Saturday, August 19, 2017

Endless Depiction



The endless depiction of the human condition, so variable yet so categorical.  I am no good today and will leave this all alone.  Sometimes that is the best thing to do.  Sometimes that is all.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Monkeys and Cats



I've had no internet the past 24 hours.  Now I do, but I have only three minutes to write.  Speed Writing 101.  I have had very long and busy days at the factory and am worn out.  I am certain age has something to do with it, but there are other factors, too.  Sometimes things just don't go your way.  It's o.k., though.  I have a strategy.  I'm going to give less a shit about what others do or think than I have before, and I already didn't care very much at all.  The strange social dances around me are not very entertaining.  People don't get better.  We are the horrible and the miserable.  Sometimes you just have to take your comfort where you can.  Monkeys and cats, man.  Monkeys and cats.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Saul Leiter



I watched a documentary last night about Saul Leiter called "In No Great Hurry" (review).  You can watch it, too, for only $3.99 on iTunes.  I think you can watch it for free if you have Amazon t.v., or you can buy the DVD for a few more dollars.  You can also choose not to watch it at all.  But that might be a shame.

I wondered why he wasn't really on my radar, but as it turns out, he wasn't on many people's radar for a long time.  He is one of those people who just made pictures without promoting them.  I guess.  It is unclear to me why a photographer who shot for the big fashion magazines in the 1950's just drops out of sight.  What did he do for money?  How did he get by?


He was shooting color film back then, not uncommon for fashion work, but highly unusual for street photographers perhaps because of the cost.  His framing is different for the era being highly fragmented and incomplete and blurred.  Ili said that of all the pictures I've shown her, these are among her favorite.


I, too, like the pictures, but I want to know more about his life, his girlfriend/partner, Soames Bantry, often described as a model and a painter, and about their life together.  I've searched the internet and found little.



The thing is, though. . . his ability to just keep making pictures year after year after year with little notice or attention.  "I knew my work was good," he says.

"I knew my work was good."

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Worst



This is a 1970's photograph by Bill Henson.  Film.  This is the sort of photography that will get you scorned now, I think.  It is more desirable to exploit people's suffering than their beauty.

These are topsy-turvy times.  I watched the Left vs. the Alt. Right in Charlottesville replays and highlights the past few days.  I'm not sure what people expect when you put two opposing teams on the same playing field.  In the replays, I see people who hate one another marching toward conflict.  The Aryans march lockstep holding signs that say they are under attack.  Surrounding them, the faces of hateful tolerance, savagely contorted. . . kaboom!!!

Some little moron with a motorcar and a head full of Facebook and video games hits the gas.

You haven't seen anything yet, though.  Wait 'til the renegade nuke countries begin their march and a little moron with a head full of kung fu movies and video games hits the button. . . kaboom!!!

The pigs are greased and out of the chute.  We'll play hell getting them back in.

The degrees to which we make the world ugly are many.  Maybe things are better when they seem worse (link).

My dance card is full this week.  I may not be able to post every day.  I have torn my right Achilles and have not been able to walk more than a few steps at a time for a couple weeks now.  My right shoulder keeps painfully falling out of socket.  I own a few more problems that will have to be looked after sooner or later.  The camera I bought broke yesterday, one day after it arrived, and I have to try to send it back for a refund.  And of course. . . the roof.   The factory is having a big week and my attendance will be required at some evening events.

Then there is the weather, not to mention the climate.

Maybe democracy and capitalism have reached their zeniths.  And maybe Trump is the Beast slouching toward Bethlehem (link).

In my head, I try to prepare for the worst.  In the world, I only wish to suck from the teat of sweetness and light.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

All There Is



I bought the antique cabinet from India yesterday.  Placing it caused us to rearrange some things.  We hung some pictures, made a bar, got rid of clutter. . . and were happy.  We sat and admired the way things looked, feeling it as much as seeing it.  It was fun, a creative act, but I have to admit the liquor bottles look too tempting that way.

The afternoon brought a drizzling rain, just more than a mist, and we cooked a skirt steak and spinach and a garbanzo been and red pepper salad with feta cheese and garlic. We opened a bottle of good wine.

And the rains came, harder and harder.  Ili said she loved to listen to the sound of the rain, but I am always anxious since the hurricane that destroyed my home.

And then the water began to run through the cabinet and onto the floor.  My new roof, once repaired, was leaking again/still.

We loved decorating but the thing we decorated has a lousy structure.  I must fix it immediately, for the rains will not let up this summer but only intensify.

A low seeping adrenaline rush keeps hitting me, filling me with despair.  What do I do?  The roofing company now does not return my messages.  They are experienced at this.  They know what will happen, what it would cost me to have an attorney look into this.  They've bee through it before and they have calculated their costs.  If I am going to get the roof re-done now, I will need to pay someone to come and do it.

This is what I get, you know, for spending money.  It is not just the cabinet.  I bought another camera, too, one I have bought two times before.  The first broke.  The second was stolen.  And so I spend money and the God of the Depression, instilled in me by my parents, delivers tribulation upon me.  These troubles are of my own doing.

Or so it would seem, though it is not true that the trouble just began.  It is simply my spendthrift ways that have me worried.  Terrified, really.  It will not be long before I do not have my present income, and I have squandered everything I should have saved.

I will start working on the roofing issue today instead of going about with my new film camera as I had planned.  I cannot bring myself to enjoy anything now, not until this is taken care of.

I got up this morning and read about the troubles in Virginia.  These are horrible things, very much of our times.  They are not good times.  They look worse this morning.

All there is to do is to try to fix it.  That's all there is to do.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Exotic



I'm buying furniture today from a shop that imports exotic things.  Does the word "exotic" have any meaning now?  I miss the exotic world of the "other" just like Trump's crew.  Remember harems?  Oh those crazy Arabs.  What happened to them?  Who didn't love the Ali Baba pants, the curved swords and the crazy headgear?  And those curly-toed shoes!

I've always used my magic carpet to take me on adventures.

But the old world was just an illusion, as are most things we enjoy.  Like Sam Shepard.  I lost that this week, lost the old Sam Shepard world.  A friend from the factory told me to watch the documentary "Shepard and Dark."  Thanks a lot, old gal.  Shepard turns out to be a real shit.  To have been, I mean.  That fellow, Dark, though, is not.  Dark, I mean.  It is Shepard who is dark and manipulative.  I won't spill just in case you are interested in watching the film.  You can rent it on Amazon and iTunes.  And if you aren't interested, you don't give a poop anyway.

Anyone who is not part of the contemporary world looks bad, I guess.  Shepard was stuck in time, part of the macho male American mythos where and when bad behavior was mitigated by good intentions and running away was always the cure.

