New York City born, with a lazy left eye.

Original Author
Original Body

by Joseph Bolden, staff writer,

Because I kept taking off the brown plastic patch so it didn't correct
itself. Other than being in fights, snubbed by girls and women,
and having no depth perception, my psyche is okay. My job history
in brief: Lab Aide, Library Aide, Food Service Assistant in Oakland's
and Berkeley's Unified School District's, also a Custodian, Security
Guard, and Certified Nurse's Aide, (CNA) Dietary Aide, in a Convalescent
Hospital with Holocaust Survivors. The blue/purple numbers etched
into their flesh told me. They were terrified and cringed at my
touch. My CNA license was not renewed: my choice. 

1989, I moved to San Francisco, jobless,
homeless, drifting from shelter to shelter; let's just say I was
living the polar opposite of the 'Go Go 80's. 1991: I was on General
Assistance (G.A.) By 1994, I saved enough money from odd jobs and
G.A. to leave the shelter I was staying in, Pierce Arrow Multi
Service Center North,
known on the street as "Broken Arrow,"
I move into a Single Room Occupancy hotel or (S.R.O.)
Yes, there's more, but not now; dear readers, you now know a
little about me. My apologies if you were bored.

 top of article 

More on Knowing Joe 

I learned photography, darkroom techniques,
lighting, in what was known as Eye Gallery, renamed The
Sixth Street Photo Workshop.
One day, I met a slim, red-haired
woman, named

"Tiny," who asked me to write my true
feelings in the pages of a new magazine called POOR.
At first I balked at doing it, dredging up bad memories. But once
passed the past, I have worked on and off with the struggling magazine
since 1995. During the same time I have relearned data entry, word
processing and worked as a sorter in Goodwill Industries. A sorter's
job is to check donated items for possible resale to the public.
Items like old cameras, photos, and records, are thrown in the garbage.
Old 78's, 1930's-40's records are old and brittle, they're also
rare and valuable Americana, destroy-ing them is more of
our history lost forever. 

After graduating from Goodwill's work/education
program, POOR Magazine got a grant and
I was hired December 15, 1998. At POOR I work as a
Writer-in-training, I learned about reporting, interviewing people,
and working on different news stories. I also learn I do not like
investigative reporting. The art of Investigative Reporting is an
on-going, never ending process.

This column is a dream, I dreamt, about when
I was homeless, in shelters, and in food lines. I am a latecomer
to the Internet, e-mail etc. Still, I'd like folks to drop by on
stealth visits for one-on-one (PNN) Poor News Network
web cast interviews. Other voices, hidden or shaded for safety reasons,
can help people I may never meet. I worry about column shock, a
version of writer's block, when I feel everything's been said and
I am all written out. Must go, please tell me what you believe and
think... "bye."