing better I stayed clear of the meat section as I cannot resist buying black pudding if I see it, I instead hid by the crisps. He found me sure enough, his head emerging from amongst the dry roasted peanuts and chilli peanuts. I love chilli peanuts, I grabbed some and in a flash I was in the slow moving queue

of 6 people before realising the expresspay-yourself-let’s-play-shop-keepers-till was free. I paid, but my pound coin was rejected twice. Curses and what with the folk Dancing spectre hovering nearby. I decided to get a bus, not for myself to keep, but rather I boarded one as it came by. I say this but I did have to wait an hour, during which time I realised that my spook was no conversationalist. After paying a ridiculous fee to board I made my way to the back of the bus and sat and faced the window. Not comfy was I, as sitting facing the window involves seating one’s self in an awkward manner on the seat, when it would be easier to sit facing the front as normal. Ten minutes later and after pins and needles had set in I sat normally. With my spook sat beside me. Once in the town centre I made my way past such familiar scenes: the group of herberts ready to prove their worth in a troublesome manner, the hairy faced woman on day release, the street cleaner who hates everyone. The usual types. Heading down the 1960’s built atrocity, which is one of the high street’s more attractive ends I wound my way round and round staring into shop windows as my follower kept pace. The bell sound was very annoying and typically any dogs we passed heard it and would react either by whining or barking hysterically. People must have thought I had a funny atmosphere to me or that I had some way of teasing and insulting dogs in a telepathic way. Anyway as it turns out, I wasn’t alone, I saw another man hurriedly walking through the street with dogs acting up in his wake. Either that or he was just another strange character, free to roam the streets of a coastal town. So I decided to leave him be, he eventually got bored of me, either that or the sight of me in the throws of my morning routine made him sick to his phantom stomach. Maybe it forced his passing to the “other side” after realising that my morning face was far worse than un-settled earthly matters. What of the street theme I hear you ask? Well it goes to show that you never know what you might find and pick up off the street, especially if you start spinning.

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ILLUSTREETION: CHRIS MOUNT

RIVIERA on-Thames

Illustrations by Chris Mount

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ILLUSTREETION: CHRIS MOUNT

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HAVING A CHAT ON BRICK LANE: BEN TURNER

RORY

ANGHARAD

Quiet one way

Chaotic

Sesame Street

Mayfield Place, the street from 1989 film, The ‘Burbs

ALEXA

LINDSAY

Very countryfied

Commonly misunderstood

Main Street, Disneyland

Commercial Avenue, Vancouver

We decided to leave the safety of PoV Towers and brave the streets of London to have a chat with the locals, and, not-so-locals. The destination for this issue’s vox pop? Brick Lane. We asked our new friends: Describe your street in 3 words or less If you could live on any street, real or fictional, which would it be?

Interview and photography by Ben Turner

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EDWIN

BEVERLIE

DEL

CAROLINE

Quiet, leafy and green

Urban factory dwelling

Leafy, new and bright

I’m happy where I am

Erm...

Quaint, trendy and peaceful Sesame Street

It’s not quite a street… Bora Bora beach front

WE ALL LIVE ON THE SAME STREET JACK

BECKY

NICK

KRYSTIAN

Cool...

...Scary...

and Vibrant

Quiet, nice and safe

In the Star Wars trees on Kashyyyk

In Winnie the Pooh’s tree

Any street in Sweden

5th Avenue, Manhatten

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CONCRETE COMPANION: JEFF CHANDLER

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Words and photography by Jeff Chandler

CONCRETE

companion I move

through the veins of the city with the greatest of ease. The streets know all my secrets – they have been there from the very beginning. Supportive of weighty thoughts and lofty dreams, they hold me high and carry me along. Each brand new pair of shoes I sport are met with a cheeky grin. There has always been something comforting about getting lost in a city. Each unexplored side road brings a new adventure and fresh hope. As the busy streets begin to envelop every part of me, I can’t help but realise that the next time I stride along this pavement, I will be a different person,

a new version of myself. Life will have taken me further on my journey and changed me forever. I feel the first few drops of winter rain hit the top of my head and suddenly notice that the pavement is already altering with every splash of water crashing onto its cold, grey surface. And I walk. I have been walking these streets for over a decade and know every intimate detail. They remember me; they have been there for me, stoically supportive with every step. They have witnessed the laughter and tears, the hopes and fears, never once leaving my side. The streets of the city run through my heart and carry with them all of my dreams. Like a trusty old friend they remain, and patiently look forward to the day they will see me again.