Bad man, bad man.

All I have to do is watch one of the old films I liked growing up, something with Gene Hackman in it, for example (maybe "Night Moves"), and I realize how much society has changed.

"Go talk to your old lady."

"She's a groovy chick."

There was a recognition of manly violence and innate brutality.  To be a hero, all you had to do was reign it in.  Most of the time.

But Goddamit, a man had to be a man.  You wouldn't want your old man not to be a man, now, would ya?

Still, this sissified world we (Americans, mostly) live in is going to get us into trouble.  People speak and act as if violence isn't a real thing any more.  We've outlawed it and it is gone.  We all have rights.

But the world is full of brutal violence, and it is going to be interesting to see how we meet it.  Irony and sarcasm and high-toned verbiage might not be the best defense.

We'll see what the new John Wayne looks like.

Still, I'll pass on paying $100 to watch the Mayweather/McGregor fight, if for no other reason than I don't want to stay up that late.  I'm sure the fight won't start until midnight.  Here, I mean.  F' you west coast.

And besides, I'm going to be broke after purchasing my exotic furniture today.  Hand carved, primitive and rustic.  And did I mention. . . exotic.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Don't Trust the Internet



Years ago, back when I was a photographer and I corresponded with photographers and we would exchange compliments and works, I posted this photograph by Nathalie Roze from a series I liked by her.  She sent me two of the photographs from the series, and they always reminded me a bit of the works of Sarah Moon.  Somehow, the photograph was picked up on Pinterest as a photograph by Sarah Moon and linked back to the blog.  It made its way around the internet, always as a work by Sarah Moon.  I saw it listed on a big website today.  I should have posted one of my photographs and said it was a Sarah Moon photo.  I would love to have mine make the sadly mistaken rounds.  

I wrote a message to Nathalie about this today.  

Around the same time, I colorized one of Moon's iconic sepia pieces.  I loved it and posted it on my site with great trepidation.  I mean. . . you just shouldn't do a thing like that.  I've always worried that that picture, too, would make the internet rounds.  


Here is a work the site said was Sarah Moon's, a photograph of Anjelica Houston.  I've never seen it before.  It might be Houston.  It might be Moon.  But it could be Deborah Turbeville's photograph as well.  

This photograph could be the reason for people's confusion.  There are similarities.  


Here's another photograph said to be Moon's that I had never seen.  I like it, but I trust nothing on the internet anymore.  

Remember when I used to take photographs?  I was away from my computer yesterday, so I didn't post.  But I was up in Gritville thinking about a possible project.  It would take all my internal resources to do it, but maybe I can.  The pictures wouldn't be as beautiful as the ones here on this page, though.  I miss my studio again.  

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Bill Murray's Fault



Although he doesn't use social media, he is all over it. And the life depicted there is the life I (we?) want to live.  I want to hang out all day, travel, drink, see things, and be adored.  Yup.  His life in social media is the life I want to have.  Rather than going to the cafe and writing and taking pictures, though. . . I'm off to the factory.

What?



I had a rant for today, a funny one, I think, but I have forgotten it.  And now I'm blank.  I don't even remember which photos I've posted any more.  Yesterday's was a repeat of a few days before.  Have I posted this one?  Probably.  If so, why?  My creative production is limited to buying things on the internet.

They say that god doesn't give you more pain than you can bear, but I think the contemporary world is disproving that notion.  Suicide rates are up among all age groups.  That isn't even including the heroin "epidemic" that has swept the country.  Who thinks that is just about a good time?  The better we make things, the shittier they get.

I guess.  I don't imagine living in the middle-ages was very fun, much like living in the West Virginia coal country or being a native of the Ozarks.

I believe social media is the cause, though.  That and some particular people I know.

I'm going to have to start making memos.  I can't keep talking out of my butt.  Being dumb is one thing, but doing it in public. . . you might end up being president.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A Man with Tools



There is nothing that makes me feel more of a man than working with tools.  At least that is what I said when I took the battery out of the Vespa.  Hell yea.  Put the little sucker in the car to take with me.  I would buy a new one.

Fuck, I hate mechanical work.  I called a couple auto parts store to see if they had the battery.  It was much more at each of them than online, but I needed it now.  After work, I stopped at one of the stores I had called.  They brought out the batteries they said replaced the one I had, but none of them looked like they would fit into the small space under the Vespa seat, so I passed.  I went to another place.  Same story.  What could I do?  I bought the smallest one I could find for more money than the last store charged.  Whatever.

After the gym, I took the new battery out to the Vespa thinking there was no way it would fit.  I slipped it out of the box and into the battery holder.  Not quite.  Almost.  I took it out and felt around. The cables were in the way.  I moved them and put it back in.  Better, but not quite.  I knew I could make it work.  Half an hour later, the battery was in, the cables crammed into tight spaces and kinda/sorta connected to the posts, and the cover was forced back on and held almost in place with a screw.

I hit the starter.  Everything was fine.  At least it started.  I began thinking of all the things that might go wrong with my forced installation.  It will always worry me, I know, and one day things will go wrong.  It will be my fault.

After dinner, Ili said that tonight was the full moon and there was an eclipse.  So that is what made me think yesterday of the solar eclipse.  I was confusing the two events.

"Let's go out and look at it," she said.  And there it was high in a clear patch of sky.  Pretty.

"Doesn't it look lopsided?" I asked.  And that is when we realized we were seeing a little piece of the eclipse.

"Let's go for a scooter ride."

I was in boxer shorts and a t-shirt and Ili was in pajamas.  She didn't want to go, she said, but I got on the scooter and started it up.  She called something to me.  When I pulled up to her, she sidled up and got on behind.

We cruised slowly through abandoned streets.  Maybe fifteen miles per hour in my underwear.  We cruised on the brick road that rounded the lake and gazed out at the reflection on the water.  The air was warm as it blew across our skin.

This morning, Ili said she loved our Vespa ride last night.  I love that I "fixed" the Vespa.  I love that thing.  I can't believe everybody doesn't have one.

Unbelievably, I slept well under that Sturgeon moon, and I slept late.  Too late.  Now it is time for me to hustle.  I'll tell you sometime about getting my ass chewed out at work by my boss yesterday.  Seems I am not harsh enough in my evaluation of the workers.  I am not a harsh man, I said.

And it is true, no matter what evidence my say otherwise.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Hype and Circumstance



I should save this photo for September when the solstice will occur.  But I couldn't find an "eclipse" bag photograph.  Maybe I should look harder.  I have all sorts of things.

I'm already tired of the eclipse.  No worries.  I'm tired of just about everything--super bowls, big fights, home run derbies. . . .  Everything is hyped.  I'm worn out by hype.

