turk
homeless man
san francisco
april, 2009

he's mammoth versus rourke's wrestler and rougher on the edges. he's a frightful form towering forth vengefully spitting curses. sandaled, his feet are cracked and caked with crusty flakes.

i expect venom as i approach. but oddly he's least frightening up close. somehow i'm less aware of his hulking size. it helps when he's seated rolling butts into a makeshift cigar with paper ripped from a bag.

he seems a trick of the light. seen differently by the angle. a change in vantage more than character. but he has a genuine warmth now as i sit below watching his recline on a doorway stoop. all about, easter revelers pass in a different world.

name's türk from stuttgart; born in 62. mom's in germany now. he doesn't guess she has long to go. spoke with her last week. he'd like to visit before she passes, but hasn't figured how.

there's great confusion in him.

there's clarity as he relates fly fishing in kentucky or his left forward play in high school in gainesville. we talk about his leaving high school early; never returning, though he'd thought he would. about the lives he's lived; and the lifestyles.

but there's darkness all about. holes that he fills with fantasy and intrigue. they jumble and grind to a halt every time. and frustrated he says "but you understand right?"

i smile and say "yes, i understand."


::big daddy k:: says: you are absolutely amazing. love the photos and the notes. really brilliant work my friend. -- 07:29PM, April 13, 2009.
* Ahmad Kavousian * says: Great -- 07:36PM, April 13, 2009.
Rocío Muñiz says: amazing :) -- 07:40PM, April 13, 2009.
ana roelofs says: impresionante -- 07:42PM, April 13, 2009.
J.Valldaura says: awesome... -- 07:44PM, April 13, 2009.
miquelet says: Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Blanc i Negre, and we'd love to have this added to the group! ;.-) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! -- 07:51PM, April 13, 2009.
Naïma says: awesome it kinda looks like he's frozen -- 07:52PM, April 13, 2009.
jobarracuda says: i love it. i admire that you took time to converse with your subject. the story made the photo more special. somehow the story made me feel connected with him. hat's off to you. -- 07:58PM, April 13, 2009.
paladinsf says: Hi, I'm an admin for a group called well seen! well captured my friend!, and we'd love to have this added to the group! well written well seen my friend -- 08:19PM, April 13, 2009.
lewishamdreamer says: I would always expect brilliance from you, both in your writing and in your photography, but this is exceptional. A timely dose of humanity, which is quite beautiful. -- 08:20PM, April 13, 2009.
AntonioArcos aka fotonstudio says: definitely a story behind image... _____This image has something to tell, please consider joining Stories Behind Images and share this wonder with us_____ -- 08:32PM, April 13, 2009.
Bob Duck says: Poignant and striking.... >>>seen on 1-2-3 group -- 08:56PM, April 13, 2009.
Manny Flores says: Good 1 -- 09:05PM, April 13, 2009.
Vineyards says: Impressive portrait & words >>>seen on 1-2-3 group -- 09:14PM, April 13, 2009.
[] bichito [] says: every time you come you bring a lesson thanks for sharing them -- 09:41PM, April 13, 2009.
¥∑Ñ$kŸ says: stoneth, you are an angel -- 09:44PM, April 13, 2009.
zrep says: another great portrait -- 09:50PM, April 13, 2009.
-Agustín Cowper Coles- says: really nice -- 10:13PM, April 13, 2009.
Francis Gagnon - www.francis-gagnon.com says: Wow! That one is awesome! -- 10:40PM, April 13, 2009.
optimaver says: Every man has a story to tell and the right to tell it and be heard.... I say. You are a great listener, and the portraits you bring to us come with those insights that many in certain industries would like to have into the human character and behavior... and a glimpse at the souls too. Thank you for sharing! -- 11:29PM, April 13, 2009.
andendquote says: welcome back -- 12:28AM, April 14, 2009.