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THE LASTING EVENT THE LASTING EVENT: CHRIS PILKINGTON

By Chris Pilkington

This is

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a document. One of a memory triggered by one sound and one sound alone that changed my whole world, mostly for the better and in some ways it was the worst moment of my life. My daily mood alters the way I look at this particular moment in time. I use the streets of my childhood to categorise the stages of my childhood. I’m sure we all do this, at our central core I believe we are essentially the same machine that has adapted to work to its surroundings, meaning that I have observed many who have let the machine go to waste and operate on a very basic level. But I digress.... As a youth I had physical prowess over the other children, my parents celebrated my achievements and ultimately this caused my ego to grow without boundary. I was not taught to be humble and eventually any skill of empathy that I had was eventually robbed of any voice and was lost amongst the sound of victory. The third stage of my childhood, my teens, I lived on a street I know as Copeland street, we moved here after my father took a job working

at one of the larger depots in town. He was a manager and in charge of the entire stock movement of materials that came through the depot. He was a hard worker and during this time I saw him less. But it was no matter for me as at that time I did not see the importance of his influence and no one would have realised how sorely I needed it. FRIENDS We all used to gather after school on a patch of wasteland that ran along a small strip behind our houses. It was not directly accessible from our gardens but as children do, we had found our own way in. It was a well to do area and the land we played on had been earmarked for development, but it was left and forgotten, as the wheel of bureaucracy had run ahead of itself. There were building materials and rusting machine parts everywhere. In short it was great, in my early teens I still had yet to be robbed of my child-like imagination and the sense of freedom for fear of being judged by my peers. Twinned with an arrogant

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and careless streak I thought I was invincible, something that every young man goes through but how he uses this is different in every case. TEA Back in the present I sit here in the overpriced cafe, I am in London and finding the busy streets hard to cope with. I am older now, only by a couple of decades but my attitudes and well being inside tell me I am older. I am dismayed at the price of a cup of tea. I have taken refuge inside a cafe attached to an art gallery, not more than a stones throw form her majesty’s residence. My passport is being renewed as I dare to take my first ever foreign trip. Bargaining with myself was something I had developed since that one fateful day. The arrogant, cock-sure ‘me’ of old is always versus the new, more doubtful me. I was so annoyed by the price of the tea that I had decided to eat the rustic looking sugar lumps housed in the little bowl on the table. The waitress, now to my left, previously behind the counter was pretty, young and she probably hated her job. I suspected her of trying to fund an education (most likely her own) and being led on by lofty aspirations. Being overly judgemental and sometimes reading too much into things is something else I have found myself doing. It has something to do with watching too much television I think. She drops her pen, nothing unusual in that really, a yellow bic biro that landed and rolled behind her. She was flirting with the guy she was serving and was in no hurry to pick it up. In her moments of escapism the gallery cleaner, complete with cart had made his way between the tables to deal with the catastrophic spillage that had occurred 10 minutes prior. Cursing the layout of the tables he swerved the cart trying to avoid the chairs and tables. Only to run over and crush the Biro. The noise, oh heck the noise, it was the crunch, it was a prolonged sensation that ran through me, my senses distorting it into a whirlpool back to that one day of my youth... THE MOMENT One balmy summers eve, I had decided to hook up with my cohorts who also lived along the same street. We would often meet where there was a gap in the row of houses that was also the access point to the land behind. Our social ground as it were. We simply had to manoeuvre our way through the chain fencing that we had worked loose on one corner, allowing us to skip through quickly and easily and giving us the chance to hide it from the un-initiated. This day more than any other, I was more full