What happened to subtle?  What happened to understated?  Hype is an American thing, but it is spreading like lice.  The true reason I could stand watching the World Cup was the announcers.  There were no commercials, just the understated tones of those two British guys.  I'll bet you dollars to donuts that is gone this time 'round.

I guess there's still golf, but I hate golf.

My life took a hit yesterday.  The Vespa won't start.  I counted on it always running.  I looked up the owners manual online.  Holy shit, there is a lot to the Vespa.  I considered it to be an overpowered lawnmower, but nope.  It is like a car.  The good thing is that there are YouTube videos showing you how to fix everything on it.  The bad news is that there are YouTube videos showing you how to fix everything on it.  I'm not really very good at fixing things.  But I'll have to go out this morning and change the battery which should be easy enough until I try to do it.  I'll sweat and curse, perhaps.  Then I will go to Pep Boys and buy another one.  I am doing this because I know the Vespa store will charge me way too much.  But when I put the new battery in, I know that will not be the problem.  It will require a new starter.  There is a video on changing that, too.  Even the thick boy in the video was sweating and grunting trying to get it out.  I didn't watch the rest of it, after he got it out, I mean.  I don't want to take the starter apart to see if I can fix it.  I just want to ride the Vespa with the wind blowing my longish locks.

I have a problem with the Mont Blanc, too.  The ring on the barrel is silver rather than gold.  "Oh get out!" you say.  "How horrendous."  I don't care.  You can make fun.  It isn't supposed to have a silver ring.  I am trying to return it, but the seller is requesting that I send a picture.  I just want the pen and the Vespa and the other things so I can look cool in the mythical cafes I don't go to where I don't sit with my Moleskine and Leica and a cool glass of beer.  I look really cool in my head.  In reality, I don't go 'cause I'd just look like another ridiculous, fat old fop.  Don't worry.  I am not unaware.  It is like the people who want to wear fedoras.  It is cool except when you do it.  Then you just look like an idiot.  Maybe I'll open up "The Theater Cafe" where everyone can come in the costume of his or her choice knowingly laughing about the ridiculousness of it.

I have to ship a shirt I bought online back today, too.  It is too small.  People tell me they buy clothes online all the time, but it hasn't worked out for me.  Still, I don't learn.  I bought a pair of pajama bottoms online last night.  They won't be right either, I am certain.

No matter about any of this now.  I have to get ready for the factory.  I am going mad with it and need a vacation--a long one--badly.  Ili and I are talking about Paris in September, but it will be for only seven days, just long enough to be worn out when we return.  I need weeks or a season of travel or just rest in some resort.

Shakespeare was not aware of Global Warming when he said, "Summer's lease has all to short a date."  Rather, he hadn't been here.

That's it.  That's my daily rant.  I thought of another post I wanted to write last night, but I forgot about it this morning.  Maybe tomorrow.  A memory, not a complaint.  Succor your souls with that thought.  Until then. . . .

Sunday, August 6, 2017

MIA



My yardman didn't come yesterday.  I worry about him.  He has been cutting my lawns since about 1988.  My longest relationship, sort of.  He hasn't been looking good lately.  He is a great and friendly guy from Jamaica.  Back when I met him, he could pull a tree out of the ground with one hand.  I mean, the dude was just powerful.  But time takes a toll, and he got "a little touch of the sugar," I think.  I don't know much about him, really.  I know his last name but don't have any way of contacting him.  I don't know his phone number.  I don't know where he lives.  Whenever he doesn't show up. . . .

Doing yards is a hard life.  Not so much when you are young.  But here, the sun takes a toll.  My cousin's husband had a lawn business for years.  His hearing is gone now, for the most part, from the noise of the machines.  But when you are young, it is good to have your own company and to be your own boss.  The money is good when you are young, or at least good enough.  Thirty years in, though, you must be losing your mind.  Every day is the same damn thing, and surely you don't want to go.  But lawns won't take care of themselves, especially here, and so.

I quit doing my own lawn when a friend of mine reminded me of all the chemicals that are on the grass.  "Do you want to breath that," he asked?  So I became an exploiter of others and hired my yardman.  He is the only one I have ever had.

He is not so good any more.  I don't think he can see.  He regularly chops the heads off the irrigation system.  Sometimes he'll cut a line.  I put cement donuts around all the heads, but that hasn't seemed to make a difference.  People tell me I need to "talk to him," but I just let him do what he does.  I'm not really good at "talking" to people.

When he shows up, I make some comment about the weather or ask him how he's doing.  If I say, "It sure is getting hot," he'll say, "I know dat's right."  If I ask him how he's doing, he'll say, "Good, mon."

We don't have long conversations.  He never asks me anything.  Once a month, I'll leave a check on the front seat of his pickup and wave.

In many ways, it is an almost perfect relationship.

I hope he is O.K.  Sometimes now I wonder if he might not have had a stroke.  It seems his arm hangs a bit limp when he is doing things.  He looks a little shaky.  I don't know.  Like I say, time takes a toll.

If he doesn't show up next week, I'll have to get someone to do my yard.  If he doesn't show up the week after that, I will have to get someone permanently.  And that will be that.  I won't know what happened to Henry.  He will just have disappeared.  He will be gone, and I'll wonder.

Strange to think about, but it will happen to one of us one day one way or another.  I mean, we can't go on ad infinitum.  We will have had a good long run, though, old Henry and me.  Yup.  Good old Henry.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Petri Dish



Dirtiness is much more difficult to accept in this heat and humidity.  We thought to go to a fish taco place last night that we enjoyed in the winter, but we thought again just before going and didn't want to sit at sticky tables and drink beer from bottles.  We were snobs, we decided.  We bought steaks and wine and cooked at home.

I had to think about that for awhile.  How did it happen?

You know.  First slowly, then quickly.  Besides, eating at home was cheaper.  Probably.  Maybe.

Even the nice bar was warm.

"Nobody's air conditioning is keeping up with the heat this summer," exclaimed the barkeep.

But places like The Breakers are not having trouble keeping up with the heat.

And mine is doing much, much better now that I spent money to have the attic double insulated.  I've even dropped the temperature for night sleeping.

Don't try to imagine it.  If you don't live in it, you can't understand what it is like to be in the grip of this madness.  That is why I ordered Jackie O's at the bar yesterday afternoon.  Served in a coupe glass.

Weather like this will make you yearn for the hundred degree temperatures of the west, that dry, luxurious heat in which nothing grows.

Here we live in a petri dish inside a greenhouse.  We are covered in spores.  It is weather for snakes and alligators.  It is not conducive to mammalian life.

O.K. O.K.  I'll stop.  I'm just trying to rationalize my summer snobbishness.  One desires a clean, cool place.  I am envying people's pools right now.

