The Fulton Runner

I’ve come around from Ghana, through Senegal, all the way to Brooklyn.

Story and Photos by Icarus Blake -

Lady Liberty Photo ©Icarus Blake

“Hey mister, see that sister.
Don’t you let her thrill you.
Sticks and stones may break your bones,
but man, her looks could kill you.”
Zap Mama – Iko-Iko lyrics.

Rain on Fulton Street. Scattered, running over puddles. When was I last out of Africa? The man said I had ice in my eyes, but I belonged. The man’s name was X and he lived in a small house with bright red walls. The bottle of Scotch was full of tea, and he laughed through a broken tooth. The lottery ticket was stuck to the frame of a broken window. The soup was green, but the taste was old meat. X was happy, he had a red door in is house.

Red Door Photo ©Icarus Blake

"Out of Africa" Photo ©Icarus Blake

Nhemamusasa we karinge zuva nhamo ichauya iwe
Iwe nhemamusasa,
Nhemamusasa we karinge zuva nhamo ichauya iwe
Pereka pereka pere
Pereka mvura mukaranga iwe
Iwe nhemamusasa,
Nhemamusasa we karinge zuva nhamo ichauya iwe.
Chiwosino – Nhemamusas.

God knows what it means. Just listen. It’s haunting. Run with it. It breaks the fog thru and thru. It drugs the mind good. This picture is not from here. It just smells the same. Here, on Fulton. Was that Mandela in the windows?

Inside Madiba Restaurant Photo ©Icarus Blake

Handball Photo ©Icarus Blake

“We will be king and queen.
We will talk about arts and philosophy.
It can be a good day. It can be a bad day.
We will never ask why.
Love will be our unique law.
I just feel deep inside.
I want you to hold me tight.
Where are you my love?
Zap Mama – Where Are You?

Cold. Wet. Miserable. And you hit me with a love song? C’mon lady! Give me some juice to run with. I’ll walk myself to a hot coffee now. Some red lingerie to the side, maybe hot peppers… Close your eyes, sit down and imagine some hot sand running thru your fingers. Open eyes and see blue sky. Happy dear?

Matadora Photo ©Icarus Blake

Pepper Pot Photo ©Icarus Blake

“Tired and dusty,
she sat by the road.
Her green-spotted uniform and her sneakers
Rebel woman.
She took off her hat
and she leaned against a tree,
her rifle by her side,
rough worn hands upon her knee.
Rebel woman.”
Chiwosino – Rebel Woman

I get it, now you’re pissed. Let me cross Dekalb and get a movie. Let’s both go home and laugh it out. You can wear them gold crazy shoes of yours around the house. Yes, it’s cold outside. Not tonight? What bible reading? Oh please, please… don’t let me fall asleep on the pink couch again. Alone.

4giveness Photo ©Icarus Blake

Stripper Spikes Photo ©Icarus Blake

If I run fast I can BE in Africa. Yes I can. But the cat in the store sees the world go by… Does it care? That’s what I wanted: a catnap with you. But, no. Keep running. The girl is pretty and she holds a giant dollar. One love dollar. Or a dollar for your love.

Champ Photo ©Icarus Blake

Window Napper Photo ©Icarus Blake

“‘Loneliness guarantee me a better life,’
I thought.
I would not have to endure the bittersweet
that installs in couples over time.
So I would live that love stories.
Union never bitter.
Rokia Traoré – M’Bifo.

Look at me now. The Fulton Street fool. All the dames come and gone. I shower no more. For whom? I just kick the old runners off and collapse on the pink couch. Was it with you that I bought it? Or with you? Whatever your name was… Your funny hat is still on the rack. Your scent still hides deep in the corner of unopened drawers. Your skin dust still powders my carpet. You’ve all gone to happier cribs now. Really? I smile, and I watch the Knicks with a good beer between my feet. And I run.

Barber Shop Photo ©Icarus Blake

Madiba restaurant patrons Photo ©Icarus Blake

It’s the end of the Fulton loop. I’ve come around from Ghana, through Senegal, all the way to Brooklyn. There was a girl smiling all the way and some drizzles of rain. She had pretty hair and round almond eyes. She was in the window of the One Dollar store. And she will be there for a while.

French Body Photo ©Icarus Blake

Adama, professional African hair braiding Photo ©Icarus Blake

Listen to the entire Fulton Runner playlist below.

Citizen Brooklyn – Fulton Runner by Citizenbrooklyn on Mixcloud

Africa #1 Photo ©Icarus Blake

Two TVs Photo ©Icarus Blake

Change. Photo ©Icarus Blake

Color Grade. Photo ©Icarus Blake

2 Responses to “The Fulton Runner”

  1. Nicola pappagallo says:

    good post

    • Danika says:

      Btw – how do you like NY? After 8 years in Singapore it is very tough…looks like 19 century to me, Seoul Tokyo Singapore hong kong and even Taipei appaer a way more advanced in terms of urban planning to me. Sydney is a different story…it is not very advance in terms of infrastructure (good test is having smart card payment system like ez link card octopus etc) but natural beauty compensates for that…and I regard it as one of the best places in the world ( I lived at Dee Why for 4 years)