of myself from having completed the school’s cross country in record time. I had then taken it upon myself to then run the whole course again, purely to shame those who were slower and yet to finish. Boasting to all who would listen or pretend to listen, I had decided to see if any of the local girls were about. Sometimes they would be in the same hangouts as us and many of them were at the same school. The difference was that without the watchful eye of the teachers or parents they appeared to be easier to flirt and talk with. However, deluded as I was, my popularity with these girls was far lower than I thought. I look back and think that I am glad to have at least tried. The truth is that they found me irritating mostly and very slightly amusing on other occasions. There were some who paid me more attention but these were no challenge and invariably they were less interesting. Hey, maybe I did have at least one redeeming feature then eh? Upon entering our social arena I immediately began charging about, goading my friends into the chase, it was always a relief to embrace the freedom this space offered and whoever entered at whatever time of day, the feeling was always the same. It was akin to diving into a watery pool of happiness and excitement. As you grow up this type of feeling can still be found, if you choose to see it and embrace it. Most, like myself either choose to ignore it or stay away from anywhere where it may be found. I had found a unique place here, mentally and physically and shared this with a few others. But on this day I would say goodbye to it. Climbing up onto the concrete blocks that had been left here and had been partially overtaken with weeds, I was shouting to my friends, with the secret intention of attracting the attention of some girls nearby. I had spotted them on my way in, they were here often and sometimes gave us a slight grin or grimace. This was determined by who they were with. Shallow but cool. As I stood aloft my friends, I began taking off my shirt in a bid to metaphorically extend my peacocks tail, I made ready to leap from one set of blocks onto another, that lay 8 feet away. I had done this many

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THE LASTING EVENT: CHRIS PILKINGTON times before and it had become known as “one of my tricks.” Just at the pivotal moment on the edge, my right foot felt one of the blocks loosen. Followed by gravity pulling me down. The entire stack on one side of the set had begun to topple. Immediately I had tried turning to grasp the blocks that remained steady. But it was too late. I fell to the floor, onto my side, landing onto the blocks that had made it to terra firma before me. I lolled onto my back to assess what had happened. It felt like minutes but was in fact seconds and gave me the time to look at where I had been and to witness the second row of blocks topple toward me. I had enough time to haul myself out of the way. Unluckily for me the blocks had other ideas. First I felt the mild impact on my leg causing me to turn, which unfolded into a series of gruesome sounds and sensations. The twisting motion combined with a shattering impact left me trapped. From halfway down my thigh on my left leg my entire leg was broken and buried. I heard the bones shatter, at least I thought I had. It must have been that with the combined noise of the blocks with the vibrations of my bones breaking, coursing up through my body to my ears. The muffled sounds of concern, the blurry reality of daylight into tungsten and then to black, I was out of it. Welcome the dawn of the loss of a working limb, the loss of my pride and a loss of a will to actually live. CAFE I snap out of my daydream, the Cafe is now busy, I realise the time and begin to leave. Raising myself up I stumble and a woman kindly assisted me, I felt embarrassed that a pretty thing like her should be propping up a gent like me. I thank her all the while resisting eye contact and hasten out of there. QUEUE In the queue to receive my passport. I am balancing on my good leg while looking at the clock. It looks almost as fed up as the people working here. I think of the holiday, going to St Petersburg, Russia. Since my time in hospital and the months of recovery after, I had earned an appreciation of Art and Architecture. Reading about the city in a book given to me by my mother; she often visited and had a habit of clearing out the local charity shops; I had always wanted to go there. It looked beautiful. My parents could never understand the shift in me. My father saw the ghost of his champion and my mother naturally swarmed around me to protect her child. I understood this over time, and my father and I had renewed our relationship after

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I felt embarrassed that a pretty thing like her should be propping up a gent like me a friend of mine suggest that he and I go on a camping trip together some months back. It had been worthwhile, he saw me in a new light and respect. This alone had given me the urge to finally take flight. ALL SET Finally, after 4 hours of waiting I had my new passport, I texted my Father to let him know that all was well and all had been achieved. I made my way along the now wet pavement, the rain doing its best to wash the city. I head to the train station and let myself swirl with the crowd onto my train. I am glad to be going. Finding a seat is easy, most people take one look at me and offer me theirs up and I always thank them. Clumsily lowering myself into the seat I felt a tap on my left shoulder, an arm reached across the gangway and had tenderly touched me. Slightly startled I turned, it was the woman from the Cafe. ‘What the heck’ I thought, and for the first time in years I indulged in a conversation with someone and scored a phone number. We chatted about this and that and delightfully conversed about our shared love of architecture, she recommended I look to educate myself in such things properly and I agreed with her. Something else to look into. We parted company as her destination was well before mine and she wished me well on my trip. Practically begging me to stay in touch so that she could hear all about it. This I agreed to and a promise that I would keep. The Night before I was due to fly out, I sat and wrote this all down, two days ago I visited Copeland Street and stood looking at the spot where that Incident had occurred many years ago. I smiled, I thanked fate for that day. The wasteland was now a set of garages, I guessed it had been like this for sometime as even these were looking rather decrepit. Making my way home I whistled a tune, the first time I had done so in a long long time.