But you can't have everything, can you?  As Steven Wright says, where would you put it?

My grand confession of the day--I bought a Mont Blanc Meisterstuck Rollerball pen on eBay for a very low price.  Brand new and in the box.  Oh, it is a delight.  Do you know how good that looks next to a Leica and a Moleskine notebook?

I'll have to show you sometime.

Friday, August 4, 2017

What He Should Have Said



Here in the "sunny south," here in my own hometown, school is about to begin.  What!?!?!?  True dat.  It begins in the middle of next week.  Why?  Beats the hell out of me.  I would say that parents just want somebody else to watch their kids, but I don't know that parents are all that happy about it.  These are the kind of decisions that are made in secret closets, I think, where sadistic people wear evil clothes and masturbate over other people's misery.

That's the only explanation I have.

This constant monitoring of kids, our most obvious recent cultural phenomenon, hasn't come without consequences.  Kids have rebelled in the only way they could.  The phone.  They have become secretive little things, but worse, they have become joiners.  They want to belong, and not in a healthy way.  Sure, everybody wants community (I'm an anomaly), but theirs is of a new sort.  Maybe humans own a genetic trait that makes us want to be little Nazis.  If so, genetic engineering can remove it--or, more likely, enhance it.

But I have lost my way.  My point was (going to be) that you can't blame kids for what we make of them.  Exhibit A (link).

No, I have lost my way inexorably.  Completely.  My mind has wandered.  As my fingers rested here upon the keyboard, I began to think of my contempt for people who like to (a) be part of a crowd and (b) be leader of a crowd.  In my job as a videographer, I had a partner for a long time.  Each of us were fairly charismatic (o.k. fuck you) and able to attract attention.  While I saw it as my job to disenchant people as quickly as possible, he nurtured the attention until he had an almost cult-like following.  He enjoyed being the center of their sycophantic attentiveness.  He disgusted me, in truth, as would one who doesn't wipe properly.  I mean. . . he seemed shitty.

My now dead ex-friend, Brando, also needed a crowd to exploit in the manner of Hemingway, as if, in a twist of the old saying, the unobserved life was never lived.  Being carried atop the shoulders of others makes you seem bigger, I guess.

But maybe I'm not being fair and am only lifting myself up on my own shoulders to make myself look bigger.  But wait--those two things need not be mutually exclusive.  Perhaps there are different ways of elevating yourself.  Yes, that must be the truth.

(Dr. Freud sits silently making notes.  He is writing a poetic narrative of the mind.  His research excites him).

"I'm afraid our time is up.  I think we've uncovered some really powerful stuff here, fertile ground to work with next week.  Wait. . . I'm going to be out of town. . . check with the receptionist.  In the meantime. . . ."

Walking out onto the sidewalk, he felt an involuntary shiver.  Wait, he thought.  None of that was right.  He began editing the last hour in his mind.  That wasn't it.  What he should have said. . . .

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Solar Craze



Bigger than Woodstock.  That is what the paper's say about the events surrounding the total eclipse.  A person in the swathe of 100% eclipse will feel the difference, or so they report.  I envision something from a T.C. Boyle story with pigs fucking chickens, insatiable men and women naked and crazed, etc.

Set the table as for a feast.  Or, as they say,

Let be be finale of seem.
The only emporer is the emperor of ice cream
(Wallace Stevens)

I won't be there.  I'll be at the factory at a meeting of the members of the board.  There will be no feasting, nothing crazed.  I'll be missing that.

And such is the life I have chosen.  So it seems.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

As Always



The world is getting hotter (link).  Americans are getting dumber (link).  Kids can't read or write (link).

I could go on, but what's the point.  Everyone on one side knows it.  The other side denies it or, perhaps, revels in it.

All I can do is try to live in it.

This from Patti Smith's eulogy of Shepard:

Sam liked being on the move. He’d throw a fishing rod or an old acoustic guitar in the back seat of his truck, maybe take a dog, but for sure a notebook, and a pen, and a pile of books. He liked packing up and leaving just like that, going west. He liked getting a role that would take him somewhere he really didn’t want to be, but where he would wind up taking in its strangeness; lonely fodder for future work (link).

Packing up and leaving just like that, going west.  It used to work.  It still does to some degree.  There aren't many places like it, the American West.  It is diminished, though, and diminishing.  Still, it is the only place I know where you still feel like you can get away from things and still see the sky.  

There and in the Andes, I guess, but not in the same way.  There is nothing like the American West.  It is the American Dream.  But it, too, is being overrun by crack and meth heads.  

The old ways are dying out as they always do.  

And only the old complain.  

As they always do.  

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Things That Feel Like Sam Shepard



For years, I've used Sam Shepard as a tone, a mood, an atmosphere.  Things looked or felt like a Sam Shepard play, I'd say, though I never meant one in particular.  I'd see a photograph of something in the west, an old gas station and a long stretch of highway, and THAT would be Sam Shepard.

He's gone.

He had “a quality that is so rare now — you don’t see it in the streets much, let alone in the movies — a kind of bygone quality of the Forties, when guys could wear leather jackets and be laconic and still say a lot without verbally saying anything,” Philip Kaufman, director of “The Right Stuff,” told Rolling Stone.

Part of a eulogy that focused on “. . . the unease about masculinity in American culture.”

I sent this from a David Brooks article to friends after one of them told me to read it.  

The Greeks admired what you might call spiritedness. The spirited man defies death in battle, performs deeds of honor and is respected by those whose esteem is worth having.

The magnanimous man has a certain style. He is a bit aloof, marked more by gravitas than familiarity. He shows perfect self-control because he has mastered his passions. He does not show his vulnerability. His relationships are not reciprocal. He is eager to grant favors but is ashamed of receiving them. His personal life can wither because he has devoted himself to disinterested public service.


I caught lots of grief for quoting Brooks, but I liked the description (even though C.C. tells me he is butchering "Poetics and Ethics").  

I liked the idea of Sam Shepard.  The world feels different now.  There is little of the living left in my personal iconography.  Peter Beard.  Can't think of another.  

We are products of our time.  You never understand that until it is too late.  Maybe that isn't true.  Hemingway wrote "In Our Time" when he was a young man.  Maybe he just got lucky. 

Time Marches On.

Farewell Sam Shepard.  You were a product of your time.  

Monday, July 31, 2017

Untrue Color



I spent most of yesterday working with old files I've never touched, NYC pics from years ago.  But I also shot with my Leica M 262 to which I attached an old Voigtlander 25mm lens.  The Leica didn't like the lens all that much, or maybe the lens is just not as good as it should be.  But I made it work.  When I processed the files, I liked them.  I am beginning to see in wide angle again as I did when I was in college.  It is an odd thing as it is not the way we see without panning our eyes across the landscape.  It is not flattering to people if they are in the frame.  Everybody looks like a freak at 24 or 25mm.  It is just the thing for me.