Krustyp says: " yes, i understand"... wow your humanity is tangible. thanks for sharing. -- 12:55AM, April 14, 2009.
lakewentworth says: Excellent - I love your portraits. -- 01:18AM, April 14, 2009.
colliewobbles says: Your portraits are inspiring. I shall endeavor to extract more of the person when I make contact with these guys here in Liverpool, UK. -- 01:24AM, April 14, 2009.
AH in Pgh says: striking portrait, poetic account of your intersection in time and space -- 01:52AM, April 14, 2009.
Jordan Flynn says: Awesome shot! i love it that you take the time to converse with your subjects learning their story and then include it in the description giving the viewer a reason to care. Also, great framing with turks hood. Am glad i added you as contact, will keep an eye out for your future work. Keep it up! -- 02:50AM, April 14, 2009.
Miguel A. D. says: Preciosa toma, muy buena. Saludos -- 09:16AM, April 14, 2009.
leone. says: thank you! -- 12:03PM, April 14, 2009.
gordy1 says: another awesome image and a great tale . -- 08:33PM, April 14, 2009.
on2art says: so i am reminded of how it is the singer not the song -- 10:04PM, April 14, 2009.
*rae* says: everything is always so amazingly powerful in your portraits. a lot of times, it's your capture of their eyes. i look forward, each and every time, to your photos and stories. just amazing, as always. -- 01:13AM, April 15, 2009.
jinxmcc says: stoneth, thank you for being there, for your artistry, but most of all for the gift of humanity. -- 06:24PM, April 15, 2009.
toycamshtr says: Awesome,Awesome.Your were the first person that I entered as a friend in this crazy site and Im thankful for that.Hope all is well. -- 10:18PM, April 18, 2009.
Kris Kros says: so glad to see you again, bro -- 03:12PM, April 19, 2009.
Treceges says: always powerfull -- 05:29PM, April 22, 2009.
Slim Letaief says: Excellent portrait! Very interesting portraiture work..i like that style..well done :) -- 10:39PM, May 04, 2009.
SkyShaper says: it's good very good welcome back -- 08:26PM, May 11, 2009.
magical-world says: What a look! Thank you for sharing this picture and its story behind. Jean-Christophe -- 10:49AM, June 06, 2009.
keri ivy is seeing things for the first time says: my gosh, that's big stuff....he's only 1 year older than my brother...that fact gets to me almost as much as the rest of your commentary. thanks for what you do, it's important. -- 11:53AM, June 21, 2009.
Ferran F says: very good job! excellent! -- 07:08PM, June 29, 2009.
SUSANPHOTOGRAPHY says: great expression.well caught.:))) -- 10:45AM, July 12, 2009.
Victor Gregorio says: Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Reflect SF, and we'd love to have this added to the group and website! -- 09:13PM, July 15, 2009.
mknobil says: No wonder you havn't posted in a while ... this is an impossible image to top. .... Just go sideways ... -- 04:25AM, July 17, 2009.
claudiaveja says: impressive set ;) -- 06:37PM, September 04, 2009.
theojames says: awesome image -- 03:33PM, April 27, 2011.
amandajcain says: this is impressive!! Wow!!! -- 03:19PM, July 01, 2011.
byhisboots says: I'm glad I found you on Flikr! I luve in Philly & we are often going diwntown to feed homeless people! -- 04:02AM, May 12, 2012.
Natalie Hofman says: Wow, your work is so powerful -- 06:38AM, August 07, 2012.
Wonky Paw says: powerful ... and stunning -- 03:17PM, August 09, 2012.
vinobosh says: Just when I thought I saw all of them . . . this one is so scarry - in a good way. Great Shot, I love the mystery behind those eyes. -- 02:34AM, April 03, 2013.
stoneth says: thanks so much everyone for your kind words... all your words in fact! ;) its so much appreciated that you care about folks' stories [http://www.flickr.com/photos/leptor] ha! thanks bro -- 04:08AM, April 03, 2013.
Vít Hassan says: This one is g.r.e.a.t.!!! -- 08:33PM, September 11, 2013.
stoneth says: [http://www.flickr.com/photos/vithassan] ha! thanks bro -- 10:50PM, September 11, 2013.