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QUOTE SPACE: BEN TURNER


TEA + TOAST CLUB: MY STREETS AS A KID

My street as a kid... was a freaking runway for adventure, with trees to climb, neighbour kids to tease and cigarette butts to chew on. Somehow that ended one day. Anyway, lately it became the good old playground again, only that now, instead of trees, threre are lamp posts to climb, girls to tease and real cigarettes to chew on. Max Zorn I grew up on the ‘streets’ of Hastings... well, technically it was more like a close. In fact it was. Kildare Close (makes for a fabulous porn star name). Lovely place the ‘Stings, definitely not the place you’d write hip hop lyrics about but there was a street we named bird-shit alley; does that count? Elly Lacey

I lived on a fucking farm. Seriously, my street was called Old Farms Place, and my prick old man used to have me stab the ground with a pitchfork looking for gophers. He promised me $20 for every gopher I caught. The pretty girls from class used to stand at the top of the street and watch me. Never caught one.  Gopher.  Or girl. Joe Clifford

My memories of my streets as a kid are completely severed from the streets I found myself haunting as a young man. There were no security guards kicking me in the ribs at three am, telling me to move off the grill on the sidewalk where the warm air blew from the building heating systems. There weren’t junkies and whores and hobo’s waiting desperately to see what they could extract from a naive Canadian boy who’d dumped himself into the gutters of the big city. In fact, they weren’t streets at all, they were gravel roads. Long empty lanes where I would glide endlessly on my small motorcycle (a must have for any country boy) dreaming of a place far more exciting (and dangerous) than the one that fate had blessed me with. Careful what you wish for, I guess. Tom Pitts I had too much ADD as a kid to pay attention to what the streets were like or to anything else around me.  I was stuck in my head.  It was in my 20’s when I first started to look around. James Maher I wonder if they miss the thump of my Space Hopper, the rolling of skates, Madonna dance routines and the patter of my tiny feet back home at dusk. Jeff Chandler

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I grew up on the coast in a village where everyone knew each other. As a kid the sea took centre stage in almost everything we did. Summer holidays meant beach barbecues, building bonfires, bike rides and long walks. My best friend lived two doors down. I still remember our daily walk to the school bus stop. In winter our eyes would stream as the wind whipped off the sea and stung our faces. Emma Seymour

My streets as a kid were routes to escape from ‘burb life, led to slush muddy creeks filled with tadpoles where stolen cigarettes could be smoked to nubs in hidden tree houses. My bare feet, roller blades and bicycles ruled the pavement, but I always wanted a motorbike. “Not until you’re 18,” said my dad. 12 years from 18; I still can’t afford that bike. Kyrsten Bean

My streets were anywhere middle America, where the “haves” and the “have nots” were not that far apart. One high school of 1400 kids, safe streets, “cruising the pits” on a Friday night.  It was a different time, the street was a place we went to meet with neighbors and friends-- not a place to be afraid of.  I hope we can take those times and those feelings back. Tom Morgan

Suburban. Green. Quite dull. Smaller than I remember them to be as a kid. Obviously. Daniel D. Moses The street that is the backbone of my childhood was one that I lived on from age 5 until 18. The Orange (sorry dad, terracotta!) paintwork that my parents applied to the house many many years ago still looks as Orange now as it did then. I enjoyed an olde fashioned childhood; climbing trees, running about, climbing fences, more running, maybe some cycling too. Once I found an axe but one of the mums saw me and took it away from me whilst I played with it. That’s why as soon as I became an independent adult with my own house I went out and bought an axe. Chris Pilkington

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KEEP AN EYE ON WWW.POVMAGAZINE.CO.UK FOR THE NEXT CLUB QUESTION

WELCOME TO OUR CLUB. THE PLACE WHERE WE ASK OUR CONTRIBUTORS TO ANSWER A QUESTION BASED ON OUR CURRENT THEME WHILE CHEWING ON SOME TOAST AND SUPPING A CUPPA. THIS ISSUE’S TOPIC: MY STREETS AS A KID


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Profile for Benjamin Turner

PoV Magazine issue 1  

Issue 1 of PoV Magazine. The STREETS issue. PoV is the quarterly themed magazine with content you create. Get involved on our website. We h...

PoV Magazine issue 1  

Issue 1 of PoV Magazine. The STREETS issue. PoV is the quarterly themed magazine with content you create. Get involved on our website. We h...

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