As I processed NYC pics, I made working prints from my Epson 2400 printer.  4"x6".  When they came out, I put them on the dining room table.  Some that looked good on the computer screen looked dead in print.  I need the prints to see which ones really work and which don't.  Out of the thirty or so images, images I had culled from hundreds, a few would actually catch your eye.  Without the physical prints, though, I wouldn't know.  Everything looks better on the screen.

In the evening, I went to my mother's house for dinner.  I was expecting "Naked and Afraid," but rather, she was watching the Smithsonian channel which was airing "America in Color."  It was the 1940's when I came in.  I was awestruck.  The old black and white footage had been colorized, and it was spectacular.  I know others won't agree.  But for me, those colorized images were so much better, much more interesting, than anything shot today.  The colors were close but not right.  They were odd and oddly beautiful.  They looked the way I want my pictures to look.  I can do it, too.  I have.  Back when I was alone and could invest the time, I did it and the results looked fully wonderful.  It just takes a lot of work.  I must find out how the people at the Smithsonian are doing it.  They certainly have a different technology.

Last night, I took some Aleve when I went to bed.  I have wrecked my body in a summer that I was supposed to be taking off.  I can barely limp across the room with my bad Achille's.  My shoulder hurts no matter how I place it.  I guess I had forgotten that I wrecked it almost twenty years ago, tearing the labrum and three of the four rotator cuffs, causing a fenestration of the ligaments and a rupture of the bursa.  The doctor said I was lucky to be able to brush my teeth without pain.  Yes, I forgot all that in my "easy" summer of light workouts.  I remember now.  So I took the Aleve and went to bed, and woke again and again with the yips, so I got up at midnight and took a nerve pill for that.  Then I dreamed my pictures and I dreamed my cameras.  I dreamed about cameras I have forgotten and about their accouterments.  I dreamed about the old Polaroid film and then about the soon to be old Fuji film, too.  I dreamed about 4x5 color film that I can now develop at home and the strange color shifts that might occur.  I even began to dream of actually taking pictures, of really using the cameras and the lenses and the accoutrements to make them.

Dreams can come true, they can happen to you. . . .

But pills don't last forever, and I was up before five.

Those men and women in those old colorized films looked spectacular.  They didn't have gyms nor processed foods.  They had to do things manually.  Their faces were expressive, their bodies sinewy and strong, and their voices were distinct.  They were old at forty-five, older at sixty, but youth wasn't everything.  And that color made them something more than real.

It has rained much here this summer, and the plants are happy with it.  The grass is thick and the palms rejuvenated.  The jasmine grows full.  The pruned trees are still pruned and form a high canopy of the desirable kind.  I have decided that I want to extend my roof to cover the deck and am obsessed with the idea now.  It will make a fabulous space and cool the house as well.  On that deck I can place fans that blow away the bugs.  I can sit on cushioned furniture and smoke cigars and drink cocktails even in the summer rains.  I can take my messy art processes and do them there in relative comfort.  The light will be soft and bright, and I can even make portraits there.  There can even be an outdoor summer kitchen.

Could.  I will have to cost this out.  But it seems the thing to do.

The colors are off with the Leica/Voigtlander combo.  I like it.  I will play with it more today.  That would be true if I had the time.  But it is Monday, the last day of July, and in the distance the workday beckons.

. . . all the livelong day.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Rescue



By the throat and by the balls.  How do you get out of that one?  Best not to get there in the first place, but once you are, it is hard to think of anything but rescue.

I have been thinking more than dreaming at night it seems.  For awhile, there were terribly vivid and weird dreams, but now I am just thinking again.  I wake and realize I was thinking about old situations, old disasters, or I am remembering something I have neglected or have forgotten to do.  I woke once last night and realized I had aimed too low, that I had not done what I should have done in terms of success.  Later, I woke thinking I had aimed too high, that I am incapable of taking care of the things I have undertaken.

No, it was not that I aimed too high.  It was more that I am just an incapable putz.

Then I think I would be o.k. if I had a manager.  Maybe it is simply that I spend too much time in thought.  One wants a manager and ends up with a warden.

Standing on the platform as the train flies by.  The picture has been made a million times, maybe.  There is a reason for that, of course.  The metaphor is not hard to understand.

I'm standing on the platform.  Throat and balls.  Rescue.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

How I Feel



I bought a focusing screen for a camera I never use yesterday.  I paid $175.  I don't know how I feel about that.

I bought a Monteblanc Meisterstuck Roller Ball pen on eBay for $23.  It is coming from China and is surely a fake.  I don't know how I feel about that, either.

The Detroit trip has been cancelled.  There is much discernment and controversy surrounding that.  Again, I don't know how I feel about that.

The factory gets busy in August.  I will be working more.  About that, I do know how I feel.  Summer is racing by and again I have taken no trips out of the country.

Last night I said that I wanted to let my hair grow really long again, and that I wanted to live outdoors and simply.  I wanted to rejuvenate my old climber/surfer/hippy values.  I live in a box inside a box inside a box.

That is what I said after I injured my right Achille's tendon on a run, as I lay on the couch icing it and watching t.v. and drinking mimosas.  I could do that again today.  Pretending's fun.

Even though I'm limping badly, I'd better use the camera with the new focusing screen today.  But I doubt that I will.

I don't know how I feel about that, either.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Lousy Mood



If you are looking for happy, I'm not your man.  I've been a lousy mood, a terrible mood.  It is the heat and the humidity I like to think.  But it is more.  Everything seems too close, too restrictive.  I need space.  I need room.  I need time.

My needs are great.

I was happier when I had the studio.  I have to figure out how to get another one.  It was a life boat, a refuge.  Once you've had it, not having it is bad.  Really, really bad.

I grow lazy.  I grow fat.  I don't want to exercise any more.  Everything hurts.  But it is no good being both fat and old, especially if you are a photographer.  It is easier to yell at a fat old man than to yell at one who has slim distinction.  I like that phrase, though "imperially slim" has it beaten by a mile.

I guess I could just quit eating and drinking, but that isn't very appealing either.  There is small comfort in that.

I always "fill out" in the summer, I think.  That is the indoor season here.

As I've said, I've been going through the old hard drives in search of time past.  There is much.  Perhaps there is too much.

I hope to restore the past and modify it.  That is the coming future.

It was 78 degrees at 6 a.m. with 98% humidity.  These are dangerous times.  Life threatening ticks and mosquitos abound.  Microbes and spores.  Mold and mildew and funguses.

I told you I was in a lousy mood.  I think I'll take a walk.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Once Upon a Time



I've been going through my old hard drives, and good news--I found my old Lonesomeville files.  Bad news--I'm finding everything else, too.  Depresses me.  I used to take a lot of pictures.  I used to do a lot of processing and experimentation.  It must have been all I did.  It will take me hundreds of hours to get through it all.  There are a billion images that have never been processed.  Now I will begin a gargantuan task.  I will organize and catalogue it all, get them onto labelled drives, back those up, and maybe know where I can lay hands on things when I want to.

I don't know that I will be allowed the time.

I'm thinking about a trip to Detroit City.  Yup.  It is cheap and my friend who has been is encouraging me to go.  I've had other people ask me why I would rather go there than go to Quebec City or Toronto.  A couple reasons come to mind.  One is that it would cost more.  The other is, who in the hell goes to Detroit?  I'll tell you who when I come back.  I hear it is becoming an artists town, a hip spot like old SoHo before the Bobos got there.  I will take my camera.  I have no idea what I will see, but shooting in Downtown Detroit City should be something.  If I don't get shot.  I am full of all the news stories from there.  I won't know until I go.

This is a picture from the files--NYC, 2010.  I will be digging through them for days upon days.

Last night I slept alone and dreamed of taking pictures, black and white film and my little Leica M7.  It is what I want to do.  Not all I want to do, but what I want to do.  I will.  I have to work it out.  There must be pictures, there must be pictures. . . .

I used to be good.

Monday, July 24, 2017

The War of Myths



What can I tell you that you don't already know?  Science stuff, maybe.  Adiabatic cooling.  Ili got a kick out of that one this weekend.  I could tell you about organizing the kitchen drawers and all the things I threw out.  Purging is good for the soul, they say.  Not really.  I've never heard anyone say that.

I am about halfway through "Incest Diaries."  I don't think I will finish it.  I wouldn't recommend it.  I'd read several reviews of it, including this one in the N.Y. Times (link).  I never thought I would say this about anything, but it is too much.  It is worse than reading "American Psycho."  I appreciate the author.  I'm just afraid that reading more will be bad for me.  The work is unusually rough.  I don't often avert my eyes, but this time, I think I will.  It's not the incest; it's the violence.

I've never been much of one for violence.  I'm a bit too sweet for it.  Like everyone else, of course, I always wanted to be a hero or a superhero and set things right.  I've tried.  But we always want to make the world in our image, and there can be trouble with that.  Righting wrongs can be problematic, I've found.

Last night, I began watching Ken Burns' "The West."  I kept thinking about the myths that surround us.  It is all myth.  Tribal warfare and the usurping of lands, slavery, torture. . . it was all in play before the bad old white guys came.  That's the trouble with catalogues and groupings.  Too much oversimplification.  Where my mother's generation was filled with images of cowboys in white hats at the movies, the images with which I was filled were much the opposite.

The girl in the photo was having some trouble in life.  She lived with a boy and things went a little haywire.  I offered to help, but it wasn't the kind they wanted, I guess.  One day she said,  "We're not bad people.  We're good people.  We just do some really bad things."

I guess that pretty much sums it up.  Even with the best of intentions. . . .

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Most People Don't Know What They Want



Trump succeeds because he knows what he wants.  Most people don't know what they want.  They are vague and uneasy.  The dems know what they don't want, and they know what they want for others.  This is the problem.  Trump will do what he wants to do.  You can't just be against a thing.  You have to have an idea.  The democratic party is bankrupt of ideas.  Oh, they have ideals, that is for sure, but that is different.  Hillary was full of ideals.  Trump just wanted things.  Much easier to understand.  

I talked to a buddy of mine who writes for Interview magazine last night.  He said that magazines are over.  They are almost completely done.  I suppose it is due to the lack of bookstores and magazine stands in part.  That is how I used to buy many of them.  A good cover story would catch my eye, or there might be a piece of fiction that I would want to read.  I still have a subscription to Vanity Fair, but that is out of laziness.  I've never gotten around to cancelling it.  Trump is right about that magazine.  It is failing.  It is nearly done.  There is little content any longer.  It is a slim thing now, a symbol of our times.  Interview, my friend says, is barely hanging on.  

What replaces them?  People aren't reading the online versions either, I would guess.  They are busy looking at Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.  How many people are in for a sustained bit of reading, especially if they are under 35?  

Too many words.  

I have been reading all weekend.  The new Osborne book isn't holding up well.  I'll soldier through, though I may be sorry, as sorry as I was last night that I watched the movie "Z."  Don't.  It is awful.  

Life sometimes feels as empty as this picnic table.  Plastic in a little patch of weeds and mulch surrounded by a parking lot.  Somebody had the idea to put it there to give the employees a place to smoke, I guess.  Surely no one would go there to do more.  A little patch of life-denial.  

It is a Sunday in July.  I am going to go try to enhance my life a bit, though I am in a bit of trouble, perhaps.  I don't know what I want to do.  I am not sure what I want.  Maybe I'll take another nap.  I did that yesterday, a long one.  Sleeping through the holocaust.  Maybe that's the way to go.  

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Plastics



There's a huge battle brewing in Texas over the transgender bathroom bill.  Yup.  And people are concerned that Kyrie Irving wants to be traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers.  O. J. got his parole.  People can get worked up over any of that.

Then there is this (link).

Haven't heard people talking about it that much.  A friend sent me the link, so I know some people have it in mind.  But not like the other stuff.

Ili and I decided to go plastic free.  Yesterday was a shopping day, so we loaded the car up with our own shopping bags and headed out.  It all worked well at Total Wine, of course.  We filled our wine carriers and walked out.  After that, we went to a variety of places including Bed, Bath, and Beyond and Costco.  We bought drawer dividers and sheets and pillow cases and other things I can't recall just now.  What I do recall, however, is how much packaging stuff we had to throw away, and how much of it was plastic.  Even when you try. . . .

I Googled "biodegradable plastic" and what I found was mostly about the controversy surrounding it. I wonder how much of that is generated by the plastics industry?  I will have to look further.  I thought there were "plastics" made of rice, but maybe it is just paper.  Whatever, plastics, like Monsanto, are the devil.

Did you hear about Trump?  Ha!  Just kidding.

Friday, July 21, 2017

They'll All Be Gone



My organizational skills are notoriously bad.  I can't find anything in my hard drives easily.  I stumbled upon this image after hours of looking through old drives.  This wasn't on a drive, however, but in an email.  I kind of know where the others are, but not exactly.  I can't even find my old Polaroid files, the ones that made me--well, Q writes about a couple that I sent him today on his blog, and I guess that they made me a pariah, of sorts.  But no worries.  They may all be lost now except for the jpegs that I have sent around.  Selavy, right?  But this is one of the Cohen inspired photos of which I spoke a few days ago.  It is not one of the ones of which I am most excited, just one that I found.  I like it o.k. I mean twins are always kind of fascinating.  But the flash is just flash here and not the technique about which I spoke.  And this is not a real photo but the scan of an old proof sheet that was left over after my mother threw away all the negatives.  That is why the quality is so terrible.

I guess in the end, everything will be lost.

I know that "lossless" is a word because I watch "Silicon Valley."  I need an antonym that relates to the eventual loss of all images.

Ili doesn't like me photographing her.  I try to explain to her that within a few years, all the images will be gone anyway, but she doesn't listen.  It is a new for me not to be able to take photographs any time I want, but only recently have I realized that this is the first time I haven't been in a relationship with someone from the arts.  Everyone else I've ever been with studied art in college.  Not until today, not until just now, have I realized this.  All those unflattering shot from the hip life-revealing images were just accepted as part and parcel of some larger package that is/was my psyche.

Hmmm.

We watched a great, four-hour long documentary from Channel 14 about Andy Warhol.  It is on YouTube if you are interested.  There is another one that is long, too, but we couldn't watch it because  of the musical score.  It was dreadful and unending.  Too bad, for the interviews were pretty good.  Ili said it all seemed like an introduction to the show.  I knew what she meant.

I saw a display of Warhol's Polaroids at Country Club College a few years back.  They have a marvelous little art museum and an impressive collection.  I believe they owned the Warhol Polaroids.  They had rooms filled with them.  You know what they looked like.  I'll bet Warhol never lost his.  But I still have mine, too, the straight Polaroids.  They take up the better part of a room.  But I would have to go back and rescan them all and then do that crazy thing I invented that made them look the way they do.  I might try a few one day just to see if I still remember how to do it.  I'll probably have forgotten a few steps here and there.  I didn't write any of it down, of course.  Like the digital files, the process will be lost, too.

I still have lots of prints, though.  Far too many of them, really.  I destroyed a bunch of them when I left the studio.  They are big and I don't really store them well.  As Q says, they are too big for his living space, and that is probably true for most people by and large.  I can give them away, but they never get hung.  They would just lie around poorly stored in someone else's home just as they are here, never to be seen.

I do have one friend who framed the ones I gave to him.  He hung them in his law office.  But he is a collector and has more framed art than he can handle.

Ili's probably right.  Why am I taking pictures?  Often, when I want to take a picture, people ask me, "What are you going to do with them?"  I know what to tell them now, I think.

"Oh, I'll keep them on a hard drive for awhile.  I might try to give some away to my friends.  They'll store them under a bed somewhere, and then I'll lose the files.  I don't know.  You shouldn't worry about it, really.  Eventually, they will all be gone."

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Leadership



There are words that make my skin crawl.  "Leadership" is high on the list.  It has been a tremendous buzz word for years.  Boards and elected officials love to use the word.  There are leadership seminars and leadership conferences.  Your county's Chamber of Commerce probably has a county leadership team.

What a bunch of putzes.

I've seen minor league leadership academies.  The factory has one.  They get together and learn to eat with forks and knives and in which order to pick them up when the meal is brought in servings.  I've seen them, I tell you, all sitting with their identical polo shirts embroidered with the words "Leadership Academy" on them lined up at tables like inmates.  Once in awhile the regal ruler will come in and throw them some peanuts.

But they do it, even the ones who say it is stupid.  Even the ones who know better.

We have evaluations and awards at the factory, too.  I am in charge of a lot of evaluations.  They are done in private, of course, using a flawed, almost worthless tool.  But some people get better evaluations than others, and some are sterling.  Again, these are done is secret so nobody knows.  You can't point to one worker and say, "Judy is sterling, better than the rest of you, and here is why."  Of course.  But the awards are equally opaque.  We give "Worker of the Year" awards for which there is a process but no criteria.  We pretend there are criteria, or at least campus "leaders" under the auspices of the "ruler" do, but there are not.  I've asked for them before.  Many times.  I am given the procedures.  "But these are not criteria," I say.  "We give the awards year after year, but I never know what the winners do that makes them exceptional.  How are we supposed to emulate this special behavior if we don't even know what it is?"

That wins me the stink eye ever time.

But people apply and win--eventually.  You have to be nominated a few times before you are allowed to get an award.  That is the one one of the criteria I have gleaned.

Again, even those who know better.

There is a stupid slogan at the factory: "Lead from Where You Are."  I shit you not.  I don't have the energy to put into words how badly this makes me cringe.  But I like it in some ways, too.  It is a revelation of the bosses disdain for the "little people."  Even from the bottom, they imply, for our factory is truly a hierarchy.

Postmodernism was about leveling hierarchies, at least ostensibly.  Forget the hierarchy.  Things are a labyrinth.  But many groups used postmodern to promote their own agendas.  Once you've overturned one hierarchy, you are supposed to upend the next, but that has proven not to be practical, so what theory and theorists have given us are the tools of the new rulers.  Trump is King because his crew have learned to use the tools in order to deceive and manipulate.  They overturned the old apple cart.  Now they are selling apples.

O.K.  That is a dumbly abrupt ending, but I'm done.  I mean, that's a long way to go based on a dislike of the word "leadership," right?  I have others, but I'm done complaining (almost said bitching, but I could hear my boy feminist friend asking why I had to be so misogynistic and then I'd have to explain why I think feminists are like republicans in their usurping of theory for a political purpose and I don't want to.  Besides, he usually makes me look undereducated on the subject).  And besides, I was only talking to those who already agree with me.

O.K. then. . . a long walk, and then the factory.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A Clean and Cheerful People



I was at lunch with my boss yesterday at a fish taco place that is popular.  As we stood in line, I remarked the "office people" there.  They intrigue me.  I love the way they look, mostly.  Then men where that office uniform that is so crisp and professional.  The women, though, seem to have many more clothing options.  They, too, look crisp like newly minted money.  I am always disheveled at best and just sloppy looking at worst.  I look best that way, I'm afraid.  In office professional clothing, I look like something out of a wax museum.  I am lucky that I am allowed to get away with my sartorial sins.

"Do you know any of these people?" I asked.

"What?"

"Do you know any people who have these kind of jobs, office people, you know, the ones who go to work and have a lunch break then go back again?"

I realized I don't.  I have had friends who work, but they are lawyers and brokers and though they are busy, they pretty much make their own schedules.  They don't have set lunch hours and they don't punch a clock.  But I don't know any branch bank employees or people working in insurance offices.  Etc.  That I had never realized that until this moment rather shocked me.

My boss just looked at me quizzically like a dog who hears the words, "Do you want. . . " which it understands then hears the words "vacuum cleaner," head cocked at 45 degrees, eyes squinting.

"They fascinate me," I said.  "Look at them.  They are all clean and cheerful."

I realized I sounded like James A. Fitzpatrick in the old "Travel Talks" newsreels (link).  I hate to admit how much influence such things had on me as I grew up.  I could just as easily have said, "Here we have come upon a rather large group of office workers out on their daily lunch break.  They are an attractive and industrious crew, such a clean and cheerful people."

I guess at the moment, though, that is what I was feeling.

The women.  I don't know how they do it.  I don't know where they get their clothing.  Target, I imagine.  I can see them there in my mind's eye going through the clothing section.  And again, I am ashamed to say I hear the Updikian voice in my head; "They look so good and sexy, even the chubby ones."

It is just fantasy, I know, and the bubble burst when we got back to the office.  One of the secretaries was going on a European cruise, and we were all wishing her a bon voyage when one of the others said in that certain tone, "Oh, that is on my husband's and my bucket list."

It was like nails on a chalkboard to me.  I had to leave the room.  Why do they do it?  Why do people use such hackneyed expressions in that highfalutin tone?  The question is rhetorical.  I know the answer.

And I know that like all things, my fascination would run out with familiarity.  It would run its course long before intimacy.

And I know, even better, that the first time I opened my mouth, that cheerfulness would leave them as quickly as smoke leaves a cigarette.  I have no illusions about that.  But, as they say, wouldn't it be pretty to think so.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Cohen's Chutzpah



"I never really want to intrude anywhere but to put the camera in place is the problem. I see a lot of pictures when I don't have a camera with me and am relieved not to have to try to get there."

This is the first image I remember seeing by Mark Cohen.  It was the one that enamored me of his work when I was in school.  I copied that style for awhile, using a flash at dusk so that the background was always darker than the subject, the light falling away into the distance.  I did that just before I quit photographing the first time after I had moved back to my own hometown where photographers were considered with great suspicion.  Photography was easy in a college town.  When it became too difficult, I guess I quit.  I never went back to that style.

There is sometimes a dream and sometimes a nightmarish quality to his photographs.  They are usually quite jarring and disturbing.  It is difficult to think of him stalking the streets and making these sort of images for over fifty years.  If you've ever tried it, you'll know.  It is exhausting.

But it can be exhilarating, too, and, as they say, "The devil drives."  Why do it?  That is the question that you always hear.  It is always with you trying to make you doubt.  Cohen's success is in part due to his ability to go on. From an interview in 2015:

Anne Wilkes Tucker: When you say, “I’m making pictures to put in the drawer,” there is a kind of determination on your part to continue with what is in your particular eye when I’m sure there were dealers saying to you, “If you’d back off a little, it’d be easier to sell them.” Were there not?

Mark Cohen: Well, no. They didn’t make any effort to sell them because they weren’t expensive enough. They were only six hundred dollars, so it didn’t matter to the dealers, or to the Marlborough Gallery or to Virginia Zabriskie either. The galleries thought that my pictures were strong. I got good reviews, but they never sold many. But that was okay. It’s still hard to sell them.


He speaks about the inherent sensuality of the photographs, the closeness and revelation of skin.  It doesn't take much, but much is suggested.  



I don't know much about his life.  I wonder if it was what one would deem "normal."  What were his personal relationships like?  Were they sustained/sustainable?  I know from experience that it is hard to find someone who wants to put up with such an obsession.  Obviously, there is something disturbing revealed, the photographer, as it is, always photographing the inside of his or her head.  


C.C. wrote me yesterday about the "rapeyness" of art.  All of it is, he says.  For the photographer, I guess, to reveal the things people refuse to see but can't stop looking once they are, there must be some sort of perverse madness.  

Monday, July 17, 2017

Monster



I'm not sleeping.  Last night I woke every fifteen minutes or so.  Twitchy.  Maybe I have too much pain.  It seemed too cold, then too hot.  Did I mention twitchy?  Once, an hour before I finally gave up, I remembered a dream.  Ili had cooked a raccoon in the oven for some reason.  When I went to cut into it, it moved.  Just a little.  Then more and more.  She wouldn't believe me, but then it fell off the table and began to move around the room, raising its head, trying to get to its feet.  Ili kept saying it couldn't see anything like that mattered.  I was horrified at the torture the thing must have gone through and was going through now.  Why in the fuck had she put it in the oven?

I was up long before the sun which is just now starting to lighten the sky.  I hear the first morning bird.  I'll be tired today.  I wonder what is wrong with me.  Anxiety, perhaps, of a non-specific type.  My unconscious must be working on something.  It feels like there is trouble ahead, but my lack of sleep won't help.

I bumped around yesterday without producing much.  I Rode scooter with camera but took no pictures.  I have become too intimidated.  I am too visible, perhaps, to try shooting surreptitiously.  Maybe I just don't feel good about myself.

Jesus, next I'll be talking to a therapist.


In the afternoon I gave up.  It was too hot to do anything outdoors anyway, so I decided to go to the little hipster place and have a beer and write out some options.  When I got on the scooter, however, I decided to go to the fancy place with the hipster bartenders instead.  I squeezed in at the bar, but everything felt wrong.  The music sucked and I didn't know the bartender.  After five minutes of waiting for the new hipster to take my order, I left, glad that I hadn't ordered after all.  Back on the scooter, I headed for the other place.

Better choice.  It was crowded with "beautiful losers" as some might say.  I ordered an IPA from a big, young, burly girl who seemed on the verge of a foul mood, and found a place to sit looking out the big plate glass windows.  I didn't want to sit there particularly, but the place was full on a Sunday afternoon.  One large group played some card game.  Students worked on homework together.  Here and there were plates of food.  I looked around at the crazy interior and the colorful crowd and my nerves began to dance.  I wanted to photograph the place.  I wanted to photograph them all.  But that wasn't going to happen, at least not that day, for I was a fish out of water.  What had I become, I wondered?  I seemed to be exactly what I was, something that stood out like a goldfish in a wild river.  How?  I used to be part and parcel, then later at least able to slip in and out of this crowd.  My movements were off, I thought.  I had lost some grace, was besieged by the herky-jerky syndrome.  My body was not pliable.  I had become. . . A MONSTER!

Shit, I think I now understand my dream.  It was a translation of how I felt in the hipster place, like that raccoon.  Seriously.  That has to be it.  Absolutely.

Maybe my day will get better.  The sky is lighter now, and I will walk.  There is no curative better than a good long walk.  It is just what the metaphysical doctor ordered.